A letter to my father
Of all the things I've written, of all the dozens, maybe hundreds of times, that I've tried to communicate the gospel, this was the hardest thing I've ever done. It wasn't so hard to write. In fact, it could easily have been 50 pages long! But, it was very hard to send. It was painful to address it and hand it to my husband to mail on his lunch hour. When he was gone, and there was no turning back, I had horrible second thoughts. I called my mom and told her what I had done, and she became angry with me for interfering. Yet, even if I had known that ahead of time, I would have done it anyway. From the moment she told me that my father had stopped the Charles Stanley Bible study he was just beginning and gone back to his Christian Science books, I knew that I had to write. Satan knew my father was getting too close to the truth.
My father and many family members on both sides were part of the Christian Science "church." My dad hasn't been to one of their services in over 35 years, but never became anything else, either. He just had no interest in God at all. A few months ago, he developed some health problems, which lead to more problems. His health is still not good, but he finally started to show interest in spiritual things. He started going to my mom's United Methodist Church (where he has probably never heard the gospel) and began reading a Bible Study by Charles Stanley that my mom gave him. He had barely started it when he set aside to dig out his old Christian Science books.
Christian Science was very popular in the early 1900's and has since declined. It is one of the "mind science" religions. Here is one place you can read about it:
The following is from that web site:
What does Christian Science Teach?
The following doctrines are referenced out
of the primary Christian Science work,
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy.
It is supposed to be a companion to the Bible.
Science and Health together with the Bible are called the Pastor of Christian Science.
God is Universal Principle, S&H 331:18-19
God cannot indwell a person, S&H 336:19-20
God is Mind, S&H 330:20-21; 469:13 NOTE - when reading "Science and Health," it comes across over and over again, repeatedly, that God is "all in all." In other words, everything is God, everything is "Mind." Everything that appears to be material is just illusion. MBE denounced polytheism, while in fact, her teachings are the very definition of polytheism.
Belief in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity is polytheism, S&H 256:9-11
Christ is the spiritual idea of sonship S&H 331:30-31 (He "made" himself the Son of God and so can we!)
Jesus was not the Christ, S&H 333:3-15; 334:3 (The Christ is in all of us - we just have to realize that)
"Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared..." S&H 361:12-13
Jesus did not reflect the fullness of God, S&H 336:20-21
Jesus did not die, S&H 45:32-46:3
The Holy Spirit is divine science, S&H 331:31
There is no sin, S&H 447:24
Evil and good are not real, S&H, 330:25-27; 470:9-14
Matter, sin, and sickness are not
real, but only illusions," S&H 335:7-15;
Additionally, Christian Scientists prefer not to use doctors, medicine, or immunizations. Christian Science Practitioners are used to help people through the false reality of illness.
Proper prayer and training are employed to battle the "non-reality" of illness.
They have no ordinances like the Lord's Supper or baptism.
Church services are interspersed with Bible reading and readings from Science and Health.
Mary Baker Eddy is highly regarded as a revelator of God's word, almost equal to Jesus.
You can also find lots of information at Christian Way, a web site created by ex-Christian Scientists. The following is the actual letter I sent to my father. He never acknowledged receiving it. In fact, my mother told me that he balled it up and left it on the couch for weeks. She didn't touch it, but just let it lay there. One day, it was gone. I never knew whether he kept it or just finally threw it away.
Happy Father's Day! Mum says you are back to tiling the bathroom. Hope that means that you are feeling better?
She also mentioned that you've been reading your Christian Science books. With all these physical things going on with you, I can certainly imagine why you might want to do that. The idea of surgery is scary, and Christian Science says surgery, doctors & all that are unnecessary.
I don't remember very much about when you took me with you to the Christian Science church. I was about five, wasn't I? I remember the drive, and a small white building. I remember the pews & how I was usually tucked into a corner spot on the aisle. I remember someone standing up in front and talking behind a white podium, but I don't remember any of what anyone had to say.
But - thanks to the Internet, I downloaded a copy of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" so that I could talk to you about it. I've also been reading parts of other Christian Science books.
Daddy, what I've been reading really bothers me. Mary Baker Eddy twists God's words around so much that they're nothing like what the Bible says. She says that "Science and Health" was dictated to her by God. If that was the case, then there should be no contradictions - but practically every page has a totally different message than the Bible.
On page 361, she says that "Jesus Christ is not God," but all you have to do is read John 1:1 to see that Jesus is God. There are many, many other places where the Bible declares that Jesus is God. Jesus even says it himself!
She says over and over that "God is all in all." There are pages and pages of metaphysical mumbo jumbo, but what she is really saying is that God is the only reality and that everything is really God. All else is illusion. In other words, the rocks, the sky and all of US are really God.
So the first words of the Bible, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," are completely meaningless. Christian Science teaches:
God is All and God is Mind, therefore all that really exists must be mind or spirit. Matter cannot exist if all is mind, since mind is not matter. Not only so, but God is good....If God is good and all is God, evil (which includes sin, sickness, and death) cannot really exist. If such things appear to exist, it is only because man refuses to recognize the fact that God is all. When man is confused by such misconceptions he is said to possess 'Mortal Mind,' a mind controlled by error, a false view of reality. The way out of the labyrinth of Mortal Mind is quite simple: 'Change your mind [about reality] and change your life.
Daddy, if this is true, then everything - and I mean everything - is completely pointless. There is absolutely no point in even having a Bible. Jesus' death was meaningless - because according to this, the cross, the suffering - and Jesus himself! - were merely illusions. Mum, us kids, my kids, this letter - and YOU - are all only illusions.
There is some truth in "thinking yourself well," because a positive outlook can bring positive results. There is certainly truth in praying for healing, but you cannot turn to Mary Baker Eddy's writings for any kind of help, Daz.
