Church of Christ, Scientist

by lrkr 5 Replies latest jw experiences

  • lrkr

    We were in Boston this weekend and stayed at a hotel in the Back Bay, close to the HQ of the Church of Christ, Scientist. These guys have an impressive cathedral and an HQ setup that includes a "library for the betterment of mankind" as well as a walk in globe that represents the scope of their religion.

    They have similar origins to JWs- 19th century mysticism mixed with literal reading of the bible, heavy central control and "democratic" church structures.

    But, for some reason, they really annoyed me. This cult doesn't just kill people by making them reject blood transfusions...they reject modern medicine altogether. And their buildings show the impact of an enlightened populous on a mystic 19th century religion.

    There are only 80,000 of them left. Growth is mostly in Africa. The buildings and grounds are mostly populated by student musicians attending the nearby Berkley College of Music. The dilapadation of their HQ has started. Within 20 years some developer will buy it all and turn it into condos.

    I wonder how long it will take for a similar fate to befall JWs?

  • oldskool

    Not sure. Their membership base is bigger.

    I imagine them possibly turning out like the worldwide church of god, or seventh day adventist. At some point, the WTS will crumble and out of that a combination of extreme and mainstream factions will probably arise. The most mainstream will probably do the best, and the others will forever lambast it for selling out.

  • darkspilver

    Ahhh Mary Baker Eddy

    The dilapadation of their HQ has started. Within 20 years some developer will buy it all and turn it into condos.

    Why condos? In London it was converted into a relatively high-brow concert venue which, I might add, I've been too, and more than once.

    For those interested, below is the WT's take on Mary Baker Eddy from the 1st April 1964 Watchtower

    The Inspiration Behind Christian Science

    “When I was about eight years old, I repeatedly heard a voice, calling me distinctly by name . . . I thought this was my mother’s voice, and sometimes went to her, beseeching her to tell me what she wanted. Her answer was always, ‘Nothing, child! What do you mean?’ . . . One day, when my cousin, Mehitable Huntoon, was visiting us, and I sat in a little chair by her side, in the same room with grandmother,—the call again came, so loud that Mehitable heard it.”

    Young Mary Baker continued to be susceptible to spirit influence, as Sibyl Wilbur notes in her church-approved biography: “Mary Baker’s spiritual experiences continued to be grave and unusual, as had been her ‘Voices.’” But in order to appreciate the nature of these experiences it is necessary to understand the circumstances at that time.

    “There are people living who remember very distinctly the spiritism craze in Tilton, and who witnessed Mrs. Glover’s manifestations of mediumship. One elderly woman recalls a night spent with Mrs. Glover when her rest was constantly disturbed by the strange rappings and by Mary’s frequent announcements of the ‘appearance’ of different spirits as they came and went.”

    “Mrs. Glover told us, as we were gathered there, that, because of her superior spiritual quality, and because of the purity of her life, she could only be controlled in the spirit world by one of the apostles and by Jesus Christ. When she went into the trance state and gave her communications to members of the circle, these communications were said by Mrs. Glover to come, through her as a medium, from the spirit of one of the apostles or of Jesus Christ.”

    “Mrs. Patterson conceived and put into practise an admirable though harmless hoax. One day, as Mrs. Crosby has described it, while they sat together at opposite sides of a table in the big nursery, Mrs. Patterson suddenly leaned back in her chair, shivered from head to foot, closed her eyes, and began to talk in a deep, sepulchral voice. The voice purported to be Albert Baker’s [Mary’s deceased brother] . . . Mrs. Patterson expected Mrs. Crosby would shortly recognize the pretense and laugh with her over it. Not so. . . . [Therefore] Mrs. Patterson, with a gaiety which she has rarely indulged, continued the hoax. She pretended to go into another ‘trance’ the following day.”

    “There is one simple subject to which we will allude; the current opinion that we must be a Spiritualist or medium . . . But we never were a Spiritualist; and never were, and never could be, and never admitted we were a medium. We have explained to the class calling themselves Spiritualists how their signs and wonders were wrought, and have illustrated by doing them; but at the same time have said, This is not the work of spirits and I am not a medium.”

    “Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements. . . . Man is spiritual and perfect . . . he must be so understood in Christian Science. . . . Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness . . . In divine Science, God and the real man are inseparable as divine Principle.” “In reality man never dies.”

    “To the five corporeal senses, man appears to be matter and mind united; but Christian Science reveals man as the idea of God, and declares the corporeal senses to be mortal and erring illusions. Divine Science shows it to be impossible that a material body, though interwoven with matter’s highest stratum, misnamed mind, should be man.”

    DarK SpilveR

    That's all folks!

  • lrkr

    Concert venue would be great!

    Condos just seem to be the most profitable use of land these days for developers.

  • lrkr

    One source I read attributed the proliferation of spiritualists, monster books and general obsession with the occult of the 1800s to environmental contaminants: mercury in the manufacture of hats, gas and combustion byproducts from gas lamps, and general industrial revolution pollution.

    And that's the Genesis of our favorite cult!

  • FayeDunaway

    I had a long conversation Monday with someone who grew up Christian scientist. He said at least there are no 'punishments' for those who do seek medical care, have surgeries etc, as opposed to JW's who could get disfellowshipped for a blood transfusion.

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