"What's it like to be a Christian Scientist?"

That's what someone recently asked me. It's a question that probably has as many responses as there are Christian Scientists. When I first became acquainted with a Christian Scientist, this religion and its people seemed almost beyond what I could imagine. To rely upon prayer for healing was something that seemed as distant as the people in Bible times. The concept of spiritual healing wasn't something that fitted into my outlook or expectations. Yet here were people who actually believed they could begin to understand spiritual law and thus experience healing. The idea that God could be known and His goodness tangibly experienced in the healing of disease and sin was as powerful as it seemed at first to be absurd.

I'd associated such experiences with long-ago Bible figures like Moses, Elijah, and, of course, Christ Jesus. But my own faith at that point was better represented by another question. I had come across a Bible verse where Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5:48.

I felt that man had as much chance of being "perfect" as I did of running a three-minute mile! The Bible verse distanced me from God, and I wondered how Jesus could have commanded such a thing. I shared the general apprehension that men and women are bound to an endless cycle of never being good enough, and that this haunting conviction was a barrier between man and God which could possibly be bridged only by the pity and mercy of a benevolent Deity.

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"I know you are not a thief"
February 22, 1988

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