Take Christian Science into the hospital

May 29, 2019 | 85 comments

More than once, I’ve had students of Christian Science ask me if they could still practice Christian Science even though they had opted to have a medical treatment for an ailment. And I’ve quickly replied, “Of course! That’s when you need it the most!”

In Christian Science, there are not two worlds—a spiritual world and a medical world—and the option to decide which realm one is going to operate in. There is one reality—God, and everyone is included in it, always, and under all circumstances. A decision to receive a medical treatment does not separate one from God. It does not create an impassable chasm where one must leave his spiritual convictions and understanding of Truth behind. If anything, it’s a time to grow closer to God than ever before.

People in hospitals and sickrooms around the globe need Christian Science! It’s what will bring them the spiritual health they’re really looking for.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote an intriguing statement about welcoming Christian Science into the sickroom. She wrote, “A patient’s belief is more or less moulded and formed by his doctor’s belief in the case, even though the doctor says nothing to support his theory. His thoughts and his patient’s commingle, and the stronger thoughts rule the weaker. Hence the importance that doctors be Christian Scientists” (Science and Health, p. 198). If Eddy is recommending that doctors practice Christian Science, whether in a hospital, or elsewhere, she certainly would advocate patients doing the same!

So, don’t leave Christian Science home if you go to the hospital. By all means, grab your Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and take them with you. Use the opportunity to grow in your understanding of God more than ever. What you discover spiritually will benefit you more over the long run than any material procedure or medicine.

85 thoughts on “Take Christian Science into the hospital”

  1. Thank you so very much! Often referred to this passage and was told Mrs. Eddy didn’t mean medical doctors she meant Practitioners. I didn’t argue but it sure sounded like she meant medical doctors. When I came into Science I said I will leave each situation in the Hands of God. I ask, when there is doubt , “Father, what would You have me do in this situation?” We , Scientists can find way too many things to feel guilty about . Thanks for adding clarity to this

    1. I fear you are misunderstanding these comments. Mrs. Eddy states in Rudimental Divine Science pg 3:14 ” Genuine Christian Scientists will no more deviate morally from that divine digest of Science called the Sermon on the Mount, than they will manipulate invalids, prescribe drugs, or deny God. Jesus’ healing was spiritual in its nature, method, and design. He wrought the cure of disease through the divine Mind, which gives all true volition, impulse, and action; and destroys the mental error made manifest physically, and establishes the opposite manifestation of Truth upon the body in harmony and health.”
      Therefore, Mrs. Eddy is in no way suggesting medical doctors be Christian Scientist, for how could that possibly be? It would only be a house divided which must fall.
      She also states in Science and Health pg 179:21 “Treatises on anatomy, physiology, and health, sustained by what is termed material law, are the promoters of sickness and disease.”
      So, again the reference to doctor cannot include a medical doctor. A doctor must refer to one caring for the ill.
      Mrs. Eddy also allows in Science Health for those who do not receive a healing to seek medical assistance and continue to work on their own in Christian Science She states on page 464 : “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.”
      She is not indicating any guilt to be assigned to anyone who seeks medical care or assistance, but rather that those who do are to continue their own mental treatment of the perceived condition.
      She states in Science and Health, page 455:3 ” A mental state of self-condemnation and guilt or a faltering and doubting trust in Truth are unsuitable conditions for healing the sick.” Therefore, should a Scientist secure medical care, they are not to feel any guilt, but rather gratitude for assistance.

  2. Thanks so much for this Evan. For many people, the days of feeling guilty for having to take the “medical route” have long gone…but not with everyone. Recently I was in hospital (feeling guilty and asking myself “WHAT am I doing HERE? Why didn’t this problem get healed?” I used the time well and studied my CS books and listened to many online lectures til late at night and most of the day in between interruptions. After about 10 days there was no improvement there either! I humbly asked God “WHY???” and immediately my answer came…”This is not about your foot and your leg..it’s about what you had to LEARN while here!” AH HA!!!! Of course! I very quickly realised that although I was still reading my books, in a way I had given up and was waiting for Plan B to work…NOW I realised that as a Christian Scientist in a place where many people are needing help I started to be grateful first for all that II have in my life, for the excellent care I was receiving, for the love that the nurses showed in their work. I had a few conversations with 3 different nurses and they told me how they went to church, trusted in God all the time, often prayed and were always helped by God. In fact a young surgeon told me he runs a Bible study group at his house every week! This was quite something for me to hear as I had always perceived medical people as being a bit “Godless” but I was so wrong! Once I could walk again, I decided to walk around my ward and give a blessing to each person behind each door as I walked past. I would see each one as being wrapped in a blanket of God’s Love and care and in the presence of the divine Father Mother where worry, anxiety, pain and fear cannot find a place to settle. On the day I left, a nurse I’d never spoken to, came in and remarked that I’d been there a long time and I said I had been told it would only be a day or so..she replied “Dont worry about that…God has a plan for you… I guess you had something you had to learn while here…did you work out what it was?” Well, THAT was my confirmation…and I HAD worked it out too. But you could have knocked me over with a feather! I had learnt not to assume anything about anyone, not to label people, a huge appreciation for the nursing profession and that no one can ever really be in their wrong place no matter how “wrong” that seems to be…there are lessons to be learned wherever we find ourselves.

    1. My goodness, Diane – your experience complements Evan’s message beautifully, as well as giving wonderful proof of the presence of God and His angel messages in everyone everywhere. You have certainly given me food for thought. Thank you so much for sharing.

