Q: I am not a church member but I have attended Christian Science services regularly for over 40 years. When the Reader invites the congregation to unite in silent prayer, I have never heard him or her explain that prayers in Christian Science churches are offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively, as is stated in a By-Law in the Manual of The Mother Church (see page 42 ).
Q: As students of Christian Science we are to abide by the Church Manual by Mary Baker Eddy. An application for membership in The Mother Church is included in the Manual.
Q: I have often wondered at Mary Baker Eddy’s statement “… matter is temporal and is therefore a mortal phenomenon, a human concept, sometimes beautiful, always erroneous” ( Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 277 ).
Q: We know that prior to 1866, Mary Baker Eddy spent 20 years “trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause” ( Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24).
Q: We learn in Christian Science not to specifically pray for someone unless they have asked for it, while we also learn how we can change our thought about a person who has not asked for prayer, without actually giving them a treatment. What is the right thing to do when we read online posts from friends that describe an unfortunate situation and ask for prayer? Does Christian Science treatment for the person or their family cross the line of what is ethical in response to such a plea for prayer? —A reader in Godfrey, Illinois, US A: For me, this question is critical to my practice of Christian Science, since I also volunteer as a nondenominational chaplain in hospitals and for hospice organizations, and am active in a number of online spirituality and healing forums, where the lines between prayer and treatment are not always clearly drawn.
Q: In Science and Health Mary Baker Eddy writes, “If Mind is foremost and superior, let us rely upon Mind, which needs no cooperation from lower powers, even if these so-called powers are real” ( p. 144 ).
Q: I’ve heard fellow parents say that once their children reach a certain age, they need to make Christian Science their “own. ” On a basic level I understand that, but I’m wondering if you could shed some more light on this.
Q: Is Christian Science supposed to be completely different from other churches and beliefs? It seems to me that Pentecostal churches are on fire for God, Baptists are involved in the literal meaning of the Bible, and Christian Science is more intellectual. —A participant at the Portland, Oregon, Youth Spiritual Activist Summit A: There are certainly a variety of ways in which Christian denominations differ in their worship of God.
Q: Is it compulsory to read the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson every day? I ask because sometimes I feel like picking up a Christian Science Journal or Sentinel instead. Although part of me feels it is an individual choice, another part feels it is a duty to read it daily.
Q: Suppose all the Christian Scientists on earth prayed for world peace on the same day, and also to see the dictators and despots in their true nature, as God sees them. Could world peace be manifested? —A reader in Illinois, US A: A war between Russia and Japan had been waged for over a year when, in June 1905, Mary Baker Eddy asked every member of her Church to pray daily for the war’s amicable settlement.