Into light from darkness

February 19th, 2012

When I received Christ in 1989 I began the long journey of becoming a believer and leaving the dogma and darkness of Christian Science behind me. It was a slow process of untangling the belief systems of a church whose goal is for its members to seek spirituality through metaphysical processes, yet devoid of any real comprehension of the fact that Jesus is God, the lord of our life who died on the cross and suffered a death and rose from the Cross to save us from sin.

When I became a Christian I felt the Holy Spirit close to me and a holy presence so far from the metaphysical path I followed through high school to college years and on into my twenties. I had been trying to gain an understanding of God on my own, forever trying to “correct my thinking” and see the universe as not material but spiritual.

The pastor that saved me in my mid 30s pointed out that Christianity isn’t about abstract ideas or a “mental” mind practice. He insisted I eliminate the Christian Science materials from my house, and accept the simplicity of my life in Christ (II Cor. 11:13).

The battle was unfortunately a long one to let go of Mary Baker Eddy’s ideas that she set forth primarily in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. It took two decades for me to fully release these. It has just been the past few years that I have fully accepted the Bible in its entirety as the complete word of God that needs no embellishment. (John 1:1-3, 14).

The worst battle for me was the easy access to contact a practitioner (a list of men and women that are approved as spiritual healers by the Mother Church in Boston and published in the Christian Science Journal). They can be contacted almost any time of day from around the world. I found them saying all the right things to “elevate” my thinking, thereby continuing the deception of emptiness.

For a person to pray for another they must pay according to the fee the practitioner charges. You can ask a friend or family member to pray in Christian Science at no charge, but unfortunately I was the only one in Christian Science in my family and there is also a stigma if you are trying to work out a physical ailment, so practitioners are usually contacted if there is an accident or extreme circumstance.

I have been delivered from the years of enslavement of having to turn to these individuals. Having spent hundreds of dollars, it simply brought on the spirit of confusion and darkness and feeling of needing more.

What I learned as a Christian is that no one should pay for someone to pray for them. Honestly, where does it indicate in the Bible that anyone needs “consent” to pray for someone or not to pray for someone much less charge for a prayer? As a Christian, I can turn to a brother or sister in the Lord and ask for prayer and be lifted up indefinitely if need be.

Most important, I have learned that I have an intimate relationship with the Lord and it is a far cry from the metaphysical panacea I was trying to attain in my years in Christian Science. The Lord lives inside of me now no matter where I am or what my circumstances or my thought processes.

I have the promise that I will see Jesus face to face in a definite place called Heaven. (John 14: 2-4). It is a far from the oppression of a teaching that indicates that after death we move on to another state of consciousness which is vague at best, with a God that is in the clouds and impersonal. As a Christian Scientist it was deemed that my faith in God was no better than my own mental effort to reach Him (or Her, because in Science God can be either).

Sadly, I have lost friends in Christian Science that more than likely would have lived on to live a full life but did not, because under no circumstances would they turn to medical treatment.

As a Christian, I have learned how precious our life is on earth. Jesus never commanded us to die over a metaphysical point, but simply to love one another. Mrs. Eddy I feel strayed from the real focal point of Christianity in her false teachings. Misled by “the serpent [who] beguiled Eve through his subtlety, [she was] corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:13).

Though a compassionate soul seeker who pioneered controversial ideas at the turn of the 20th century, she failed to “try the spirits” and confess truly “that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh” (I John 4:1-3). Sadly, she thus set herself and her followers down a path of deception and into a hell of their own choosing. I thank God for rescuing me from that path.

Holly McFarland lives in Southern California, where she has had a career in photojournalism. She is a 1977 graduate of Principia College.

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