    2. Awesome example, Diane!

      Belief systems which idealize one element of experience are constrained to devalue another.

      Wanting to experience only God’s Love, we might direct paranoia at the healthcare system, thinking God’s love isn’t there. But that which is all-encompassing can have no opposite or exception. Knowing all things but suffering symbolize God’s love, we move from strength to strength, like the stepping stones in Evan’s previous post. If, on the other hand, we direct paranoia anywhere, we will eventually direct it everywhere.

      CS and medical care have the same goal: to recognize essential health and refuse to accept suffering as fundamental to life. To direct paranoia at the healthcare system is singularly unproductive, and is the result of confusing absolute and relative truth.

      Jesus said, “Anyone who does the will of my Father is my mother and my brothers.” Does this mean we should ignore our human mothers? Anyone who indulges in level-confusion is subject to this kind of thinking.

  3. Very interesting article. It proves things (thoughts) do change in C.S. circles. And to “allow” independent thinking and a liberal interpretation of MBE’s writings spoken of publically – quite a novum, as far as I can see!

    Many a Christian Scientist seems to suffer from a false dilemma, when it comes to undergoing medical treatment, as a means of emergency i.e.

    Besides personal and health issues: In a world of severe challenges by growing international problems, narcissistic politicians, a decline in values etc. ,Christian Science is needed more than ever. And its implementation and true practice maybe the only salvation. Thank you, Evan.

  4. Once I was called and informed my daughter had broken her arm after falling out of a tree and she was in the emergency room awaiting surgery. I left work to drive to her. Along the way
    I prayed and even sang (“Mother’s Evening Prayer.” The words by MBE.) When I arrived I had to meet with social workers that were concerned the injury was from physical abuse. I remained calm knowing this was not true and was confident my wife’s reporting, that our daughter had fallen out of a tree, was the actual event, however, I thought about the Divine Providence where no room ever exists for imperfection. As I continued to pray, II was called by the Doctors who were attempting surgery, yet they could not begin because the anesthesia failed to work on my daughter. They wanted me to sign a waiver so they could use a different process. I told the doctors to tell my daughter that she was allowed to have this surgery. I immediately changed direction and began to pray for the doctors and social workers who were all children of God. The medical procedure was completed and in the following weeks my daughter’s arm was restored. The Social workers cleared me of abuse after they confirmed the factual events – that I was at work during my daughter’s fall and that I truly cared for my daughter and was not attempting to prevent her from receiving help.

    1. Maag,

      Unless there was something unique about your case, the social workers were providing a standard screening. It’s not personal. I’m glad your daughter is doing well.

    2. So grateful for you sharing your experience and humble obedience to follow Christ leading you in prayers in whatever direction for inclusion of ever-present good to all. God’s Love and its healing power never fails under any circumstances and any practical methodology suitable for the occasion and neither can anyone be less blessed and loved by God to express, give and receive His perfect care for one another. The Heart and Soul of Christian Science is Love and this Love reveals the Science/Law of Love ever operative for all our needs.

  5. Thank you so much for this Evan I am having treatment and support from a Christian Science practitioner for a supposed cancer my family have asked that I get medical help, so I am going for treatment next week to ease their concerns, I was rushed into hospital a few weeks ago and whilst there I too studied and prayed and the first night there was quite busy and noisy with patients needing help yet the second night I was up praying for quite awhile then fell asleep, whenI finally woke very early in the morning, the atmosphere was beautifully calm and as the patients started to wake they all mentioned what a peaceful sleep they’d had. I feel our prayers are blessing everyone wherever we go we are Spiritual evangelists silently knowing the Truth correcting the supposed imposition on man. Thank you Evan

    1. That is a wonderful story…and for CS to be appreciated surely we need to be in all sorts of places and help wherever we find ourselves…after all Jesus walked around everywhere ..he didn’t just stay on some hill or in some olive grove all the time, keeping out of the way of people…nope! He was hanging out with the so-called “publicans and sinners” and helping them.

  6. Evan, I am so grateful for this post. The truth of man’s perfection never changes, whether one is in the hospital or in the sanctuary of one’s home. Although many testimonies in the CS periodicals describe the patient throwing away medicine or refusing hospitalization in order to prove his/her radical reliance on God, for some of us such moves would be foolhardy, willful, and dangerous. We have had practitioners refuse to support family members who take medicine or go to the hospital. This has left the family members feeling unworthy of being healed through Science–and deserted just when they need the support the most. Death without using medicine is not a “purer” demonstration of Science than is taking medicine while working the problem out in Science, and such attitudes bring shame and ridicule on the Christian Science movement. Christian Scientists who are struggling need loving, prayerful support, not condemnation and judgment from others.

    1. LMG, thank you for your words. When I was 21 and had never been to a doctor or hospital, I had my first baby. It was a difficult delivery including surgery. I was given a pain pill. My CS teacher asked me if I had taken a pill. When I told her yes she told me she could no longer work for me. I was devastated . Now I know that if
      Our religion is to survive we must know God is everywhere, all in all and loving all. Thank you for clearly putting into words my feelings. EAW

    2. Thank you for sharing this. I had a family member refused treatment because he was on medicine. I was new to this and kept sharing what I was learning. I have read this twice. thank you.

