renew a focus on our primary resources for spiritual growth – shut down the questioning

It seems the “Circle of faith” community at christianscience.com is closing down. While I never spent much time there, I did enjoy the idea that The Mother Church would permit “open idalogue among Christian Scientists, their fellow Christians, and people of other faith traditions.”
Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.58.00 PMThe reason given?

we feel this is an opportunity to pause with some of our online activities and renew a focus on our primary resources for spiritual growth — our Pastor: the Holy Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Fear not little flock, the Circle of Faith blogs will remain up — you’re still welcome to comment there, but the discussion boards? Those will be gone as of August 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.57.49 PMIn skimming through them earlier, I found some great “conversations” including

And gems like this:

Understanding illusory nature of matter is essential and indispensable for Christian Science. An idea of unreality of matter is not a new one. It is as old as Hinduism, or at least 4000 years old. Hindu religion teaches that material world is an illusion – Maya, a dream of mind based on sensory perception. Buddha 500 years earlier than Jesus also taught about the nature of material world. To Western thought unreality of matter can be explained from subject-object frame of reference. If we look at the tree from one side and then change our subjective position, the tree will remain the same even in case subjective picture has changed. The tree can be dry from one side and wet from the other. It can have more branches on visible side, but lack branches on the other. Based on subjective perception, can we say that the tree is dry or wet? Can we count all branches just looking at the tree from one side? What subjective picture of mind can we create on the basis of our sensual perception?

They go on at some length and then conclude:

To understand all miracles of Jesus, it is crucial to realize that not only “matter” is unreal and subjective, but the whole world is unreal. It seems a very radical idea and a far stretch . But consider the fact that the “world” depends on self and its subjectivity. The world can be one for one conscious self identity and different for the other. There is a world of a schizophrenic and a world of a saint. The world of the same tree is different whether it is a botanist who looks at the tree, or a tree chopper. The world can contain all sorts of projections, attachments, fears and beliefs, which are not real. So, if the world is unreal, what is real? God is real, Spirit is real. God is much bigger than any world our perception and imagination can grasp. And Spirit belongs God, comes from God and returns to God. Spirit is permanent and immovable in the world. There is only one Law Spirit obeys before God. It is described in the words of Jesus, “Give to God what is God’s.”

With all these delightful variations, interpretations, and legitimate questioning of what Ms. Eddy’s claims, it is no wonder that they’re closing down the forums and limiting comments to CSP-authorized posts.

I highly recommend checking out the forums before they’re closed in August! https://community.christianscience.com/community/ecumenical_and_interfaith

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7 thoughts on “renew a focus on our primary resources for spiritual growth – shut down the questioning

  1. Donna Goddard says:

    Thanks Kat. That’s a pity. I think it would be more helpful to shut down the Manual. Mrs Eddy did many, many revisions of the Manual while she was alive, demonstrating that it was an alive, flexible book of rules and direction. It is silly to think that a book of rules would still be relevant (unaltered) 114 years later. We need change. Come on Board of Directors. We need change and growth. Don’t keep looking backward, protecting yourselves. Use your inner wisdom and love and GO FORWARD!

    • kat @ kindism says:

      At least one biographer theorizes Ms. Eddy modified the manual so many times as a way to meet perceived “threats” to her control over the religion. At this point, I think the biggest “threat” to Christian Science is itself.

      The problem with using inner wisdom and going forward is many choose a path away from Ms. Eddy’s works, embracing modern medicine, and finding their feel-good platitudes elsewhere in religions that don’t get caught up in material animal magnetism, so-called error, and aggressive mental suggestion.

  2. tildeb says:

    Again, when as soon as we see descriptive preambles of what is to follow based on such phrases as “the nature of matter”, we know we have left the arena of honest inquiry into the reality we share and have returned to Aristotelian (meta)physics built out of assumptions divorced from reality. What follows will not be some description adjudicated by reality for its accuracy value but imposed on it by faith and then asserted to be true regardless of what reality has to say about it.

    This is Christian Science in a nutshell.

    Operating a forum that dares to openly question the value of this divorced method might reveal why the term ‘Science’ actually means its opposite: anti-science. If the self-addressed descriptive label has to be a lie, surely whatever follows will show an equal disdain for what is true and it is here where Christian Science – when rigorously followed – truly shines… leaving a trail of dead bodies as a testament to its profoundly anti-scientific shortcomings. That’s okay, apparently to the Muckety Mucks who represent leadership; but any talk about why it might not be okay to follow along is simply intolerable.

    That’s a clue about how much value is placed on what’s true following Christian Science: zero. The question believers have to ask themselves is: Does this matter to them?

    • kat @ kindism says:

      Talking about it gives it power, and all good Christian Scientists are well verses in the dangers of giving error power (even though error is “unreal”… this never made sense to me either).

  3. Donna Goddard says:

    I know that people who have been hurt, sometimes very hurt, by the CS church must voice their concerns, opinions and truth. In this way, everyone is helped and the world becomes a better place.
    However, for me, I don’t criticize either the Board or the CS church to hurt them or because I think either is stupid. i do so to help, because they can be so much better. True CS is an innately spiritual and powerful path. But to see this, one would have to be a spiritual student of life. If one is not then we are sort of on completely different pages. Which is, of course, valid too.
    I’m for what is good, wherever that is found.

    • kat @ kindism says:

      There are many of us who have been harmed by the teachings and practices of CS. Donna, I think we are on very different pages: I don’t think CS is innately spiritual or powerful, unless we choose to give it such power, but I understand how one could selectively read that from Ms. Eddy’s works. There is some good to be found in Ms. E’s writings, but there is also a lot of not-so-good, and so I have chosen to find my “good” elsewhere.

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