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7 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2007 - 9:55AM #1
Seeking_Truth_and_God
Posts: 9
Hi!
This is my first post on Beliefnet. I came here to find out more about observations that I have made that I find hard to reconcile.
I have noticed a recurring activity which places Christian Science in alignment with Psychology and I wanted to find out how this can be reconciled. It is not clear if this is a case of active or passive participation but it seems that the two groups are working together locally. I believe CS has a very good message to convey but I also find Psychology to be a sham. So how do these two seem to be associated? It seems that the CS people should be assisting the victims by truthfulness and education instead of playing along with what ever scam the psych crowd may be perpetuating.
I have notice in the past that CS belief is often portrayed as deviant and sometimes as a sign of mental deficiency and while I know that the people I have met are great people to know I can't see how they rationalize any cooperation with the psych crowd.

So I have to ask if this is some passive acceptance of secular beliefs (like with inoculations for example), some shift to the Christian Psychology gimmick , or some other association. This one has me puzzled. What are our thoughts and what is the church's official stance on such association and cooperation?
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 04, 2007 - 10:57AM #2
seaotter2
Posts: 8
Hello Seeking..,
Please be more specific about the "recurring activity which places Christian Science in alignment with Psychology" that you are inquiring about.  I would like to give you an answer, but I'm really not sure what you are referring to. 

I can say this: 
  - The church, as an organization, does not have any association or cooperation with psychology.
  - Like any organization, the church is made up of a diverse group of individuals that are at various stages in their spiritual growth, education, understanding, and practice.  Some individuals may not, for whatever reason, be practicing in absolute accord with the teachings of Christian Science.

A major difference between psychology and Christian Science is that psychology deals with the mental processes of the human brain.  Christian Science teaches that God is the only Mind and that human problems are healed, not by manipulating the human mind, but by putting off or rejecting the human, mortal mentality (or "carnal mind" as the apostle Paul referred to it) and becoming conscious of our eternal unity with the divine Mind.  The apostle Paul described this process as letting "the spirit of God dwell in you" or having the "mind of Christ".
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 12:50AM #3
Seeking_Truth_and_God
Posts: 9
[QUOTE=seaotter2;114652]Hello Seeking..,

A major difference between psychology and Christian Science is that psychology deals with the mental processes of the human brain.  Christian Science teaches that God is the only Mind and that human problems are healed, not by manipulating the human mind, but by putting off or rejecting the human, mortal mentality (or "carnal mind" as the apostle Paul referred to it) and becoming conscious of our eternal unity with the divine Mind.  The apostle Paul described this process as letting "the spirit of God dwell in you" or having the "mind of Christ".[/QUOTE]

First let me say that my view of what the church teaches and what you say are in accord to the best of my knowledge. I can be thankful for this especially since it is aligned with my own personal belief.
Next I need to mention the reason for my concern. I find practices of manipulation and deception, especially those involving drugs to be a travesty to the integrity of the Christian mind as well as the CS definition of mind.
That is why I am so harsh about Christian Psychology  as well as the regular variety. I believe them to be incompatible with Christian teachings. While I have not heard CS churches say anything about the subject, I believe the manipulation and drugs used to be an "external" evil which run contrary to truth. The part I am not sure of with CS is the part about there being any external evil in MBE's teachings.
I do think my perception involves individuals within the churches and NOT a church sanctioned affiliation. On the other side, the psychology types have often used individuals to make it seem that there is some sort of organizational endorsement. I have seen this in several churches of various denominations. The curious part is that while making an appearance of alignment with various churches, they take individual denominations and try to discredit them by manipulating statistics to make it seem that there is some correlation between mental illness and the church they are  writing about. Using an unnamed denominational for the moment, I noticed on line, that they try to statistically prove that their beliefs regarding medicine is somehow connected with their incidents of perceived deficient mental health. I am not aligned with that denomination but they have the right to believe as they do and I find it appalling that they are maligned under the pretext of reporting research.

