The following piece is a guest post by The Reader who submitted the “Don’t Give Up Now” article which inspired the “Ultimate Failure & Ultimate Success for Evil” post. They had a few more thoughts on the topic which I felt merited sharing.
The only modification I have made to the post was to put The Reader’s commentary next to bullet points for easier reading.
Hi there, Kindism readers. I am the reader that submitted Evan’s blog post. Please bear with me.
I was raised in Christian Science and stayed with it until quite recently, though my thought process was far ahead of me. As an enthusiastic and voracious reader, non-fiction appealed to me and I realized that the Bible was really a horrible thing when taken literally, and a very contradictory text as well. I preferred Science and Health for its poetic feel that did not rely on parables. It seemed almost a whimsical snapshot of MBE’s time, when put in historical context.
Let’s move on to Evan’s post – I’d followed his blog for a few years and while I’ve often found myself challenged by his statements (and challenging them, as well), this was the last straw. Please read it in its original form first, as the commentary breaks up the gloating.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Don’t give up now
The below is a letter I wrote in reply to a Christian Science practitioner who was very discouraged and disheartened after praying for a patient who eventually passed on. She was wondering whether to stay in the practice or not.
I’m glad you wrote, and I’m happy to answer your questions.
- Right away, I’m cringing. Why? In CS, nobody has The Answer. I hope the individual wrote more than one other practitioner for feedback because this simply reeks of “here are The Answers to your questions, I had them all along!”
You are in work most needed in the world today! Don’t for an instant, let mortal mind tempt you to believe otherwise.
- …not happy with what you’re doing? Keep doing it! Second guessing CS only makes you actually THINK about its relevance in the world today. Doubting it would be scary/wrong/not-patriotic.
If it weren’t for Christian Science, what would you do?
- You have no other options. You’re a CS practitioner, you have no other options. You’re CS, you have no other options. Also, you can’t leave CS because then CS would see membership numbers drop.
Where would you go for help?
- You have no other options. Seeking other options would be “aggressive mental suggestions” trying to lure you away. The implication is that the practitioner is IN NEED OF HELP. Yet only CS can help her? She lost a patient, there is grief, and there are ways to deal with grief outside of prayer. But let’s say this is a hypothetical future need of help – the implication is still that there is NO help outside of CS. Chilling.
How would you even begin to find the kind of quality spiritual healing you’ve known over the years?
- Oh snap. If you’re doubting now, you’re denying the healings you’ve had in the past. How inconsiderate and ungrateful of you. And those healings that didn’t happen and you’re still “working on” – those will never be healed if you give up on CS because CS is the only option.
Do you trust the medical community to solve all problems?
- Of course not, because CS is so entrenched in avoiding “the medical community” (cult?) that the mere mention of it causes the “good” CSist to get defensive. Also “trust” is a big word when followed by “solve all problems” – because medicine is not based on trust nor Solutions. It is based on research specific to each challenge. MBE allowed that bones should be set if needed; that gets the ball rolling. Why is this a problem?
Do you believe the medical model has all the answers for health and healing?? I don’t think so.
- Of course not. Because your letter is the epitome of what is wrong with CS today.
People are dying under medical care every day.
- No kidding. People also die without medical care every day. It’s called ‘life’ and it ends with ‘death’ and statistically speaking, it happens to EVERYONE. Let’s not pick on people who are trying everything they know of to live, but also seeking medical help for what ails them.
Although doctors do their best, and we are grateful for their unselfish service, for the most part they do not know how to save people from the growing number of aggressive diseases spreading throughout humankind.
- “Although doctors are good people, we should burn the witches!” Witches, doctors, interchangeable.
So, what are the alternatives? It’s Christian Science. Christian Science is the hope of humankind.
- Option A is Option A. Option B is Option A. Option C? Also Option A.
…or you could volunteer at a hospital to cheer up kids with cancer. But you won’t do that because that would be giving power to false mortal beliefs. Also because you’re already a Christian Scientist, you might as well be one of The Chosen People because you’re already So Much More Enlightened than all of those other feeble people who go to doctors.
And you are one of the early pioneers who has caught the vision of Truth sufficiently to help your fellowman through it, and lead the way out of mortal mind darkness into the Light!
- Don’t go to the Dark Side.
All pioneering is tough work. There is nothing simple and easy about it.
- So we should keep doing it the hard way, when this way has remain unchanged and iffy for the entire history of the religion. See also “medical advancements.”
But it’s fulfilling; it’s exhilarating. It’s extremely rewarding if you stick to it and don’t give up prematurely before the work is finished.
- If you stick to it and fail, you were not trying hard enough. This is why so many CSists vanish. They have a challenge that CS is not helping with, so they take the “medical route” and then feel alienated. Very sad, and very telling.
Yes, you and I have much to learn about how to be more effective Christian Science healers.
- We’re obviously not perfect, but why trust doctors and specialists when they’ve been through school and training?
I daily pray and yearn for greater success. But I KNOW beyond doubt that giving up is NOT an option. That would be the ultimate failure, and it would be the ultimate success for evil.
- …there are so many things wrong with that statement that I don’t even know where to begin. Yearning for greater success is a no-brainer, I bet doctors feel that way as well. Giving up is not an option, and doctors and their patients feel the same. They just have an arsenal more varied than “pray about it.” How insulting to imply that the medical route is failure, giving up, and “the ultimate success for evil.” Harsh. And as the original post (on Kindism) pointed out, evil isn’t real. So if giving up = seeking medical treatment, evil wins. Wait, what? MBE found it appropriate to seek medical treatment if results were not forthcoming, so…
You, as a Christian Science practitioner, bring the hope for humankind! There is no other greater hope than Christian Science.
- Religious fervor, much? How do we expect different religions to coexist with this mindset?
There is no other place for people to inevitably turn except to Truth to find their health and well-being. There is no other system of healing in the world that can do a better job of demonstrating Truth than the system you’re in now.
- See also: anything other than CS = evil wins.
I encourage you to keep practicing the best you know, love the best you know, and keep responding to those who ask for help the best you know. That is what God asks of you.
- …Because God said so. How do we know that God is not allowing a beautiful opportunity to step back, re-center, focus on another calling, or do something else for a change? Maybe staying in the practice right now without a pause for introspection will cause burnout or nagging second-guessing. My first “leaving” of CS was not leaving CS itself so much as the Principia Community. Life after Principia strengthened my connection to CS. A few other twists and turns and I’m ambivalent verging on apathetic
And keep praying to be a clear transparency for the love of God in the experience of the patient. You will bless every single person who asks you for help.
- Because you’re the Pope. Wait, that’s not how CS works…
Patients call you because they sense something in you that can help them. And they are correct. Don’t doubt the hand of Wisdom guiding them. You can help them and will.
- Don’t fight it. There are no other options. For them, or you.
Your deep spirituality did your patient great good and she knows it.
- Maybe next time you can offer to support her in whatever path she takes, except I’m willing to bet that she won’t even consider any other path an option. How sad.
As you and I keep growing in our understanding of the supremacy of Good and the unreality of evil, we are able to heal the more difficult cases faster and more ably.
- …you know, like doctors do.
Keep growing! Don’t give up now. I look forward to glowing reports.
Lots of love,