Week 84: "How can we overcome being afraid to share Christian Science?"

Question: "I really wish we could reach the ‘millions of unprejudiced minds’ that Mrs. Eddy talks about in Science and Health (see p. 570). I think that fear is the root of the problemmany Christian Scientists are afraid to share. How can we handle this fear?"

Response 1: Stormy Falso

First of all, let's recognize this fear for what it is–an imposition that there could be resistance to Christ. The antidote is to love, listen, and obey, knowing that both the person who is sharing, and the person who is listening to what is being shared, have been drawn together by divine Mind, so it must bless both.

Years ago, I felt I needed to be more open in sharing Christian Science. I found the first thing I needed to do was get rid of the prejudice in my own thinking about who would like to hear about Christian Science or who was ready to benefit from it and what reactions I expected. A line in the poem, “Christ My Refuge” by Mary Baker Eddy, became my prayer: “Father, where Thine own children are, I love to be” (see Hymn No. 253). I focused on this idea wherever my travels took me that day.
 

Then it started happening–somehow the words “Christian Science” would come up and there would be a great conversation. During the conversation, I saw it as Mind bringing need and supply together. I became more expectant and alert to sharing opportunities. It opened many occasions to share Science and Health, too.  

After a sharing encounter, I enjoy a moment of gratitude for the opportunity to share and pray to know that the sweet refreshment given is a good seed that is bearing fruit.

Sharing  is not always easy, but don’t take it personally; you can cherish that a seed has been planted.

One time I was working on a table at a college activities fair with another Christian Scientist in support of a CSO (Christian Science Organization). We had prayed diligently about this event. Students were gathered around the table and snapping up Science and Health. A minister from another religious group approached our table and began telling the students that they didn’t want Science and Health and making unkind and untrue statements about Christian Science. He was very agitated when I began to speak to him. I asked if he had read Science and Health. He replied, “No,” and we stepped off to the side and continued to talk.  While he was talking, I was listening for Love’s sweet instructions. I finally asked if he was familiar with the Tenets of Christian Science found in Science and Health and the Manual. He said, “No,”  and so I told him that if he could find something to disagree with in the Tenets, he could invite all of the students at the table over to his display. He thought he had me and agreed to the challenge. Together we read the Tenets and he admitted there was nothing to disagree with. He left with his own copy of Science and Health.

I saw him at subsequent events and each time he greeted me warmly. The last time I saw him, his family was with him and he brought them over to meet me. Our visit ended with hugs.

In Science and Health, there is a marginal note next to the phrase “millions of unprejudiced minds,” which says, “receptive hearts” (see p. 570). This phrase led me to ask: Is my heart receptive to seeking Christ, and am I willing to offer the cup of true and deep refreshment? We are only asked to give “a cup of cold water,” (see p. 436) keeping in mind that the recipient will receive what they need. Whether it is a sip of simple truth or a full draught that empties the cup, nothing can drown out or obscure Love’s message to God’s idea, man. Christ relieves the burdens of opinion, prejudice, and negativity in both the speaker and the listener. Love always accomplishes its purpose.

Response 2: Tim Mitchinson

Great question!  It is very timely that this question has come up today, because I have just finished making a few calls to legislators about Christian Science. I know the fear that can present itself when sharing this wonderful truth with others. None of us wants to be “tongue tied!”

I often think of Moses. He was led by God to take the lead in bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt – not an easy task! He had to go into the highest ranks of authority and speak about a God they did not understand–and frankly, did not want to.  

One day, while praying, he had the most wonderful conversation with God. It included this dialogue:  “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, not since thou hast spoken unto thy servant:  but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.  And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say” (Ex. 4:10-12).

How often I have found such comfort in those last words. They can sure untie tongues! When we know that God is with us, helping us convey our love for Christian Science, the words can flow easily. It is important to remember that God is the great I Am–the divine Mind of all–including the questioner and the answerer.  

There is also another element to our prayer that I have found important in defeating the fear of speaking to others about Christian Science – self-abnegation. Mrs. Eddy wrote, “Self-abnegation, by which we lay down all for Truth, or Christ, in our warfare against error, is a rule in Christian Science” (Science and Health, p. 568).  Humility is so important. The Bible states, “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth” (Num. 12: 3).

Self-abnegation means that we silence any fear we may be feeling, by recognizing God’s control over each and every one of us. God is closer to us than any fear. His love for us gives us the ability to recognize that fact and the confidence to speak up.  We all have a choice to either cower to fear or to be humble enough to speak with God’s authority. Each word of truth we speak does have divine power to make itself understood to the receiver.         

