Manual of The Mother Church/Discipline/Guidance of Members

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Boston, U.S.A.: Allison V. Stewart, pages 40–49


Article VIII.


A Rule for Motives and Acts. Section 1. Neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel the motives or acts of the members of The Mother Church. In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The members of this Church should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously.

To be Read in Church. Sect. 2. The above Church Rule shall be read in The Mother Church and in the branch churches by the First Reader on the first Sunday of each month. On Communion day the Church Tenets are to be read.

Christ Jesus the Ensample. Sect. 3. He who dated the Christian era is the Ensample in Christian Science. Careless comparison or irreverent reference to Christ Jesus is abnormal in a Christian Scientist, and is prohibited. When it is necessary to show the great gulf between Christian Science and theosophy, hypnotism, or spiritualism, do it, but without hard words. The wise man saith, “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” However despitefully used and misrepresented by the churches or the press, in return employ no violent invective, and do good unto your enemies when the opportunity occurs. A departure from this rule disqualifies a member for office in the Church or on the Board of Lectureship, and renders this member liable to discipline and, possibly, dismissal from The Mother Church.

Daily Prayer. Sect. 4. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray each day: “Thy kingdom come;” let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!

Prayer in Church. Sect. 5. The prayers in Christian Science churches shall be offered for the congregations collectively and exclusively.

Alertness to Duty. Sect. 6. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged, and justified or condemned.

One Christ. Sect. 7. In accordance with the Christian Science textbooks, — the Bible, and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, — and in accord with all of Mrs. Eddy's teachings, members of this Church shall neither entertain a belief nor signify a belief in more than one Christ, even that Christ whereof the Scripture beareth testimony.

No Malpractice. Sect. 8. Members will not intentionally or knowingly mentally malpractise, inasmuch as Christian Science can only be practised according to the Golden Rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matt. 7: 12.)

A member of The Mother Church who mentally malpractises upon or treats our Leader or her staff without her or their consent shall be disciplined, and a second offense as aforesaid shall cause the name of said member to be dropped forever from The Mother Church.

Formulas Forbidden. Sect. 9. No member shall use written formulas, nor permit his patients or pupils to use them, as auxiliaries to teaching Christian Science or for healing the sick. Whatever is requisite for either is contained in the books of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Sometimes she may strengthen the faith by a written text as no one else can.

No Adulterating Christian Science. Sect. 10. A member of this Church shall not publish profuse quotations from Mary Baker Eddy's copyrighted works without her permission, and shall not plagiarize her writings. This By-Law not only calls more serious attention to the commandment of the Decalogue, but tends to prevent Christian Science from being adulterated.

No Incorrect Literature. Sect. 11. A member of this Church shall neither buy, sell, nor circulate Christian Science literature which is not correct in its statement of the divine Principle and rules and the demonstration of Christian Science. Also the spirit in which the writer has written his literature shall be definitely considered. His writings must show strict adherence to the Golden Rule, or his literature shall not be adjudged Christian Science. A departure from the spirit or letter of this By-Law involves schisms in our Church and the possible loss, for a time, of Christian Science.

Obnoxious Books. Sect. 12. A member of this Church shall not patronize a publishing house or bookstore that has for sale obnoxious books.

Per Capita Tax. Sect. 13. Every member of The Mother Church shall pay annually a per capita tax of not less than one dollar, which shall be forwarded each year to the Church Treasurer.

Church Periodicals. Sect. 14. It shall be the privilege and duty of every member, who can afford it, to subscribe for the periodicals which are the organs of this Church; and it shall be the duty of the Directors to see that these periodicals are ably edited and kept abreast of the times.

Church Organizations Ample. Sect. 15. Members of this Church shall not unite with organizations which impede their progress in Christian Science, God requires our whole heart, and He supplies within the wide channels of The Mother Church dutiful and sufficient occupation for all its members.

