Guidance of Members

Article VIII Section 1    A Rule for Motives and Acts.  SECTION 1. Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously.

Article VIII Section 2    To be Read in Church.  SECT. 2. The above Church Rule shall be read in The Mother Church and in the branch churches by the First Reader on the first Sunday of each month. On Communion day the Church Tenets are to be read.

41Article VIII Section 3    Christ Jesus the Ensample.  SECT. 3. He who dated the Christian era is the Ensample in Christian Science. Careless comparison or irreverent reference to Christ Jesus is abnormal in a Christian Scientist, and is prohibited. When it is necessary to show the great gulf between Christian Science and theosophy, hypnotism, or spiritualism, do it, but without hard words. The wise man saith, “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” However despitefully used and misrepresented by the churches or the press, in return employ no violent invective, and do good unto your enemies when the opportunity occurs. A departure from this rule disqualifies a member for office in the Church or on the Board of Lectureship, and renders this member liable to discipline and, possibly, dismissal from The Mother Church.

Article VIII Section 4    Daily Prayer.  SECT. 4. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray each day: “Thy kingdom come;” let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!

42Article VIII Section 5    Prayer in Church.  SECT. 5. The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively.

Article VIII Section 6    Alertness to Duty.  SECT. 6. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged, — and justified or condemned.

Article VIII Section 7    One Christ.  SECT. 7. In accordance with the Christian Science textbooks, — the BIBLE, and SCIENCE AND HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, — and in accord with all of Mrs. Eddy’s teachings, members of this Church shall neither entertain a belief nor signify a belief in more than one Christ, even that Christ whereof the Scripture beareth testimony.

Article VIII Section 8    No Malpractice.  SECT. 8. Members will not intentionally or knowingly mentally malpractise, inasmuch as Christian Science can only be practised according to the Golden Rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matt. 7:12.)

    A member of The Mother Church who mentally malpractises upon or treats our Leader or 43her staff without her or their consent shall be disciplined, and a second offense as aforesaid shall cause the name of said member to be dropped forever from The Mother Church.

Article VIII Section 9    Formulas Forbidden.  SECT. 9. No member shall use written formulas, nor permit his patients or pupils to use them, as auxiliaries to teaching Christian Science or for healing the sick. Whatever is requisite for either is contained in the books of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Sometimes she may strengthen the faith by a written text as no one else can.

Article VIII Section 10    No Adulterating Christian Science.  SECT. 10. A member of this Church shall not publish profuse quotations from Mary Baker Eddy’s copyrighted works without her permission, and shall not plagiarize her writings. This By-Law not only calls more serious attention to the commandment of the Decalogue, but tends to prevent Christian Science from being adulterated.

Article VIII Section 11    No Incorrect Literature.  SECT. 11. A member of this Church shall neither buy, sell, nor circulate Christian Science literature which is not correct in its statement of the divine Principle and rules and the demonstration of Christian Science. Also the spirit in which the writer 44has written his literature shall be definitely considered. His writings must show strict adherence to the Golden Rule, or his literature shall not be adjudged Christian Science. A departure from the spirit or letter of this By-Law involves schisms in our Church and the possible loss, for a time, of Christian Science.

Article VIII Section 12    Obnoxious Books.  SECT. 12. A member of this Church shall not patronize a publishing house or bookstore that has for sale obnoxious books.

Article VIII Section 13    Per Capita Tax.  SECT. 13. Every member of The Mother Church shall pay annually a per capita tax of not less than one dollar, which shall be forwarded each year to the Church Treasurer.

Article VIII Section 14    Church Periodicals.  SECT. 14. It shall be the privilege and duty of every member, who can afford it, to subscribe for the periodicals which are the organs of this Church; and it shall be the duty of the Directors to see that these periodicals are ably edited and kept abreast of the times.

Article VIII Section 15    Church Organizations Ample.  SECT. 15. Members of this Church shall not unite with organizations which impede their progress in Christian Science. God requires our whole heart, 45and He supplies within the wide channels of The Mother Church dutiful and sufficient occupation for all its members.

Article VIII Section 16    Joining Another Society.  SECT. 16. It shall be the duty of the members of The Mother Church and of its branches to promote peace on earth and good will toward men; but members of The Mother Church shall not hereafter become members of other societies except those specified in The Mother Church Manual, and they shall strive to promote the welfare of all mankind by demonstrating the rules of divine Love.

Article VIII Section 17    Forbidden Membership.  SECT. 17. A member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., shall not be a member of any church whose Readers are not Christian Scientists and members of The Mother Church.

Article VIII Section 18    Officious Members.  SECT. 18. A member of The Mother Church is not entitled to hold office or read in branch churches of this denomination except by invitation.

