This is #11 in a series of posts looking at the 26 Christian Science Weekly Bible Lesson subjects, chosen by Mary Baker Eddy, and rotated twice per year. These lessons are the sermon at each Christian Science church worldwide, and are read by Christian Scientists daily. Today’s subject is “Truth”. Look for other posts in the category “Lesson Sermon Subjects“.
Today’s post, girls and boys, is brought to you by the synonym Truth. With my views on Christian Science now, as an ex-Christian Scientist, Truth is a bit of a loaded subject. Truth (capitalized) is one of the seven “synonyms” for God, as given by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (pp. 465 & 587). Six of these seven synonyms are also Lesson subjects. The only one that didn’t make the cut was Principle. I’m not sure why. If anyone wants to research and report back, please feel free to do so.
So, what is Truth to the Christian Scientist? Well, as I grew to understand it during my years in the faith, it is the veracity of the existence of an esoteric concept of “spiritual” reality that Christian Science theology teaches is “really real”, but that your five so-called “material senses” cannot comprehend it, and what you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch on a day-to-day basis is completely false and illusory. Makes sense, right? This “thing” if you will, that you cannot see, hear, taste, touch, or smell is what’s really there, and what you do see, hear, touch, taste, and/or smell on a day-to-day basis is not really there. I hope I’m making sense to you. This is why one of my favourite terms to describe Christian Science is “mental gymnastics”. I’ll give props to a fellow ex-Christian Scientist for that one.
“We would need just one piece of evidence, we would need the fossil that swam from one layer to another; we would need evidence that the universe is not expanding, we need evidence that the stars appear to be far away, but they’re not. We would need evidence that rock layers can somehow form in just four thousand years instead of the extraordinary number. We need evidence that somehow that you can reset the atomic clock and keep the neutrons from becoming protons. Bring out any of those things, and you would change me immediately.”
(Bill Nye, in answer to the question: “What, if anything, would change your mind?” from the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate, February 4, 2014)
So, what’s really there, and what isn’t? What is truth? Quid est veritas? Pontius Pilate is famous for asking that question of Jesus. I don’t know, and I won’t pretend to know all the answers. The truth for me, in my life, is what I experience. Evidence convinces me; belief, and transcripts of ancient tribal legends, translated multiple times by people with their own agendas, does not. Show me the independently verifiable evidence that ghosts exist, or that disease can be healed solely by prayer, and you’ll convince me. So far, that hasn’t happened. All of the evidence I’ve seen thus far in my life proves conclusively to me that prayer alone does not heal disease, as Christian Science claims it does.
I tend now to be of the belief that what I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell is real. It’s very real, and to say it isn’t is complete bullshit. Is there more to the universe than what we experience here and now with our five senses? I tend to think there might be. I think there are many mysteries yet to be discovered and solved. However, I don’t believe in superstition or miracles. I firmly believe that everything that happens has a rational explanation of some sort. If it seems miraculous or superstitious, then there is some aspect of the universe that we have yet to fully understand. Realize that to someone from the 14th century, the ability to talk to someone 1,000 or more miles away using a small hand-held device visibly connected to nothing else would seem very miraculous and definitely superstitious, yet most of us do that every day, if we use cellular telephones. If ghosts exist, or healing is possible via “energy” or something like that, there is a way to explain it. Bottom line is that I’m not dogmatic in my belief. My belief is guided by evidence.
1. Conformity to fact or actuality. . . .”
(The Free Dictionary ~ http://www.thefreedictionary.com)
So, back to the Christian Science Truth. To achieve healing, you “know the Truth”. But, how can you know the Truth if truth is what it is–that which is real, actual, and verifiable as such? Looking in from the outside as I do now, this smacks to me of looking for the “truth” that you want to find, not necessarily what is actually true. Christian Science forces one to accept a truth that cannot be easily verified. It has to be accepted on faith. To me, that is not truth. Christian Science promises miracles, but delivers none, and to those who are in desperate straits, they’ll grab that life-ring, even if it’s attached to a lead weight that will drag them to an agonizing death. At best, Christian Science is an esoteric truth. Go figure out what that is.