Church Manual: Sex, Drugs, Doctors & Healing

The Big Four issues that Christian Scientists seem to get hung up on are (in no particular order): sex, drugs, doctors and healing. Going STRICTLY BY WHAT THE MANUAL SAYS is quite different than delving into MBE’s other writings (and even those are open to further reading and interpretation).

“Sex” comes up ONCE in the entire church manual, and not in a “sexy” way.

[page 49]
Sudden Decease. SECT. 2. If a member of
The Mother Church shall decease suddenly, with-
out previous injury or illness, and the cause
thereof be unknown, an autopsy shall be made
by qualified experts. When it is possible the
body of a female shall be prepared for burial by
one of her own sex

Doctors are first mentioned in the context of their title, if you’ve got a doctoral degree the laws of State say you can be a doctor, otherwise, you can’t claim the title. MBE is very focused on “the laws of State” on a number of other issues as well. She’s very clear that the State has it’s own set of laws and the membership of the CS church must abide by them.

[page 45]
Legal Titles. SECT. 19. Students of Chris-
24 tian Science must drop the titles of Reverend and
Doctor, except those who have received these
titles under the laws of the State.

Doctors again appear in the guise of M.D.s on page 47, along with the issues of duties to the patient and the issue of healing.

[page 47]
Duty to Patients. SECT. 23. If a member of
this Church has a patient whom he does not heal,
and whose case he cannot fully diagnose, he
may consult with an M. D. on the anatomy in-
volved. And it shall be the privilege of a Chris-
tian Scientist to confer with an M. D. on Ontol-
ogy, or the Science of being.                           *emphasis mine

This brings up the question, what if one is trying to heal ones’ self?

In my reading of this it is perfectly acceptable to visit a doctor if a healing isn’t happening. Now as to how one confers about the “Science of being” lets be up front, if you’re going to the doctor and you choose to take the medication they prescribe need to follow the directions they give you to the letter, and to be upfront with them about your CS leanings. They want to help, and it takes an open line of communication for this to work. The same applies with a relationship with a CSP, be up front about medications (or hospital visits) and if they’re truly practicing “charity to all” (further down on page 47) then they’ll make something work.

Charity to All. SECT. 25. While members
of this Church do not believe in the doctrines
of theosophy, hypnotism, or spiritualism, they [page 48]
cherish no enmity toward those who do believe
in such doctrines, and will not harm them. But
whenever God calls a member to bear testimony
to Truth and to defend the Cause of Christ, he
shall do it with love and without fear.

Drugs are not mentioned, however things like theosophy, hypnotism, and spiritualism are, which makes me wonder what people were up to in the late 1800s.


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