I’ve had people over the years tell me that they thought Christian Science church services were boring, and I’ve been tempted to think the same myself in the past. But I don’t anymore.
A few months ago, a new perspective on the Christian Science church service took me over that has transformed my opinion probably forever.
One Sunday morning, I was listening to the lesson sermon, and rejoicing in the message I heard, which basically was a perfect God created a perfect man and I was that man! Wow! I am not a sinner, as the carnal mind wants to keep convincing me of. I’m a perfect child of God now and should never forget it, I exuded joy over being reminded of.
However, this sinless view of man is not a commonly held opinion among much of humanity. Much of Christianity preaches fallen man, a being born into sin, and who suffers accordingly until saved by Christ, if they happen to be saved by Christ. Many are not saved, millions of believers contend.
Christian Science distinguishes between fallen Adam and perfect man made in God’s image. It teaches that the perfect man did not fall into a state of imperfection, but that the fallen Adam is a wrong view of man altogether. Man is not material, made of the dust. Man is spiritual, made in the image of God. Adam is a myth. Christ, understood, reveals this to be the case.
Each of us is made in God’s image. We have not lost our spiritual individuality. We do not have to regain it. We still have it! And we find it in Christ, in living, thinking and accepting spirituality as the only reality.
As I listened to the spiritual truth about myself being read from the Reader’s desk at my branch church, I thought, “This is the most loving message that could ever be preached in a church service. Anything less than perfect God and perfect man would be less than loving. Why? Because anything less than perfect God, Good, and perfect man, would make a case for evil. And that builds a case for suffering. That is not loving.”
And this is why I’ve always come back to the Christian Science church services. I’ve been to many other churches over the years, and yes, I agree, several other churches have talented bands, choirs, singers, musical extravaganzas, video, PowerPoint presentations, and also very good preachers. But the underlying message has never hit home with me like I hear at the Christian Science service.
In Christian Science, I’m told that I was born a free man, a spiritual man, in God’s image, and I have a glorious spiritual inheritance to claim now. Heaven is not a place for a select view, and out of reach for others. Heaven is all-inclusive, here and now for everyone to experience, not through ritual or confession, but through spiritual mindedness and Christly living. I don’t have to feel guilty because of Adam’s mistake. It was not my mistake. I’m not a hopeless sinner. I’m a beloved child of God with the full rights of spirituality and blessings of eternal life to experience and claim today! I’m a good person. That’s the way God made me, and the same rule applies to my neighbor. They are good too!
I can put up with a lot in terms of less than ideal music, small congregations, even fellow congregants who don’t talk to me. But when it comes to content,–the message being preached from the pulpit,–I have to hear the truth. And what I find in the Christian Science lesson sermon, of perfect God and perfect man, resonates with me to the core of my being. I feel like I’m home—right with God—the most loving and comforting place I could ever be.
And thus I concluded during my moment of enlightenment, that the Christian Science church service is the most loving service on earth I could ever attend. Not because of the people, but because of the message. It’s spot on.
“Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin. A mortal sinner is not God’s man.“ Mary Baker Eddy