The Mother Church of Christ Scientist

by Rolf A. F. Witzsche


 

It's legal title:


The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston Massachusetts



Its temple and its church 

 


Its Pastors:

Pastor Emeritus: Mary Baker Eddy
author of the Christian Science textbook:
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PASTOR


Ordination. Section 1. I, Mary Baker
Eddy, ordain the BIBLE, and SCIENCE AND
HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, Pastor
over The Mother Church, - The First Church
of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass., - and
they will continue to preach for this Church
and the world.


The Lesson-Sermon. Sect. 2. The subject
of the Lesson-Sermon in the morning service of
The Mother Church, and of the branch Churches
of Christ, Scientist, shall be repeated at the other
services on Sunday. The correlative Biblical
texts in the Lesson-Sermon shall extend from
Genesis to Revelation.

(Manual p.58)

The Bible - The Christian Science Textbook - Lesson-Sermon


Its congregation

The congregation which shall worship in said church shall be styled "The First Church of Christ, Scientist."
(Church Manual p.132)

See: Order of Services


Its provision for marriage and sex
presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

There exists no provision for marriage in the Mother Church. This does not mean that the subject is ignored. It is scientifically developed far beyond what appears on the surface. For this Mary Baker Eddy utilizes the metaphor of the 9 black birds surrounding the central cross, which she presented in her illustrated poem, Christ and Christmas, in the last painting, The Way. The birds can be seen to represent the 9 names of the children of the biblical Jacob that she has provided definitions for in her glossary. The significance for this lies not in the fact that she has done this. It lies in what she presents with the definitions themselves, which are focused almost entirely on sex, marriage, relationships, and the Principle of Universal Love that threads through the nine stories.

Two of the birds sit on the cross bar, the moral line. One flies below, two above, and two sit on top of the cross. Each of the four levels represents a certain level of scientific attainment, or the lack of it, and the corresponding reflection sex and marriage, as defined in her glossary definitions.

There exists some doubt whether Jacob's story in Genesis is historic fact, since the timing appears to predate written history, but no matter the authenticity, the story presents an interesting background for probing the question of sex and marriage. 


As the story tells us, Jacob was a rat. He conspired with his mother, betrayed his father's trust, and cheated his brother so badly that he had to flee, fearing for is life. He came to his mother's brother Leban in a far off land, where he fell in love with Leban's younger daughter, Rachel. It was agreed that he would work for Leban for seven years for Rachel to become his wife. But on his wedding day, he found that he had married the older daughter Leah instead, who had to be married first, according to tradition. So he worked for another seven years to obtain Rachel also. However, Rachel was barren, while Leah bore him children. In early times, when human labor was the key to survival, children, especially sons, were the gold of the family, and this gold came from Leah, while Jacob loved Rachel. Thus, a great conflict arose. Leah tried to gain his love, and Rachel tried to retain it.

 In this rivalry Reuben was born, and Leah said proudly, now will my husband love me. (Genesis 29:32) But Mary Baker Eddy didn't see this as a victory. Her definition is:

 Reuben (Jacob's son). Corporeality; sensuality; delusion; mortality; error.

At the birth of her third son, Leah said much of the same same thing, "Now will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons She named the child Levi, which means, attached. But Mary Baker Eddy didn't see it that way. Her definition is:

Levi (Jacob's son). A corporeal and sensual belief; mortal man; denial of the fulness of God's creation; ecclesiastical despotism.


Mary Baker Eddy didn't define Leah's second child, perhaps, because Leah's mentality hadn't changed. It appears however that Leah recognized eventually that it is futile trying to manipulate another person into loving. She became detached from the process, but retained her own love. In this dawning environment she called her fourth son, Judah, which means, object of praise. Mary Baker Eddy acknowledged her progress, in defining the name. And this time she leaves out the comment, (Jacob's son).

Judah. A corporeal material belief progressing and disappearing; the spiritual understanding of God and man appearing.

Since Jacob was angry at Rachel that she didn't bear him any children, she gave Jacob her own maid to wife to have children with him. Rachel called the child that was born, Dan, with means to judge. She felt that God had judged her worthy for her sacrifice. But Mary Baker Eddy doesn't agree. Her definition is:

Dan (Jacob's son). Animal magnetism; so-called mortal mind controlling mortal mind; error, working out the designs of error; one belief preying upon another.

Mary Baker Eddy didn't define Rachel's second child, Naphtali. The circumstances hadn't changed.

Since Leah stopped being children at this point, she recognized the utility of the process her sister had used. So, she used the same process, although from a different mental background. When Leah's maid bore Jacob a son on this platform, she named him Gad, which means, a troop is coming. Mary Baker Eddy gave her high praise for her response, in defining the name:

Gad (Jacob's son). Science; spiritual being understood; haste towards harmony.

What is Mary Baker Eddy saying here? Imagine the same situation unfolding in today's world under the current marriage doctrine. What happened here in the story is unthinkable under this doctrine. In today's world, the very suspicion by a wife of her husband having an affair with another woman, typically causes a crisis in relationships, overshadowed with rage, anger, if not violence, and legal actions aiming for divorce in which families are torn apart and many are left destitute. Beyond that it is even more unthinkable that a wife would encourage such an affair in the first place, and involve her best friend to having sex with her husband, and this specifically for having children together. But Mary Baker Eddy gives this seemingly irrational response by a wife the highest mark of honor, and calls it "Science; spiritual being understood; haste towards harmony." However, Mary Baker Eddy didn't give the same high mark to Rachel, who had acted in the same manner. She called Rachel's action "Animal magnetism; so-called mortal mind controlling mortal mind; error, working out the designs of error; one belief preying upon another." The difference between the two women's actions, which were physically identical, therefore wasn't the action itself. The indifference between the two situations was occasioned by Leah's dawning awareness of the Principle of Universal Love, which stood in stark contrast with Rachel's sense of privatized love. 

