'Christian Science: What It Is and Isn't'
Long-time Christian Scientist Betty Carson Fields spoke from her own life experience in a free public lecture, ''Christian Science: What It Is and Isn't'' on March 27 in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. She responded to many of the prevalent questions about Christian Science, such as its practice of healing through prayer, and why it is referred to as a science.Skip to next paragraph
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A native New Zealander, Mrs. Fields has lived in Atlanta for more than 30 years. For the past 20 years she has devoted full time to the public healing ministry of Christian Science. She has served her church in many capacities, including First Reader, Sunday School superintendent, and Christian Science campus counselor. She is currently active as a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship.
Richard Harley, a member of The Mother Church, introduced the lecturer.
An abridged text of the lecture follows:
Have you ever felt that God was more intimately concerned with man during Bible times than in our time? Throughout the Bible the unity between man and God is very clear.
We are told that Noah walked with God. Abraham knew Him. Moses spoke to God as a man speaks to his friend. God guided Gideon and Samuel and Elijah and spoke to and through generations of prophets. The life of Jesus illustrated God's love for man.
I hope that together today we can get a glimpse of the continuity of God's self-revelation, of His continuing communication to man of His nature and purpose. This communication didn't cease with the ascension of Jesus.
You recall he'd said, ''I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now'' (John 16:12). What a tantalizing remark! What other things did he have to say? He was at that time facing the crucifixion. He had given so much and would still give so much more. But he felt that the whole story had not yet been told. Something else was necessary.
Could it be that the many things Jesus had to tell included an explanation of the method of his mighty works? He did say, ''He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father'' (John 14:12). Doesn't that sound as if he expected us to follow his example and not just to worship him?
Through the centuries many Christians must have longed to obey him. Perhaps this strikes a chord in your experience. I know that as a child in New Zealand I prayed often and with tears for the ability to heal as Jesus did, but I didn't know where to begin. I just yearned. In my mid-teens a friend introduced me to a Christian Science practitioner. He explained that a practitioner was someone who healed through prayer. I had so many questions to ask, and here, finally, was someone who could answer them with a quiet authority based on actual experience in healing. TThe discovery of Christian Science
The practitioner told me that in the United States of America in the 19th century, a great religious leader had emerged; not a man this time, but a woman of spiritual genius. After years of searching for truth with prayer and deep study of the Bible, she made a discovery that promised to lead mankind beyond the limits of conventional theology into the very heart of Christian teaching and practice. The woman was Mary Baker Eddy, and she named her discovery Christian Science.
What had she discovered? Not something separate from the Bible. Christian Science doesn't add to the Bible and it certainly doesn't substitute anything for it. Rather, this Science floods its pages with light, so that teachings that once seemed wonderful but beyond our ability to grasp, or obscure and unrelated to our experience, are brought into sharp focus. They become clear and practical. Through her study and communion with God, Mrs. Eddy had come to realize that the miracles of Jesus were not incidents of interference with natural law, but rather demonstrations of eternal laws of God.