The following piece was submitted anonymously via email. It is part of our on-going series about people who have left Christian Science for a new spiritual path. Find other related posts under the tag ‘other spiritual paths’.
If you are seeking Christian Scientists who have found a Christian path, we recommend the Fellowship of Former Christian Scientists.
Like so many Christian Scientists, I was born into the religion. Both my mother and my grandmother were adherents. In fact, my grandmother had a woman named Mrs. Eddy (not the famous one) tell her about it when her family lived in a small factory town in the Midwest. But, my father was not a Christian Scientist. I am told by my uncle that before my father met my mother, he was considering becoming a preacher; but, preachers don’t marry non-Christians. So, I guess he discarded that idea somewhere along the line.
My brother Frank and I were expected to attend Sunday School at the local Christian Science church while we were in grade school age. After that, we were allowed to select which parent we wanted to accompany to church on Sundays. My brother choose my dad and the Methodist church and I choose my mom and the Christian Science church.
My mother and I were very close for pretty much my whole life. One way that I could really please her was to be active in the church. I was definitely the youngest member when I joined our branch church at age 12. It thrilled my mother that I was on the publication committee, the nursery committee, and the usher committee. What a role model for other kids in my church! I saw how all of this activity brought us closer. So, I moved ahead and got more immersed in the culture. I took Christian Science Class Instruction at 20 years-old; I worked at the Mother Church the summer I turned 21; and finally, I went to Principia College for my final year of college.
Another reason Christian Science was attractive to me was the sense of community that I had while in groups of Christian Scientists, which I didn’t experience anywhere else; and especially at Principia, I was among people who understood my beliefs and thought they were valid. Having Christian Science in common certainly seemed to enable me to make friendships quickly.
But, despite all of these good feelings, I did leave Science. It happened soon after my mother remarried following the death of my father when I was 19. I felt betrayed since I was no longer her special confidante. Around that same time, I saw a girl from my Sunday School die. She died choking to death on her parents’ living room floor. The diagnosis was tonsillitis. That really made me think a lot about healing, Mary Baker Eddy, and all the rest.
I never heard any amazing testimonies of healing on Wednesday nights at church. Even when I took Class Instruction, I could not seem to make Christian Science ‘work’. Throughout the two weeks, I was very sick with a bad cold, laryngitis, and high temperatures. I was not able to heal what most people would say was a very mild illness. Why didn’t it work if I had done all the right things, thought all the right things, and tried to change my thinking all the time when ‘error’ tried to fill my thoughts?
Finally, I ended up taking off to California to find another way of life. There, I occasionally tried orthodox churches and then did without church for quite a while. I always steered clear of the Christian Science ones. A gay friend in my new college started to witness to me about Christ. Talk about ironic, but he was sincere. He kept on about it, and he told me to try a Bible-believing church just once.
On a lonely Sunday morning, I sat outside Hollywood Presbyterian Church and watched the people who entered the church. The next Sunday, I did the same. The third Sunday, I went in and listened to the sermon. Within three more weeks, I was hooked. Reading the book of John in the Bible explained so much to me. I didn’t need Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to interpret things of God anymore. I had found the truth!
To summarize, I don’t know if I ever ‘believed’ in Christian Science. I think God was preparing me all along to be dissatisfied, uncomfortable, and skeptical until I finally read the Bible and saw what He really said. God wanted to present the truth to me about who He really was and how I could join His real kingdom forever.
This site offers support resources to help individuals negotiate a transition in a manner that best fits their needs and convictions. We do not advocate any one particular path but acknowledge that there are many legitimate pathways that can be personally and spiritually fulfilling.
3 Replies to “He told me to try a Bible-believing church just once”
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I am so glad you have found a path that works for you. It makes me so sad that a friend of yours choked on her own tonsils! That’s horrible! In this day and age, that should not ever have to happen! Another 18th century death, courtesy of Christian Science. Wow. I am also sad that you felt during Primary Class “Instruction” that you had to endure sickness and despite the magic prayer stuff you were learning, still couldn’t heal it. It made me remember my own time going through Primary Class Instruction – and I took on a case. Tried to heal my dad of a long standing problem. And of course got no where. Thought it was my ego that kept me from healing him or something ridiculous.
The whole religion is such a (insert bad word here that means “farse.”) it hurts and maims and kills people. A CSer I know recently told me of a group of CS people she once hung around with in the early 80s. A bunch of young parents. As she listed each person, EVERY single one of them either died too soon & suddenly, or their spouse did. Every single one! And yet – she, being a devout CSer, didn’t even notice that. The denial is so strong and it makes me deeply sad.
Thank you for your story–so pleased that you found a path out of Christian Science that works well for you and meets your spiritual and community needs. Although I am agnostic (leaning atheist), it is clear to me that Christianity is a completely legitimate way to leave CS. Indeed, I believe that my brother (also raised CS) is alive today because of his Christian faith.
I agree about the Christianity being a great way to leave CS. I always thought CS “restored primitive Christianity.” It’s in their dogma. But it’s not true at all. The most judgemental, cold, least empathetic people I have ever known all went to the CS church.
I am atheist now and happier than I have ever been in my entire life!
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