It appears that Leah was aware that her sense of the Principle of Universal Love gave her something profound, something that Rachel couldn't even recognize. When another son was born by Leah's maid, for the family, she called the child, Asher, which means, blessed. Mary Baker Eddy agrees with Leah's assessment in her definition for the name.

Asher (Jacob's son). Hope and faith; spiritual compensation; the ills of the flesh rebuked.

The story of the two wives, however, doesn't end here. It seems to indicate that the challenge of the Principle of Universal Love is a constant challenge, so that when it isn't kept in the foreground one is in danger that it drifts out of sight. This was Leah's experience. When one of Leah's sons found mandrakes in the field, that were deemed to aid conception, she gave some to Rachel for the privilege of having sex with Jacob again. In this agreement she said to Jacob, you must come and sleep with me again, because I have hired you with my son's mandrakes. And so, Issachar was born. The name refers to, wages. Leah said, in justifying the name, God has given me my hire." But Mary Baker Eddy disagrees. In her definition of the name, she suggests that Leah had drifted back into the old mode of personal manipulation for motives of the privatization of love.

Issachar (Jacob's son). A corporeal belief; the offspring of error; envy; hatred; selfishness; self-will; lust.

Leah had two more children after that, but Mary Baker Eddy provided no definition for them, as the resulting sense of relationship had already been defined. With the birth of her next son, Leah confirms this. She said, "Now will my husband dwell with me, because I have given him six sons." She reverted back to where she stated from.

Rachel, however had progressed by the mandrakes affair that had devastated Leah. With the birth of her first child Rachel said "God has taken away my reproach," and for this she named him Joseph, which relates to the term, add. The focus was on enriching the family, even if this meant letting Jacob have relationships with Leah again, and apparently she was glad for it, as she stopped playing the old relationship games. Mary Baker Eddy agrees in her, in her definition of the name.

Joseph. A corporeal mortal; a higher sense of Truth rebuking mortal belief, or error, and showing the immortality and supremacy of Truth; pure affection blessing its enemies.

Note, Mary Baker Eddy didn't attach the comment (Jacob's son) to the name, as she had also done in the case of Judah, because in both cases the wives had stepped away from playing privatization-oriented relationship games and had gained a dawning sense of the Principle of Universal Love. But tragically, Rachel too, couldn't hold on to the demanding imperative of the Principle of Universal Love. This time tensions arose when Jacob wanted to return to his home country, with his wives and children and all that he had. This meant for the wives leaving their father behind. Before leaving, it appears that Rachel stole an image of her father, to take with her. There ensued a conflict over that. Also Rachel was with child during the hubbub of departure and resettlement. Out of this arose a tragedy. Rachel died during childbirth. Before she died, she called her son Benoni, meaning, son of my sorrow. Jacob, however, who had become transformed to Israel during the journey home, renamed the child Benjamin, which means, son of my right hand. Mary Baker Eddy defines both aspects:

Benjamin (Jacob's son). A physical belief as to life, substance, and mind; human knowledge, or so-called mortal mind, devoted to matter; pride; envy; fame; illusion; a false belief; error masquerading as the possessor of life, strength, animation, and power to act.

Renewal of affections; self-offering; an improved state of mortal mind; the introduction of a more spiritual origin; a gleam of the infinite idea of the infinite Principle; a spiritual type; that which comforts, consoles, and supports.

With these nine definitions, Mary Baker Eddy sets forth not a specific marriage institution, but the reality of the universal marriage of mankind as human being bound to each other by the Principle of Universal Love, or being isolated from one another by the lack of it. And so, she established the real sense of marriage, without providing a specific form for it. Instead she provided a platform that  has the power to enrich, uplift, and widen all the culturally established forms, whatever they may be. With her universal marriage definition that the nine birds symbolically represent in the painting "The Way", she opens up a new perception of marriage, and she places this perception in the second-highest position on her pedagogical structure (see below: " Its Scientific Structure").

The nine birds may also have a second meaning. Mary Baker Eddy defined not only the names of nine biblical historic persons that are related to the Jacob story, but she also defines nine other names of great biblical historic significance. These names reflect the spiritual and scientific dimension, or the lack thereof, by which the Jacob related names are further defined. I have correlated the names for my own benefit (see: Example) and make them available for the sake of sharing a profound idea. (The example provided is a part of Volume 3a of the Series Discovering Infinity) (See Glossary terms)

And still, the marriage concept doesn't end here. You may have noticed that in the painting, The Way, there is a tenth bird shown, a white dove bearing a large object. In a previous version of this scene, the position of the dove was taken up by an image of Christ Jesus. This image didn't remain long. As it now stands, with the white dove substituted, the white bird could also represent Jacob having been transform to Israel. As the result of his transformation, Jacob (now Israel) was able to say to his brother whom he had cheated and then feared, "I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God..." (Genesis 33:10) Isn't that what Christ Jesus also said in essence to all people, on which his marvelous healing work unfolded. Isn't this also the highest and clearest definition for marriage? It means that Mary Baker Eddy has made provisions for marriage, and this more profoundly so than anyone before her in any other church.


