The question I had going to the National Workshop on Christian Unity in Charlotte last week was ‘why isn’t a love of Jesus enough to bind this group?’ When I asked people what they loved about Jesus, most often they were startled. But I think there’s a promise of us being so alive with Christliness that it binds us with Christians beyond our borders.
This blog is about Christian Science in Christian dialogue and community.
The technical term is ‘ecumenical dialogue.’ The Mother Church as well as local communities are in various stages of formal dialogue with Christian councils and organizations around the world. This blog is an open, transparent discussion about these relationships.We encourage you to enter the conversation by contributing your own comments after the blog postings. The Ecumenical Team of bloggers include Shirley Paulson (Committee for Ecumenical Affairs), Janet Horton, Madelon Maupin, Brian Talcott, and Maryl Walters.
Fifteen enthusiastic Christian Scientists from around the U.S., who have spent years helping those in prison, just participated in the Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Another 1,000 Christian advocates (joined them) and were fired up for justice in the light of the difficult issues and injustices in domestic U.S. and international criminal and immigrant detention systems at the 13th Annual National Gathering of Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) for Global Peace with Justice.
This past week I enjoyed meeting with three Protestant pastors who are part of a Ministerial Alliance in a farming community in the Midwest. A Christian Scientist is part of this Alliance and invited me to join this group at one of their monthly meetings.
In a recent conversation about baptism with some Christian minister friends, they were rather stunned to find out I had not been formally baptized in a water immersion ceremony. But I realized once again that the only reason they were even listening was because we had built a mutual relationship of respect.
At the heart of the Christian message for the world is the cry, ‘He is risen!’ Centuries before there were church doctrines and Easter traditions, Christianity was a ‘resurrection’ movement. Far greater than the nuances of interpretations that came later for the Christian church, this is the part that draws Christians together.
The annual Christian Unity Gathering of the National Council of Churches (USA) welcomes anyone interested in ecumenical ministry to listen and participate. This year, the meeting is May 7-8, at the Hilton Washington Dulles.
I stood in front of a table displaying several books on Jesus as a historical figure that I had never seen before. These really interested me, although as a Christian Scientist I wondered whether it was really ok to be interested in and read these books, since they didn’t come from any Christian Science source.
Christian Scientists are taught to love and obey the teachings of our Master, Christ Jesus. We generally think we do – until we run into some of the difficult teachings. When he prayed that all his followers in the future would all be one, how is that possible or practical?
Some of the deepest debates in Christian history have arisen from the concern that Gnosticism claimed the spiritual perfection of creation and excluded the sacrificial role of Jesus as the Savior. Indeed, why would the world need Jesus, if we were already living the perfection of the kingdom of God? Why do Christian Scientists claim such an important relationship to Jesus, our Savior?
It was humbling to be rubbing shoulders with so many Christians who are thinking so deeply about the essence of “primitive Christianity,” who are willing to exchange old doctrines for new, and who authentically live their lives modeling non-violence.