“Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us?"
—Malachi 2:10 (NRSVUE)
Through connecting with those of diverse faith traditions, we enrich one another’s experience and deepen our understanding of our own faith practice. Christian Scientists seek to bring an inclusive listening and healing spirit into interfaith and ecumenical contexts. This activity is supported by the church’s Committee on Publication, which seeks to foster a better understanding of Christian Science through thoughtful engagement in the public sphere. Our church members across the world respond to invitations and participate in dialogues and events that reflect this healing purpose.
“...be ready always to give…a reason of the hope that is in you…”
—I Peter 3:15 (KJV)
What does it mean to a Christian Scientist to lean on the Bible in fraught times? To strive to follow Christ Jesus’ teaching to love God wholeheartedly, and one’s neighbor as oneself, especially when safety, health, peace and justice seem far off? The following perspectives, offered by Christian Scientists in various interfaith and ecumenical settings, lend some insight.
Dialogue with the World Council of Churches
In 2017, the Church of Christ, Scientist, was afforded the opportunity to respond in an official capacity to a publication of the World Council of Churches (WCC), The Church: Towards a Common Vision (2013). This response was published by the WCC in 2021 as part of a two-volume compilation of responses from Christian denominations and ecumenical organizations worldwide. It speaks to a number of pressing questions about the necessity and purpose of church in the world today. As the Christian Science Board of Directors writes in the introduction,
“No one can doubt the urgency, in this time of increased religious tribalism, of witnessing to the common vision that binds Christians together with each other and ultimately with all humanity. Our own church’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, pointed to the underlying basis for this common vision in a statement written when the denomination’s first church building here in Boston was completed in 1894. She wrote, ‘Our unity with churches of other denominations must rest on the spirit of Christ calling us together.’ The one ‘point of convergence’ for all Christian churches, she continued, is the Lord’s Prayer: ‘It is matter for rejoicing that we unite in love, and in this sacred petition with every praying assembly on earth . . .’ It is in this spirit that we offer our response to the World Council today.”
The pamphlet, “Ecumenical papers,” produced by the Christian Science Committee on Publication several decades ago, still provides thought-provoking insights on relevant theological topics, though some of the language reflects the common usage of an earlier time. In Christian Science, God has always been recognized as Father-Mother, the Great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14) who transcends gender, and “man” is meant as an inclusive term, referring to all humankind.
A Heart in Protest
A video about Mary Baker Eddy and her enduring commitment to relieving human suffering offers crucial insights and scholarly perspectives. Narrated by Robert Duvall.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more about our church’s interfaith and ecumenical activity, you can reach our Lead Representative for Interfaith and Ecumenical Affairs for The Mother Church at firstname.lastname@example.org.