Mary Baker Eddy also isolates sex from marriage and deals with it separately. She places it onto the moral level. Her doing this comes as a warning that if one allows sex to drop below the moral line, it drags one into depravity, regardless of ones status of marriage. However, in placing sex onto the moral line, Mary Baker Eddy opens it up to scientific development that takes it far above the moral line into the science of spiritual ideas. This, obviously is the natural direction. The development of sexual intimacy inevitably becomes reflected in economic, national, and international intimacies in society for the advance of the Principle of the General Welfare, and beyond that, the Principle of Universal Love, meeting all human needs. 

Mary Baker Eddy's references to sex are found in the painting Christmas Eve, where we see a woman's hand holding a cane, but with a strange positioning of her hand in a manner as if she was holding the penis of the boy standing next to her, who is shown being intensely alive. Her second reference to sex is found in the painting Truth versus Error, where the representative of Science knocks at the door of the dwelling of humanity with a festivity going on inside. The door knocker is in the shape of a man with his hands folded in front of him, so that the knocker hits the genitals. And this is precisely were the fingers are, of the representative of Science, as if to say, wake up, people!

 

 


Its scientific structure
presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

Mary Baker Eddy provided three primary development-type structures. These are:

  1. The 16 metaphors in Christ and Christmas,  

  2. The 16 textbook chapters, 

  3. The 16 stanzas of the Lord's prayer, with the spiritual sense added, (S&H p.16-17)

See their combined application below. A fourth development-type structure was added later, which is the 16-segment Church Manual (a special case not shown here).

 

The Word
incorporeal

northward - dawn
North Star - Polar magnet of Revelation

Christ
divine

eastward - sunrise
seen by Wisemen

Christianity
supreme

southward - heat of day
the Southern Cross

Divine Science
infinite

westward - sunset
peace and harmony

The Word  
 
of Life, Truth and Love
 
"day"
 Heaven

The Divine focus omnipotence

4
Seeking and Finding

CHAPTER 4 - Christian Science versus Spiritualism

Adorable One

8
Christian Science Healing (part 1)

CHAPTER 8 - Footsteps of Truth

Enable us to know, - as in heaven, so on earth, - God is omnipotent, supreme

12
Christian Unity (part 1)

CHAPTER 12 - Christian Science Practice

And Love is reflected in love

16
(...the Morning Star)

CHAPTER 16 - The Apocalypse

For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over
all, and All

Christ,  
the spiritual idea of God
 
"morning"
  Kingdom of Heaven

The Spiritual focus
omniscience

3
Christ Healing
(part 2)

CHAPTER 3 - Marriage

Hallowed be Thy name.

Pison (river)

7
Christmas Morn

CHAPTER 7 - Physiology

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Gihon (river)

11
Treating the Sick

CHAPTER 11 - Some Objections Answered

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Hiddekel (river)

15
The Way

CHAPTER 15 - Genesis

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, forever.
Euphrates: (river)

Christianity, the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ idea in Christian history
 
"evening"
  Earth

Moral (transitional)
omnipresence

2
Christ Healing
(part 1)

CHAPTER 2 - Atonement and Eucharist

Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,

6
Christmas Eve
(part 2)

CHAPTER 6 - Science, Theology, Medicine


Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present

10
I thank thee O Father..

CHAPTER 10 -
 Science of Being

Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

14
Truth versus Error

CHAPTER 14 - Recapitulation

And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death

Christian Science,  
which today and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar
 
"night"
  Hell

The Physical focus
omni action

1
Star of Bethlehem

CHAPTER 1 - Prayer


Our Father which art in heaven,

5
Christmas Eve
(part 1)

CHAPTER 5 - Animal Magnetism Unmasked

Thy kingdom come.

9
Christian Science Healing (part 2)

CHAPTER 9 - Creation

Give us this day our daily bread;

13
Christian Unity (part 2)

CHAPTER 13 - Teaching Christian Science

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;

Please click on the underlined painting title to view the painting.

Complete index of Christ and Christmas

Complete index of the textbook

The 16 stanzas of the Lord's prayer
also see their grouping by column

For details see: Sublime Science


Its (Church Manual) Constitution
presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

 If one looks closely at how the 16 segments of Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual are laid out, one can recognize that the foursquare structure appears to be logically divided into two halves (which I identified below as aspects of Temple and aspects of Church).

 

Temple

Church

 

The Word *2
The river Pison - oriented northward to the early dawn

Christ *2
The river Gihon - oriented eastward to the sunrise

Christianity *2
The river Hiddekel - oriented southward to the heat of the day

divine Science *2
The river Euphrates - oriented westward to the sunset

The Word *1

4 - Meetings

8 - The Mother Church and Branch Churches

12 - Board of Education

16 - Church Manual

The Christ *1

3 - Discipline

7 - Relation and Duties of Members to Pastor Emeritus

11 - Teaching Christian Science

15 - Church-Building

Christianity *1

2 - Church Membership

6 - Reading Rooms

10 - The Christian Science Publishing Society

14 - Committee on Publication

Christian Science *1

1 - Church Officers

5 - Church Services

9 - Guardianship of Funds

13 - Board of Lectureship

*1 The cardinal points or levels of perception. Mary Baker Eddy presented 4 cardinal points for the 'city foursquare' (The city of our God.) She writes: "This spiritual, holy habitation has no boundary nor limit, but its four cardinal points are: 

first, the Word of Life, Truth, and Love; 
second, the Christ, the spiritual idea of God; 
third, Christianity, which is the outcome of the divine Principle of the Christ-idea in Christian history; 
fourth, Christian Science, which to-day and forever interprets this great example and the great Exemplar.

