Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to header Skip to footer


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. You'll find information at the end of the column about how to submit questions.


From the October 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "If here we give no heed to Christian Science, which is spiritual and eternal, we shall not be ready for spiritual Life hereafter" (p. 410). That seems to give millions of people who are little familiar or even totally unaware of Christian Science dim prospects for finding harmony in the "hereafter." Does that mean that God essentially punishes people for their ignorance of Christian Science?— A READER IN NEEDHAM, MASSACHUSETTS

A1 Mary Baker Eddy's statement reminds me of Jesus' parable, where he compares the plight of a "rich man" with a poor man "named Lazarus" (see Luke 16:19—31). In the parable, the rich man evidently paid no heed to spiritual concerns or the things that would be of lasting (eternal) value to him. By contrast, the poor man was extremely uncomfortable in his life circumstances. He was starving, ill, and alone, and he clearly felt no ties to the flesh.

When they both transitioned out of their earthly existence to the "hereafter," their experiences were reversed. The rich man could carry with him none of the things he had valued, and he was suffering in the flames of agony. Lazarus, who was searching for peace, was lifted by the angels and comforted by being with Abraham (perhaps a symbol for a spiritual home). Both appeared to be living the consequences of what they had been thinking while on earth. That is, the rich man's satisfaction with earthly comforts included no interest in spiritual existence. Lazarus' discomfort with the flesh impelled him to look higher, beyond material life.

Sign up for unlimited access

You've accessed 1 piece of free Journal content


Subscription aid available

 Try free

No card required

More In This Issue / October 2009


Explore Concord—see where it takes you.

Search the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures