I helped kill the heir

December 1st, 2019

What a shock to hear a story about someone coldly defying God, and suddenly realize the story is about me. I have a sense of how King David must have felt when confronted with his murderous selfishness (II Samuel 12:7).

Recently in studying Luke 20, where Jesus tells of the vineyard tenants brutalizing the owner’s messengers one after another and finally killing his son, it hit me that this had been my pattern of behavior when following Christian Science for many years.

Following Mrs. Eddy, I obstinately ignored the Old Testament’s repeated witness of sin, salvation, and prophecy—and then climaxed my obstinacy by rejecting the New Testament’s good news that Jesus Christ had come as God incarnate to rescue me for life eternal under his authority.

“This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours,” says fallen humanity when the beloved son arrives.

True, CS doesn’t explicitly say this. But in denying Jesus’ divinity and his vicarious atonement for us on the cross, Mrs. Eddy’s followers set the Lord at nought, usurp his authority, and enthrone themselves in his place—“that the inheritance [sinful mortals self-reconciled with a holy God] may be ours.”

So when I read in Hebrews 6:4-6 of the sad condition of those who, after having had so many advantages of God’s grace, still “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame,” it becomes very personal. I feel myself convicted of a long mulish intransigence during all those years in the gospel-denying Christian Science movement. As Nathan told David: “Thou art the man.”

Even with millennia of the Father’s patience and forebearance from the time of Abraham to that of Abraham Lincoln, even with 66 books of Holy Scripture proclaiming true truth on every page, somehow the Boston prophetess and her adoring throng could still miss the way and exalt their intellectual pride over Christ’s sacrificial humility.

Somehow my own family and so many other Principians could presume to claim the saints’ inheritance on no terms but their own. Somehow—

It makes me more grateful than ever for the “amazing grace that saved a wretch like me—once blind, but now I see.”


The author can be reached at andrewsjk@aol.com

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