Special comment: Church secrecy?

There are probably two situations when any denomination faces the strongest temptation to dwell on membership figures— when they're climbing, and when they're slipping. But Mary Baker Eddy decided that regardless of the ups and downs of numbers, the Church of Christ, Scientist, ought to look away from them.

Taking her cue from guidance in the Bible, she inserted a provision in the Manual of The Mother Church (Art. VIII, Sect. 28) that prohibits the publication of church membership figures. This was done at a time of rapid growth in members. Christian Scientists, she provided, "shall turn away from personality and numbering the people." Her Church had something immensely more important to dwell on than numbers.

The right turn
October 18, 1982

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