Daily Struggles for Healing

Over the years, as I grew more aware of Christian Science beyond the confines of my Sunday School class, my awareness of the importance of healings grew. The membership must not only demonstrate the healing power of Christian Science, they must also share their experiences with the world.The Herald, The Journal, The Sentinel and numerous* websites are dedicated to sharing CS healings.

If Christian Science works for you, and you are able to have healings that’s wonderful, I am truly happy for you, however, it doesn’t work that way for everyone. For everyone who publishes a feel-good I-over-came-an-issue there are countless people out there who daily struggle with issues that are not “over coming” their “struggles with mortal mind.”

They are in every congregation.

The woman who had a traumatic birth experience and c-section, the woman with the ectopic pregnancy that had to be terminated, the man who had a stroke, the man who’s appendix burst and killed him, the child who had the nasty accident with left them with permanent brain damage, the child born with birth defects or who struggles with a chemical imbalance, the elderly person who needs a cane, the individual in a wheelchair, the countless number of people with glasses or other corrective lenses for vision, the children with braces on their teeth, the person who had a wisdom tooth extracted or broken bone set, the person with an anxiety disorder or panic attacks, the person made nearly blind from cataracts who refuses to have surgery because they can heal themselves if only they pray work harder to know the truth…. And that’s just in one church congregation.

We don’t talk about them. They’re not praying properly, after all MBE says in Miscellaneous Writing p. 260 8-18

[Jesus’] faith partook not of drugs, matter, nor of
the travesties of mortal mind. The divine Mind was
his only instrumentality and potency, in religion or medi-
cine. The Principle of his cure was God, in the laws
of Spirit, not of matter; and these laws annulled all other
laws.
Jesus knew that erring mortal thought holds only in
itself the supposition of evil, and that sin, sickness, and
death are its subjective states; also, that pure Mind is
the truth of being that subjugates and destroys any sup-
positional or elementary opposite to Him who is All.    *emphasis mine

That’s all well and good for Jesus**, he was immaculately conceived and some religions teach that he was actually God. Jesus also went on to ascend, which is something very few others have managed (Elijah had a chariot of fire take him up to Heaven, and one or two Old Testament figures went and “walked with God” but ascensions are far and few between). Clearly, Jesus was operating on a different level, and while we may all be prefect children of God, JC was far more in tune with this than the average person.

Suffering is brought on by erring mortal thought. In Science & Health p.316 3-11 MBE states:

real man being linked by Science to his Maker,
mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal
selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to
God, and to recognize the divine sonship. Christ, Truth,
was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of
Spirit over the flesh, – to show that Truth is made
manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body,
healing sickness and destroying sin.         *emphasis mine

All these people need to do is themselves as “real man” being “liked by Science to his Maker” the Truth would be made manifest and heal the sickness.

This leads to a vicious cycle of “turning to the books” (mainly Science and Health) and reading, and praying, and attending every church event, and lecture, and talk, and suddenly one’s entire life becomes Christian Science. Although the Church Manual encourages people who are not receiving healing to confer with a doctor (page 47:4-10), this seems to contradict what Ms. Eddy says in Science and Health:

We cannot serve two masters nor perceive divine Sci-
ence with the material senses. Drugs and hygiene cannot
successfully usurp the place and power of the
divine source of all health and perfection. S&H 167:12-14

Many CS take this to mean either you pray about the situation or you seek out medical attention in an all-or-nothing manner. Clearly as a good Christian Scientist you will only be turning to God for healing, after all, MBE raves on for pages about homoeopathy in her pamphlet on Christian Healing.

…although homoeopathy has laid the foundation
stone of mental healing; it has established this axiom,
“The less medicine the better,” and metaphysics adds,
“until you arrive at no medicine.” When you have
reached this high goal you have learned that proportion-
ately as matter went out and Mind came in as the remedy,
was its potency. Metaphysics places all cause and cure
as mind; differing in this from homoeopathy, where cause
and cure are supposed to be both mind and matter. [Christian Healing, p. 11:16-20]

I agree with her that homoepathy is useless, I also agree that “the less medicine the better,” no one wants to live in a drugged stupor, but no one wants to live in chronic pain either. Let’s find a balance. In other news, scientists are exploring the placebo effect and how patients perception can influence a drug’s impact. I also agree with her ideas that:

A scientific mental method is more sanitary than the
use of drugs, and such a mental method produces perma-
nent health. [Science & Health p. 79:7-9]

Why yes, prayer is much safer than visiting a doctor in the 1800s, and far from MBE’s claims that hygiene is unimportant, it (and germ theory) are is of the biggest reasons why the practice of medicine has become safer over the years.

I take issue with people are judged by their ability to achieve healing and when they are made to feel like failures for turning to doctors and medical routes to achieve relief from what ails them. An isolating culture of silence has grown up around those who have failed to have healings/are having on going struggles. Clearly it is their failure to correctly apply the Science of Divine Mind. Because no one talks about on-going struggles, they feel isolated, as if they are the only one who is incapable of resolving their problem.

Occasionally someone finds a good friend they can confide in and tearfully confess they’ve been struggling. I’ve been on both sides of such confessions. There is a tremendous sense of relief that you are not alone, that you are not the only one who is struggling. There is someone else is facing a problem they can’t just pray away, someone else has also skipped church, or left the movement entirely.

*Some more legitimate than others
**Assuming such a person existed. I am not going to speculate here on JC’s existence, Roman records indicate several radical reform rabbis were working in the region at the time, and I’m also OK with most of Jesus’ teachings (love they neighbor, etc), if he existed, he was undoubtedly a fairly decent fellow.
***Fear is often turned into the acronym False Evidence Appearing Real
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3 thoughts on “Daily Struggles for Healing

  1. Elle says:

    Having visited several churches with prayer requests read before/during/after services, I found them eye-opening. For one, it was kind of disgusting for a squeamish person to hear about Great Aunt Nadine (surely the entire church’s great aunt) and the prayer request from her family on her behalf because she’s dealing with renal failure. On the other hand, it was nice to hear that Youth Minister Tom is recovering well from his car accident and is now dealing only with the whiplash. There’s a sense of care and concern fostered by that. In CS, if someone isn’t at church, they’re either traveling or dead, pretty much. And you only hear that they were in bed with the flu after they get back… and you’d have been happy to bring them soup or something, but you never even knew and your efforts of kindness in hindsight were thwarted. Very frustrating.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I lost my mother and husband to Christian Science.
    Needless to say, I am not a Christian Scientist.

    jc

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