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Reply to a Critic
SAMUEL GREENWOOD, CSB

 
         "An Old-Time Religionist," whose communication appears in your recent issue, evidently misses the viewpoint of Christian Science. In their efforts to accomplish the redemption of humanity, Christian Scientists stand on the same platform with other religionists, but they do not wish to imply that there is no difference between their views and the doctrines of other denominations. Mrs. Eddy did not attempt to conform her statement of the teachings of Christian Science to the popular theology of her day, nor did she seek to evade any honest criticism of her position. In the matter of Bible quotations, it is common practice for those who base their beliefs upon its teachings to make most frequent use of the passages which are, to them, most inspiring and illuminating. Christian Scientists are not exceptional in this regard. Your correspondent, notwithstanding her critical attitude, quite naturally does the same thing. Indeed the nature of one's religious views may often be determined by his favorite Scriptural passages. In her attitude towards the sacrificial blood of Jesus, this writer ignores the evident symbolic use of this word throughout the Scriptures. In John, the apostle quotes Jesus as saying, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." This passage places your correspondent in a dilemma. Because it is not possible for her to drink the material blood of Jesus, she must either acknowledge herself to be without life, or admit that he used the word in a symbolic or metaphysical sense. The latter admission would, to that extent, place her on the same platform with Christian Science, and on the way, if she would follow it, to the recognition that mortals' salvation is to be worked out mentally, since matter has not the intelligence to sin or to reform, and can constitute no factor in human salvation.

         Your correspondent refers to the well-known statement of Jesus, that mortals must be born again in order to enter into the kingdom of God; and here again she comes on to the platform of Christian Science. As Nicodemus pointed out, it is not possible for a man to be born again materially; therefore the second birth must be a wholly spiritual process. Sin had no place in the pure consciousness of Jesus, and he well knew it had no place in the consciousness of the Father; hence he had the authority to say, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Jesus cast out devils and instructed his disciples to do likewise, because he knew God did not put these evils there; and he did the Father's will, not by contending that evils were real, but by destroying them, that is, by taking away the victim's sense of their reality. Good alone destroys evil, or, to put it differently, makes the falsity of the latter apparent; and it does this on the ground that God is All-in-all, as the highest revelation of the Bible declares. Christian Science teaches that the way of salvation was opened for mankind by the life of Christ Jesus, and by his proof of man's immortality and oneness with the Father. Christian Scientists desire to honor God as our Saviour honored Him, not as creating and governing the universe in partnership with evil, but as including in Himself and in His creation all that is true. They do not read into the Bible any interpretation that would dishonor Him in whom "is no darkness at all."

 

Samuel Greenwood, Committee on Publication for the Province of British Columbia,
Canada, in the Vancouver Sun quoted in "Selected Articles"
Christian Science Sentinel, May 22, 1926


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