So get out there! Christian Science is the truth that sets men free. You are an emancipator with everyone you meet. Just as Moses found out, God is with your mouth, too, and teaches you what to say!

  1. Oh, Thank you for these two inspired and practical answers to the question. I have been pondering this very question often and deeply, including specifically this past Wed. evening. The service was profoundly inspiring, yet friendly, warm. But the congregation present was small. We are grateful for new members recently, but the blessings this church has for those in the community are so precious, and I could feel my thoughts going to, "But how can I communicate this to others in our busy, multi-cultural, international neigborhood.?" Instantly frustration and regret at my sense of hesitation filled my thought. I first felt the need to let the "I" go to the Father. Personal sense is obviously a roadblock. And today I find these two totally appropriate, beautifully sensitive and loving contributions! Thank you all so much. This is a significant and urgent question and the answers are right to the point.

  2. Thank you, Tim and Stormy. Great inspirational responses! Very helpful and encouraging. Let us all take heart and share the Truth without fear or hesitation.
    Wendy

  3. This is so helpful and inspiring.The "being ready" part comes from God. Enables us to dare to share.
    Grateful.

  4. Thanks for the above inspiring thoughts that clearly arise from experience. I'd like to add some points from mine.
    (i) prepare some ideas and roughly organise them ready for future opportunities. What are the key points that can represent Christian Science and the life of a Christian Scientist in just a few words? Start by looking at what our Leader says of the objective of the Church in the Manual. "To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." Put that into the appropriate language and in your own words.
    (ii) gain as much practice as possible, perhaps by meeting regularly with people of other faiths - quite easy to do nowadays, when 'interfaith' activities are gaining acceptance. Don't push too hard, but don't hold back either. Don’t claim too much, but don’t underrate. They may well be more receptive than you predict. When you meet them next time (important aspect) you may find they grasped something and are ready for more.
    (iii) think about who it is you are talking to, what 'language' they may understand, and what aspect of Christian Science they will relate to - more likely that Christian Science includes the spiritual healing of sickness and fear than details of the times of the church services [the latter are merely features rather than valuable benefits].
    (iv) always try and give your own experiences of how Christian Science has and is benefitting you. Listen for what they are searching for.

  5. Thanks so much for your thoughts. Someone recently shared this quote with me, and I have found it most helpful: "Lighthouses don't go rushing all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining." I'm not sure of the source, but to me it speaks to the matter of responsibility. If we're letting our light shine, God will direct us and the receptive individual to a meeting where the truth can be shared, but we shouldn't take on the burden of having to decide how and when to share. I love the idea of just listening. After all, He's the only source of the light!

  6. Whenever I have lovingly spoken a statement of truth to a friend in need or in pain, it has been met with such delight and gratitude. Maybe it helps to hear my personal experience. I hope so!

  7. Stormy, your story about the minister's appreciation for Christian Science after you showed him its Tenets is inspiring.

    And Tim, how good of you to remind us of how Moses listened to God and learned how to untie his tongue. Your paragraph starting "Self-abnegation..." is a welcome wake-up call.

  8. I like these answers and ideas you shared. What came to me today, when walking in the sun, enjoying the warmth was, yes when I walk in the light, then I can feel the warmth and I reflect the light. Darkness cannot enter or resist the light, but light causes darkness to disappear. When I stay in the light, I don't need to fear darkness. Talking about CS is somehow like walking in the light, rejoicing in her message, feeling her warmth. In the light I can see the way and will not oversee anything, that could make me stumble. Christ is the guide and keeps me from being caught by all kinds of selfishness, from pride, selfrighteousness, human will etc., which could make me stumble. Feeling and being atone with the message protects me from darkness. Darkness, fear, doubt, hate, revenge, jealeousy, destructive criticism cannot even touch me, but the reflected light destroys this darkness. This fact cannot be reversed, darkness can never overcome light, it is impossible. My job is only to reflect the light and then the light does the work. Somehow in talking about CS it is the same, my job is to listen, open my mouth and let God speak. I don't need to create a message nor do I need to convince or explain, the inspired message does that all out of her own divine nature, like the light. Paul really is an example to me in regard to going out and sharing the message without fearing any consequences. I like what he says in
    Romans 1:16.
    " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;"

  9. Many years ago i was with a Voices of Faith group which published pieces in the local paper.
    Once when we had a planing meeting, I said something to an Anglican minister which I immediately
    regretted but did not know how to correct. Subsequent brief encounters with him were awkward.
    Now he is about to leave town and it kept coming to me that I could write to him to correct that error.
    But I was afraid of saying the wrong thing again and did not know what to say anyway..
    Finally I wrote a letter. All the words came easily. It seemed a God-impelled
    idea and I sent it. Later i saw him across the street and he greeted me and
    waved in a friendly way and had a friendly expression on his face. I was glad I (or God) had made the correction of this old mistake, which had obscured the true idea of Christian Science.

