Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Open Letter to the Board of The Mother Church

It is a conundrum that those positions in the Mother Church which demand the most pure, dedicated, loyal, selfless, and spiritual of Christian Scientists have for at least the past two or three decades fallen instead into the hands of the most crass and despicable of Scientists. Tom Black's cruel and contemptibly debased mocking of Mrs. Eddy in her agonizing trials as she stood alone courageously against the allied forces of evil in order to bring to us her great Discovery was disgustingly tasteless and depraved. It would have been an inexcusable act for a degenerate, which, come to think of it, it must have been.

Alas, this was only the latest on a very long list of injustices, insults, and indignities committed against the Church and its Leader over the past couple or three decades. By so doing you have only demonstrated once again your total lack of fitness to represent the Church, much less run it. Would you not do just one kind and selfless deed for the Church after all your faithless years, namely, depart from it? This wouldn't require what are obviously far beyond your ken, Christly love, compassion for others, and a heartfelt respect for your Leader, but simply a little grudging consideration for those who have, as humbly as they know how, "named the name of Christ", however imperfectly.

I write this with scant expectation it will ever pass before any of your supercilious eyes or be read even if it did, but my love for Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy--their countless sacrifices and trials, their selfless labors, their priceless examples and legacies, and the many blessings they have bestowed upon me--compel me to write. I am sure that if by some miracle you did read this letter it would be self-righteously dismissed out of hand because its author did not have the courage to sign it, and, of course, you would never respond to anonymous trash. So be it. Having no more respect for you than I do for Judas Iscariot, I wouldn't care to get a response from you anyway and could not hope to get honest, straightforward answers even if you condescended to do so. Your certain antipathy to my assertions is, however, insignificant in comparison to the betrayal of Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy it would have been if I had simply said nothing and given you yet another of the apathetic free passes you so cynically count on.

31 comments:

Friend of your blog said...

Dear Christian,
I hope it's not presumptuous of me to say, I am proud of you for saying what you have here.
Wonderful!

W.R. said...

Bravo! You said what so many of us in the Field are thinking and feeling right now.

W. R. said...

Meant to add, God bless you Christian for loving our Cause so much!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said this better myself. Of course, I wouldn't be able to say it as well as you have.

Southern CA said...

Isn't the Internet a good thing in this instance. Not only will the Board see this blog post (I feel sure they will), but others can take courage from your unequivocal stand for Christ Jesus and your Leader.
Inspiring to me!

Phoenix, AZ said...

Extremely strongly put. But I couldn't agree more that the Directors needed every word.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Christian. Such an inpiring essay in my opinion and all that you've said is so right on!

Boston area practitioner said...

You are such a faithful student of Christian Science and I applaud your strong stand for what is right.
Keep on turning out these splendid essays...

E. J. said...

Really enjoy the way you put things. Nothing quite like it among the Christian Scientists I know, and I think we need more like you,Christian.

Anonymous said...

Although odds makers wouldn't favor it happening, what do they really know of divine metaphysics? I'm expecting Mr. Black to get significant insight as to his mistake and step down. Let's not be cynical. It will happen. Then we'll all be thinking, "Next!".

LowlyWise said...

'Tis said that all that is needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Christian, you are doing something about this festering canker on the body politic of Christian Science. Bravo!

I just wish I knew what specifically you are talking about, but I'll have to wait until I receive "The Banner."

Regular reader said...

Two comments to two comments above this one: do we really think Black will step down? Of course, they will just pick one like themselves, won't they. But we shall see.
And to LW: hope your copy of The Banner comes soon so you can get the facts from the place many of us have.
I also say to Christian, Bravo!

Helen said...

Hooray for you, Christian. And you certainly are a that and a faithful student of Christian Science as well. Your first paragraph really got to me! To think our dear Leader was treated so despicably!!!

Anonymous said...

Mary Baker Eddy's "agonizing trials"--oh have you put it where it touches the hearts. To think of what that courageous woman stood up to to bring us her great Discovery, and to be so treated. It boggles the mind. It does mine. And I can only account for it this way: they have entered a state of moral idiocy and no longer can tell right from wrong, or white from black!

Hartford, CT said...

How right you are, writer. They have betrayed the Founder of Christianity, and the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science--over many years. How they can live with themselves is beyond me.

Midwest CS said...

People have called out Black for being so black and morally lost. But I feel those teachers who just sat there through all that have lost it as well. How can they heal anyone? How can they teach anyone? Were I a pupil of one of them, I would ask, are you going to speak out? If not, I am out of your association. Case closed!

CA Practitioner said...

You are such an inspiration to me. Did you know that? And to so many others in the Field who are hungry to hear the truth about things, who love the Cause as you do, and who are so distressed at the awful steps taken the past few years to not only discredit Mrs. Eddy, but to destroy the movement she left us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! I am so grateful for what you have said and for representing what so many people have felt for so long a time now. You are truly a blessing.

