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Following the example set by the question and answer columns in the early Journals, when Mary Baker Eddy was Editor, this column will respond to general queries from Journal readers—such as the one above—with responses from Journal readers. It will not cover questions about how to interpret statements in Mrs. Eddy's writings. There's more information at the end of the column about how to submit questions.


From the November 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In Christian Science we are often instructed to yield to God's direction and be "obedient" to His will. Does this mean we are predestined to follow a certain path and that free will is an illusion?

A1 Predestination has usually been taken to mean that people were fated by God to be saved or damned, or that they were predetermined by circumstances to follow a certain human path. Both of these views are totally foreign to Christian Science. In fact, it was the old theological doctrine of predestination that the discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, rebelled against so outspokenly when she was an adolescent, telling her minister she didn't have any intention of being saved if others were not!

The concern that obedience to God's will, instead of our own, might somehow limit individual freedom tends to fade out in actual spiritual experience. Yielding to God's will is really the one reliable path to freedom. Otherwise, the human sense of life with its complex scenarios of heredity, family, personal issues, lack of time, narrow limits of a job, and chance would curtail freedom at every turn.