  10. What a lot of good thoughts ! Thanks, I shall remember them.

  11. Thanks so much Stormy and Tim. I realize that the ability to talk freely about Christian Science is something that bothers many people, not only me. Your answers are excellent and most helpful.

  12. Thank you all for your sharing! The thought of Mary Baker Eddy: "At present mortals progress slowly for fear of being thought ridiculous." has come to mind lately. And I have asked myself, in what ways do I fear being thought riduculous? A week ago I went to someone's house responding to an ad in the paper about plants for sale. As we walked around the grounds, they told me of a difficulty with their back and hesitancy to have an opperation which would decrease both pain and mobility. This condition was explained as resulting from an injury incured while helping someone. My heart went out and while I didn't feel an oppotunity to speak about healing at the time, I have thought of it since. I want to listen for clearer obedience to identify thoughts to be cast out. Thinking of: "Innocence and Truth overcome guilt and error." When a need is presented and you have no indication as to the mental direction of the person in need. ..How to proceed? I am listening about what to do. Thank you for support in prayer from all who are working with these questions.

  13. I feel inspired by the answers. Christian Science might not be popular but it's the truth always. We should make bold to tell it to people. Thanks much

  14. I am not certain that mine will be a question or an answer to this subject. I have just recently come to this place for dialogue about CS. Church Alive, today, is a lot like Time for Thinkers. T4T is where I usually go. The challenges I face and struggle with each day always lead from puzzlement to solutions on God's schedule, not my schedule, I am learning. This experience always makes me want to just listen for the still, small voice as opposed to expressing it. When I listen, I learn. I think, however, that every positive expression, based in Christianity, preferably CS, is of value. Disagreement is sometimes how we learn to agree. Therefore, we need to discuss and, when appropriate, convince others of our point of view as well as, learn form others.

    I think there are many pathways to God (Truth). CS is one of the best. For me CS is not always clear and, at times, in conflict with itself, but when I step back, take a breath and think for a while, the conflicts become unimportant and the Truth is revealed. "Devine love always has met and always will meet every human need."

    Looking at this question, I agree, fear is irrelevant. Still, at times, I feel fearful. Is it fear or caution that leads some of us into privacy? Why caution? What is it that will harm me (us)? So, why don't I climb up on a soap box and express, "CS?" Actually, I would if I felt it would do some good. I would do so with some apprehension though. But I would do so knowing, as Moses did, that God is always with me. Step back, take a deep breath and think about that for a while; aways with me (us)!

    So, let me try to convince you to step up on the box from time to time. I remember a tragic event a while back when a school girl in a group of students, all being held at gun point, here in the U.S., was asked by a young man holding the gun, "who in here is a Christian?" She said, unhesitatingly, "I am." She was promptly shot to death. What could I face that would be more fearful than death by gun and still say, "I am." (I want to say here that I know that life is endless and with God.) Probably, fear is an error, an illusion which tries to keep us quiet. But Christian strength, knowing that we are, in fact, immortal and always with God, what have we to fear? This young lady somehow knew that! God Bless her!

    I am not suggesting that we stand in front of a speeding, railroad train and declare the truth. I am suggesting that if a young lady has such Christian conviction as to declare that she is a Christian, how can I have less. I, at least, know what she knows; I am immortal and God is always with me. What could be better? Start by expressing your thoughts and ideas based on what you know to be the Truth. Listen to others but do not fear to disagree, no matter what occurs. Don't be afraid to learn and change, if they are right. If you can, declare that you are Christian oriented. Better yet, if you can, declare that you are a Christian Scientist. All being considered, you are a part of God's plan. No error, no illusion can actually harm you; none! Can you be wrong? Yes, when you get off the Christian path. (Call it Jewish, Muslim, whatever. I think CS is the best path.) Remember as Moses was told, by God, I will be with you guiding your mouth (thoughts and speech).
    You, too, can do it, so, do it!

  15. Love the topic and all the thoughts expressed. Very helpful!!! By the way, I looked up hymn 253 (mentioned in the 1st response) and found that the title of the poem is "Christ my refuge" instead of "Love." I'm still working on get all the titles to Mrs Eddy's hymns straight in my mind -- there's lots of love in every one of them.