Q: The Church Manual states: “Christian Scientists who are teachers shall carefully select for pupils such only as have good past records and promising proclivities toward Christian Science” (p. 83). From your perspective, what does it mean to have a good past record, and to have “promising proclivities” toward Christian Science?
A: This By-Law is really all about a prospective pupil’s Christian curriculum vitae (résumé). During the interview and application process for class, I think it’s important for the teacher to discern whether the pupil has these most important qualifications for instruction in Christian Science: a desire to live a full Christian life, to have a thought and life that tends Godward, and the motive to learn more about God in order to help and heal others.
While having a “good past record” might suggest that an applicant has to have lived a spotless life, with no mistakes or lapses, this is surely not the case! The prodigal son didn’t exactly live a pure life, yet there came a point where “he came to himself” and had an overwhelming desire to return to his father’s house (see Luke 15:11–24).
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