    3. Thank you Evan and thanks also to others that have responded. In my family whilst we were growing up our CS practitioner made it clear that she would not support us if we took medicine or went to a medical doctor. She also said we had to choose one way or the other and as a result my sister and I grew up thinking that this was true. As a result at times we suffered terribly and had a lot of days off school. Even now I feel so guilty and unworthy if I need medical help. Now after reading this I see how wrong this approach was and even feel a certain freedom to choose. The knowledge now that it is fine for me to continue to pray and read our tect book is wonderful news, as I was almost afraid to do this previously.
      Thank you for this enlightenment.
      I have had amazing healings and have been wonderfully protected in dangerous situations, so my first choice will always be CS, but I’m still very hesitant to call on a practitioner for any help. Hopefully this wrong attitude will now dissolve.
      Thank you again for publishing this blog, Evan

  7. Thank you for this Evan. One afternoon when my Mum and I visited my Dad in hospital after he had had an operation, he said he had been told he couldn’t come home yet as there was a blockage in some part of his body. The thought came to me “Whatever obstructs the way Divine Love will remove” – think that’s from Science & Health. We all held to that and when we returned for our evening visit – guess what – no blockage! He came home the following day. We were so grateful for the power of Truth at work in that hospital environment and for the loving care shown to him by all the staff.

  8. AMEN!!!! My CS teacher taught us this thinking 45 years ago!
    Thank you, thank you for your blog/post today and everyday. Most grateful!

  9. As Evan writes in 2nd paragraph, “In Christian Science there are not two worlds-a spiritual world and a medical world-and the option to decide which realm one is going to operate in. There is one reality-God, and everyone is included in it, always, and under all circumstances.” Beautifully written, Evan!! I find this is the key to success to keep thought with God at all times while knowing we can trust in Him always and wherever we are!

  10. Thank you for this post. Love expressed is what is needed everywhere, all the time. I want to add that the decision to use some form of medicine needs to be individual, and there shouldn’t be any condemnation, whatever is chose. Mrs. Eddy touches on the issue of medicine and choosing a healing method a number of places in her writings. One of these places is on page 401 of Science and Health:

    Until the advancing age admits the efficacy and suprem‐
    acy of Mind, it is better for Christian Scientists to leave
    surgery and the adjustment of broken bones
    and dislocations to the fingers of a surgeon,
    while the mental healer confines himself chiefly to mental
    reconstruction and to the prevention of inflammation.
    Christian Science is always the most skillful surgeon, but
    surgery is the branch of its healing which will be last
    3acknowledged. However, it is but just to say that the
    author has already in her possession well-authenticated
    records of the cure, by herself and her students through
    mental surgery alone, of broken bones, dislocated joints,
    and spinal vertebræ.

    1. Thank you Curran for posting this quote form Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. That is where I was lead when I had need of broken bones to be healed and did follow it’s wisdom because I had been in pain for 3 days and felt the need to find help. I was lead to a very caring surgeon and staff. I was eventually very grateful for the guidance from God and the words on page 401. I also enlisted the support of a CS practitioner who gladly worked for the success and harmony of the situation. So grateful.

  11. A perfect explanation. I was explaining what CS patients do just yesterday. Thanks for the boost.

  12. Thank you for this topic Evan.
    A most needed one to post, share and
    clear up misunderstandings.
    Spiritual growth is very individual.
    God only loves and loves,
    He never condemns , why should we?
    Compassion is most helpful in every case.
    We all need it.

  13. Oh Evan That was the perfect response to my self-condemnation for my recent trip to the hospital under practitioners care. I can always count on your blogs to answer my troubled thought.

  14. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!! I was also raised in the “C.S. cultural belief” that it was wrong and bad to go to Doctors or to take Medicine. Thus, I, along with so many others of my Generation – “Baby Boomers” – have felt riddled with Guilt and have struggled more with the Healing of Guilt and Abuse than with the Healing of physical problems! This is the REAL Healing that the C.S. Religion/Church needs right now! A healing of false judgment, guilt and abuse that has been perpetuated in the name of the Religion of C.S. Thank you so much Evan for having the Courage! Also, many C.S. Practitioners need to read this and to be healed of this false belief, too, before they can become REAL HEALERS!! Amen!! Mrs. Eddy would be Proud!!

  15. This is an important message to get out. I was raised the same as others posting. No medicine or doctor if under CS practitioner treatment.

  16. Perfect timing, we are in the hospital right now..but it hasn’t changed how we feel about GOD at all.

  17. Thank you, Evan, and each one who shared today. We are certainly growing in grace through the expansive conversations on SpriitView.
    I was so deeply grateful that my practitioner resolutely stayed working for me as I spent 6 weeks in hospital awaiting the birth of my firs child. I was supposedly in a life-threatening situation, but I viewed the time there was my “time in the tomb” to gain a better understanding of God’s Allness. I experienced the sweetest care from all the nurses, and the most tender care from my doctor. I am absolutely certain that prayerful support saved my life during the delivery. My son was tiny but perfect, beautiful and strong, and he quickly grew to be a healthy size and weight. Today he is beautiful through and through.
    How profoundly grateful I am when Scientists accept medical treatment instead of insisting that nothing but prayer is permissible. That is a misconstrued, distorted view of Mary Baker Eddy’s teaching.
    As has been said already today, Love and compassion are needed everywhere!

  18. When I was in the hospital, having just given birth to our third child, the attending nurse, who knew we were Christian Scientists, informed my husband that I was bleeding excessively. She was familiar with Christian Science because she had helped with the delivery of several CS babies. I was impressed with her calm attitude, her open and receptive thought, her expectation of good results. She calmly told my husband to call our practitioner and inform him of the situation. My husband did call, and the bleeding stopped immediately. This was a precious moment for me to witness the power of prayer to heal right in the medical environment, that God was present right there to meet the need. It also demonstrated how true Mrs. Eddy’s words are that “Doctors should be CS” – in this case, at least familiar with CS and receptive to its efficacy. Thank you Evan for bringing up this topic, and to all who so lovingly commented.

  19. I have been called to the beside of many hospitalized patients, usually in desperate discomfitures. Always the hospital staff, including the doctors, on the case have welcomed me and treated me as part of the healing team, briefing me on the case etc. Some of the more significant healings were severe heart attack, inoperable lung cancer, inoperable hemorrhaging of the brain, a very large kidney stone removed painlessly within 20 minutes. Some of these patients were practicing Christian Scientists, one was a Roman Catholic, and one was a Universalist Unitarian and one of no religion. I do not interfere with the medical treatments but work with the patient to show him/her how to benefit himself/herself through his/her own thought and actions. The goal is to destroy the fear and realize that God has the final say, not the judgement of the doctors.

  20. Thank you so much … an answered prayer to read this and all the comments. I have been struggling with fear and some guilt being a life-long Christian Scientist and having had medical treatment in recent years. I truly always felt in my thoughts and heart that God is the supreme source of my being. So grateful for Christian Science and to know I can demonstrate my perfection no matter the situation. I appreciate the love shown in all these comments.

  21. I could write pages about why I am so grateful for this post Evan. I will instead mention only one small, but unfortunate example of old attitudes in C.S. that I believe have contributed to us being depleted of members. Nearly 40 years ago I asked my wonderful CS teacher for prayerful support during the birth of my first child. He refused because it was a hospital birth.

    1. I think by now that is an attitude from the past and I’d be surprised if any practitioners would be so unloving or lacking in understanding these days. But I believe you are right. So often Christian Science is seen as a cult because “they don’t believe in doctors”. Today we need to ACTIVELY change this awful situation if we are to keep CS alive and well…however we DO need to do more healing too as that is the way Jesus and MBE spread the TRUTH. We have to do this too, as today WE are Jesus disciples, but we must never leave anyone unsupported by anything or to suffer endlessly for the sake of feeling a personal responsibility to “prove CS works” …it’s a fine line but a wide road either side…but also remember
      “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. And we are all doing our best to walk “in the Spirit ”
      (Rom. 8:1)

  22. All this prayerful consideration has been yet another step for me to get past huge guilt for taking my beloved dog to a specialist after weeks of not eating. Engaging a Christian Science practitioner and taking normal steps of food rotation attempts, I felt confident she would recover. But then I elected to have her x-rayed for possible blockage. We were shuffled to multiple specialists, with a final terminal diagnosis. Initially something to stimulate appetite caused the practitioner to withdraw. I understood but was hurt and frightened. As we moved to different meds to keep her comfortable, I will never stop being grateful for friends and relations who continued to support my prayer. When she crossed over, I was clear that all that was true and happy about her was fine, bounding right on. But there has been a huge struggle with guilt that after enjoying so many Christian Science healings with her and my other animals I made the decision to ostensibly mix Christian Science treatment and extreme levels of veterinary medicine. I will be forever grateful for every loving, helpful comment made in our periodicals, by my friends… And now this blog and attached remarks . Forgiving oneself is often harder than forgiving/loving someone else.

  23. This has been an amazing blog experience. thank you Evan for writing about this. Every comment touched a topic I have experienced. God is everywhere and is in charge. I am taking my beloved dog Benny to a vet that I trust. because he is clearly uncomfortable. It doesn’t stop me praying and talking to my dog. I refer to him as my prayer dog because when I pray daily he wants to sit on my lap. I have two others and a cat. Everyone loves to gather around in the early morning when I begin my prayer work. very sweet.

    1. Nadine. Yes! Keep praying, never fearing that you might sabotage your own prayerful work by utilizing temporary vet ‘s help. I often felt tormented by Mrs. Eddy’s comment that if we try to have two models of Spirit and matter, we “practically have none”. (SH 360:17-18) I’m quietly learning our decisions cannot weaken or undo the work that is God’s! All love to you and Benny.

  24. Thank you Evan and thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments. The love being expressed via this blog is so touching and needed! Thanks again everyone!

    I was raised in a Christian Science family, went to Sunday School, took Class Instruction in my early 20s and I too somehow bought in to the “fear doctors/hospitals” suggestion. But then in my late 20s I was playing in a tennis tournament and broke my foot. The pain was debilitating so an ambulance was called and I was taken to the emergency room. Everyone from the ambulance folks to the nurses to the doctors were very nice. My fear of hospitals/doctors pretty much evaporated at that point since I saw they weren’t evil after all. lol But I also didn’t stop praying and I’m happy to say that all they did were give me crutches, a removable boot to stabilize my foot, and a prescription for pain medicine (they never gave me any actual medicine/injection for pain or for any other reason). I called a CS practitioner when I got home and she agreed to pray for me, never being judgemental about me having gone to a hospital. Of course, I never had the pain medicine prescription filled and never had any pain after calling the practitioner. When I went back to the doctor for a follow-up visit the next day or the day after, he could tell from the prescription slip that I had not gotten the pain medicine and he just kind of gave me a nod of approval for not using it. In a few weeks I was fully healed, but it was helpful to have the crutches and boot to use while I seemed to need those aides.

