In fact, they are radiant with health and full of energy on the inside

By an anonymous Ex-Christian Scientist Group Contributor.

 

Heaven was a big deal to the actual Christians that we knew when I was growing up, so I always thought it was a bit odd that it was rarely mentioned as part of my Christian Science learning. Christian Scientists themselves seemed to have little to no expectations of life after death at all.

It began to dawn on me that if you follow Christian Science, then you kind of have to accept that you have attained heaven here on earth. When I grew to be a teenager, I began wanting to ask questions. My mother’s chief tormentor, aka her best friend, was a ‘qualified’ (I seem to use a lot of quote marks when talking about Christian Science) practitioner, and I was told that I had been given permission to pass questions on to her with my mother as an intermediary. I believe I was meant to understand that I had been afforded a great privilege.

Q. Are there grass and trees in heaven, because isn’t everything down here that isn’t a person or a pet meant to be an illusion of mortal mind?

 

A. Nothing useful can be lost to God.

 

Q. If someone is bald on earth do they get their hair back in heaven?

 

A. If hair is useful to them as a reflection of God, then their divine personification will have hair.

(Why would hair be ‘useful’? No one needs hair, it just looks nice. Is heaven cold?)

The church I went to as a kid was one of those where the people in their sixties were considered young. The oldest members could barely walk, or see, and were obviously afflicted with any number of age-related ailments. They waited like human pennies in those shove ha’penny machines to be randomly shunted off their precipice and never seen or spoken of—or to—again in the church; presumably when they either died or were too frail or embarrassed to make the journey in.

Q. Why is everyone I know who does Christian Science so old and doddery?

 

A. They only appear like that; in fact they are radiant with health and full of energy on the inside.

Considering what an enormous amount of claptrap Mary Baker Eddy fabricated about basically every other subject, it is curious that she never got around to proscribing anything about the afterlife or lack thereof. I always found it a curious omission. Hadn’t Mary Baker Eddy known everything? I asked another practitioner once, who looked shocked and then muttered something about that being covered in the Bible.

I just believed what they told me. Because I was a kid!

By an anonymous Ex-Christian Scientist Group contributor.

The Christian Scientists I grew up around all pretty much disappeared the moment my mother drowned in her own bed of a mysterious lung condition after a long period of radical reliance. I can’t say I ever really missed them, though a ‘sorry’ would have been nice.

Some of the people from her church came to the funeral. They avoided me for as much of it as they could, and left as soon as it finished. I never saw or heard from any of them ever again, despite the fact I had known all of them for years, I was a teenager, and they all knew I was then left on my own.

I had tried to stage a sort of adolescent intervention in my mother’s Christian Science treatment. Her best friend was also a Christian Science practitioner, and a fairly big lifelong contributor towards my mother’s reliance on ‘Science’. My mother looked on her as a sort of contemporary Mary Baker Eddy. Of some indeterminate late age, she was a bustling dynamo of a woman who arrived in the middle of a situation, then strode around setting everyone straight and bullying them into ‘Divine Mind’ for their own good. The idea of criticising this woman was almost tantamount to blasphemy, so I was surprised that I would be granted an audience about the issue with my mother present. I stupidly thought it was because we were actually going to talk about my mother’s failing health and devise a plan for managing it.

This meeting with them—where I wanted it to be agreed that she needed to see a doctor—dawned, and I went down from my bedroom with suddenly sweating palms and hammering heart, and this woman just ran rings around me and made me feel about two inches tall. She turned all my carefully planned arguments back at me and by the end of it I wasn’t even sure if the sky was blue and grass green. To cap it off, it was implied that the lack of a healing might be due to my negative thinking. Actually to really cap it off, she finished up with explaining that our family’s poverty was down to my laziness in not applying Christian Science better and that I was now ‘in charge of the finances’ and that she expected to see results from me because it was unfair that my mother had to deal with a physical healing and a situational one while I did nothing. I left meekly agreeing that I would and feeling terrible at my own selfishness. For every day after that until my mother’s death, I felt our poverty and her ill health was my fault. I was thirteen.

I sometimes wonder what I would say to her, or them, now. I would like to give them a piece of my mind, to be honest. I had an absolutely horrible time growing up in Christian Science, and none of it was my fault. I just believed what they told me. Because I was a kid!

There was another group of friends that that my mother had made comparatively very recently through an evening class, who all turned out to the funeral and the wake and all showered me with offers of help if I needed. It was actually the first time I began to understand that people who weren’t in Christian Science were generally a lot nicer and more human than people who were.