Traditions worth keeping

I turned on the radio Wednesday morning, and the first thing I heard was, “And from a listener in Boston: ‘The one tradition that I would hand down from generation to generation is Christian Science. The beliefs and knowledge collected from people’s healings offer insight to how God heals. This is slowly going away and needs some rejuvenation to keep it alive in modern society.'”

I know — pretty amazing!

My radio was tuned to a program called “The Takeaway,” a national morning news program produced in partnership with The New York Times, the BBC World Service, WNYC, Public Radio International, and WGBH Boston. All week they have been running a series called, “The End,” exploring the public’s “fascination with endings.” On Wednesday, the focus was on “the stunning evidence of how Western civilization is changing….” as they say on their web site, “Vital, ancient wisdom can be lost.”

The questions posed to listeners: “What traditions or wisdom do you think is worth saving? And what do you do to preserve them?”

A few years ago at a neighborhood gathering, I was chatting with a woman I hadn’t previously met. When asked, I told her I am a Christian Science practitioner and followed that with something like, “Are you at all familiar with Christian Science?” She replied, “Oh, yes, I’ve seen that beautiful church in Boston — isn’t it called The Mother Church? But I thought Christian Science was dead.”

Time to resurrect this thought! Christian Science is alive and well — throughout New York and around the globe. And, as mentioned on “The Takeaway,” it survives on the basis of present-day healing. I guess it goes without saying that I agree with that listener — Christian Science deserves to be passed along to future generations.

So how do we spread the word and make sure that what’s said is accurate? Well, this blog and others like it are attempts to do  that. Currently, our counterparts in Massachusetts, Northern California, Oklahoma, Texas, Canada, and the U.K. are making similar efforts. These blogs are springing from a love for Christian Science and a desire to ensure our neighbors have access to its healing message. They demonstrate our willingness to join the public conversation, contribute a healing thought if possible, and clarify along the way what Christian Science is and what it isn’t.

Speaking of what it isn’t — perhaps this is a good time to state unequivocally: Christian Science is not Scientology. They are not the same or related in any way. Other than a slight similarity in name, the two have nothing in common.

Christian Science is a Christian faith, based on the Bible and an understanding of the Science behind Jesus’ teaching and healing. It is a Protestant denomination, founded in the late 1800s by an American woman, Mary Baker Eddy.

For over 125 years, Christian Scientists have recorded thousands of examples of healing in their own lives, achieved by applying this Science. These healings continue today and are reported in weekly and monthly magazines (Christian Science Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal), online at http://www.spirituality.com, on Sentinel radio, and in weekly testimony meetings held at Christian Science churches every Wednesday throughout the world.

So, yes, Christian Science is very much a vital, active religion. For many, it’s a way of life. And because it is practical and applicable to solving problems facing people today, it is a tradition and wisdom worth saving.

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3 Responses to Traditions worth keeping

  1. Catherine Byers says:

    I think we should say in the “Protestant tradition” not that it is a “Protestant denomination” because it isn’t just another Christian religion splitting hairs over orthodoxy, etc. We may be standing shoulder to shoulder with Martin Luther in some respects, but we aren’t protesting against Catholicism, per se, we are simply witnessing or proclaiming a very different way of living, worshipping, seeing, being. I’ve known old time workers to be very specific about not being a “Protestant” religion. Soldiers used to be urged to check “other” if Christian Science wasn’t listed as a religious choice.

  2. Joy Flynn says:

    Dear Pamela,
    The president of our board in Southampton sent information about your blog to all the members. What a treat! I’m delighted to read your thoughts about Christian Science in the context of other current events. Your writing is a pleasure to read! Thank you for keeping us all informed–Scientists and non-Scientists alike.
    Joy Flynn

    • Pamela Cook says:

      Thank you so much for your support of this work. Knowing you and others are reading and subscribing to the blog means we as Christian Scientists are standing shoulder-to-shoulder, facing outward, to embrace our neighbors and the whole world.

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