God bless you for standing on Principle in defense of our dear leader and Christ Jesus.

Liz J. said...

I feel encouraged to think there are followers of Christ Jesus and of our Leader's great Cause like you, Christian. A friend recommended your website and am I glad I visited here.

Anonymous said...

"scant expectation" of this being read (by the board members), you wrote. They have underlings who scour the internet to protect what they believe is their trademark, namely the words "Christian Science". So not to worry. Your postings, Christian, will most certainly be read, and have been read by church officials. But what's most disturbing to them will be the reaction to your words -- the comments section. That should alarm their tenured positions immensely!

Best (Australia) said...

Right on! With all you've so ably written, dear Christian, and with all those comments you gotten on this. That last one is right in line with what I've felt, that your blog is being read at the Church Center. I know a couple of people who work there read it, and can't imagine the Board doesn't have an underling scouring the Net as the previous commenter said.
Good is being done!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to recommend to any conscientious reader to pursue the books of Helen Wright, 'If Mary Baker Eddy's Manual Were Obeyed' and 'Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual and Church Universal and Triumphant.' Both can be obtained from Amazon.com. Books every Christian Scientist should read. You'll find the answer to the Board's dishonesty and usurpation of Church authority, and the answer to the present organizational debacle of leadership. Thanks for keeping us awake, Christian. I'm sure you have great support from the Field.

Concerned said...

Let me see if I understand this correctly. Director Tom Black is quoted, without verification, in The Banner (Andrew Hartsook’s alarmist publication certainly not known for vetting its sources), that Mrs. Eddy overcame being on morphine the day of her healing in Lynn in 1866. While that statement, if made, I believe was incorrect, since the only record of the administration of morphine was to move her to Swampscott the day after the fall, the hate speech (yes, that is the proper term for it) that alleged statement has engendered from The Broken Net is hard to fathom and certainly belies the “Christian” patina of the blog. Tom Black is a “degenerate” and his representation of that day, even if incorrect, was a “cruel and contemptibly debased mocking of Mrs. Eddy”? Unfortunately I believe The Broken Net has devolved into a fustian of ego and faux-scholarship, all designed to promote a tired agenda that blames everything on the Board, past decisions, the content of the periodicals, the TV debacle, blah, blah, blah. We are to believe the problem in the movement does not come from an increasingly secular and medicine-based society that has less and less use for organized religion, nor to the change in Western society to one that sees less and less authority in the Bible; nor even to a society that promotes sex, instant gratification, and the worship of materiality; no, we are to believe it is all due to Boston officials who are just not as spiritual, reverent, and pure as the snipes who criticize from the sidelines.

Is “Christian” able to whine, moan, and complain? Absolutely. I’ve got that. Is “Christian” able to offer constructive criticism? That is another question. If the periodicals are lacking in proper content, how about a call to all readers of The Broken Net to write better articles? If we are not seeing enough healing in our movement (which is a very real issue that we all recognize), maybe we can stop pretending that it is Boston’s problem and admit that it is our own problem collectively—and real, consistent healing should trump all of our other problems.

I am not suggesting a slavish reverence for the Board or any other officials, nor is it necessary to agree with what they do; but this continual focus in some circles on the Board, to the virtual exclusion of countless other much bigger problems that face us, is I believe off-base and in its own way, dangerous, because it says we are not ready or willing to address our real problems honestly.

Anonymous said...

The tired self-justifying excuse below really ought to be retired. There are millions of hungry and thirsty seekers out there just as there were in Mary Baker Eddy's day. Probably even more today. Something is repelling them.

quote/We are to believe the problem in the movement does not come from an increasingly secular and medicine-based society that has less and less use for organized religion, nor to the change in Western society to one that sees less and less authority in the Bible; nor even to a society that promotes sex, instant gratification, and the worship of materiality; no, we are to believe it is all due to Boston officials who are just not as spiritual, reverent, and pure as the snipes who criticize from the sidelines.
/end quote

Anonymous said...

The BoD has much blame to take over the past 25-30 years, because they helped decimate the periodicals, the teachers, the practitioners, the lesson sermons, etc. Many people have tried to write for the periodicals and found that the "editors" didn't know much about writing OR Christian Science and tried to water down the articles and even testimonies. Their honest efforts weren't welcome because there has been too much appeasement of mortal mind in an effort to "attract" new members. It's all about money and numbers, not about honesty and Christian Science healing. Healing is what attracted people to Christian Science in the first place, and it is still paramount to attracting people today. However, since the BoD has basically decimated the teaching force and the "old time" practitioners, there isn't a whole lot left at "headquarters." The emphasis on "new" isn't what it takes. If someone visits a church for the first time, the type of service Mrs. Eddy instituted will not "seem old."