Mary Baker Eddy also listed two sets of four terms that identify four levels of perception, respectively:

Heaven, Day
Kingdom of Heaven, Morning
Earth, Evening
Hell, Night

She also describes four levels of, good, in glossary definition for the term Good:

omnipotence
omniscience
omnipresence
omni-action


*2 The characteristic of the development streams is described in a similar manner as four main points. She used the names of the four rivers in Genesis 2 and defined them, not in their biblical context, but in the context of four flows of scientific and spiritual development. And since these rivers are out-flowing, to metaphorically water the world, she also defined the sides and gates of the city through which they are flowing. The four rivers are (in their biblical sequence):

Pison (river). The love of the good and beautiful, and their immortality.
Gihon (river). The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially.
Hiddekel (river). Divine Science understood and acknowledged.
Euphrates (river). Divine Science encompassing the universe and man; the true idea of God; a type of the glory which is to come; metaphysics taking the place of physics; the reign of righteousness. The atmosphere of human belief before it accepts sin, sickness, or death; a state of mortal thought, the only error of which is limitation; finity; the opposite of infinity.

She describes the sides to which the rivers pertain saying: "The four sides of our city are the Word, Christ, Christianity, and divine Science." She adds, "This city is wholly spiritual, as its four sides indicate." And she adds further, "It is indeed a city of the Spirit, fair, royal, and square. 

Northward, its gates open to the North Star, the Word, the polar magnet of Revelation; 
eastward, to the star seen by the Wisemen of the Orient, who followed it to the manger of Jesus; 
southward, to the genial tropics, with the Southern Cross in the skies, - the Cross of Calvary, which binds human society into solemn union; 
westward, to the grand realization of the Golden Shore of Love and the Peaceful Sea of Harmony.

Note: The north, east, south, west sequence that she presents here reflects the progression of the sun across the sky, from the early dawn to the sunset.

Two wings of a bird:

 

Mary Baker Eddy describes God with four special qualities that can be applied to the four columns respectively as an aid to focus our attention in these four development streams. She writes, God is incorporeal; divine; supreme; infinite, - (see previous image).

-

Now since the entire structure of four rivers is logically divided into two halves the first two rivers and associated concepts pertain to the 'Temple' dimension, and the last two rivers to the 'Church' dimension. The resulting division puts the qualities of God as "incorporeal" and "divine" into the 'Temple.' On the side of 'Church' a different aspect of Principle comes to light that Mary Baker Eddy has identified as "supreme" and "infinite." 


Its Platform
presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

The Christian Science Platform 
and related structures


The Christian Science Platform is a structure of 32 statements. This large platform structure gives us two platform statements for each of the 16 elements of the foursquare pedagogical structure, providing two lines of statements for each row of the pedagogical structure.

We have two additional platforms structures associated with the main platform. One of the additional structures had been recognized quite early, which is the 16-element structure that is contained in the Glossary definition for the term, MORTAL MIND. The MORTAL-MIND structure stands in contrast with, or denial of, the scientific recognition represented in the Christian-Science-Platform structure. In their association with Christian Science Platform elements, the MORTAL-MIND elements are being invalidated and overturned.

However, the 16 MORTAL-MIND elements cover only half of the 32 elements of the Christian Science Platform. What about the rest?

It has been recognized, also quite a while ago, that Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual, of the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, is also a structure made up of 16 elements. It hadn't been recognized until quite recently, that the Church Manual is not essentially a platform structure, but a development structure of By-Laws that, as a model, basically lays out the four aspects of the Church Universal and Triumphant that The Mother Church is to reflect to some degree. The 16 parts of the manual are thereby put into context with the platform statements relative to the four development streams.

Since the platform statements are associated according to the principle of a platform, the first platform element, which represents the highest concept, becomes thereby associated with the highest element position of the foursquare pedagogical structure, sequencing downwards to the lower-level aspects. The association of the two structures (the MORTAL-MIND structure and the Church-Manual structure) alternates, line by line (in groups of four, )beginning with the invalidation of MORTAL MIND, followed by the CHURCH MANUAL elements that are thereby strengthened.

Once all of this was put in place, an amazing interplay between the three platform structures resulted, which is presented here.

The 32 Platform Elements

The Following is the list of the headings of the 32-element PLATFORM-statement of Christian Science, and their relationship to the 16-element definition for MORTAL MIND, interspersed with the 16-element DEVELOPMENT FLOW of the Church Manual . 

(Note: the sequential numbering of the sections of the manual provisions is not included in the above diagram)

 -1- The deific supremacy
mortal mind= 1. Nothing claiming to be something, for Mind is immortal
 -2- The deific definitions
mortal mind= 2. Mythology
 -3- Evil obsolete
mortal mind= 3. Error creating other errors
 -4- Life the creator
mortal mind= 4. A suppositional material sense, alias the belief that sensation is in matter, which is sensationless


 -5- Allness of Spirit
Church Manual: 16. CHURCH MANUAL 
 -6- The universal cause
Church Manual: 12. BOARD OF EDUCATION 
 -7- Divine trinity
Church Manual: 8. THE MOTHER CHURCH AND BRANCH CHURCHES 
 -8- Father-Mother
Church Manual: 4. MEETINGS


 -9- The Son of God
mortal mind= 5. A belief that life, substance, and intelligence are in and of matter
 -10- Holy Ghost or Comforter
mortal mind= 6. The opposite of Spirit, and therefore the opposite of God, or good
 -11- Christ Jesus
mortal mind= 7. The belief that life has a beginning and therefore an end
 -12- Messiah or Christ
mortal mind= 8. The belief that man is the offspring of mortals


