I was listening to the book, America: The Last Best Hope, by William Bennett, and was pricked in conscience after hearing Abraham Lincoln’s views on loyalty. When Lincoln was President of the United States and the Civil War was on the verge of breaking out, Lincoln refused to put in charge of the military a few leaders who were considered loyal and great by the mass population. Lincoln felt their loyalty had become so intense, it was approaching treachery.
Memories flashed back for me. Not of the Civil War, I am not that old, but of the time when I was loyal to a religious organization. I was loyal to the religion’s creed and church rituals and I became very devoted to reading the literature believed to be religiously pure and faithful, the Bible and the Science and Health.
But, over a span of years, I felt impelled to diverge from those loyalties because they were betraying the religion dubbed Christian Science.
Gracefully, healing became much simpler and more expanded. My mind stop thinking the world was materialistic or a great opponent of the religion. And, I realized many of the rituals that I was so loyal too were not even mandated in the Church Manual. For example, the preamble read in church right before reading the Bible Lesson—stating something about the lesson being “uncontaminated”—is not quoted from the Manual. Likewise, the 26 Bible Lesson subjects are not stipulated in the Manual. Moreover, the order of the service is only an option. And, no where, absolutely no where does the Manual say the King James Version of the Bible is the mandatory read.
I then felt compelled to revise and update Science and Health to be read along with modern Bible versions adapted to today’s thinkers and readers and practitioners. I not only feel more devoted to spirituality but I’m discovering a lot of other people who also are faithful to fight for the principle of Love, and not a church job or ritual.
I still attend church, even of different faiths, however with a better attitude.
This was first printed at Beliefnet Voices