CONTRARY to popular opinion, Christian Scientists do not merely think ``positive thoughts'' in order to be healed. The practice of Christian Science is based on a spiritual understanding of the truth found in the Bible. Scriptural truths are God-based and holy, the perceptions of inspired writers to whom God revealed His Word. When a Christian Scientist reasons that man is the sinless, whole image of God, his thinking concurs with precepts of the Bible. In the very first chapter of the Scriptures we read, ``And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.''1 In view of Scriptural teaching we have every right to claim our perfection, our health and wholeness, if we realize we are talking about the spiritual, real man --our actual, God-created selfhood--not the false, material sense of man. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, says: ``It is objected to Christian Science that it claims God as the only absolute Life and Soul, and man to be His idea,--that is, His image. It should be added that this is claimed to represent the normal, healthful, and sinless condition of man in divine Science, and that this claim is made because the Scriptures say that God has created man in His own image and after His likeness.''2
One night after retiring I began to experience a throbbing sensation in several parts of my body. I had experienced the condition before, but this time I recalled a conversation I had heard concerning this problem. A remark had been made that it could be serious. I began to think about the Bible verse from Genesis and to declare that I was made in the image and likeness of God and that this image included nothing but good. The last verse in that chapter states, ``And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good....''3 I reasoned that God was not the cause of the throbbing, nor was there, in truth, any power opposed to God that could cause a disruption of normal functioning. I was, now and always, the harmonious, spiritual individual of God's creating.
I thought about the next two chapters of Genesis and the material account of creation. In the third chapter a serpent talks to Eve about the joys of knowing both good and evil (see Genesis 3:1-5). In Christian Science we learn to recognize as the serpent--a liar--the voice that would suggest that man is subject to a sick or sinful condition. The voice is not from God, and so we don't need to agree with it. This doesn't mean we're to ignore sickness and sin. Clearly, they must be faced. But we can do so through the power of prayer--prayer that includes a clear recognition that, despite appearances, sickness and sin are illegitimate because they're not the reality of man in God's likeness. This is the basis on which they can be healed. A statement by Mrs. Eddy in the Christian Science textbook, referring to the two records of creation in Genesis, is reassuring: ``The Science of the first record proves the falsity of the second. If one is true, the other is false, for they are antagonistic.''4
I acknowledged that I could depend on the scientific truth of the first record and did not have to agree with the erroneous, serpentlike suggestions of discomfort and physical danger. I knew that God governed every aspect of my being and that I was, in reality, His spiritually good creation.
A great calm replaced the fear, and the throbbing gradually lessened until it stopped. The next morning I was free from the trouble.
Christ Jesus gave total credit to God for his being able to heal the sick and sinful: ``The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.''5 He also said, ``He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.''6 The follower of Christ, then, has Biblical authority to heal the sick by turning to God as the source of all good.
1Genesis 1:26. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 344. 3Genesis 1:31. 4Science and Health, p. 522. 5John 5:19. 6John 14:12. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name . . . who healeth all thy diseases: who redeemeth thy life from destruction. Psalms 103:1,3,4