One of my stated reasons for writing this blog is to offer a place for former Christian Scientists to go, ‘hang out’, and be with others who understand where they’ve been, because in my search, I didn’t find very many such places. That said, the ones I have found are good. When you narrow the parameters down a bit more, to specify those of us former Christian Scientists who are no longer Christian (or religious), the places you can go and be understood are even fewer. I’d love to be able to talk stuff out with close friends, but most of them don’t understand, and just think it’s crazy that I believed in such stuff, and never went to a doctor.
Hence my dilemma: I am a former Christian Scientist. Since Christian Science is a faith that has for the best part of the last 60 – 70 years been in a very rapid decline, and it never was all that large (when you compare it say to Mormonism, or Catholicism, or even just put together a couple of those mega-churches you find in the United States), that means there are not many folks like me out there. When you add in the fact that I have also left Christianity and religion for that matter altogether, that seems to make me an even rarer breed. The Christian Science Church famously does not publish numbers of members, but well-educated guesses pin the worldwide total of Christian Scientists at a maximum of 200,000 and a possible minimum of 60,000. My guess is somewhere in between, at around 100,000–give or take 10,000 or so. How many of those are active? Yeah, take probably a few thousand out of the mix, and you get the picture: there aren’t very many out there, and most of them are very elderly. Almost any time I’ve been to a branch church I’ve been the youngest or almost the youngest in the congregation by a significant margin–even as I approached my 40’s, and left Christian Science.
On Facebook, for instance, I’ve easily found a few pages, and groups for former Christian Scientists who are now mainstream and/or evangelical Christian. Some are more active than others, and I even know some members of these groups. There is also the well-known group Christian Way who have a very good and refreshingly active on-line discussion forum that I visit from time to time, and I’ve contributed a comment or two to it a few times. Many visitors and writers in that forum are not Christian–so I get some things that are relatable to me, but I still find myself wading through a lot of the ‘Jesus’ stuff, and honestly, I’m just not that into him–in fact he’s a bit of an emotional trigger for me. So, the population of ex-Christian Scientist Christians seems to be alive and well, or at least quite active. I don’t have anything against the Christian crowd, it’s just that I am not at all interested in Christianity in any form, and I don’t need to find Jesus or be saved by him. Honestly, I’m not 100% sure Jesus even existed. My salvation, if you will, lays elsewhere.
So, what’s a secular ex-Christian Scientist to do? Well, I did luck out and stumble upon a couple of Facebook groups, one of which is a fully anonymous (secret) group. I have a regular correspondence going with the author of Kindism, and some other folks who’ve found me here on this blog. There’s also the ExCS UK folks across the pond. However, my main outlet so far, has been one of my own making: this blog. I guess sometimes if you’re looking for something and you either don’t find it, or don’t find enough of it, you create your own. So, even though this is something I have created, and thus far am the only contributor to it, I am grateful it is here.
I invite you, my readers, to contribute guest posts if you want to tell your story. Just drop me an e-mail. Anything I post would be kept strictly anonymous, unless you specifically desire otherwise. This isn’t necessarily just my place. It’s a place for all like-minded people, whether you be former Christian Scientists or not. I’ve been intrigued by the folks who have found this blog who weren’t ever “in the faith” (you’re lucky), but who are curious. I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on the subject for you, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if something seems obscure or weird, and I haven’t explained it in my Glossary of Terms section.
Also, the author of Kindism and I have been thinking it might be a fun idea to get our own ex-Christian Scientist version of a Wednesday Testimony Meeting going, but these would NOT be giving stories of healing in Christian Science. Quite the opposite. More like my recent posts about the wonders of ibuprofen and cold medicine. Please e-mail me if you want to participate. We’re still trying to figure out how it will work.