Thursday, January 19, 2006

Virgin birth, etc.

Good morning! Wanted to be sure you saw Uwe’s most recent comment in this entry, yay!

Also, Franklin wrote yesterday:

I am surprised that Christian Scientists would believe in a actual virgin birth.

And, while I can’t speak for everyone who reads Science and Health and applies the ideas in their lives (my definition of a Christian Scientist), I thought I’d put in what I think about the virgin birth.

I can’t really discuss that though, without first saying a thing or two about Science and Health because all my convictions about Christian theology stem from that book’s take on the Bible.

I treasure Science and Health because its author proved everything she wrote. It’s both a textbook for me to learn from and a record of her own spiritual discovery. I don’t think she was being theoretical about any of it. In fact, she’s very careful in some instances not to make too huge claims. For example, sentences like: “The author has healed hopeless organic disease, and raised the dying to life and health through the understanding of God as the only Life.” She doesn’t say she raised the dead, but the dying. I find that humble, and that kind of writing convinces me she wasn’t speaking beyond her experience.

So when Mary Baker Eddy says Jesus was the son of a virgin, I believe her. But she doesn’t just ask me to accept this on faith. She reasons out how this happened scientifically.

Those instructed in Christian Science have reached the glorious perception that God is the only author of man. The Virgin-mother conceived this idea of God, and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus — that is, Joshua, or Saviour.

The illumination of Mary's spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation, and brought forth her child by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as the Father of men. The Holy Ghost, or divine Spirit, overshadowed the pure sense of the Virgin-mother with the full recognition that being is Spirit. The Christ dwelt forever an idea in the bosom of God, the divine Principle of the man Jesus, and woman perceived this spiritual idea, though at first faintly developed.

--page 29

That entire chapter, Atonement and Eucharist, contains what I believe to be the most moving and insightful account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection ever written. Mary Baker Eddy understood what he went through in a way few of the rest of us can.

I hope this isn’t too circular. I believe in the virgin birth because I trust Mary Baker Eddy’s conclusions because I believe she proved everything she wrote, and because those ideas I’ve been able to fully understand myself have brought me help and healing when I most needed it. Her teachings, based on the Bible, have never failed me, as long as I was willing to learn whatever lesson was required.

So I’m with her on things like the virgin birth, the resurrection, the ascension, until such time as anything she wrote proves to be incorrect. And I’ll do my best to understand more deeply so that I too can raise my beliefs from faith to demonstration.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 1/20/2006 04:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do think your reasoning is circular. You believe in the Virgin Birth because someone else says she believes in it. I thought the beauty of CS is that you are encouraged to think for yourself ("the time for thinkers, etc" ) and things have to be demonstrated and not just claimed. There is absolutely no proof that a Virgin Birth ever happened, and just because one can construct a rationale for it based on some plausible conclusions, the first step is flawed. For that matter, there is no historical proof that the Jesus of the gospels existed, much less the resurrection and ascension (Paul, for instance, never refers to it). It's wiser to stay with what you have yoruself proved and not go on the words of someone you haven't known personally.

At 1/21/2006 06:54:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...

yep, it's circular. :) I guess every now and then I feel the need to put my stake in the ground about what I believe, even if I haven't proven it myself.

there's lots in Science and Health that I believe but haven't proven. and it's helped me to be able to trust the author to even try to stretch beyond my current understanding. if I *only* stuck with what I've proven already, I'd never make any progress. and I need the world's spiritual thinkers to shine the light, and point me in the right direction. so all my spiritual growth has been a result of reaching beyond my current understanding to new insights, ones that others have found before me. does that make sense?

so there are some things I believe just because a source I trust has said so. and I'll wait, expecting to understand as I grow.


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