 -13- The divine Principle and idea
Church Manual: 15. CHURCH-BUILDING
 -14- Spiritual oneness
Church Manual: 11. TEACHING CHRISTIAN SCIENCE 
 -15- The Son's duality
Church Manual: 7. RELATION AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS TO PASTOR EMERITUS
 -16- Eternity of the Christ
Church Manual: 3. DISCIPLE


-17- Infinite Spirit
mortal mind= 9. The belief that there can be more than one creator
 -18- The only substance
mortal mind= 10. Idolatry
 -19- Soul and Spirit one
mortal mind= 11. The subjective states of error
 -20- The one divine Mind
mortal mind= 12. Material senses


 -21- The divine Ego
Church Manual:14. COMMITTEE ON PUBLICATION
 -22- The real manhood
Church Manual: 10. THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE PUBLISHING SOCIETY
 -23- Indivisibility of the infinite
Church Manual: 6. READING ROOMS 
 -24- God the parent Mind
Church Manual: 2. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP


-25- Man reflects the perfect God
mortal mind= 13. That which neither exists in Science nor can be recognized by the spiritual sense
 -26- Purity the path to perfection
mortal mind= 14. Sin
 -27- True idea of man
mortal mind= 15. Sickness
 -28- Truth demonstrated
mortal mind= 16. Death


 -29- Adam not ideal man
Church Manual: 13. BOARD OF LECTURESHIP
 -30- Divine pardon
Church Manual: 9: GUARDIANSHIP OF CHURCH FUNDS
 -31- Evil not produced by God
Church Manual: 5: CHURCH SERVICES
 -32- Basis of health and immortality
Church Manual: 1: CHURCH OFFICERS


Its Lesson Sermon Structure
presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

The Lesson Sermon and related Recapitulation Platform
and definition for Adam


The chapter Recapitulation contains a platform structure that is made up of 24 questions and answers. Two of these address a double topic (Question 20 and 22), which opens the door for the 26-element structure of the lesson sermon topics to be associated with the Recapitulation platform.

Mary Baker Eddy designated the Bible and the Christian Science textbook to be the pastor of the Mother Church, the Church of Christ Scientist. For this purpose she set up a structure of 26 Bible lessons to be repeated twice a year. These Bible lessons make up the major part the Sunday service in The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist (reflected in its branches around the world). In this manner she provides a form of the Lesson-Sermon that is not preached, but read by two readers. Obviously, the lesson topics, which Mary Baker Eddy designated to remain unaltered for all times, were designed to be a part of her pedagogical structure. The interface for bringing the lesson topics into the foursquare pedagogical structure is provided in the chapter Recapitulation, which she states is the revised version of her "class-book" (Evidently designed by her for the Massachusetts Metaphysical College  in which she had organized and served as teacher till 1889).  Since the church services, where the lessons sermons are read, are designed for the healing of the congregation, the structural association of this "class-book" with the lesson sermon topics is appropriate. Through this interface the textbook chapter, RECAPITULATION (the class-book) provides a foundation for the BIBLE LESSON TOPICS, which thereby enriches them.

Mary Baker Eddy also provided a counter-platform for the platform of the Bible lessons topics. This counter-platform is found in the first Glossary definition for the name ADAM. The ADAM-structure is likewise a structure of 26-elements. It evidently brings the 26 distinct elements of the ADAM mythology into view, which the lesson topics (and the course of the lessons) are designed to invalidate and overturn. The interrelationship is, of course, further enriched by the Recapitulation questions themselves and the answering statements, which should logically prime the stage for the entire Bible lesson for the Lesson-Sermon that makes up the Sunday service in the Christian Science Church.

The 24 Recapitulation Elements

The following list draws together  the Recapitulation question, the sequential ADAM element, and the sequential lesson topic for each of the 24 elements of the Recapitulation platform.

(01) Question: What is God?
ADAM = Error.
Topic: God


(02) Question: Are these terms synonymous?
ADAM = A falsity.
Topic: Sacrament 


(03) Question: Is there more than one God or Principle?
ADAM = Belief in "original sin," sickness, and death.
Topic: Life


(04) Question: What are spirits and souls?
ADAM = Evil.
Topic: Truth


(05) Question: What are the demands of the Science of Soul?
ADAM = The opposite of good,- of God and His creation. 
Topic: Love


(06) Question: What is the scientific statement of being?
ADAM = A curse.
Topic: Spirit


(07) Question: What is Substance?
ADAM = A belief in intelligent matter, finiteness, and mortality.
Topic: Soul


(08) Question: What is Life?
ADAM = Dust to dust.
Topic: Mind


(09) Question: What is intelligence?
ADAM = Red sandstone.
Topic: Christ Jesus


(10) Question: What is Mind?
ADAM = Nothingness.
Topic: Man


(11) Question: Are doctrines and creeds a benefit to man?
ADAM = The first god of mythology.
Topic: Substance


(12) Question: What is error?
ADAM = Not God's man, who represents the one God and His own image and likeness.
Topic: Matter


(13) Question: Is there no sin?
ADAM = The opposite of Spirit and His creations.
Topic: Reality


(14) Question: What is man?
ADAM = That which is not the image and likeness of good, but a material belief, opposed to the one Mind, or Spirit.
Topic: Unreality


(15) Question: What are body and Soul?
ADAM = A so-called finite mind, producing other minds, thus making "gods many and lords many." 
Topic: Are Sin, Disease, and Death Real?


