By Stanley D. Myers
I was a happy, prosperous, successful and enthusiastic adherent of the Christian Science religion for thirty years. From the time I was eight years old I knew nothing of the teachings of any other religion, nor of the Bible. However, my active interest and dedication to the cause of Christian Science did not reach its zenith until 1945 when I was in Germany with the United States Infantry. The proper term to use of my experience at that time is that I caught on fire. I read and studied every piece of Christian Science literature I could find, haunted the Christian Science reading rooms and practiced all that I could apprehend of the doctrine. I was considered to be a “successful Christian Scientist,” leading what I judged to be an “overcoming life” and demonstrating the doctrines of Mary Baker Eddy. Moreover, I was greatly influenced by the exemplary lives of those wonderful people whom I could call my friends and who had the same zeal for Christian Science as I had.
At that time I had definite plans for the future. First, I wanted to be a class-taught student, then a practitioner on a full-time basis, a Reader in a local church, First Reader in The Mother Church in Boston, a lecturer and a teacher of Christian Science. I made out a time schedule and set about to reach these goals. I studied twenty to twenty-five hours a week, rising at 5:00 a.m. nearly every day and devoting much time to prayer and research.
I was elected First Reader of the Second Church of Christ Scientist in Akron, Ohio, when I was twenty-five years old. I declined at that time but was again elected three years later. I served on the board of directors as a vice president and later as president. Joining with another young man, I opened an office as a practitioner in Akron and was considered to be successful in this work. Having completed all my paperwork, I was on the approved list to be a Christian Science Wartime Minister, and I had the final interview with the manager of this activity. I was completely happy and felt no lack in my life. I was not looking for anything else.
At this time I met and married a girl who was not a Christian Scientist, but I hoped through my influence and her exposure to other Christian Science people to win her to my beliefs. She had no religious convictions that I could discern, though there was a tendency toward things religious. Because neither of us profited from the services of the other’s church, we finally found a common interest in home Bible studies conducted by laymen. Two things in this activity really impressed me. First, I never heard a church denomination mentioned. Among those who came to hear what the Bible taught about various subjects were Jews and Catholics, even Hindu doctors. I was also impressed because the men who conducted the class could give the book, chapter and verse that would answer any question I asked.
Before long I discovered that many of the questions that I could answer satisfactorily to myself out of my background in Christian Science were in direct conflict with the answers given from the Bible. While this rankled me, I really believed that I had the greater light on these particular subjects and that at some point these people would come into the light of the truths of the Bible as I had done. After all, I had participated in many wonderful physical healings through prayer and I had known of outstanding healings in others who practiced Christian Science – real miracles that defy explanation. To me this was the acid test. Healing must follow prayer as a natural result if man is in a right relationship with God, and since I had seen these healings take place and I did not see anyone healed at these home Bible studies, I took my stand. I thought I was better informed on the true meaning of the Scriptures than the laymen instructors and those who believed the whole Bible.
At this point I analyzed my feelings. I had no desire to condemn Mary Baker Eddy for her teachings. I did not want to deny what she wrote, but I could not defend what she declared to be the truth. The healings I had witnessed were no criterion because I was now dealing in eternal values. The teachings of Christian Science and the teachings of the Bible cannot both be true. There was one extremely important difference and this had to be resolved. I read again Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of God (Science and Health page 587:5-8): ”God: The Great I AM: the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principal; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all-substance; intelligence.” To my utter amazement the personal claims Jesus Christ made for Himself and the declaration of the disciples as to who Jesus Christ was completely fulfilled Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of God. By her own definition Jesus Christ qualified to be God! Now my heart and mind were prepared to ask God to reveal to me what He would have me to know concerning Jesus Christ. The blessed Holy Spirit of God came upon me one day as I was driving my car to work. Although I did not hear a voice I knew I was in the presence of God. An absolute heart conviction overwhelmed me that the Bible is the Word of God. It is not a book written by men about God but a book written by God. The Bible is not a book by men seeking a lost God but a book about God seeking lost men. I could therefore believe every word in the Bible because it was God’s declaration to men.
Immediately I cried aloud with great joy and enthusiasm, “Well, praise the Lord – I’m a sinner!” This so utterly surprised me that I was dumbfounded. Why did I say a thing like that? It was absolutely contrary to thirty years of indoctrination, for Christian Science teaches that there is no sin. As I searched my heart and mind for an answer the Scripture came: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And again the conviction came that no matter how good a life I could lead under the influence and practice of the high moral concepts of Christian Science, this would not make me worthy to stand before a holy God. A holy God! I realized my utter hopelessness; I was lost.
I was sincere. I was honest. I was striving. I was taken up in spiritual things. But I was just as lost as the man wholly committed to a life of sin and utter degradation. No man could have convinced me of this – only the Holy Spirit of God, of whom Jesus declared, “When He (the Holy Spirit of God, the Comforter) is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me.” (John 16:7-11) When I realized my lost condition before a holy God, the Holy Spirit of God again spoke to my heart and said, ”It’s true, but Jesus Christ of Nazareth went to the cross two thousand years ago and paid the debt for you.” God has said, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) God cannot forgive your sins just because you are a sinner. He knew your lost condition and because He requires a sacrifice He sent His only begotten Son to die the death on the cross for you. And if you will accept God’s plan for your salvation, His life for your life, you shall be saved. I cried out, ”I accept Jesus and Him crucified as the payment for my sins. I don’t understand it, but I accept this if it’s true.” Oh, the joy that overflowed me as I met Jesus as my personal Savior! Like Thomas, I bowed my knee and cried out to Jesus, ”My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)
When I opened up my heart to Christ and said, ”Jesus, I accept You for all the Bible declares You to be,” He introduced me to the Father and my joy became complete. For Jesus declared, ”I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) How I had struggled in earlier days with the Trinity, but in a moment of time I met the Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father, and in just that order. I felt as though I had been an orphan and rejected all my life (I had a wonderful home – I am not referring to that). Suddenly I was adopted into a royal family and had all the rights and privileges of the most exalted one in the house. Praise God! There was rejoicing in heaven that very hour for one sinner saved by the grace of God through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. At one time I could have finished any statement of Mary Baker Eddy’s that someone could begin, tell where it was found and the context in which it was written. But in an instant of time God completely removed this false doctrine from my mind.
God’s promise is true – I am not a reformed Christian Scientist, nor one who has seen the light. God’s Word says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) I am a new creation. In resigning from the local church and The Mother Church in Boston I wrote: “I have come to the absolute conviction that Jesus Christ is more than Mary Baker Eddy declares Him to be, and that He cannot be anything less than the Bible declares Him to be.” I trust you can see by this testimony that man’s acceptance before the Father is based on what we as individuals do with His Son Jesus Christ. If I accept Him for what God declares Him to be, I let God be true. If I reject Jesus Christ, then I have His Blood on my hands. Jesus plainly states, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32, 33) Eternity in either heaven or hell depends on what we do about Jesus Christ and the blood He shed at Calvary to pay the awful price required by the Father.