Posted on Nov 22, 2011 at 8:30am by Gordon Myers
Raise your hand if you attend church once a year. Keep 'em raised if twice a year. How about once a month? And every week? Church attendance is often something people feel compelled to do -- and guilty if they're not doing. But moving past any useless feelings of guilt, let's talk about what makes church meaningful to us, what makes church inclusive, and what makes us want to come to church -- or stay away from it -- in the first place. Rather than balking at statistics of church decline, or wishing the demographics were more balanced, the CSO met to have a productive discussion about what they can about it. This discussion took place on Thursday, December 1st. The original discussion notes are no longer available, but passages from the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy that were shared are archived here for reference.
church. The structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.
The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.
Science and Health 583:12-19
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
Large numbers, in desperate malice, are engaged day and night in organizing action against us. Their feeling and purpose are deadly, and they have sworn enmity against the lives of our standard-bearers.
What will you do about it? Will you be equally in earnest for the truth? Will you doff your lavender-kid zeal, and become real and consecrated warriors? Will you give yourselves wholly and irrevocably to the great work of establishing the truth, the gospel, and the Science which are necessary to the salvation of the world from error, sin, disease, and death? Answer at once and practically, and answer aright!
Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy 177:8-20
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
I John 4:20
The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.
Science and Health 113:5-6
The constitution of the twelve presents us with a situation which is nothing less than a miracle in personal relationships. Within that society there was Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot -- Matthew who had accepted the political situation, and who was profitably engaged in help to administer it, and Simon who would have assassinated any Roman whom he could reach and would have plunged a dagger into any Jew who dared to cooperate with the Romans. The plain truth is that, if Simon had met Matthew under any other circumstances, he would have murdered him. . . . Here is one of the greatest of all examples of personal enmity destroyed by common love of Christ.
The Master's Men by William Barclay, pp. 96-97
And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
I Corinthians 12:26
Meekly our Master met the mockery of his unrecognized grandeur.
Science and Health 39:1-2
In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, -- self-will, self-justification, and self-love, -- which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death.
Science and Health 242:15