Response Post #4: Christian Science and the Episcopal Church

I was especially interested by the idea of those who follow Christian Science seeing Heaven and Hell as states of mind rather than of literal places, and it’s also sort of…disturbing? Because from what I gathered from the presentation, these people believe that Hell is something that happens to you if you’ve done wrong, and Heaven is something is something that happens to you if you’ve been a good person. And while these statements seem pretty general for most Christian denominations as well as popular views on Heaven and Hell, the fact that these people believe that Hell is consisted of things such as sickness and ill luck in general suddenly makes their aversion to modern medicine a bit more clear. The sickness is seen as a punishment by God, if I’m getting this right. Bad things that happen to you are punishments for doing something wrong. So since God brought it along, God should be the one to take it away. I don’t know, it just seems to me that this view of ill health as being part of punishment shouldn’t be coincidental with the whole being weary of medicine thing. I mean, yes in many ways it’s about trust in God, but I feel as if there’s something related between these two points in their belief system, so I don’t know. I might be overreading it.

Also, another thing that I wanted to bring up was the brief discussion we had on how the Christian Science group is shrinking rather than growing. Many of us were of course correlating it with the more extreme points of view this denomination holds, and how the younger generation wouldn’t be as interested in both their belief systems and in their types of services. However, I think it’s also worth mentioning that the Episcopal Church is somewhat shrinking as well. Not only that, but most of the churchgoers tend to be older. This is pretty interesting to me because while many would label the Christian Science denomination as backwards, the Episcopal Church is pretty well known for being progressive. Not only that, but they are losing some of the younger crowd to more fundamentalist groups, which I find pretty surprising, considering that one could say that the Episcopal Church offers more “freedom” in their way of thinking. 

So I think that’s something interesting to think about. Anyone have any thoughts? 

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2 Responses to Response Post #4: Christian Science and the Episcopal Church

  1. Interesting points. Lots of denominations are shrinking, and there are probably lots of reasons that contribute to that. There are a few denominations that are growing though (at least in certain parts of the world). Any guesses about which denominations are growing?

    • I’m guessing more fundamental denominations are growing, partly because they actively try to ‘spread the Word’ and partly because they tend to have a lot of kids (I know my church does, it’s not really that surprising to see a family have six or seven kids).

      I would also think that the Church is growing in more poverty-stricken areas, like Third World countries. I know a lot of denominations tend to send a lot of missionaries in those parts of the world.

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