(16) Question: Does brain think, and do nerves feel, and is there intelligence in matter?
ADAM = A product of nothing as the mimicry of something.
Topic: Doctrine of Atonement


(17) Question: Is it important to understand these explanations in order to heal the sick?
ADAM = Unreality as opposed to the great reality of spiritual existence and creation.
Topic: Probation after Death


(18) Question: Does Christian Science, or metaphysical healing, include medication, material hygiene, mesmerism, hypnotism, theosophy, or spiritualism?
ADAM = A so-called man, whose origin, substance, and mind are found to be the antipode of God, or Spirit.
Topic: Everlasting Punishment


(19) Question: Is materiality the concomitant of spirituality, and is material sense a necessary preliminary to the understanding and expression of Spirit?
ADAM = An inverted image of Spirit.
Topic: Adam and Fallen Man


(20a) Question: You speak of belief.
ADAM = The image and likeness of what God has not created, namely, matter, sin, sickness, and death.
Topic: Mortals and Immortals

(20b) Question: Who or what is it that believes?
ADAM = The opposer of Truth, termed error.
Topic: Soul and Body (21)


(21) Question: Do the five corporeal senses constitute man?
ADAM = Life's counterfeit, which ultimates in death.
Topic: Ancient and Modern Necromany, alies Mesmerism, and Hypnotism, Denounced (22)


(22a) Question: Will you explain sickness...
ADAM = The opposite of Love, called hate. 
Topic: God the Only Cause and Creator (23)

(22b) Question: ...and show how it is to be healed?
ADAM = The usurper of Spirit's creation, called self-creative matter.
Topic: God the Preserver of Man (24)


(23) Question: How can I progress most rapidly in the understanding of Christian Science?
ADAM = Immortality's opposite, mortality. 
Topic: Is the Universe, Including Man Evolved by Atomic Force? (25)


(24) Question: Have Christian Scientists any religious creed?
ADAM = That of which wisdom saith, "Thou shalt surely die."
Topic: Christian Science (26)


 

In this three-part association with the RECAPITULATION questions, the ADAM elements stand in denial of the Recapitulation Platform. Consequently they become invalidated by it, while the platform of the LESSON TOPICS becomes enriched thereby. The principle for associating a platform with a matrix structure is such that one begins at the highest element position, cycling downwards line by line, to the lower levels.

The lowest row, representing NIGHT and HELL are not covered by any of the Recapitulation related structures, for as John points out about the city foursquare in Revelation 21:25, "there shall be no night there."
 

The Bible Lesson Topics

The following are the 26 Bible lesson topics that were provided by Mary Baker Eddy, to be repeated every half year. The topics were evidently chosen to match her Recapitulation Platform, which had been her class-book for teaching "the Science of Healing, through Mind," probably dating back as far as 1867 when she organized her first school in "Christian Science Mind-healing."

The universal Bible lesson topics were formally introduced in 1898. The sequence of the topics was changed several times until 1908. It appears that Mary Baker Eddy may have expected people to discover the correct sequence on their own, but then, coincident with the year of her founding of the Christian Science Monitor, she provided that sequence, which had remained unchanged from this time on. The topics identified as "a." and "b." pertain to the double-topic questions in Recapitulation (question 20, and 22). 

01 GOD.
02 SACRAMENT.
03 LIFE.
04 TRUTH.
05 LOVE.
06 SPIRIT.
07 SOUL.
08 MIND.
09 CHRIST JESUS.
10 MAN. 
11 SUBSTANCE. 
12 MATTER. 
13 REALITY. 
14 UNREALITY.
15 ARE SIN, DISEASE, AND DEATH REAL? 
16 DOCTRINE OF ATONEMENT. 
17 PROBATION AFTER DEATH.
18 EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT.
19 ADAM AND FALLEN MAN.
20 a. MORTALS AND IMMORTALS.
21 b. SOUL AND BODY.
22 ANCIENT AND MODERN NECROMANCY, ALIAS MESMERISM AND HYPNOTISM, DENOUNCED.
23 a. GOD THE ONLY CAUSE AND CREATOR.
24 b. GOD THE PRESERVER OF MAN.
25 IS THE UNIVERSE, INCLUDING MAN, EVOLVED BY ATOMIC FORCE?
26 CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.

Its Measure or Science Constituents
presented by Rolf A. F. Witzsche

The Glossary Structure
please click for details

The Glossary of the Christian Science textbook contains 144 definitions (included in 5 types of dual definition), which is the exact measure required to create a nine-element substructure for each of the 16 elements of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure that she has outlined the textbook chapter, The Apocalypse (the end of all evil), where she describes the "city foursquare' from Revelation 21, which John the Revelator described as measured in 144 elements (v.17).

the 9-element substructure

The shape of the structure reflects the metaphor in the second last painting in Mary Baker Eddy's illustrated poem, Christ and Christmas, titled Truth versus Error . The pattern is woven into the carpet with the representative of Science standing in the middle of it. For details of the interrelationships of the dual definitions, please refer to the links: The Glossary Structure, and also Sublime Science
Also see: Example of the 144 element structure.

It has been further recognized that if one divides the lower three rows down the middle, the two parts then contain 56 elements each. This number is reflected in metaphor on the cover of Mary Baker Eddy's illustrated poem Christ and Christmas in the form of a large star surrounded by 56 rays of light.

It is interesting to note that it has recently been discovered that the factor of 56 is deeply intrinsic in the principles of the Universe. It has been discovered that large electric plasma currents naturally and universally organize themselves into circular structures of 56 individual filamentary elements, which over larger distances recombine again into structures of 28 filaments. The phenomenon has been observed in space and has been verified on the physics laboratory. It also appears to have been known to ancient cultures, as we find both the 56 and 28 circular dimension essentially reflected in the structure of Stonehenge in England. See: Supernova 1987A Decoded Obviously, Mary Baker Eddy was unaware of the plasma current characteristics of the Universe, as they had not been observed until recently (2003), but she may have been aware of the natural quality of this dimension. Be this as it may, we can find the dimension incorporated into her pedagogical structure.

