CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND MIND CURE.
In our July issue we classed among others who deny the ransom, and thus reject the work of Christ and teach another gospel (Gal. 1:6,7), the so-called Mind-curers and Christian Scientists. Some of our readers not having noticed this in their teachings, requested our re-examination of the subject, suggesting that there is a difference between so-called Mind-curers and Christian Scientists, and that while the former ignore God and our Lord Jesus, the latter acknowledge them and claim to perform cures in the merit of Christ and by the power of God.
We have re-examined the subject, and reach the conclusion that the two classes of healers work on exactly the same principles, except that the Christian Scientists find it prudent, in that it becomes popular with a much larger class, to call it Christian, and to refer occasionally to God and to our Lord Jesus, and to quote here and there texts from the Bible, which for most part are out of connection or wholly misapplied to their "science." Doubtless some children of God are for a time at least deceived, and fail to get the real idea, and place a religious and favorable construction of their own upon the sayings and doings of these scientists.
The "scientists" are mostly women, one of whom--the author, inventor or discoverer of the science--writes her name "Rev. Mrs. M. B. G. Eddy" in the Christian Science Journal which she edits. She teaches her disciples the "science" for the sum of three hundred dollars, and gives them six lessons in theology for two hundred dollars additional. If the price be a good criterion by which to gauge the value of this "other gospel" and its teacher, it is certainly far in advance of that of Jesus and the apostles and their message.
The basis of their theory, as set forth in this official Journal, is that the real man is an immaterial being, whose body is his house, and has no more real feeling than the wooden or brick house in which it in turn dwells. They claim that pain and sickness are really nothing but mental ailments, imaginations; and that if people can be made to believe they are well and sound, their bodies would rapidly become so;--they would not be subject to sickness and pain, but would gradually go on to perfection, and thus death would cease to reign and Christian Science be the great Deliverer or Saviour.
It calls Christ the "Master Christian Scientist," yet really it puts the Rev. [R894 : page 6] Mrs. Eddy as the Great Christian Scientist, the teacher over and above all others whose efforts are already more successful than those put forth by Jesus in advancing the science, and in whose hand now the whole world is to be revolutionized and brought to endless life and freedom from all pain, sickness and death. If, therefore, Jesus were a Christian Scientist who was trying but failed to do what Mrs. Eddy claims she will succeed in doing, it follows that she, and not our Lord, is the great teacher, saviour and deliverer of the dying human race.
To show that their claims, are not overstated, we give below some quotations from the July, '86, issue of the Journal edited by Mrs. Eddy, as follows:--
"It [Christian science] is still centuries ahead of the world in its teachings. When its author planted her feet on the rock of Truth, twenty years ago, saying, 'All is mind, there is no matter; all is life, there is no death; all is good, there is no evil; all is love, there is no hate,' who listened, who saw, who read, who cared? Oh, faithful one! we can come into a true conception of thee, sharing thy love and power, only when we pattern our ways after thine, heeding thy precious words. Oh, patient Mother! we see thee dearer as we grow older in truth. We learn that THIS BOOK which thou hast bequeathed to us [Science and Health, price $3.00] is the outgrowth and epitome of a life spent in closest walks with God. We are willing now to follow as thou leadest,...as thou revealest to us the mother-side of God! We take this blessed key which thou dost place in the hands of the faithful to unlock the seals of error. This discovery of the Truth, that heals as well as saves, has made her as truly the Deliverer of this people as was Moses to the children of Israel."
This quotation, we doubt not, is quite sufficient for our readers, to show the tendency of this Christian science to be anti-Christian--in opposition to Christ, replacing him and his words by the false teachings of this woman and her science [R895 : page 6] falsely so called, which makes void the words of God concerning sin, death, the ransom, the mode of deliverance and the Deliverer. By a further quotation it will be seen that God, though often referred to by them as good and kind and loving, etc., is not considered as a personal being, but as a PRINCIPLE OF GOOD, after the idea of the Brahmins of India.
From the same journal (page 100) we quote:--
"When I first understood that 'God is principle, and not person,' it was like a great light suddenly shining."
Another writer in the same states it thus:--"What is Christian Science? The understanding of an everywhere-present and everywhere-powerful PRINCIPLE OF GOOD. What are the purpose and result of Science and Health? To explain the whole of this PRINCIPLE, to reduce divine love to human perception, to interpret God on a purely practical and scientific basis,...that each may at once begin to understand GOOD."
Their teaching that disease and pain are produced by imagination, and are curable in the same way, is shown in the following quotations (p. 93):--
"Man is an inventor of disease as well as of other things, and the doctors are busy at all times encouraging their patients to develop their inventions and take out patents therefor, death being the final patent or perfected invention. ...The medical fraternity are ever inspecting and probing the body of man in search of some new symptom, ailment, or disease, and what they look for they generally find or help the patient to find." Again we read (page 85), "Let the diseases of mortal thought come to an end; then the diseases of the body will perish, for these are nothing but abnormal thoughts."