Regarding CS, my concern is that the faith of individuals could be undermined as they explore false doctrines. Let's face it, psychology looks to me more like a false religion than a scientific discipline. You do reassure  my perception of  the credibility of the church when you responded.
My thought when I wrote the first message was that what I have seen might have been the start of some sort of shift in principles. That would be a sad situation.
Having heard the sermon last Sunday and doing a little study, I was already somewhat informed of the official stance of the church. I am still learning as you can tell so I always ask questions when I don't know exactly how the church perceives various things.
So I guess my next question should be : Is there external evil or is the acceptance of false doctrine a "personal" evil which needs to be resolved.?
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 1:05PM #4
seaotter2
Posts: 8
Christian Science teaches that all evil is unreal and powerless.   That said, CS also acknowledges that the appearance of the existence of evil and the belief in evil is widespread and aggressive.  This illusion of evil is not to be ignored or brushed aside, but must be faced, fought, and healed (destroyed).  I love Paul's description of this Christian warfare: "...the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;.."

Is this belief of evil external or personal?  I'm not sure if its useful to define it either way.  Evil is a by-product of the belief that existence is mortal and material.  So there is evil external to you in the general world belief of material existence, but as long as you think of yourself personally as an individual mortal you will allow evil to find expression in your experience as your own personal impatience, fear, jealousy, lust, etc.  Putting off the Adam-dream and persistenly recognizing yourself and others as the man that Christ Jesus revealed to us heals (destroys) evil in your own thought and experience as well as in the experience of those embraced by your thought.

I hope this addressed your question or did I mis-understand what you were asking?
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2007 - 8:01PM #5
Seeking_Truth_and_God
Posts: 9
Actually your answer is exactly what I was looking for. You saw past my poor writing skills and saw the core issue. Thanks!
It is curious that such a concept can bring forward multiple and sometimes conficting thoughts and assorted approaches in trying to relate the thoughts. Beginning with the psych post was, in a way, a representation of a more focused question. The comments on that remain true but once the key issue comes into focus it is easier to discuss. I will just shorten it even more and say that evil is evil and needs to be dealt with . Regardless of being internal or external in perception it needs to be vanquished.
Thanks for the info. I think I will hang around and monitor this forum now that I have found it.
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5 years ago  ::  Sep 02, 2009 - 11:17PM #6
johnmuirelcid
Posts: 13

Nice to find this thread, though it seems like it took place a little while ago.


I've been embracing Christian Science and integrating it into my larger spiritual path, which is an ongoing process.  I find it an interesting process to interrelate psychological awareness of emotional processes and the absolute love of God.  For example, Marshall Rosenberg's Communication techniques create a powerful awareness to communicate with empathy.  In fact, I don't think it is actually in conflict with CS.  However, I think it means inserting into  CS thought processes an additional level of awareness of legitimate divine reflection, which probably is not an issue for someone well-versed in its practice. 


        I just saw a movie, Facing the Giants, built around a more or less conventional Christian perspective, and thought it was an interesting exercise to perceive the experience of being alive, and incorporating a healing, as opposed to guilt-ridden, Christ on a consistent basis.


        However, my larger concerns are as an activist for social and environmental economic justice.  While I have been interested to find that some public figures like Henry Paulson and Val Kilmer are CSists, HP in particular has disappointed me.  Although an environmentalist, he is far from the best economic justice practices that exist.  These elements I find most active in groups like the Quakers.  As a group, for example, they have established fair trade programs in Palestine, and non-violence programs in Colombia.  Still, as the CS path is based on a person's personal work, ultimately, my personal path can be to practice applying CS in those activist contexts as I engage in them.


        Thanks for the chance to think about this issue a little bit.  God bless you, and so it is as you choose. 

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 28, 2009 - 5:11PM #7
soma77
Posts: 256

A good site for Christian psychology and spirituality is thinkunity.com.  The book on that site "Evolution of Consciousness" goes into the parts and layers of the mind on a Christian Mystics inward journey to the soul.

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3 months ago  ::  Jul 18, 2014 - 5:37PM #8
Cls
Posts: 10
Well said seaotter2! Appreciate your input as well johnmuirelcid
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