The resulting division yields 14 elements for each part in each column that may reflect as rays of light, in the upper part, Mary Baker Eddy's definition for God (7 elements) standing in conjunction with the biblical metaphor of the seven days (or seven elements) of creation. (See: Example ) It should be noted that the star that is surrounded by 56 rays of light is a 7-pointed star, as are all stars in Christ and Christmas. Also, the 7-pointed star is the central feature of the seal of the Pastor Emeritus, Mary Baker Eddy, author of the textbook.

The crown shows 5 of these 7-sided stars, apparently representing the 5-types of dual definitions that are of crucial importance for 144-element glossary structures. The following is the full seal, which is presently a (R) registered trademark  of the Board of Directors of the Mother Church. The seal was originally the seal of "Mary Baker Eddy, President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College"

The modern seal shown above came into use around 1901 or shortly thereafter. It places an older style that is based on the crown in Christ and Christmas.

- -

The older crown incorporates the factor 7 only once, and the factor 5 vaguely. However it includes the 9 and 16 dimension of the Glossary structure. It presents 9 jewels in the frontal view and 16 in the global view. It appears that when Mary Baker Eddy simplified the style of the seal, she emphasized the critical factors of 5 and 7, while retaining the link to the crown in Christ and Christmas, which is indicated by the angle of the cross, that is identical to the angle of the beam of light that is focused by the crown in Christ and Christmas. The connection of the crown with Christ and Christmas, evidently is crucial.

.

 


Its Tenets

Tenets of The Mother Church
The First Church of Christ, Scientist


To be signed by those uniting with The First
Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass.


1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired
Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal
Life.

2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and
infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ;
the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in
God's image and likeness.

3. We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in
the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding
that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is
punished so long as the belief lasts.

4. We acknowledge Jesus' atonement as the evidence
of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man's
unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower;
and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ,
through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the
Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming
sin and death.

5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus
and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand
eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and
the nothingness of matter.

6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray
for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ
Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do
unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.
Mary Baker Eddy
(Church Manual p.15)

 

Note: The Tenets presented above, from the Manual, are identical to the letter with the tenets presented by Mary Baker Eddy in the Christian Science Textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, in the chapter Recapitulation (p.497). By them the Church Manual and the textbook are linked.



Its membership
Mother Church membership, representing the Mother Church

QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP

Believe in Christian Science. Section 1.
To become a member of The Mother Church,
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston,
Mass., the applicant must be a believer in
the doctrines of Christian Science, according to
the platform and teaching contained in the Christian
Science textbook, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, by Rev. Mary
Baker Eddy. The BIBLE, together with SCIENCE
AND HEALTH and other works by Mrs. Eddy,
shall be his only textbooks for self-instruction
in Christian Science, and for teaching and practising
metaphysical healing.

Free from Other Denominations. Sect. 2.
This Church will receive a member of another
Church of Christ, Scientist, but not a church-member
from a different denomination until that
membership is dissolved.

(Church Manual p.34)


Its Formal Education
The degrees CSB and CSD

Formal courses in the Mother Church are provided by its Board of Education. The students taught in this Normal class are examined, and are given certificates to become teachers in the field with the title CSB. In earlier years Mary Baker Eddy had taught students in an institution called the "Massachusetts Metaphysical College," which she had chartered under the State of Massachusetts. Students taught in this college are eligible for the title, CSD. However, she closed the college in 1889, and then reopened it ten years later, in 1899, as an auxiliary to her Church, and retained the title of its President in perpetuity. No provisions are made by her in the Church Manual for the college to have teachers, which renders the Massachusetts Metaphysical College as a purely spiritual institution, and her presidency of it in perpetuity as of purely spiritual significance. However, there appears to be a practical reason for it, which she hints at in a marginal note on the application forms for Mother Church membership that the degree CSD can be "taken" at the college. The note reads.

If you have been taught by a loyal student who has taken a degree
at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, or by one who has passed
an examination by the Board of Education, fill this blank.

It is interesting to note that the CSB degree is the equivalent to a bachelor degree, for which certificates are awarded, and the CSD degree is equivalent to a doctor degree for which no certificates can be attained, which renders the CSD degree strictly a self-acknowledgement with no commercial value or official status attached. 


Its Formal Taxation
The per capita tax

The Church Manual requires (p.44) that each Mother Church member shall forward to the treasurer a yearly per capita tax of no less that one dollar. Since this tax is so low that it is essentially symbolic, the fiscal maintenance of the Mother Church by the membership is for all practical purposes strictly voluntary, reflecting the value the membership recognizes in the operation of the Mother Church.