    So in summary, I don’t think we need to fear or hate doctors/hospitals. But even if we end up going that route, we can also keep praying and what we realize via prayer can result in us needing (and getting) the minimum care possible to allow us to finish learning what we need to learn to realize the illusion of the erroneous picture and the fact that we are always lovingly cared for by God and in perfect harmony!

    Here’s a link to a Journal article by Barbara Johnson, CSB, that proves not all CS practitioners have the attitude that Christian Science can’t benefit someone that is also receiving some help from medical practitioners.


  25. Having been literally forced by my family of non scientists to take medicine for a very painful disease, my thoughts have been through a gauntlet of guilt feeling I am probably interfering with medical and CS treatment both, feeling I should have overcome this claim by now, thank you Evan and all the contributors for giving me some peace of mind and a renewed expectancy of healing. I had to leave one beautiful practitioner as she would not treat anyone using medicine. I do have a sweet, loving practitioner now that helps me and is patient.. love to all.

  26. Thanks everyone for your heartfelt sharing!

    I was raised in CS, left it after I got out of Sunday School. I returned to its study after years, in which I’d developed many health issues, and found myself unable to work due primarily to chronic pain. At that time I was deeply involved in medical treatment.

    Since then, I’ve made a huge amount of progress. I am functioning at a much higher level, for which I am extremely grateful. I’ve rejoined The Mother Church, taken Class Instruction, and work regularly in the Reading Room. I’ve had to deal with a lot of judgmental attitudes, both from within myself and others; that has been a challenge! Fortunately my Teacher and Association mates are all very supportive, as are many fellow churchgoers. One thing my teacher told me was, “God doesn’t see you taking medicine.” And she’s so right! God’s love and healing power is always right here with me, and everyone, no matter the circumstance.

    Even Mary Baker Eddy, whose entire time was spent in prayer and study, surrounded by people who took care of all her human needs, had to take pain medicine during part of her life. So even the Founder of CS would not meet the standard of “no medicine.”

    I look forward to the day when Christian Scientists everywhere “judge not,” and people are accepted based on their dedication to CS, rather than if they are humanly perfect.

  27. Dear Evan, thank you so much – and all contributors.
    After much prayer in Christian Science, I underwent surgery a couple of years ago because it was the most loving thing I felt I could do for my family. My surgeon was a dear man and when I came round he told me ‘I have put my heart in your hip’ …… after telling him I would take very great care of it, I told him ‘I know your fingers are in God’s hands’. We had a lovely understanding from that point on and he rejoiced in my progress. I received exemplary care at the hospital and from my family. I am so very grateful for the support I had from fellow church members too.
    The vital part, heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.

  28. Thank you dear Evan for this wonderful, comforting blog and all the contributors today.
    I too could write a book on the guilty feelings I have had for many years. Because of this,
    I haven’t called on a practitioner for years for feelings of rejection. How true that God is always
    with all of us all the time and everywhere. I removed my name at elections for all elected
    offices, even though I had previously taken all three and loved doing it, but thought myself
    a hypocrite. Mortal mind can be our worst enemy. We all love and appreciate everything
    you do daily for all of us and the whole world Evan.

  29. Many thanks, Brian, for once again giving us a link to a very insightful and inspiring article.

  30. I am a class taught student, but some years ago I experienced a physical problem so severe that it led me to choose surgery. My teacher told me she could no longer help me but would be there to greet me with open arms when I came back from the medical experience. Having no faith in medicine and no help from my teacher, I felt desolate and hopeless and turned only to God whom I understood to be pure love and began studying the writings of another school of spiritual thought which did not condemn me. I love CS and have returned to only reading Christian Science periodicals and textbook. I do the lesson daily and feel I have avery close walk with God, but I find I am very uncomfortable at church because I feel I am a hypocrite. I therefore seldom go. I am deeply grateful to you, Evan, for letting me learn all the things you have written about; and, reading all the above comments, to realze I am not alone in my sense of guilt and undeservedness.

    1. P.S. I think it is important to add that I have never felt any resentment or anything other than the deepest
      love for my teacher. She was operating according to her highest understanding and principles. I am daily blessed by the remembrance and employment of all the wonderful truths she taught me.

    2. I encourage you to go back to church if you feel you are getting something out of it. Around three members of my branch church have had some sort of medical experience, and none have been condemned. All are enjoying church. Experience is individual. You can enjoy church without feeling guilty.

  31. When I was offered morphine for my dying husband, I
    accepted. As was lovingly pointed out later,
    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  32. This has been Just Fabulous! So many people coming forward with stories of guilt and suffering and shame and feeling shunned and rejected if they took Medicine or went to Doctors! I think a very Loving Thing would be to have The Mother Church offer an Apology to All of Us who were raised under this False Teaching that the Church of Christ Science doesn’t support its members who choose to go the Medical Route. I think an acknowledgment and a blanket apology to All who have suffered under these “misbeliefs” that Practitioners, Teachers and Lecturers have perpetuated would free this Religion and Church to move forward and maybe even gain some respect in the Christian World! When I think how many have chosen to suffer and ever Die for “The Cause of Christian Science”…..well…….it makes me feel Terrible and Oh, so very Sad. I have been grieving all day today, in the middle of Teaching 1st Graders, and need to really comfort the little hurt child within me and seek healing from the misrepresentation of the very Religion that I thought was supposed to heal me!