Article VIII Section 19    Legal Titles.  SECT. 19. Students of Christian Science must drop the titles of Reverend and Doctor, except those who have received these titles under the laws of the State.

46Article VIII Section 20    Illegal Adoption.  SECT. 20. No person shall be a member of this Church who claims a spiritually adopted child or a spiritually adopted husband or wife. There must be legal adoption and legal marriage, which can be verified according to the laws of our land.

Article VIII Section 21    Use of Initials “C.S.”  SECT. 21. A member of The Mother Church shall not place the initials “C.S.” after his name on circulars, cards, or leaflets, which advertise his business or profession, except as a Christian Science practitioner.

Article VIII Section 22    Practitioners and Patients.  SECT. 22. Members of this Church shall hold in sacred confidence all private communications made to them by their patients; also such information as may come to them by reason of their relation of practitioner to patient. A failure to do this shall subject the offender to Church discipline.

    A member of The Mother Church shall not, under pardonable circumstances, sue his patient for recovery of payment for said member’s practice, on penalty of discipline and liability to have his name removed from membership. Also he shall reasonably reduce his price in chronic cases of recovery, and in cases where he has not effected a cure. A Christian Scientist 47is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good.

Article VIII Section 23    Duty to Patients.  SECT. 23. If a member of this Church has a patient whom he does not heal, and whose case he cannot fully diagnose, he may consult with an M.D. on the anatomy involved. And it shall be the privilege of a Christian Scientist to confer with an M.D. on Ontology, or the Science of being.

Article VIII Section 24    Testimonials.  SECT. 24. “Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (St. Paul). Testimony in regard to the healing of the sick is highly important. More than a mere rehearsal of blessings, it scales the pinnacle of praise and illustrates the demonstration of Christ, “who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:3). This testimony, however, shall not include a description of symptoms or of suffering, though the generic name of the disease may be indicated. This By-Law applies to testimonials which appear in the periodicals and to those which are given at the Wednesday evening meeting.

Article VIII Section 25    Charity to All.  SECT. 25. While members of this Church do not believe in the doctrines of theosophy, hypnotism, or spiritualism, they 48cherish no enmity toward those who do believe in such doctrines, and will not harm them. But whenever God calls a member to bear testimony to Truth and to defend the Cause of Christ, he shall do it with love and without fear.

Article VIII Section 26    Uncharitable Publications.  SECT. 26. A member of this Church shall not publish, nor cause to be published, an article that is uncharitable or impertinent towards religion, medicine, the courts, or the laws of our land.

Article VIII Section 27    The Golden Rule.  SECT. 27. A member of The Mother Church shall not haunt Mrs. Eddy’s drive when she goes out, continually stroll by her house, or make a summer resort near her for such a purpose.

Article VIII Section 28    Numbering the People.  SECT. 28. Christian Scientists shall not report for publication the number of the members of The Mother Church, nor that of the branch churches. According to the Scripture they shall turn away from personality and numbering the people.

Article VIII Section 29    Our Church Edifices.  SECT. 29. The periodicals of our denomination do not publish descriptions of our church edifices, but they may quote from other periodicals or give incidental narratives.

49Article VIII Section 30    No Monopoly.  SECT. 30. A Scientist shall not endeavor to monopolize the healing work in any church or locality, to the exclusion of others, but all who understand the teachings of Christian Science are privileged to enter into this holy work, and “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Article VIII Section 31    Christian Science Nurse.  SECT. 31. A member of The Mother Church who represents himself or herself as a Christian Science nurse shall be one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice, who thoroughly understands the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room, and who can take proper care of the sick.

    The cards of such persons may be inserted in The Christian Science Journal under rules established by the publishers.

Marriage and Decease

Article IX Section 1    A Legal Ceremony.  SECTION 1. If a Christian Scientist is to be married, the ceremony shall be performed by a clergyman who is legally authorized.

Article IX Section 2    Sudden Decease.  SECT. 2. If a member of The Mother Church shall decease suddenly, without previous injury or illness, and the cause 50thereof be unknown, an autopsy shall be made by qualified experts. When it is possible the body of a female shall be prepared for burial by one of her own sex.

Debating in Public

Article X Section 1    No Unauthorized Debating.  SECTION 1. A member of this Church shall not debate on Christian Science in public debating assemblies, without the consent of the Board of Directors.


Article XI Section 1    Departure from Tenets.  SECTION 1. If a member of this Church shall depart from the Tenets and be found having the name without the life of a Christian Scientist, and another member in good standing shall from Christian motives make this evident, a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be called, and the offender’s case shall be tried and said member exonerated, put on probation, or excommunicated.

Article XI Section 2    Violation of By-Laws.  SECT. 2. A member who is found violating any of the By-Laws 51or Rules herein set forth, shall be admonished in consonance with the Scriptural demand in Matthew 18:15–17; and if he neglect to accept such admonition, he shall be placed on probation, or if he repeat the offense, his name shall be dropped from the roll of Church membership.

