“Top 10 signs of good spirituality” by DT Strain

This is a good guide. As I look back on my former faith path, Christian Science, if I go by this list, it fails on almost every point.

Humanistic Paganism

This essay was first published at The Humanist Contemplative.

Over the course of my comparative studies, there are some general traits I’ve noticed which seem to be shared between those wisdom streams and I thought it could be helpful to point them out. Here are some traits that are a sign of a good and healthy spiritual path…

10) Aim of True Happiness

Good spirituality will have as its aim the happiness of the practitioner. Of course, deep understanding of what this entails is essential. By ‘True Happiness’ we mean something more than mere pleasure associated with one’s conditions. Rather, the kind of happiness a good spirituality will pursue will be a deeper sense of contentment that transcends circumstance. It will be a source of inner strength in the face of adversity and humble appreciation in the face of fortune. Such a happiness is also not selfish in the…

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Games Christians Play: Three Common Examples of Confirmation Bias

I am a former Christian Scientist, and this post really hits the nail on the head about the very strong confirmation bias that exists in that faith, and also the mental gymnastics (as some of us have taken to calling it) that’s required to accept and embrace this theology.

godless in dixie

People often ask me why I left my faith.  There are no good short answers to that question, but one of the simplest ways to explain what happened is to describe the games I was taught to play to protect my beliefs and to keep them immune to falsification.  Stepping outside of my own thought processes long enough to see how these games work probably went further than anything else I did to convince me that my religion was all inside my own head.  “Know thyself,” the Greeks wisely advised.  That’s certainly where it started for me.

dilbert_diss

Confirmation bias can be a powerful thing.  When you have a strong personal need to believe something, you set out to verify your belief with a mixture of motives.  You want to know if what you believe is true, but the cost of disappointment may be so high that you become susceptible to…

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It’s All in Your Head: A Statement on Which Both Christian Scientists and I Can Agree

As a former Christian Scientist myself, and ever so happy to not be marinating in that crazy sauce anymore, it’s interesting to read the perspective of someone who is not and never has been a Christian Scientist on this crazy religion I was in for far too many years. Very interesting!

Cracked Science

Out of curiosity, I ask the woman I have been speaking to for a minute about the “Science” in “Christian Science”. She approached me at the end of the talk because the presenter had asked everyone in the room to introduce oneself to a stranger and talk about one’s inner qualities.

I don’t remember if this particular woman got around to enumerating her inner qualities, but I do remember her talking to a fellow attendee before the talk started. She was saying she has only had good tenants in the building she owns. Of course, she immediately added, she prayed for this to happen.

The reason this particular Christian sect claims to be scientific is because it purports to have uncovered Jesus’ laws, truths so powerful and immutable, they are said to be scientific.

I am reminded of something the speaker said earlier. “The body can’t resist great ideas.” Mine…

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Church of Christ, Scientist (aka Christian Science)

As a former Christian Scientist myself, I find the observations of those unfamiliar with Christian Science to be very interesting and refreshing.

Steeple Stretch

photo 3-2 First Church of Christ, Scientist

Sunday #14 – Church of Christ, Scientist, 501 N. Alamo, San Antonio, TX

After last week’s “toe dip” into Scientology, I thought I’d check out one of the other religions often mistaken for Scientology – Christian Science. The church is one of several on the decline in America’s religious landscape. However, you might be surprised to learn that some pretty well known people were raised in the Christian Science faith: Doris Day, Robin Williams, Marilyn Monroe, Henry Fonda, Andy Rooney, Bette Davis, Gene Autrey, Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Val Kilmer, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and on and on.

Though the church doesn’t publish its membership numbers, I’ve read estimates of membership in the 100,00 to 500,000-range worldwide. However, many feel the number is closer to the lower level. Why is this? I can only guess its due to its unwillingness of the…

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Christian Science: Lobbying It or Living It?

One Christian Scientist’s take on the Christian Science Church’s lobbying efforts regarding healthcare and exemptions in law for Christian Scientists. Worth reading!

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

The letter of Science plentifully reaches humanity to-day, but its spirit comes only in small degrees. The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love. Without this, the letter is but the dead body of Science, – pulseless, cold, inanimate. – Mary Baker Eddy.

***

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy defines “Church” as the “structure of Truth and Love” and says the role of Church is to rouse “the dormant understanding… to the apprehension of spiritual ideas…”

Lately some individuals have been busy lobbying their politicians for exemptions for Christian Scientists from health insurance and laws regarding child neglect. And I’m sorry, but I have to ask – how is exempting Christian Scientists from health insurance laws and child neglect laws in any way going to help rouse anyone’s “dormant understanding” to the “apprehension…

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Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration (Round 2)

kind-ism

Welcome Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 2 (for all posts on this topic see the MBE Inspiration tag). Answers to Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration Round 1 are  now up.

As with Round 1, while Ms. Eddy claims Science and Health with Key to the Scripture was divinely inspired and that her only source was the Bible, I have drawn from a variety of sources to compile the passages below. What work is hers? I’ll let you try and sort that out.

  • Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy (the 1875 and 1994 editions)
  • Quimby Manuscript by Horatio Dresser
  • The Leiber Document found in Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936) by Walter M. Haushalter

** Please note I have temporarily allowed “anonymous” commenting. All first-time comments will be moderated. **


1) science brings to light truth and its supremacy, universal harmony, God’s entirety, and matter’s nothingness.

2) Embryology affords no instance of…

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Ms. Eddy’s Inspiration (round 1)

Try out your knowledge of who said what.

kind-ism

Ms. Eddy claims Science and Health with Key to the Scripture was divinely inspired and that her only source was the Bible (see below).

With that in mind, I will now inform you that the passages below come from the following sources:

  • Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy
  • Quimby Manuscript by Horatio Dresser
  • The Leiber Document found in Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936) by Walter M. Haushalter

I challenge you, dear readers, to sort out who wrote what — please share your answers in the comments. The correct answers will be shared in due time.

Please note I have temporarily suspended the requirement for a name/e-mail address when commenting so that “anonymous” commenters may speculate freely on the passages below. All comments will be moderated.


1) The contrast of good and evil is destroyed in God who is the only true reality. Since nothing is real and eternal…

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Hey Christians, Let’s Make a Deal

I couldn’t agree more. This is exactly how I feel. Thanks for saying it!

godless in dixie

baalsA few weeks ago, Rachel Held Evans wrote a plea to atheists, asking us not to judge Christians by their more offensive representatives, offering in exchange not to judge atheists by our most extreme spokespersons, either. I’ve already agreed with Hemant Mehta’s reply pointing out the false equivalency of statements made by Pat Robertson and Richard Dawkins. But I’d like to counter with an offer of my own:

I promise to treat your beliefs with the same measure of respect with which you treat my disbelief. That seems fair, wouldn’t you agree? Does that prospect feel threatening? If so, why? As you think about this matter, be on the lookout for something called “privilege blindness,” which means that people of a favored class often are oblivious to the ways in which social and cultural inequities affect those on the losing end of things.

Have you ever read the…

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Reading the Wrong People

Reading the wrong things, in Christian Science land, it’s more like letting the “wrong thoughts” influence you. Many a Christian Scientist would think that I and everyone else who’ve had the good sense to run for the exit are under the pernicious influence of “mortal mind”. No, the only thing I’m under the influence of is a little thing called common sense.