  33. Dear Brian, I have never known any Christian Scientist that hate doctors. I’ve only felt the respect of fellow Christian Scientist for doctors, understanding, as we do, that they too want to alleviate the suffering of mankind. Mrs. Eddy counselled us to be “charitable and kind” and “never to condemn rashly.” p.444:13 I agree there may be some fear of going to a doctor or hospital because it’s so foreign to someone who has always relies on prayer for healing (fear of the unknown). But, I was certainly never taught to hate or fear doctors or hospitals. Mrs. Eddy’s theme that runs throughout her writings is love, love, love. And the Bible tells us that “perfect love casts out fear.” That is the teaching of Christian Science that I was brought up to know.

    Also, I am surprised that so many have felt judged or condemned or rejected after using medical means for healing. I have never been witness to any thing of the sort but have always seen love, support and acceptance by other Christian Scientist. I am so sorry to hear of these instances and wish I could hug you all and reassure you that that is not Christian Science.

    Mrs. Eddy does say that prayerful treatment would work against medical treatment so it would be unloving to try to employ both. In essence the prayer that matter is inert, mindless and powerless would render a drug useless, annul the supposed effectiveness of the drug. This surely would not be helpful if you were under medical care. My understanding is that the prayers of a practitioner or anyone in support of a patient would surely be beneficial, but not Christian Science treatment. (There may be exceptions like if someone was taken to a hospital against their wishes and did not wish to rely on medical treatment or just needed a bone set.)

    I have found practitioners to be only loving, supportive and kind and I don’t know what I would do without them. I think that is the rule not the exception!

    Love to all. (=

  34. Thanks for your post, Evan and the cintinuing comments. A practitioner once explained that having specific CS treatment & medical treatment would render each one less effective. It would be like having two doctors treating the same condition with totally different methods that worked against each other. The practionerer would lovingly support the patient though. This always made sense to me and I appreciated this when my mom decided to seek medical help. I also was very grateful for the prayers the nurses shared with me during the hospitalization. Love was certainly being expressed by all.

  35. Dear,DEAR Evan et al: What a fabulous article/thought Evan gave us—what a huge release from guilt, such kind understanding of a pot pourri of needs from many different situations, written with great love and tenderness AND understanding of our different “dilemmas.” After undergoing knee/hip replacement at an advanced earth count of age I am released from feeling guilt, not able to bring about my own healing and more determined than ever to now advance my study of C.S. and be able to prove its’ healing power. Much gratitude for all the thoughts above. As I write my appreciation note for all above, my full cup of God’s love for all runneth over.

  36. You provided a great service today with this post Evan! Clearly from the responses one can feel the relief you provided for so many who have been disappointed in themselves and their demonstrations.

  37. Ok all…so here is an important question….one day we will all pass on….leave this awareness of life or however you think of it. And we will all experience that beautiful light of divine Love enfolding us…and does ANYONE REALLY THINK…we will suddenly hear a demanding stern “voice” saying , “I SAW YOU TAKING MEDICINE !” or ” YOU WENT TO HOSPITAL and you should have known better..you FAILED!”

    HA HA NO!!! Of course not!!! Doing the best we can at all times , (which I am sure we all do) to stay in this part of our life so we can do more good works, give love, help and happiness to others..HONESTLY ask yourself, would GOD punish us for this? Who is punishing who? We are! We are accepting guilt for not being able to walk on water! Once and for all, this inner condemnation has to stop. My brother once said, “I’d rather die than go to the hospital”. So he went to hospital too late and our family and our church, who he was an enormous support to, lost a truly wonderful beautiful person and I lost my best friend …so needed. DO your best and hey, if it’s not happening, then don’t be a martyr for “the Cause” because as someone above wrote, this simply makes CS ridiculed. Jesus said “Watch and pray” and did he ever refuse to help someone because he knew they’d been taking lots of herbal remedies. “God is of purer eyes than to see evil” WE are not evil, hopitals and their staff are not bad or ignorant “Godless” people…we are ALL doing the best we can and no guilt can contaminate or neutralise pure motives or the wish to know and express God better.

  38. Right On, Sista!! It’s time for the Christian Science Church and its adherents to open up and be more forthright and honest. Cuz if we don’t…. we are going to lose the Church and it’s Teaching…..which we have already started to experience. We need to let go of the idea of preserving the Church, whether the Mother Church or Branch Churches, and move out into the World with our Love and Prayers for All! We need to get off of our High Horses, thinking we have the “Only Way” of True Healing because we don’t go to Doctors, and start sharing from the Heart with our Neighbor Christian Churches and All Religions! Time for some Big Changes in the Mother Church, Branch Churches and the C.S. Community World Wide. I think Africa has started to open up the way….and am so grateful we have elected an African American Woman as First Reader in the Mother Church! Praise God!

    1. Gentle correction. The new First Reader of the Mother Church is Mojisola Solanke George, CSB from NIGERIA, not the United States.

  39. Thank you everyone for sharing. I can see see this topic hit a sensitive nerve for many, and deserves a lot more attention. I will be thinking on that for future posts. I pray though, that everyone moves forward with the right spirit.

    Judge not, don’t second guess other people’s motives, and strive to be a living bright example is always a wise and helpful healing course to take. We don’t need to ever knock down our fellowman to build up a right idea. Stay focused on the right idea and demonstrate it. That blesses everyone! And by your dozens of loving thoughtful comments on a deep important subject, I can see that is happening. Love to you all.

