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Spiritual and historical perspective

From the March 1989 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Gaining an accurate perspective on events is not easy when we're in the middle of them. We understand adolescence better when we're no longer teen-agers. We understand what marriage means after several years of marriage. Theories on child care come easy; the actual experience of raising children is quite different.

We're still learning of the impact of the Second World War on today's world. A visit to the memorial for Vietnam veterans in Washington, D.C., taught me many lessons even years after that conflict. We all have similar experiences where we gain perspective only when we can begin to see what is happening from a larger point of view.

The same is true of Christian Science. And while we might think of it as having been around a long time, a century is a short time in the life of religions. If we look at early Christianity after about a century, it was still a fringe movement under severe persecution. The early written records of the Gospels were new. Many years would pass before Christianity could be seen as a permanent, prevailing movement in the world. The Roman pantheon of gods and goddesses firmly represented state power and authority.

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