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 problem–many 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!