The first article in this blog series was originally posted only in part. The full version is now available.
Standing in the Nave at the Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude in Nivelles, Belgium (see previous post), looking at the isolated figure of “God on the cross”, thinking of my deserved place directly alongside…brought me back to my journey toward Him.
I was raised as a Christian Scientist. I was actually proud of it…not so much for what I was taught or what I thought I believed…but more so for the mystery and prestige of it.
None of my friends had heard of Christian Science..they thought being a “scientist” was cool as I explained it to them. After all, how could it not be for one to believe that there is no sin, sickness, disease or death?
But it took me far away from God…even though we talked about God all the time.
While I won’t get into the details of what Christian Science believes, I was brought up to read the Bible (King James Version) and “The Science and Heath with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy”. The books pictured above are the set that I have had since I was very young.
I was taught never to read the Bible by itself without reading the Science and Health. After all…contained in it was the “key” to the Scriptures. It unlocks the truth of the Bible…
…but actually…it kept me from seeing truth.
Anything that was read in the Bible did not take on literal meaning. The extensive “glossary” reveals what names and words in the Bible “actually” mean. So was Jesus God in flesh? No…He is the “highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea, rebuking and destroying error and bringing to light man’s immortality.”
That’s what I thought about Jesus
Thankfully, He didn’t have a misunderstanding of me! And while I was hardly aware of it at the time, the providence of God was at work. He was pulling me toward Him…clearing away the rough places…making them a plain…so I could walk toward Him.
Of all things, He dropped a book by Mark Twain into my life. My mother had “borrowed” it from the Peoria Public Library (she didn’t have a library card). But it was that book that paved the initial pathway…that caused me and my family to question Christian Science for the very first time. Twain’s wit and first hand personal knowledge of Mary Baker Eddy, prompted us to search for the truth.
Funny how God works. As much as we sometimes lament over the darkness of the world…as much as I thought about the challenge to plant churches in Europe…
…God is at work…even in some of the most unconventional ways.