The folks at Christian Science headquarters say that the reason the Christian Science church has declined is because people didn't obey Eddy's church manual. The REAL reason that it has declined is that people who believe this stuff have skipped the "Christian" aspects and gone straight to Hinduism and New Age, because they actually teach the same things as Christian Science.
Christian Science teaches that we are God. They say,
"Scripture has called us to become what we already are. Christian Science renews that call. Do we know who and what we are? Are we ready to claim the God-being we are and have forever been? Until Mary Baker Eddy unlocked the Scriptures the Bible was a closed book. She showed us how Jesus "made himself the Son of God" (and) . . .challenges us to do the same."
They say that the way to "be saved" is to get over this illusion that matter has any reality. But, this is what the Bible says:
1Cr 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I
declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto
you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Cr 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Cr 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Cr 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
THIS is the gospel that saves us. It says Christ died. That means there was only one Christ and he was an actual person. He actually died. His death was real - not an illusion. On page 44, Eddy specifically says he did not die as the disciples supposed. On page 45, she adds to Paul's words to say, "Paul writes: 'when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the [seeming] death of His Son'" and on the next page, she says that after his crucifixion, the disciples "learned that he had not died." But, the Bible says he did die.
He died for our SINS. Our sins are real. You know they are.
1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
He was buried. He had an actual body, actual flesh - no illusion - that was actually buried. And, then, he was brought back to life again. All this talk about his resurrection was completely meaningless if he never died. He didn't conquer the "unreality" of his death. He was truly dead and then truly alive - the same thing that happens to us when we die as believers. One day our bodies will rise again. Meanwhile, our spirits go to be with the Lord in heaven.
Believing these things - that Jesus died for our SINS - that he was buried and rose again - that is the gospel, the good news. The whole Christian Science concept is another gospel. It is not in the Bible.
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are
so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ
unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
That doesn't mean you might not be healed without surgery. Jesus still does miracles. But, it does mean that your body is real and that someday (hopefully a long time away) you're really going to die. When that day comes, Daddy, I want so much for you to be in heaven. I just couldn't stand it if you died, and I wasn't sure that that was where you were.
Please, don't wait even a second longer. Turn to Jesus with all your heart. Admit to him that you've held some false ideas about him. It doesn't have to be a huge show - just say it in your heart to him. Ask him to forgive you. Tell him that you believe that he died to pay for all those wrong things you've done and will still do. Ask him to send his Holy Spirit to teach you the truth. Ask him for wisdom and discernment to know truth from error - and he'll show you. Please, Daz - I just couldn't bear to be in heaven without you. There is no sorrow there, so God would have to take away even my memory of you.
Please - just put down this letter and do it right now. It doesn't matter if there are lots of things you don't understand yet. It doesn't matter if what's true and what isn't is mixed up in your head. Just ask God to forgive you and teach you - and He will! He may or may not heal your body - but he'll give you the most important thing of all - eternal life.
I know I've never been this open. Mum didn't want me to say anything to you, but when she mentioned your Christian Science books, I just had to. What if something happened to you, but I'd never said anything? I love you too much to stay quiet. I love you too much to wait for someone else to speak. I love you too much! So, even if this makes you angry (I hope it doesn't!!), I had to tell you the truth.
Perhaps, as you've been reading your Mary Baker Eddy books, you've already realized that Christian Science makes no sense. The Bible isn't "mind science." That is foolishness, made up by a foolish woman who didn't like the idea of sin and hell. The Bible is a love letter - written, ultimately, by our father in heaven who loves us so much that he sent his only son to die for our sins.
I know that you love me, and if you wrote me a letter, I would just take your words as they were written. I wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you REALLY meant. Because you love me, I would know that you would speak honestly to me, because you'd want me to know what you were thinking. What would be the point of a letter, otherwise?
It's the same with the Bible. God thinks of us as his little children. He loves us even more than we love our children. Not everything in the Bible is easy to understand, but you can trust that God says what He means and means what He says. He is not hiding the true meaning in such a way that Mary Baker Eddy or anyone else has to interpret what it REALLY means.
Part of that love letter, Daz, was written in blood on a wooden cross, nearly 2000 years ago. I never truly understood what that meant until I read the Bible for myself. I don't know if they never really talked about sin and salvation in the Methodist church - or if I just never heard it.
Regardless, I remember the day when the real truth finally got out of my head and into my heart. I was in my car, listening to a Christian radio program. Just as I was pulling into the grocery store parking lot, the guy said that if I was the only one that Jesus could have saved by dying on the cross, he would have done it anyway, just for me - because he loved me that much. I just sat in the car, hanging on to the steering wheel, thinking about that. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was true.
Since then, God has helped me understand the depth of my sinfulness - and what Jesus had to go through in order to pay for that. And, I am thankful all over again!
God wants us to understand his Word. He does call people to be pastors and teachers to help us understand - but only if they stay true to what the Bible says. Otherwise, we are told to stop listening to them.
In Romans, it says, "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith that we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
If you are not able to believe right now, just pray, "God help me believe. Teach me the truth. I want to believe. Send me your Holy Spirit and show me how."
In Luke 11:9-13, Jesus says, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
He's talking about seeking and finding God himself, just as it says in Jeremiah - "You will seek me and you will find me, when you seek me with all of your heart."
That's what I want for you this Father's day, Daz - to seek and FIND your heavenly Father, so that someday, we can be in heaven together, forever. I hope this letter doesn't make you angry, because it was written with love and tears. I've written about Jesus a hundred times, but never to you. How could I talk about the savior with total strangers and not to you, my daddy? I love you so much! I love you enough to risk making you mad.