    1. Dear Evan et al
      I had suffered with shoulder and arm pain for about a year. I did not suffer from the guilt that many do about medical help, I was not raised in CS. I sincerely expected healing through CS, as many times previously.
      Now to the story, listening to one of Evan’s fine lectures he said don’t be a martyr for your religion. Well, that really gave me something to think about!
      I did decided to have surgery. An interesting note, I needed to have a Dr.’s physical since I had not had one for 50 years (birth of my 2nd child.) The physician said “ You’re how old, (she knew!)and you take no meds, and are in good health.” (80th decade) I said I am a Christian Scientist! No comment from her!
      I am so grateful to Evan and for all the comments of others.
      I might add I am finishing up a 3 year term as 1st Reader in my church and have had only the most loving support from its members.
      I truly love Christian Science and do all that I can to support it.

  40. Wow, what a resonance to this topic. Thanks Evan for posting us this explosive theme. It is indeed important for Christian Scientists! Only now I came to read it all. I just can add to this, that decades ago I was in hospitel for about 3 week’s, and as I had my 2 books , Bible and SH with me in hospital, I was lucky that I could read the weekly lesson each morning. Thank God for CS! And am very grateful for Evan’s inspiring and blessing blog.

    Thank you all for your lively and interesting , yes and inspired comments!

  41. I had never been in a hospital as I had my then two children with a CS nurse and a doctor who kept his practice for delivering babies. With my first child, he came into my room the next morning and patted my knee and said, “We proved something for the world last night.” My nurse then told me that had I been in a regular hospital they wouldn’t have let me have the baby normally. A few short years later I came out of shock in a hospital where a doctor was telling me about my husband’s condition. I turned to my mom who was with me, and said, “What’s he talking about?” The doctor was quickly removed from my room. My mom explained that my husband, two children, and I had been in a car accident and my husband, son, and I were in the hospital. (My toddler daughter was placed with people in the town.) When I was told my husband was in a coma, the first words that popped into my head were, “rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science….” My head was a little messed up seemingly, and I didn’t know where that came from at the time (from the definition of CHURCH), but I held to that. When my mom had arrived she explained that we were students of Christian Science, and she asked if she could quiet me down instead of using drugs on me. The doctor said, “My roommate in college was a Christian Scientist, and I saw many good things happen. Yes, you go ahead.” They never had to use sedatives on me again. When this doctor would see me reading my books, he’d say, “Keep on—it’s working.” When we were transferred to a larger hospital six weeks later, the two doctors on our case told my mom and me that my husband wasn’t alive because of what they’d done, that he’d been through things that would kill an ordinary person and he survived. They were very loving to us. At the next hospital we saw many healings take place with my husband. The neurosurgeon on the case was the one who had visited us in the other hospital. He was actually trying to help my husband be ready to go a Christian Science facility. We left that hospital after 8 weeks and were flown to CA where we lived. Again my husband was put in the hospital, and once again, healings took place that they thought were miraculous (an eye restored, lungs restored to perfection), but my husband passed on after six months. It was a very growing time for me, but I learned a lot, especially that the motive of these doctors and nurses was to help people. I have so much I could write, but it would be too long. My eyes were opened so that I lost any fear I had about the medical profession. They are looking at things upside down—looking for what’s wrong instead of seeing the real man and his perfection. They are doing it out of love, though. Thanks, Evan, for bringing up this topic. (Oh—my dad was the practitioner on our case.)

  42. Dear Rhonda, I’ve never known a Christian Scientist that hates doctors either. If my previous comment left you with that impression, that was not my intention. I was actually trying to convey that with all my history of being raised in a CS family, going to Sunday School, etc., I should have not been fooled by the suggestion that doctors/hospitals were “evil”, but I still somehow bought into that suggestion anyway. But that was “my fault” and not something I was taught.

    Occasionally I’ll see comments referring to people who rely on C.S. and pass away as “martyrs”. But never do I see the same comments about people who rely on medical systems and pass away being referred to as martyrs. I have a family member who was raised in C.S. but then left C.S. to rely on medical systems. She carefully followed all of the latest health rules like eating healthy foods, exercising, going to doctors for checkups, etc. She ended up dying in a hospital after getting the best medical care possible at the relatively young age of 61. Nobody called her a martyr for sticking with medical systems to cure her. Nobody said “If only she had not stuck so long with medicine and instead returned to Christian Science, maybe she would have been saved.” Yet if someone who relies on C.S. passes away, the first thing someone will say is “They should have left CS and gone to a doctor!”

    P.S. I’m not judging my family member for doing what she did nor anyone else for choosing what they feel is the best care for them. My wife does not practice CS and I never try to dissuade her from doing what she feels is right for her. I firmly believe we should all be allowed to make our own choices. I’m just trying to point out the double standard that exists and to point out that doctors and hospitals are not always miracle workers. People pass on or do not receive healings using medical systems all of the time. So I just think we should all be alert to that belief and I’ve found praying to know CS heals and IS effective is a key element to experiencing CS healings. It all comes down to the “why” CS heals, and that’s the realization that God is all powerful and holds His/Her creation in perfect harmony. So I believe that any belief that contradicts that truth about God is something I need to correct in my thinking if I truly want to love God with all my heart. Again, I realize others have different views and I respect that. But I just wanted to share what I’ve found helpful in my experience in case it is also helpful to someone else.

    Thanks again to Evan for this blog and to everyone for your thought provoking and love inspired comments!

