FOR many of us, the term science implies something we are happy to leave to the academically advanced. It may pique our interest at times, but that's about the extent of our involvement. There is a Science, however, that applies to Christianity: the Science of Christ, or Christian Science. It relates to the living demonstration of the timeless truth put forth by the Saviour, Christ Jesus, and it enables us to heal spiritually.
If we wonder how Science can apply to Christianity, we might consider the following questions: Did Jesus understand the nature of God and man? And was he able to prove the truth he taught?
The answer to these questions obviously has to be yes. His healing works demonstrated his understanding of God's supreme power and goodness. They demonstrated his understanding of the true nature of man as spiritually whole and indestructible. His works made his divine mission scientific in the highest sense. His example was far in advance of our present level of spirituality, yet he expected us to follow him. He said, ``He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.''1
Spiritual truth is scientific and absolute, not haphazard or changeable. It's based on divine law, and it is always applicable to our human needs. When Jesus healed the lame, the deaf, and the blind, he did so in accord with divine law, the law of God, divine Love. This law was precisely applicable to the particular need; the effect was not only physical healing but moral regeneration as well.
One who for many years sought to understand how Jesus and his disciples healed was Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She felt deeply that the Master's works were as integral to Christianity as his words. In her book Retrospection and Introspection she writes, ``My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so.''
Mrs. Eddy then writes of the period immediately following her healing: ``The Bible was my textbook. It answered my questions as to how I was healed; but the Scriptures had to me a new meaning, a new tongue. Their spiritual signification appeared; and I apprehended for the first time, in their spiritual meaning, Jesus' teaching and demonstration, and the Principle and rule of spiritual Science and metaphysical healing, -- in a word, Christian Science.''2
The Principle of spiritual, scientific healing is God. The method of spiritual healing is prayer, through which we obtain a higher understanding of God and the harmony of all real being. Prayer is the means by which we put off our fear of disease and strengthen our faith in God as the source of our individuality. We gain an increased perception of God's allness -- the allness of good, the supremacy of harmony, and the consequent illegitimacy of disease.
At times, prayer may involve some severe wrestling with ourselves. Sin, selfishness, self-righteousness, and so on, are stumbling blocks to holiness as well as health. Jesus commanded his followers to drop sinful traits, and we must progressively do so through a growing understanding of the purity of our true individuality. Sooner or later we are forced to yield to the demands of God, because whatever is not in accord with God's law is exposed by that law. And through our obedience -- even if it's sometimes at first reluctant -- we can and will gain increasing freedom from disease and sin.
Man in God's image expresses God. Therefore our real being cannot include sin or disease, because God includes only what is good, spiritual, and harmonious. The Science of Christianity is expressed in the ongoing, progressive demonstration of spiritual reality. It extends to every area of our lives, each nook and cranny of our character, and enables us to heal both sin and disease -- in ourselves and others -- with increasing consistency.
1John 14:12. 2Retrospection and Introspection, pp. 24-25.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119:97