When we misunderstand the sexes
A friend of ours recently said, â€œWhen you stop reading the Bible, all kinds of things start happening.â€ This is certainly true for the Christian Science church. Six years ago when my daughter was attending Principia College, where the churchâ€™s best and brightest are groomed for the future, she said â€œDad, they donâ€™t study the Bible anymore: only Mrs Eddyâ€™s writings!â€ I certainly had no idea of how ignorant of Scripture I was, until I left the Christian Science church and began to study the Bible more formally.
One noxious aspect is sexuality. In Science and Health starting on page 533, Mary Baker Eddy writes:
Truth, cross-questioning man as to His knowledge of error, finds woman the first to confess her fault. She says, ” The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat;” as much as to say in meek penitence, “Neither man nor God shall father my fault.” She has already learned that corporeal sense is the serpent. Hence she is first to abandon the belief in the material origin of man and to discern spiritual creation. This hereafter enabled woman to be the mother of Jesus and to behold at the sepulcher the risen Savior, who was soon to manifest the deathless man of God’s creating. This enabled woman to be first to interpret the Scriptures in their true sense, which reveals the spiritual origin of man.
With all the reference to woman being â€œfirstâ€, the matrons of the Christian Science church have extrapolated from this passage the conviction that men, therefore, are last: to wit, not relevant. In my own experience, growing up in the Christian Science church, I witnessed strong women in the church with milktoast husbands who died early. I witnessed a growing number of churches with female First and Second Readers, and the Church periodicals becoming more focused on gender politics and political correctness.
Working in the Reading Room in Evergreen Colorado, I noticed the absence of anything masculine. Articles such as â€œWomen in the Bibleâ€ predominated. The advertisements proclaimed â€œI was a single mother and then I found Science and Healthâ€ or special childrenâ€™s books that showed little girls and their mothers: no fathers visible at all! And of course, the way I was treated on church committees reflected the indifference with which men were viewed.
In regard to marriage, my Christian Scientist former wife cut me off sexually. Her justification was her â€œgrowing spiritualityâ€. â€œDonâ€™t look to persons for your love and affectionâ€ she would say, implying that my dissatisfaction with the arrangement was my lack of spiritual progress. What I should have said at the time in response was â€œdonâ€™t look to persons for your financial support either!â€ and cut her off financially. But of course, the Christian Science women want it both ways.
In view of the distorted view of gender, itâ€™s not surprising to me to see homosexuality, both Gay and Lesbian, growing among Christian Scientists. A teacher of Christian Science, Kathleen Clementson, was expelled for her Lesbian marriage. However, she is apparently continuing to practice and teach without the blessing of the church, or else the church has caved in to the political correctness. It is a natural consequence of the disdain the women in the Christian Science church have for men and masculinity as a whole.
Certainly, none of this would be an issue if Scripture were understood. Gender is the great mystery of creation. â€œMale and female created He themâ€ (Genesis 27). Theologically, we have Christ as the bride groom to his bride the Church, the body of Christ.
Rather than men and women being interchangeable as the feminists would have you believe, the union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitutes completeness. It is a sacrament! The love between and man and a woman, sanctified by marriage, mirrors the love that God has for his creation. It is the foundation of the family, a happy home and the proper environment in which to raise healthy children. All the rest is inward rationalization and self-justification: â€œdoing evil in the sight of the Lordâ€ that will eventually be brought down.
The author can be reached at email@example.com