One of the biggest problems I face working with Christian Science is the rather limiting views people have of words like “christian”. It immediately brings up views of God Heaven or Hell, judgement etc. As a result, conversations are immediately stopped or ended when this comes up. I and likely everyone else would be happier if the word Christian was dropped.
America has the same problem but backward, it loves religious terms but few actually believe or look beyond the outward forms. In other words, they have a Christian shop front and perhaps a moral interior. We in the UK have a secular shop front and some kind of personal morality which remains unamed.
This week, I found myself in the same situation whilst writing and working with the theme of “everlasting punishment”. Two words making a phrase which really does not reflect Love whatsoever. People were clearly confused by my peace and love ethic whilst watching me read about “everlasting punishment” in this weeks lesson topic. The only logical explanation I can give is that in Mrs Eddy’s day, people were grappling with leaving these ideas behind. These days Everlasting Love would be a better term.
Still we must realise and respect that the Bible has two clear histories of the mortal man and Immortal man. The term “everlasting punishment” clearly belongs to the mortal which needs to be displaced (not worked with, improved etc). Unfortunately few people catch this nor would I be given time to explain before Im judged.
If we remove the name God, what can we use to refer to God? In CS circles “father mother” is used but this has too many layers for many people also.
I find “Anam Cara” which is Scottish Gaelic for “soul friend” to be very good for this but we need to be careful in remembering we are dealing with a force, not a personality.
Not using the word God frees us to see “it” in art forms and other ways where we do not expect it, it also helps us to seperate ourselves from others who may have a limited vision about this.