Oh, what a lovely grace note to emerge from such a tragic and brutal war…

One of the things that can get confusing in public debate about Christian Science is the idea often floated that Christian Scientists just ignore evil.  My own experience, in almost three decades of taking an interest in the practice of Christian Science, is that the opposite tendency is an accurate assessment of how these teachings are most often practised.  Many Christian Scientists I have met are impressively conscientious in standing up against wrongs and working to put them right.

A very thought-provoking and moving experience of prayer and forgiveness which illustrates this occurred during the Liberian civil war, and an account of this has just been posted on the website spirituality.com.  It is called “Forgiveness in war time“, by Jamama Ben.  The first part of the account relates to the author as a child raised in a Christian family, and beautifully describes how the power of her prayers turned around a threat to the lives of her parents.  The second part details how she was helped by the light thrown onto the Bible by Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.  Through Christian Science she finds the spiritual strength to make forgiveness very practical in responding to one person who betrayed her family and another who murdered a loved family member.   Both parts of this story are very moving, illustrating the astounding power of inspired Christian love in general and the approach of Christian Science in particular to implementing that demanding command of Jesus to forgive not just “Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22).

The language of Christian Science metaphysics, taken out of context, can sometimes be (mis)interpreted as an invitation to ignore evil.  However, the life of the woman who articulated Christian Science and founded the movement that carries it, and is carried by it, leaves no doubt that was not the ethos of what she called “my discovery”.  She had been seeking, found and shared powerful spiritual resources by which to uncover evil and deal with it effectively, as she proved by her own experiences of doing just that.  The recently released amplified edition of “Christian Healer” is a biography of Mary Baker Eddy which lists the many remarkable examples of her healing work on record which freed others from suffering, as well as narrating many other ways in which she overcame in her own life evils still troubling the world today such as oppression of women’s rights, poverty and destitution, terrorist threats, and unjust and aggressive legal attacks.

Jamama Ben’s extraordinary story of Christian love and forgiveness under the most trying of circumstances is exceptional, but when it comes to Christian Science it is not the exception, but rather it proves the rule that when it comes to facing up to evil, the genuine practice of Mary Baker Eddy’s ideas is a very practical approach to facing up to evil and facing it down as an individual and for the community.

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Author:Tony Lobl

I write and speak on spirituality from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I am also an Associate Editor for the Christian Science periodicals. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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