Every so often, I go fishing on Google to research material for this blog. I write myself a nice boolean search string (yeah, I’m kind of nerdy), and see what I catch–mostly I’m looking for stuff to add to my “Resources” page. While searching generally on the term “leaving Christian Science”, I came across this discussion board post on “Time4thinkers”–the Christian Science Church’s outreach to the millennial generation (part of their TMC Youth program). Please give it and some of the replies a quick read before continuing.
I honestly wanted to take the woman (Kara) who originally posted aside and reassure her that her doubts and frustrations are entirely valid, and that there is help and hope out there beyond Christian Science and The Mother Church. While most of the respondents were, as one might expect, apologists of sorts for Christian Science, I was surprised to find one post near the end of the thread from someone named Evan who, like me, has left Christian Science and not gone back. He basically did what I wanted to do for this woman. He encouraged her to seek out resources outside of the Christian Science Church, web, other churches, and to ultimately go with her heart, so to speak–to live her truth. Surprisingly, his post is still there–my experience has been that any critical posts or comments on Mother Church websites pretty much disappear like a fart in the wind. Evan’s post, however, was gracious and encouraging, and there have been a number of responses to it, so I don’t think it’s going to mysteriously vanish now.
So, I put this post out there for anyone reading this who is still in Christian Science, but having their doubts, and perhaps wanting to leave, such as Kara. I’ve been there…many times, and I think it’s safe to say that I know how you probably feel. It scared the hell out of me to think that this system of thought, life, and healing that I grew up with and practised for most of my life might really be as genuine as a $3.00 bill. It can literally be like standing on the edge of a cliff, staring down into a bottomless black void. For me, the moments of doubt were many, and interspersed throughout my life. To assuage one strong period of doubt, I tried Primary Class Instruction in Christian Science–it kept me on the Christian Science track for awhile, but that didn’t last. In the end, my teacher ultimately crossed a very serious ethical and personal boundary with me, such that if I were to ever return to Christian Science (unlikely), I would never return to his Association. Ultimately, many failures, large and small added up, and were capped off by a couple of massive, traumatic, and graphic failures on the part of Christian Science to push me out. I was afraid to leave, but I couldn’t live the lie any longer. I had to live my truth.
There are many of us who have been there. I’ve been fortunate to connect with groups of former Christian Scientists on Facebook. There are secular groups and Christian-oriented groups. Writing this blog, besides being a tremendous therapeutic activity for me has also connected me with those who have walked, or are walking the path I’m on. If you take the leap, seek them out. I’m happy to connect you to at least the two secular groups (which are private groups), of which I am part–just drop me an e-mail, or leave a comment on this post. Links to the Christian groups are on my “Resources & Links” page.
My advice to anyone who’s struggling with their faith in Christian Science is to seek out as many resources and as much information as you can from as wide a variety of sources as possible–both supportive and critical of Christian Science. You can start with my “Resources & Links” page–I have resources listed there that are both critical and supportive of Christian Science, as well as neutral sources of information (such as Wikipedia articles). Talk to people of many different perspectives, get on discussion boards. Then, figure out what resonates with you; figure out what your truth is, and most importantly LIVE it. Don’t live a lie. If it’s Christian Science, good. If it’s leaving Christian Science, don’t be afraid to do it–take the leap. You need to do what’s right for you; not what someone else thinks is right or what you think someone else might think is right. It’s your life. Live it on your terms. You’ll be glad you did.