Response to “I Have No Sin…”

Response to "I Have No Sin..."

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by Don Ingwerson (originally posted October 2010)

In a recent blog quoting Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy was quoted as repeatedly denying the existence of sin and evil.  I say good for her.  However, lets place that statement in the context of her life’s work and practice:

She taught that sin and evil do not originate in God, good.  They are not ultimate realities of God’s creation but instead are to be overcome as Jesus taught and illustrated.  Evil results from the belief that man is separated from God and that life and substance are in matter, therefore limited and temporal.  Instead, life and substance are seen as in Spirit, God, therefore unlimited and eternal.

The question then arises that when Christian Science states sin is unreal, isn’t it denying the need for our redemption from sin – a need that is at the heart of Christianity?  By no means.  Mrs. Eddy explicitly states that the propitiation of mortals from sin is the very purpose of Christian Science, as it is with all Christianity.  Indeed, she uses the term “sin” and its derivatives more than thirteen hundred times in her published works.  She writes, for example, “Sin is the image of the beast to be effaced by the sweat of agony.”  And any careful student of her writings knows how much she has to say about redemption, salvation, atonement, sacrifice, grace, forgiveness, and repentance.

There is, however, a difference between Christian Scientists and most other Christians on one important aspect of this subject.  Christian Science teaches that forgiveness of sin requires the forsaking of sin, and this kind of radical redemption can’t come about through accepting sin as a grim necessity of man’s nature.  It insists that sin is neither God-created not God-permitted, and is therefore no part of the man made in God’s image and revealed through Christ.

Link to blog “I have no sin…”

About the author

Don Ingwerson Don regularly blogs on health and spirituality and lives in Laguna Beach with his wife - both Christian Science practitioners. He brings his years serving the public in education to his work as a liaison of Christian Science, where he maintains contacts with the media and legislative offices.

Comments

  1. says

    A good response, Don. Would it be possible to overcome something that is really a part of man’s nature? Jesus certainly admonished us to forsake sin. How can this be done without realizing that we don’t have to accept it as part of our nature?
    When confronted by the Pharisees and the adulterous woman, Jesus stooped down and “wrote on the dust of the ground.” To me it meant that sin was no more a part of her being than the dust, and just as easily erased.

  2. Don Ingwerson says

    Evelyn, Thank you for the penetrating question. The quick answer is that, in reality, there is nothing that is part of man’s real being that He (God) didn’t create. Jesus admonished us to forsake sin (anything missing the mark of perfection). I enjoy your active participation on this blog.

  3. Anne Cooling says

    Thank you Don for thinking deeply about this subject and participating in everyone’s quest for greater understanding on this topic. It reminded me of two statements of Mary Baker Eddy in her textbook. One is one of her church tenets, “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.” The other statement is part of the mission of Christian Science,”…the mission of Christian Science now, as in the time of its earlier demonstration, is not primarily one of physical healing. Now, as then,signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin, — to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world.” (pg.150:10)

  4. Ann Botts says

    Don, thank you. These clear thoughts will help explain this subject to the non-Christian Scientists. I have found it challenging to answer that familiar question—”you, Christian Scientists, do not believe in evil or sin? It is all around us! How can you say it is not real?” This blog will be so very helpful to respond to these questions by other Christians. Ann Botts, Banning, CA