Article XI Section 3    Violation of Christian Fellowship.  SECT. 3. Any member who shall unjustly aggrieve or vilify the Pastor Emeritus or another member, or who does not live in Christian fellowship with members who are in good and regular standing with this Church, shall either withdraw from the Church or be excommunicated.

Article XI Section 4    Preliminary Requirement.  SECT. 4. No Church discipline shall ensue until the requirements according to the Scriptures, in Matthew 18:15–17, have been strictly obeyed, unless a By-Law governing the case provides for immediate action.

Article XI Section 5    Authority.  SECT. 5. The Christian Science Board of Directors has power to discipline, place on probation, remove from membership, or to excommunicate members of The Mother Church. Only the members of this Board shall be present at meetings for the examination of complaints against Church members; and they alone 52shall vote on cases involving The Mother Church discipline.

Article XI Section 6    Members in Mother Church Only.  SECT. 6. A complaint against a member of The Mother Church, if said member belongs to no branch church and if this complaint is not for mental malpractice, shall be laid before this Board, and within ten days thereafter, the Clerk of the Church shall address a letter of inquiry to the member complained of as to the validity of the charge. If a member is found guilty of that whereof he is accused and his previous character has been good, his confession of his error and evidence of his compliance with our Church Rules shall be deemed sufficient by the Board for forgiveness for once, and the Clerk of the Church shall immediately so inform him. But a second offense shall dismiss a member from the Church.

Article XI Section 7    Working Against the Cause.  SECT. 7. If a member of this Church shall, mentally or otherwise, persist in working against the interests of another member, or the interests of our Pastor Emeritus and the accomplishment of what she understands is advantageous to this Church and to the Cause of Christian Science, or shall influ53ence others thus to act, upon her complaint or the complaint of a member for her or for himself, it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors immediately to call a meeting, and drop forever the name of the member guilty of this offense from the roll of Church membership.

Article XI Section 8    No Unchristian Conduct.  SECT. 8. If a member of this Church were to treat the author of our textbook disrespectfully and cruelly, upon her complaint that member should be excommunicated. If a member, without her having requested the information, shall trouble her on subjects unnecessarily and without her consent, it shall be considered an offense.

Article XI Section 9    Not to Learn Hypnotism.  SECT. 9. Members of this Church shall not learn hypnotism on penalty of being excommunicated from this Church. No member shall enter a complaint of mental malpractice for a sinister purpose. If the author of SCIENCE AND HEALTH shall bear witness to the offense of mental malpractice, it shall be considered a sufficient evidence thereof.

Article XI Section 10    Publications Unjust.  SECT. 10. If a member of The Mother Church publishes, or causes to be published, an article that is false or unjust, hence injurious, to Christian Science or to its 54Leader, and if, upon complaint by another member, the Board of Directors finds that the offense has been committed, the offender shall be suspended for not less than three years from his or her office in this Church and from Church membership.

Article XI Section 11    The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, Tenets.  SECT. 11. If a member of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, or a member of a branch of this Church break the rules of its Tenets as to unjust and unmerciful conduct — on complaint of Mrs. Eddy our Pastor Emeritus — and this complaint being found valid, his or her name shall be erased from The Mother Church and the branch church’s list of membership and the offender shall not be received into The Mother Church or a branch church for twelve years.

Article XI Section 12    Special Offense.  SECT. 12. If a member of this Church, either by word or work, represents falsely to or of the Leader and Pastor Emeritus, said member shall immediately be disciplined, and a second similar offense shall remove his or her name from membership in The Mother Church.

Article XI Section 13    Members of Branch Churches.  SECT. 13. A member of both The Mother Church and a branch 55Church of Christ, Scientist, or a Reader, shall not report nor send notices to The Mother Church, or to the Pastor Emeritus, of errors of the members of their local church; but they shall strive to overcome these errors. Each church shall separately and independently discipline its own members, — if this sad necessity occurs.


Article XII Section 1    Probation.  SECTION 1. For sufficient reasons it may be decided that a teacher has so strayed as not to be fit for the work of a Reader in church or a teacher of Christian Science. Although repentant and forgiven by the Church and retaining his membership, this weak member shall not be counted loyal till after three years of exemplary character. Then the Board of Directors may decide if his loyalty has been proved by uniform maintenance of the life of a consistent, consecrated Christian Scientist.

Article XII Section 2    Misteaching.  SECT. 2. If a member of this Church is found trying to practise or to teach Christian Science contrary to the statement thereof in its textbook, SCIENCE AND HEALTH 56WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to admonish that member according to Article XI, Sect. 4. Then, if said member persists in this offense, his or her name shall be dropped from the roll of this Church.