Joining Another Society. Sect. 16. It shall be the duty of the members of The Mother Church and of its branches to promote peace on earth and good will toward men; but members of The Mother Church shall not hereafter become members of other societies except those specified in the Mother Church Manual, and they shall strive to promote the welfare of all mankind by demonstrating the rules of divine Love.

Forbidden Membership. Sect. 17. A member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., shall not be a member of any church whose Readers are not Christian Scientists and members of The Mother Church.

Officious Members. Sect. 18. A member of The Mother Church is not entitled to hold office or read in branch churches of this denomination except by invitation.

Legal Titles. Sect. 19. Students of Christian Science must drop the titles of Reverend and Doctor, except those who have received these titles under the laws of the State.

Illegal Adoption. Sect. 20. No person shall be a member of this Church who claims a spiritually adopted child or a spiritually adopted husband or wife. There must be legal adoption and legal marriage, which can be verified according to the laws of our land.

Use of Initials “C. S.”. Sect. 21. A member of The Mother Church shall not place the initials “C. S.” after his name on circulars, cards, or leaflets, which advertise his business or profession, except as a Christian Science practitioner.

Practitioners and Patients. Sect. 22. Members of this Church shall hold in sacred confidence all private communications made to them by their patients; also such information as may come to them by reason of their relation of practitioner to patient. A failure to do this shall subject the offender to Church discipline.

A member of The Mother Church shall not, under pardonable circumstances, sue his patient for recovery of payment for said member's practice, on penalty of discipline and liability to have his name removed from membership. Also he shall reasonably reduce his price in chronic cases of recovery, and in cases where he has not effected a cure. A Christian Scientist is a humanitarian; he is benevolent, forgiving, long-suffering, and seeks to overcome evil with good.

Duty to Patients. Sect. 23. If a member of this Church has a patient whom he does not heal, and whose case he cannot fully diagnose, he may consult with an M. D. on the anatomy involved. And it shall be the privilege of a Christian Scientist to confer with an M. D. on Ontology, or the Science of being.

Testimonials. Sect. 24. “Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (St. Paul). Testimony in regard to the healing of the sick is highly important. More than a mere rehearsal of blessings, it scales the pinnacle of praise and illustrates the demonstration of Christ, “who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103: 3). This testimony, however, shall not include a description of symptoms or of suffering, though the generic name of the disease may be indicated. This By-Law applies to testimonials which appear in the periodicals and to those which are given at the Wednesday evening meeting.

Charity to All. Sect. 25. While members of this Church do not believe in the doctrines of theosophy, hypnotism, or spiritualism, they cherish no enmity toward those who do believe in such doctrines, and will not harm them. But whenever God calls a member to bear testimony to Truth and to defend the Cause of Christ, he shall do it with love and without fear.

Uncharitable Publications. Sect. 26. A member of this Church shall not publish, nor cause to be published, an article that is uncharitable or impertinent towards religion, medicine, the courts, or the laws of our land.

The Golden Rule. Sect. 27. A member of The Mother Church shall not haunt Mrs. Eddy's drive when she goes out, continually stroll by her house, or make a summer resort near her for such a purpose.

Numbering the People. Sect. 28. Christian Scientists shall not report for publication the number of the members of The Mother Church, nor that of the branch churches. According to the Scripture they shall turn away from personality and numbering the people.

Our Church Edifices. Sect. 29. The periodicals of our denomination do not publish descriptions of our church edifices, but they may quote from other periodicals or give incidental narratives.

No Monopoly. Sect. 30. A Scientist shall not endeavor to monopolize the healing work in any church or locality, to the exclusion of others, but all who understand the teachings of Christian Science are privileged to enter into this holy work, and “by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Christian Science Nurse. Sect. 31. A member of The Mother Church who represents himself or herself as a Christian Science nurse shall be one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice, who thoroughly understands the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room, and who can take proper care of the sick. The cards of such persons may be inserted in The Christian Science Journal under rules established by the publishers.