When people leave Christian Science there are five questions that pop up again and again. We can only answer these questions for ourselves. By sharing these answers, we hope to shed a little light into the murky depths of Christian Science. Find all the answers to the Five Questions on the FiveQuestions tag.
The following answers are from H, a member of the Ex-Christian Science Facebook community.
How did you get into Christian Science?
I was born into it, but both of my parents converted as adults.
Why did you stay in it for so long?
(This question is poorly phrased – maybe you weren’t in it very long – regardless – how long were you in, and why didn’t you leave sooner would be fair)
I was in Christian Science until I was 24, and started distancing myself then, but didn’t officially split with the church until I was 28. It’s not that I was actively ‘practicing’ Christian Science until I was 28; it’s an insidious religion where existing is participation and the only way to deviate is to have something wrong with you AND do something non-Christian Science as a solution. But if you don’t know how to go to a doctor, and you don’t know who to ask for help with that–it’s not that you’re IN Christian Science, it’s that you don’t know how to operate outside of it. Without several illnesses that required medical attention, and a strong focus on science in academia, I might still be in. But I would hope not.
What made you decide to leave?
Watching religion seep into politics, even ‘benign’ religious intent was resulting in horrible policy: sure, it wasn’t my religion and therefore I was definitely offended, but if it was my religion? Well, I couldn’t say that my religion had helped people; it actively harmed some, and the point of making informed decisions was… the information. Christian Science claimed to be all about ‘thinkers’ but removed information, options, and self determination from the people it claimed to enlighten. That’s not divine, that’s absurd.
Why would anyone join?
Excellent question. Desperation because you’ve exhausted all other options? Not sure.
Did you really believe?
Of course. The testimonies of healings and the tiny bits of finding your misplaced items seemed like evidence enough that good things happen, and it’s a nudge of aligning your thoughts with God. It’s a very effective religion if there’s nothing at all wrong with you or your life. But when things start to unravel, and you try to grasp it more firmly, it falls apart under pressure. It has no substance. It turns all of your problems back on you because you’re just not as good as God. But when you’re born into it and that’s all you know, it shapes your world view and your comprehension of reality.