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Christian Science in the news

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Guest Blog
Written by Keith Wommack, Committee on Publication in Texas.

"Press" articles: hat, camera, and notepad with pen

Source: Photostogo

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to discuss Christian Science with a newspaper editor. After hearing about the religious organization and the system of spiritual health care, she said, “Since Christian Science is weird, it –.” The editor stopped mid-sentence, looked at me, and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to call Christian Science weird. I’m so sorry.”

After the editor apologized several more times, I said, “Forget about it. It’s okay,” and we went back to our pleasant discussion.

The editor’s “Weird” comment reminded me of ’73. In 1973, I was in Brad Shearer‘s kitchen. Brad and I attended high school together. He was a star football player who went on to play for the Texas Longhorns and the Chicago Bears.

On Faith Panel
The Washington Post, December 28, 2010

Cut article of Jesus is Alive by The Daily Chronicle

Source: Photostogo

Q: As voted by the Religion Newswriters Association’s members, among the year’s most consequential religion newsmakers were Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Pope Benedict XVI, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, and the U.S. bishops.

How would you have ranked them? Has their influence been harmful or constructive? What issue or person do you expect to have the biggest impact in the year to come?

I’m always intrigued by the impact religion has on us, whether it’s measured through a ranking of religion newsmakers or by the far more private ranking that takes place within each of us. Either way, religion itself will continue to be a newsmaker.

For one thing, it can’t help being disruptive. That’s what spiritual ideas do to a material perspective. They’re party crashers. They clash and stir and persist. Some people will ignore them, or deny their reality, but spiritual ideas are enduring, if not controversial. They won’t let anyone go.

Shadow of detective on church wall

Source: Photostogo

I figure it’s only a matter of time before the major players in health care will call me for advice on how to improve health outcomes. When they do I’m ready to name a very capable nominee to lead the charge—Sherlock Holmes.

OK, a lack of medical education won’t play in his favor, and the fact that he’s a fictional character may be a problem.

But Holmes has something going for him that we need to pay attention to. He’s a world-class detective. Some super sleuthing in health care research wouldn’t be bad right now.

We know the problems associated with the Western medical model, mentioned in a previous post. Yet despite noble efforts and on-going funding, those problems haven’t been solved through conventional research based on a model of physical symptoms are attributable to a physical cause. Imagine paying money to a detective agency to solve a mystery, and they’re convinced the only place where the solution resides is in one room of the house.

Loveland Reporter-Herald (Colorado), December 10, 2010
By Amber Baker

When it comes to healing maladies, some believe that medicine can go only so far, but faith in God can go infinitely farther.

This is certainly the case in Christian Science, a religion that considers itself a scientific approach to Christianity, says Elaine Lang, a Christian Science practitioner from Fort Collins.

For Christian Scientists, healing can be found only in God.

But it’s not faith healing, Lang says, in the traditional sense familiar to Christians.

On Faith Panel
The Washington Post, December 14, 2010

Money

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Q: A deal President Obama struck with Republican leaders last week will extend tax cuts across the board including, controversially, to the richest Americans.

Some politicians argue that religious values should be reflected in the public square. Should this faith-based view of politics be applied to the economy? Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

In a time of economic turmoil and record poverty levels, are tax cuts for the wealthy moral?

Wealth has funded social goals, self-interests, educational grants, lavish spending, political clout, you name it. The larger question is: when you take away wealth, what’s at work in the mind of the individual? What values does he or she cling to and act on regardless of the size of the bank account? That’s telling.

Also telling is a story in the New Testament that takes place at mealtime where one of the guests is Jesus. The host of the meal is a Pharisee, Simon, who may have had a comfortable lifestyle for the times and who, on the surface, showed an appropriate degree of hospitality to his guests.

Word "START" on a track

Source: Photostogo

If you think health care reform is yesterday’s news, think again. We’ve just stepped up to the starting line.

Why do I believe that? Two reasons: first, the public outcry for an alternative to Western medicine hasn’t gone away. If anything, dissatisfaction with the status quo is growing.

It first surfaced in a headline-grabbing study released in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study revealed that more than half the population sought alternatives to mainstream medicine, spending annually in excess of 12-billion dollars out-of-pocket.

As it turns out, that same study showed that prayer for one’s own health or the health of others was the number one alternative of choice.

This guest blog about Mary Baker Eddy is from Keith Wommack, a colleague in Texas. He posted it in his blog at The Houston Chronicle.

Mary Baker Eddy in a chair from her earlier years

Mary Baker Eddy

In 1907, a New York newspaperman was sent, with other reporters, to dig up sensational stories about a woman in Concord, New Hampshire. It was said that they were a belligerent bunch of old-timers looking for a scandal. After staying in Concord for some time, they were surprised at the loving treatment they received from the woman’s workers and friends. They wanted to hold the woman up to scorn and ridicule.

The New York newsman was known as a hard-nosed reporter. For many years he suffered with a cancerous growth on his throat that left him unable to speak at times and in extreme pain. But the only scoop he took back to New York was knowledge of the healing power behind this woman’s spiritual discovery. He had come looking for dirt about a woman. Yet, he went away cured because of the woman.

Here was a woman who wasn’t a punching bag, but a powerhouse, at a time when society considered men superior to women. Here was a woman who was the founder and leader of a worldwide religious movement at a time when women held only subordinate positions in Church and State. Here was a woman who was the founder and president of a teaching college at a time when women were denied equal access to education and kept out of most professions. Here was a woman who was front-page news at a time when women’s history was being suppressed. This woman was Mary Baker Eddy.

Somone making a foot print on the moon

Courtesy of NASA

On Monday morning, July 21, 1969, the whole world knew what mattered. A framed copy of the front page of the Los Angeles Times mounted on my office wall reminds me each time I see it. Simply, and in the boldest possible headlines, it says: ON THE MOON!

When the U.S. made its first manned landing there, we all held our breath here. We prayed, cheered, honked horns, wept, and finally breathed a sigh of relief. The astronauts made it safely to where no human had ever been.

40-plus years later that achievement has lost none of its magnificence. But before we leave it at that we should remember what was at the root of that astonishing event, the kind of thinking that enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.

Landing a man on the moon was believed to be impossible before it was thought to be possible and ultimately placed on an agenda for development. First the human mind had to be free of its former limits, had to escape from its narrow views and convictions, before it would commit to achieving the unimaginable.

The Post and Courier (South Carolina), October 3, 2010
By Adam Parker

Joel Orr is member of the Church of Christ, Scientist. So when a bump under the skin on the back of his neck eventually grew to a baseball-size growth, and a doctor friend told him it would have to be removed surgically, Orr’s Christian Science faith was tested.

He might have asked a physician to intervene earlier. Instead, he prayed. After the boil became infected and painful, he could have visited a doctor to have it lanced. Instead, he prayed. And he sought the help of a Christian Science practitioner.

Books trying to find health

In case you were beginning to wonder, here’s a reminder: health is normal. It’s easy to lose sight of that given all the books and reports and advertisements insisting that it’s not.

Gloomy statistics fill in the picture of a health care model that is faced with trouble on several fronts. More than anything else the “E” word keeps coming up. That’s expensive, rather than effective.

“OK,” you may be thinking, “but what choice do we have? Despite its flaws there’s no serious alternative capable of restoring health.”

A lot of people believe that’s true. But I know some who take health care very seriously and yet who have a different view. I join them in saying there is another way and it has proven to be an effective one.

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