Its Members' Obligations
No formal obligations are specified
 except those specified under the section of Discipline in the Church Manual

In the section of the Church Manual of, RELATION AND DUTIES OF MEMBERS TO PASTOR EMERITUS, a requirement is set forth that remains perhaps symbolic for all times. The requirement is that a member, if called upon by the Leader, Mrs. Eddy, shall without hesitation serve in her home, or if failing so, be excommunicated. Since the Leader, Mrs. Eddy, no longer exists in person, the requirement is strictly spiritual and symbolic and may have been that from the beginning. Indeed, if the call is imperative, it cannot be ignored. Throughout the ages the call has gone out to Christianity to labor in God's win yard. In the empire of Mind the leadership role is scientific and its demands are the demands of Principle. If one refuses, one excommunicates oneself. But how could one refuse the directions of Love if the call is clear and demanding? And so it was my experience that a work needed to be done that was clearly required, and it was done and continues to be done. In my case the work took shape in the writing of a series of novels, exploring the Principle of Universal Love, and preparatory research books other novels. When the work was essentially complete, I discovered that by their sequential development the novels match essentially the specific aspects of the respective elements of Mary Baker Eddy's pedagogical structure for scientific and spiritual development. For this reason I have added a link to the novels in their relationship to this structure:

The series is designed to explore the demands of the divine Principle of Universal Love reflected in the social and political world. The alignment of the novels in their original sequence utilizes the same pattern as that used for the chapters of the textbook, but is applied only to the top three rows (similar to applying the 24 Recapitulation questions). The links in the chart below bring the novels (and the textbook chapters) into conjunction with the metaphors in Christ and Christmas, with the stanzas of the Lord's Prayer, and the 16 segments of Mary Baker Eddy's Church Manual.

 

The Word *2
The river Pison - oriented northward to the early dawn

Christ *2
The river Gihon - oriented eastward to the sunrise

Christianity *2
The river Hiddekel - oriented southward to the heat of the day

divine Science *2
The river Euphrates - oriented westward to the sunset

The Word *1

Roses at Dawn in an Ice Age World

The Flat Earth Society

Endless Horizons

Lu Mountain

The Christ *1

The Ice Age Challenge

Seascapes and Sand

Coffee Sex and Biscuits

Sword of Aquarius

Christianity *1

Discovering Love

Winning Without Victory

Glass Barriers

Angels of Sex in Queensland

Christian Science *1

Flight Without Limits 

Brighter than the Sun

Economics

The Coming Ice Age

The bottom row, with the cardinal point, Christian Science (also labeled, night, hell, and unreality), pertains to the great critical problems or challenges of mankind, the arena where nothing short of Christian Science healing will ultimately carry the day, as is evident by the glaring lack of progress by any other means. 

This bottom row represents the frozen-solid sewer of absolute idolatry where humanist movements have come to a halt. Here society prays to the god of impotence, the god of war, the god of poverty, and the god of lies respectively. Society prays to the god of impotence and surrenders its freedom to it. It bows to the god of war, seeking its security from it, but receives only terror, fear, and death. It serves the war of poverty in the hope for illusive riches, while it offers up its power and lays itself down to die at its feet. But worse than all of the above, it hails the god of lies to which it sacrifices its culture, its humanity, its future, and its very existence. This ice house of insanity, the platform of impotence, war, poverty, and lies, is the platform that every empire has promoted and is still promoting as the only possible platform that an imperial system can exist on. Society has become trapped into this sewer that is an ice house in humanist terms where nothing moves. That is why we see such strange phenomena now as the leaders of society struggling to solve the economic collapse of the world with the very same processes that caused the collapse. So far Christian Science is the only platform that offers any hope. Christian Science is designed to shatter this frozen landscape, unmask it as a dreamscape, supplant its emptiness with the light of the spiritual reality that every idolatry denies, and sets mankind free of its captivity in the sewer in order that the healing currents of Truth may uplift society onto higher ground where God is good, and good is All.

I have chosen four aspects that appear to be among the greatest challenges mankind is currently facing that follow the general pattern of impotence and its gross manifest as war, and the pattern of poverty and its gross manifest as lies. I have put them into two groups: 

1 - A general sense of impotence, which I focused on in the novel, Flight Without Limits
2 - The insanity of nuclear war, the grosser dimension of impotence, which I focused on with the novel, Brighter than the Sun.  

These two novels are not a part of the series, The Lodging for the Rose, that is designed for exploring the dimension of the Principle of Universal Love. This separation appears natural as the series, The Lodging for the Rose, is not designed to delve into the sewer. 

The sewer spots in the third and fourth column are also related. The first of these is one that everybody knows about and is touched by and seeks solutions for in all directions except the spiritual one, while the second one, which is vastly bigger, is being carefully hidden by lies (the poverty to the truth), and quite successfully so. 

3 - Here we face the impersonal god of poverty in economics. The world is economically collapsing while the divine Principle of Economics is being rejected. 
4 - The New Ice Age is not a big thing, though challenge is real. But it is huge in the shadow of the poverty to the truth, a world ruled by lies. "In lies we trust!" In this sense the coming new Ice Age presents a spiritual challenge that secondarily becomes a physical one. The continuity of mankind through the next Ice Age is physically possible, but to muster the spiritual resources to acknowledge and then face that challenge with the necessary steps to overcome it, appears to be almost insurmountable in the current world of mental poverty.

By placing the major challenges at the bottom row, the healing development above it, in the columns, opens up a respective scientific focus onto the divine reality.

Mary Baker Eddy further divided the entire foursquare structure of four columns into two halves. By this division into a right and left half she divided the focus between the individual self-development in the 'Temple' of Life in the first half, and the collective development of civilization in the second half, in the 'Church' of universal Principle. (more details) This global division of the structure into two halves is, amazingly, also reflected in the characteristics of the series of novels, The Lodging for the Rose as laid out above. 

In accord with this global division the two novels, Flight Without Limits, and, Brighter than the Sun, can actually be applied twice. They can be applied once in each half, because each of these novels is internally, logically divided into two distinct parts. In each of these two novels an individual or 'Temple' dimension precedes a collective 'Church' dimension that develops out of it, the dimension of civilization. In each of these two dimensions we also encounter distinct types of love relationships.


 

 

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Thank you for visiting - Rolf Witzsche

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