Is, Not Will Be
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
If you were ever to spend some time looking into Christian Science, you would soon become familiar with something known as "the scientific statement of being." This six-sentence declaration is found in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (Pg. 468). Written by Mary Baker Eddy, this book is the textbook of Christian Science.
"The scientific statement of being" is this: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."
Did you notice that one word appears in this statement more than all others? The word is is, a present tense verb. So the statement is not about what being was, or what being will become. It is about what being is right now. St. Paul told the Corinthians that he perceived God to be saying that He is blessing us right now: "I [God] have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (II Cor. 6:2).
After spending numerous years studying the Bible, Mrs. Eddy wrote "the scientific statement of being" not on the basis of belief, or even of faith, but on the basis of spiritual fact that she had come to understand. This understanding of what is true enabled her to heal herself and other people through prayer. It is the truth of existence that Christ Jesus understood when he healed. It is what enables people to practice Christian Science healing today.
So, what is it that is being understood? As the statement indicates, it is the true relationship of God and man (including all men, all women, all children). According to Science and Health, "The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, - perfect God and perfect man, - as the basis of thought and demonstration" (Pg. 259). This describes prayer, a "basis of thought and demonstration."
The Science of Christ shows that our relation to God is at this moment inseparable and spiritual. The nature of spiritual healing is to rely solely on spiritual, as opposed to material, facts for physical healing. "Human philosophy has made God manlike. Christian Science makes man Godlike" (Science and Health, Pg. 269). When a person comes to a deeper understanding of his or her relation to God, which study of the Bible together with Science and Health reveals, human lives improve in all the needed ways. We all have endless opportunities to find this relationship and overcome the emptiness of what many believe existence to be - a life in matter, subject to misfortune, disease, decline, and ultimate death. We can all arrive at the understanding of what is!
At one time a rash developed on my body. The discomfort I felt led me to seek a doctor's advice. The doctor gave me a prescription and I had it filled. But before I took a pill, I began thinking about what Christian Science was teaching me. I had a choice to make; was I going to believe myself to be a limited, material being, separate from God, or the spiritual man described in "the scientific statement of being"? My prayer led me not to take the pills, but to turn wholly to God. After more prayer, in which I declared the truth of everything that God saw me to be, and rejected whatever my five physical senses were trying to tell me I was, I resisted focusing on itchiness or feeling that I should look at the rash.
Soon, the rash was gone. This was not a fluke. This was scientific healing. It is practiced mentally, but it results in physical health. It involves turning away from the mortal and material - not just hoping for physical changes to take place, but instead placing one's entire trust in God.
By drawing closer to the true, scientific nature of my being, I was healed. It worked for me. It is working for others. It is able to work for you.
You can visit the home page of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, at www.tfccs.com.