Democracy in Church Develops Individuals

Why is the democratic process the best method of branch church government? Why did Mrs. Eddy specify in the Manual of The Mother Church that branch churches should be distinctly democratic in their government? Because this type of control allows for the maximum spiritual growth of the individual member. Christian Science supports individuality and all that affords the individual the opportunity to grow in demonstration of his spiritual identity.

It is necessary to have this end in view because it will help one to keep his perspective in regard to church activity and enable him to grow in grace and to allow others the same opportunity. In any democratic process there will be differences of opinion: but if the members of the branch church approach each problem with the fact that there is one God, one Mind, and that man reflects this divine intelligence, they will recognize a foundation for harmony. With this basic approach clearly in view, the church affairs may be safely left to majority opinion.

It may sometimes appear that the democratic process is not the most efficient approach in solving church problems. But efficiency is not the basic aim. The goal of getting things done has often been used as the excuse for domination. It is the same old argument that the end justifies the means. But when we have the right idea of individual growth as our desired goal, then we shall see why the democratic process best serves this purpose.

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Of Good Report
September 25, 1965

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