A conversation with the pastor

A humble yielding to God in prayer opens the way to receiving just the message we need.

As a young man I was often bothered by the fact that the Church of Christ, Scientist, has no human authority that one can go to for advice. Christian Science practitioners, people who commit their full professional time to praying for others, do provide someone to talk to, and I have had much support and healing work through their services in the past. Yet practitioners are not to give human advice.

In the Manual of The Mother Church, Article XIV, Section 1, we read, "I, Mary Baker Eddy, ordain the Bible, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Pastor over The Mother Church,—The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.,—and they will continue to preach for this Church and the world." With this momentous action in 1895 she completely eliminated any human variableness from entering the pulpit of her Church. God's Word is to be set forth, free of personal opinion, directly from the Bible and from Mrs. Eddy's book Science and Health. I could appreciate this on an intellectual level and could certainly see its utility for our church services. The question lingered, however: Could I go to these "books" instead of a personal minister for answers to current problems?

Among the blessings that Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, held dear in her early years was, as she said, "the daily Bible reading and family prayer" (Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 31). Her father always started the day by reading from the Bible. Later, it was often her practice, we are told, to share with some members of her household a Bible passage that she had come upon by opening her Bible at random to seek God's direction for the day.

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In next week's Sentinel—
July 12, 1993

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