Christian Science: a journey into a believer’s mental state
As we continue this journey of learning about faith in Bermuda, this week we highlight a lesser-known Christian denomination, the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
The denomination has been established locally since 1963 under the name, The Christian Science Society of Bermuda. There are only a small number of members here in Bermuda, as such the organisation is referred to as a society.
Often confused with Scientology, Christian Science is a Bible-based faith founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879. The primary tenets of the faith include belief in the inspiring word of the Bible; acknowledgement of one supreme God, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost; and the forgiveness of sin and Jesus’s atonement as a divine act of love and a means to salvation.
Martha Dismont, speaking on behalf of the Christian Science Society of Bermuda, explained some of the fundamental principles of the faith.
“It has nothing to do with Scientology at all,” she said. “The reason it is called the First Church of Christ, Scientist is because we truly believe that the works of Jesus can be proven. He healed and raised the dead. He proved what he said.
“Christian Scientists are required to prove what we believe through total reliance on faith and prayer. In the past it has been seen as a cult, but that is not true. We are a true Christian church. We believe in Jesus Christ.”
One belief that sets Christian Science apart from other Christian denominations is their total reliance on faith, even in relation to healthcare.
“Jesus did not use medical means to heal. We have been taught, through His example, to rely on prayer for healing.
“In Christian Science it’s more about our mental state. What are you thinking? What do you believe about God? Are you relying on God or are you relying on medical or worldly means for healing? If you rely on God through prayer, you can achieve healing.”
She continued: “In Christian Science we have what’s called Christian Science practitioners. A doctor is a physician. They look at the physical to see what is happening. In Christian Science we have metaphysicians, which means we go above the physical.”
This radical faith is deeply ingrained in those who adhere to Christian Science. However, it is not an easy practice to adopt.
“You have to be truly trusting in your Heavenly Father and believe wholeheartedly that His power is accessible to you.
“This is not easy for people to subscribe to. Faith is not rare, but it certainly takes a lot to rely on it in totality. Christian Science has a responsibility to not only share our faith but to test it and prove it as well.
“People will be more attracted to it when they see the evidence of our faith.”
Despite the small number of regular members, the Christian Science Society in Bermuda hosts annual lectures, all of which are open to the community.
The next lecture will be taking place tomorrow at 2pm both in person, at the church’s Dundonald Street location, and also via Zoom.
The presenter for this lecture is Mark McCurties. A Christian Science practitioner and a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he will speak on the topic “Humility That Overcomes the World”.
“We chose this topic because we felt it was so important to understand that power comes from God. And humility, while it may at times be seen as a weak quality, it is actually a very powerful one because you step back and allow our Heavenly Father to invoke His power through you,” Ms Dismont said.
“When we actually see ourselves as a child of an all-powerful God, our mindsets are transformed. Through faith and prayer, we have access to that power. We believe that true humility links us directly to God and through faith and prayer we have access to that power and can help heal the world.”
“Humility allows you to yield to the divine power that is.”
The lecture is open to the public; people are encouraged to join with an open mind. It will touch on the life of Ms Baker Eddy, who came to understand, confirm, and teach what she felt was original Christian healing.
Said Ms Dismont: “We know the community needs this. We have leaders that can use a bit more of this kind of humility. It isn’t saying ‘I am nothing’ but it is allowing a higher power to give guidance and wisdom on what I should do at every moment. It really is an opportunity to give God the authority to heal our world and for us to live with Christ-like humility ourselves.”
• Join the free Christian Science Society of Bermuda lecturehere: www.tinyurl.com/BermudaLecture. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.christianscience.com