Change is healthy at Christian Science Church
An Associated Press article published on last Saturday's religion page, "Christian Scientists work on healing church," by Jay Lindsay, might have given some the impression that the Christian Science Church's efforts at streamlining their organization was a negative situation -- but that is not necessarily so.
Like businesses, church organizations also need to go through an occasional reorganization process where shedding excess is helpful in focusing more clearly on their core mission. In the case of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the Boston headquarters for the Christian Science church, responsible, prayer-based, spiritual healing is the basis of what the church is all about and its central purpose. Many church members, including me, see the reduction of some church-owned real estate holdings as a positive step, allowing the church to be more readily involved with Bible-based healing through prayer.
The story's author wrote that healing through prayer is criticized as an obsolete idea. However, the federal government's Centers for Disease Control reported recently that prayer for one's health, either by oneself or by others, constitutes the most commonly used complementary and alternative health care therapy. One can't help but notice this growing interest in the relationship between prayer and health today, as evidenced by a number of published articles on this topic.
Understanding the prayer-health relationship better was a primary focus for the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. In fact, Eddy organized her church "to commemorate the word and works of our Master (Christ Jesus), which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." This focus on "primitive Christianity" and healing includes worshipping a God who is a compassionate creator and a present help in trouble.
Like other members of the Christian Science Church, I understand God as divine love, infinite intelligence, perfect principle. Listening to this divine influence and expressing more of the Christ in my daily walk and conversation, I've had healings of business problems, strained relationships and physical problems, including colds, food poisoning and allergies, to name a few. The study of Christian Science continues to help me progress in the healing of sickness as well as of sin.
Testimonies from other people who have successfully put this spiritual system of healing into practice can be seen on the Web page of the Christian Science Publishing Society at www.spirituality.com.
Nancy Walden of Oahu is a member of the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Hawaii.