by Marian Cates
During my lifetime, it has generally been believed within the Christian Science community http://www.squidoo.com/acne-on-forehead - acne en la espalda - that Christian Scientists are not supposed to take medicine or consult physicians. Going to doctors and taking medicine are considered by many, and perhaps most, Christian Scientists as straying from their faith.
What is the basis for this view? It certainly isn't the textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health With Key To The Scriptures . This book was written by the founder of the religion, Mary Baker Eddy, who lived from 1821 to 1910.
Despite widespread belief that Eddy's book prohibits the use of medication, nowhere in Science and Health does she state that followers of Christian Science are not to use medicine or go to doctors.
In the application http://www.squidoo.com/acne-on-forehead - acne at 30 - for membership to the church that she established in Boston, MA, called The First Church of Christ, Scientist (also referred to as http://www.squidoo.com/acne-on-forehead - acne free diet - The Mother Church), there is no stipulation that those wanting to join this Church must not use medicine or go to doctors. In fact, the applicants are asked nothing about their healthcare methods.
Why then is it so widely believed, and perhaps by none so strongly as those who call themselves Christian Scientists, that members of the religion should not take medicine or consult doctors?
What Does "Science And Health" Say On The Subject?
The book Science and Health is acknowledged by the leaders and members of the Christian Science Church to be the complete explanation of Christian Science. Its author spent many years writing and revising this book, in which she lays out all the principles of Christian Science.
Nowhere in Science And Health does Eddy state that Christian Scientists should not use medicine or consult physicians. In fact, in one passage, she says "If patients fail to experience the healing power of Christian Science, and think they can be benefited by certain ordinary physical methods of medical treatment, then the Mind physician [by which she means spiritual healer] should give up such cases, and leave invalids free to resort to whatever other systems they fancy will afford relief." (Science and Health, page 443)
That is a far cry from saying that, even if the ill fail to be healed through prayer, they should not consult a doctor or use medicine. If Eddy had meant to say, "Don't use medicine and don't consult with doctors," she could have, and certainly would have, written it plainly in Science and Health, a book that she made her life's work.