It can be very difficult when you have family and people you care about in Christian Science who encounter illness or injury. They are adults and they have every right to make their own decisions about their healthcare choices, but it often seems that Christian Scientists are so uninformed about and suspicious of the medical world that they need help from loved ones to understand when their life or well-being is in danger.
What follows are some resources that might be helpful when you talk with your still-in-Christian Science loved one that might help sway them towards getting medical treatment for an unyielding health issue.
Passages from Science and Health and Ms. Eddy’s other writings about seeking medical care
- If Christian Scientists ever fail to receive aid from other Scientists — their brethren upon whom they may call — God will still guide them into the use of temporary and eternal means. Step by step will those who trust in Him find that — “God is a refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.” Science & Health, p. 444
- If, from an injury or from any cause, a Christian Scientist were seized with pain so violent that he could not treat himself mentally — and the Scientists had failed to relieve him — the sufferer could call a surgeon who would give him a hypodermic injection, then when the belief of pain was lulled, he could handle his own case mentally. Science & Health, p. 464
- Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is the only bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin. Rudimental Divine Science
- [In a letter Feb. 19, 1900, to her grown son George Glover about the vaccinating of his child] But if it was my child I should let them vaccinate [sic] him and then with Christian Science would prevent its harming the health of my child. (1)
- [To Dr. Alfred E. Baker, her cousin, an MD and obstetrician who had taken Christian Science class and was curious if assisted deliveries were still possible] If [you] cannot demonstrate delivery, you may resort to instruments. Suffer it to be so now. (1)
- [To a relative asking about another cousin who was struggling with an unhealed physical ailment] Tell her to retain the MD. It will be a defense in this hour and it cannot harm her. (1)
- [In a letter in The Boston Herald on the issue of vaccination] Rather than quarrel over vaccination, I recommend, if the law demand, that an individual submit to this process, that he obey the law, and then appeal to the gospel to save him from bad physical results. Whatever changes come to this century or to any epoch, we may safely submit to the providence of God, to common justice, to the maintenance of individual rights, and to governmental usages. This statement should be so interpreted as to apply, on the basis of Christian Science, to the reporting of a contagious case to the proper authorities when the law so requires. When Jesus was questioned concerning obedience to human law, he replied: ‘Render to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s,’ even while you render ‘to God the things that are God’s.’ (4)
Mother Church’s Policies on Medical Care
- People who practice Christian Science are free to make their own choices about what to think and do in each situation, including health care.(2)
- It’s up to each person who practices Christian Science to choose the form of health care he or she wants. Many Christian Scientists decide to pray first about every challenge—including health issues—and find it effective. … . We all care about the preventive and curative aspects of health care. Like all systems of healing, the track record for Christian Science isn’t perfect.(2)
Christian Scientists who turned to medical care
Articles on Christian Science and medical care
Further Recommended reading
Open the Doors of the Temple: The Survival of Christian Science in the Twenty-first Century. Baxter, Nancy Niblack.
- from Amazon: This revealing and honest book by a prize-winning historian and contented Christian Scientist, is written as a direct look from the inside. … Basing her arguments on the early history of the movement, the author contends that Mary Baker Eddy did not in the final analysis intend for her religious discovery to be a “healing method” but instead a revolutionary view of Christianity based on the allness of God. … Christian Scientists need to quit frightening people with risky behavior with children and themselves and get back to the attractive spiritual bases of the movement.
- Baxter, Nancy Niblack. Open the Doors of the Temple: The Survival of Christian Science in the Twenty-first Century. Carmel, IN: Hawthorne Pub., 2004. Print.
- Christian Science Church Seeks Truce With Modern Medicine New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/nyregion/24heal.html?_r=0&pagewanted=print
- The Christian Science Journal, Volume 18 By Mary Baker Eddy http://books.google.com/books?id=Ya_SAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA724&lpg=PA724&dq=mary+baker+eddy+vaccination&source=bl&ots=7aHvByVTKk&sig=FowKxQ25NilluLrHnrRlJF6jMtY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JKv6Uoq9C8TFrQGbm4GwDw&ved=0CFwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=mary%20baker%20eddy%20vaccination&f=false, see also http://christianscience.com/layout/set/dialog/read-online/the-first-church-of-christ-scientist-and-miscellany/(chapter)/chapter-x-admonition-and-counsel