    1. Dear brother Brian, I have always enjoyed your posts. I just wanted to be sure anyone reading the comments and not too familiar with Christian Science knew that Mrs. Eddy taught “Great respect is due the motives and philanthropy of the higher class of physicians.” and not to hate them or fear them. I didn’t think that’s what you meant. I also love what she also wrote in Science and Health that speaks to so many that commented here. She advised students of Christian Science “to be charitable and kind, not only towards differing forms of religion and medicine, but to those who hold these differing opinions.” And to “be careful always to “judge righteous judgment,” and never to condemn rashly.” I’m so glad that Evan’s blog helped so many to not feel guilty or judged.

      Thanks so much for your response. Enjoyed your thoughts as usual.

      With sisterly love, Rhonda

  43. To Bev’s question: when I was in Divinity School (Episcopal) we were taught one person’s cult is another’s religion. Meaning, you only have to worry about cults if you work in law enforcement. “Cult” is one of those words that has been misapplied and used as an insult. Having said that, health outcomes matter in CS. If a group doesn’t believe in microwaves, they can just eat cold food. If they say they believe in microwaves but have something better, the proof is in the pudding. “Proof” is actually a bit of a misnomer. Researchers don’t subject theories to proof, but to robust attempts at falsification.

  44. Thank you Evan, and all! I’m almost 70 and have never used medicine and until recently only been to a doctor a few times. But recently some “world beliefs” have raised their ugly heads leaving me in the hospital twice over the space of five months and not having, apparently, healed myself of the false beliefs soon enough, to be kind to my wife, I have agreed to further medical evaluation. During this process my wonderful practitioner has stayed with me the whole time (so far no medicines, but that may change in the future – as my wife is expecting me to take that route). So this post has been very helpful indeed. I will say I have never felt guilt about the thought of going the medical route or the couple of times in the last 15 years I have, at the request of my wife, gone the medical route. But I have been, especially in the last few months, been trying to see how CS could still work for me or how I could still use it if I end up taking medicine. Or how, if I do end up taking medicine, how I could get back off it (I’m going with the answer that God will show me the way!!)? So yes, Evan, please do continue this topic. Again, thank you, and all, so much.

    1. Thank you Larry for sharing. Your pure motives will open the way. I’m sure your post will be helpful to many. (=

  45. Thanks to all the additional posters! Daphne, your post touched my heart. Lovely example! And Larry, and anyone else contemplating “mixing” or feeling bad about having done so – a practitioner gave me great advice: no ruminating, no speculating! Keep it in the now. God is right here all the time, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing – and doesn’t see matter at all. We can always lean on God! And it will always, without exception, help.

  46. I’m sorry I didn’t think to mention this earlier, but when I wanted to rejoin The Mother Church, I told them I was still taking some medicine, and wanted to be sure they knew that in case it disqualified me from membership. I received a lovely reply! Wish I’d kept it, but the gist was, we don’t dictate how our members treat health issues. We only ask that they are dedicated to the study snd practice of Christian Science. Wow! Awesome!

    We wouldn’t be Christian Scientists if we didn’t firmly believe in full healing through understanding God’s laws!

    I traced the shift back to Mary Baker Eddy’s membership application stated in the Manual, without extra conditions, to around the mid-80s, when there was a big backlash over child deaths. It was especially important to treat that anti-doctor peer pressure A.M. at that time. Unfortunately it persists.

    1. To specify, the Dec. 7, 1987 Sentinel has the first recent Notice from the Board on applying for TMC membership that returns to Mary
      Baker Eddy’s membership applications, which doesn’t require abstaining from medicine as a requirement.

  47. I’ve recently started to take a second look at the Christian Science in which I was raised. I was just in the emergency room for a pain which turned out to be diverticulitis. What helped me was to know that God did not create the illness or pain–those were lies. Also, as I looked around at the tubes and monitors and beeping things, I realized that these all pointed to the same truth–disease is temporal and insubstantial and can be destroyed. The compassion of my nurses and skill of my doctor pointed to the healing truth of God. I looked at everything in the hospital and said, quoting Mrs. Eddy about nature, “I love you for your promise!” Someday, I will be able to see the spiritual reality behind these material signs, but at that moment, I was grateful that God gave me a path to His healing truth at a level I could understand.

    1. Ashpenaz,
      I so appreciate you sharing the insight you gained when looking at the medical equipment in the hospital. What an enlightening idea that it provided proof to you that disease does not have “a law in back of it” …as said in the article “God’s Law of Adjustment” by Adam H. Dickey….and therefore is not a reality. I will remember this for years to come. Thank you for this paradigm shift!!
      Many thanks again. ☺️

  48. This conversation is such a blessing! Now I can stop feeling conflicted over the use of some medications for “heart insufficiency”, and wholeheartedly work to grow in grace and experience the sufficiency of God’s presence, correcting whatever needs to be corrected without my trying to define any of that. Thanks to Evan and everyone who has shared comments.

  49. Evan, I look forward to each Spiritview and printcopies occasionally
    but this one on taking Science into the hospital can only print page one
    Evan though I specify all pages on both sides.
    Any ideas to do this for this message.?

  50. I am in tears reading this blog and all the wonderful comments. Evan, and all of you, have helped dissuade my guilt and feelings of hypocrisy. You have no idea how this has helped me. I will read and reread this multiple times. And I still continue to read the Lesson, all the publications, and everything I can put my hands on to have a healing. Thank you so much

  51. Thank you, Evan, for a much need post. I agree with you: I understand “doctors” to be medical doctors.

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