Question. You keep repeating like jungle drums that some sinister influence is, and has been for years, slowly and surreptitiously insinuating itself into the Church and the consciences of many of its members, but what evidence do you offer that such an alarming activity is actually taking place?
Answer: I'm glad you asked. The most vicious argument many Christian Scientists are being subjected to--and in unguarded moments submitting to--is that Christian Science does not heal, or if it does it takes more time to reach a conclusion than "Lost" did and one that isn't any more satisfying. The inspired "Christian Science Standard of Healing", which originally appeared in the November 1957 Journal and oft reprinted, was given a sellout Ken and Barbie makeover in tweedledum and tweedledee versions, though tweedledum, or was it tweedledee, was hastily sent to detention for bad behavior, i.e., for still asking too much of what was already much too little. Those who found the original 1957 V-12 engine too souped-up and demanding for their limited metaphysical budgets got as a response to their complaints a sporty 4-cylinder put-put that promised all the power and performance of the 1957 model without its onerous "costs".
The apostate notion that Christian Science is just another mind/body healing system securely corseted in the bone stays of musty Victorian rules unfortunately seems to have gained footing. Christian Science is not some spinster wallflower at the mind/body healing cotillion, nor is it like the child's game of tiddlywinks, where only he who somehow gets the most prayer chips in the cup gets the healing, like a winner at the pool of Bethesda.
There has also been, I believe, a subtle and very harmful effort for years to wean Scientists away from their textbooks and encourage them to venture into an up-with-the-times Brave New World and its soma of contextless exerpts. Without limpet-like adherence to the Bible and writings of Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Scientists could allow Science to disappear for a time or lapse into obscurity.
Then there are the recently discussed attempts to relegate Mrs. Eddy, our Leader, and her superannuated Church Manual to the rumble seat of the Mother Church roadster, where they can ride along out of sight and out of mind. And kudos to the Gill book, which was a terrific opening kickoff in this ongoing enterprise.
Several other unfortunate "progressive" initiatives could be added, but space does not permit, and they have been highlighted in many previous entries.
Question. I'm tired of all that cat and mouse about who the villian is and what the clue is in that dopey poemlet. Is it Mr. Plum with the pipe wrench in the conservatory or who or what?
Answer. Remove the indentation of lines 2 and 4 and align them to the left with lines 1 and 3. I don't surrender easily--but neither does the Adversary alluded to.