As a sample of how these would-be teachers destroy or make void the Scriptures, darken the understanding, and cover the truth, in their endeavor to have some texts fit their theory, we quote from the editorial columns as follows (p. 90, 91):--
"'The soul that sinneth, it shall die,' means, that mortal man (alias material sense) that sinneth shall die; and it is the commonly accepted view that soul is deathless. Such is the divine mind, for soul cannot be formed or brought forth by human thought, and must proceed from God; hence it must be sinless, and destitute of self-created or derived capacity to sin." [In other words, this Scientist, in a roundabout way, contradicts the Scripture she attempts to explain, and teaches that the soul can neither sin nor die.] She continues: "Now, if soul sinned, it would die, for 'the wages of sin is death.'"
Page 86 explains that "the power over disease was NOT A SPECIAL GIFT, but an understanding." [Compare this with Paul's statements, 1 Cor. 12:7-11,28-31.] On page 97 we read: "We are growing into that state where human possibilities and powers expand to their ultimate limits, and are pushing on toward the divine development as sons and daughters of Good." On page 91 the editor speaks of Jesus Christ as the Master Metaphysician; and on page 102 she declares herself the discoverer of the science of mind-healing. Then, with the same inconsistency which marks every topic of this journal, we read a contradiction to this "discovery" and "development" theory in the editor's remarks on page 94. She there hints that Jesus was even greater than herself and perhaps a co-discoverer of the "science" (?), though she ignores the apostles. She says: "Some day Christian Science will enable us to enjoy a treat without raising the fruit, compounding the cake, freezing the cream, or buying the sugar; just as Jesus fed the multitude without procuring the loaves and fishes through the usual channels of supply..."[not through a gift of miraculous power, mark you, but] "through the power of the mind." She argued that "if belief PRODUCES DISEASE, and its removal leaves health to have its perfect work, then false belief may also prevent the perfect fulfilment of spirit in all our material surroundings, flowers and fruit not excepted."
This "scientist" (?) evidently sees that to claim that diseases are merely mental affections, would demand a similar explanation, of the same principle when applied to the lower animals and "flowers and fruits" and this she offers in the above statement. "False belief" may prevent perfect "flowers and fruits." This is consistent, but at what a cost! At the cost of common sense and reason. At the cost of reasonable people doubting her sanity, this editor thus claims that not only human ailments are all mental emotions, imaginations, and not realities, not actual, but also that the blight and imperfections of plants and fruits and flowers are the result of their mental imaginations.
And yet it is more reasonable to believe this concerning plants and flowers than for a man or woman who has experienced pain to convince himself that he only imagined the pain from the ulcer, the wound, the bruise, or amputation. How about the various diseases of children? How could they imagine themselves into the measles, croup, etc., etc., before they are old enough to think at all? And why do they all always imagine the same ailments if it is imagination? This is as contrary to reason as the thought of a flower or tree blighting and dying from a "false belief" that it is decaying and dying.
This so-called "Christian Science" is of itself unworthy of so much attention as we have given it, but the fact that some of our readers have been deluded by it, is our justification. The system is a mixture of a very little truth with a great deal of theorizing, and as a whole, it is directly antagonistic to the truth.
It rightly claims that sickness and pain and death are abnormal conditions, that these are not the conditions under which God designed man should live. They err greatly when they think these things wholly imaginary (though undoubtedly some are in part at least imagined). They ignore often, and sometimes deny the fall of man, as recorded in Genesis, and taught by Jesus and the apostles. Denying this they see no reason why sickness, pain and death are in the world, except imagination. They see not that by sin came death and all its train of misery. Hence they see not the ransom feature of Christ's work, and place him on a plane with their teacher, Mrs. Eddy, the subsequent discoverer of the same science of healing which they say Jesus practiced. To them Jesus is a Saviour of the same kind, only to a less degree than Mrs. Eddy, since he merely attempted to introduce the "science," but failed, while she, the later discoverer of the science, it is claimed is succeeding and will fully succeed: and hence she will be the real Saviour and Jesus the unsuccessful deliverer.
Blinded by their theory, they see not the great divine plan of the ages, nor the relationship in that plan, of sin, pain and death to the ransom given eighteen hundred years ago, and the resulting restitution of the age now dawning. Consequently the wonderful growth of knowledge upon various subjects witnessed in the past twenty years, and the incipient steps toward restitution such as faith cures, mind cures, etc., they regard as the natural development or growth; while we, instructed by the Word of God, see them to be marks of the dawning of the new age, because it is "due time" for him who redeemed all to begin the great work of restoring those whom he ransomed.
That these who call themselves "Christian Scientists" are somewhat different from what are called "Mind Curers" or "Mind Healers" we admit; yet their methods and theories seem to be exactly the same, except that the so called Christian Science is more deceptive in that it clothes itself as a messenger of light, calls itself Christian, and quotes and misapplies Scripture where it can. It even prints a cross upon the title page of its organ, "The Christian Science Journal," from the July '86 number of which, the above quotations are made.
How many cures they do we know not, nor does it matter. Neither class of mind curers however, claim to do them through the merit of the ransom; on the contrary they ignore all necessity for a ransom when they ignore the reality of sin and its consequences, claiming that it is all imagination.
Beware of and reject every theory which rejects the ransom, even though it adheres to the name Christian and quotes from the Bible.
[R895 : page 6]
Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blanch not at thy chosen lot;
The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown--yet faint thou not.
Nor heed the shaft so surely cast,
The foul and hissing bolt of scorn;
For with thy side shall dwell at last
The victory of endurance born.
--William Cullen Bryant.