Yes, there is blame to share with the field--all those who stick their heads in the sand and think everything coming out of Boston is "so great," have a lot to answer for, as well as those who think you can mix medicine and Christian Science treatment. They actually cancel each other out, so you have to choose. Yes there are materialistic temptations on all sides--there always have been, they just change their clothes so to speak. The study and practice of Christian Science is an ongoing process--as our Leader says in The New Birth in Miscellaneous Writings (p. 15:13) "The new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love." then on p 19:18-19 she adds: "But, taking the livery of heaven wherewith to cover iniquity, is the most fearful sin the mortals can commit."

Respect for Mrs Eddy is paramount, also. Remember and follow By-Law Article 8 Section 6 Alertness to Duty: "It shall be the duty of every member of this church [and that includes BoD] to defend himself daily against agressive mental suggestion, not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged,--and justified or condemned."

Thanks Christian for all you are doing for the cause of Christian Science with your blogging.

A friend near Tucson.

Anonymous said...

未來的幸福是用現在買來的。......................................................

Practitioner (near Boston) said...

You certainly have an alive website Christian. May God who led you to begin this important communicating continue blessing and expanding all those who stop here. And I have no doubt that He will! Ther are more than a few of us out here supporting your devoted efforts with wide-awake prayer, if this is of comfort to you. If only the periodicals had writing like this!

Stephen said...

Very well said, friend from Tucson. Another clear thinker out here.

A Christian Science Practitioner said...

While I'm all for free speech, persons, whether they're called the Christian Science Board of Directors, church officials, government officials, etc. do not have the ability or power to obstruct or prevent individual understanding and demonstration of Christian Science which is the operation of the Christ. We are now living in the times prophecied by Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy when the more aggressive forms of animal magnetism is prevalent in every aspect of the so-called human experience. As Christian Scientists, we have a duty to handle evil/error 24/7. Since error can only be dealt with scientifically as a false belief, not a person, place, thing or condition, our duty and salvation rest on understanding the Science that Mary Baker Eddy discovered and not in wasting our time engaging in threaded discussions about what this or that person is doing or not doing since the belief of personality, good, bad or ugly, is the real culprit and until it is scientifically reduced to false belief, or delusion of mortal mind, error repeats itself in different forms and claims to be our experience.

Bill Sweet said...

The comments by "Concerned" Blogger. It's time to get over blaming the other guy (like Boston and the BOD) for "everything." I appreciate the way you put it. I would add IMHO that the fanatical interpretations of the Church Manual as a excuse why things have gone terribly wrong is almost as bad as blaming "personalities."

Some of the problem is us. We have met the enemy in us. Yet, that is not fair either. Society has changed under our feet. Society is about as materially based as any time in history. Mary Baker Eddy could not discovered Christian Science today in 2010. Mortal mind is too thick with itself.

The challenge to Christian Scientists is the same as for the Amish. Christian Scientists are living in a different land as a subculture. What can we do to subsist? My proposition is not popular among Christian Scientists. Instead of chanting "heal, heal, heal" or "Obey the Manual" all the time, we should bring out "how" Mrs. Eddy's discovery is advancing the understanding of "Science, Theology, and Medicine."

Christian Science has done an excellent job on the "Theology." Just look at the volumes of works in the Reading Rooms! Somewhat, Christian Science has addressed "Medicine," but the problem today is that medicine with its scary advancements continually overshadow spiritual medicine in Christian Science. That is tough to address as people are more satisfied with the modern approaches of medicine. At least "Theology and Medicine are addressed. That's two of three.

What about the subject of "Science." There has been hardly anything on the subject. Virtually, the only consistent mention of Science is when something is discovered by natural science that suggests the world is getting closer to a view of consciousness as primary over matter. Fine, but what discoveries does Christian Science have of its own other than theological explanations? Some Christian Scientists have worked in this area of Science and have been ignored.

In conclusion, I don't see the problem as others do. More healing won't solve the CS problem. It's bringing out how Christian Science views the sciences, views theology, and medicine that we both preserve Christian Science and make it a social asset even though it happens to be a subculture.

Concerned said...

Thanks, Bill. There is a large divide between an appropriate following of our Church Manual and what you so aptly call the fanatical interpretations of the “estoppel clause” people, but it is a chasm that the believers in this mythology jump over regularly.

I will try to post a comment soon on the Helen Wright books and the whole issue of the so-called estoppel clauses. The true history of the creation of The Mother Church and the Publishing Society is decidedly not given in the fantasy promoted by the Helen Wright books, and yet this false history is necessarily the underpinning for new litigation being supported in The Banner. One may choose to agree or disagree with decisions made by the Board in recent years, but the claim that the downfall of the movement is primarily due to actions taken by the Board shortly after Mrs. Eddy’s passing is not only historical poppycock, it is also both dangerous and soporific. I say that because it attempts to take our eye off the real reasons for our problems by offering up false hope that some legal action, like a magic elixir, will cure our problems. In its own way, it is Dr. Feelgood come to the movement.