LETTER OF WELCOME
We who sign this letter are acquainted well or a little or not all, as the case may be, with each other and with you the reader. But we and you have in common a background as Christian Scientists.
After much prayer and searching of the Scriptures, we are moved to write you about a transforming experience in our lives that turned us from following Mary Baker Eddy and made us disciples of Jesus Christ.
These pages will probably be difficult reading for you, if you read them at all. But please consider our communication in the same spirit it was written, the spirit of meekness. We seek to “speak the truth in love,” as God requires (Eph. 4:15). We pray you will be moved to action as a result.
Meeting Him Anew
Our experience was like that of the treasurer in the eighth chapter of Acts (Acts 8:26-40). Or of John (John 1:40-45). We yearned, as they did, to understand God’s promise of a man who would save the world.
We recognized ourselves as comparable to the warden in Acts 16, devoted and dutiful but guilt-ridden almost to death (Acts 16:25-34). And though fired with godly zeal, like Saul in Acts 9, we were as blind as he was to God’s personal presence in our midst (Acts 9:1-22).
What reached us in this lost condition was just what reached each of them. It was the good news of Jesus, the Word made flesh, the crucified and risen Son of God incarnate.
Facing Our Flaws
The road to the cross differed for each of us. But similar for all was a profound rethinking, a starting-over that was at first hesitant and then joyous. It began with facing up to what we honestly knew about ourselves as deeply flawed human beings.
The next step was opening up to what the New Testament actually says the answer is. Through this process we gradually saw that man’s plight is more terrible, but God’s provision more wonderful, than we had ever realized in many years of reading Mrs. Eddy.
We learned that Jesus is alive today, personally involved in our world, powerfully renewing and guiding the lives of those who let him do so. That his mission and destiny, identity and authority are spelled out in the Bible quite differently from what the lesson-sermons portray. That he expects more of a commitment from every person, and desires more of a relationship with each one, than rationalism wants to admit.
What would you do if presented with this biblical evidence of a real and living Jesus, knocking for admission at the door of your heart? What each of us did was give ourselves to him, surrender to him as Savior and Lord, as humbly and completely as we could.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”
There came a day when some friend fearlessly and selflessly offered us the simple invitation that believers long ago gave the warden (and the treasurer, and the unseeing Saul): “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). We accepted and we’ve never been the same. In brotherly concern, like Ananias coming to Saul, we now extend the invitation to you.
Deciding for Christ and choosing a denomination or church are two quite separate decisions. Only the first of those is our subject here. We’re attesting that the reliability of Jesus is absolute. We hope you will find this out as we did. From there on, the reliability of Science and Health and its author is for you to judge.
We just know that it meant the world to us to have our eyes opened to the crucial missing words in the verse just quoted from Acts 16, a verse that Mrs. Eddy for some reason shortens to: “Believe… and thou shalt be saved” (Science and Health 23:29). We don’t think such use of altered quotations reflects well on a Bible textbook.
Please understand, though. We are not writing to attack Christian Science or to condemn its followers. For us to do that would be offensive and insulting. It would amount to a repudiation of our heritage, our parents and families, whole decades of our life stories. That is not the purpose of this letter, and we fervently hope it is not the effect.
Our purpose is simply to answer the question, “What happened to you?” Friends, relatives, and former church associates have asked us that in countless spoken or unspoken ways. Why the change in what we believe, where we worship, how we live? – they wanted to know.