Christian Science and Liberty: From Orthodoxy to Heresy in One Year
Merritt, Robert E. and Arthur Corey. Christian Science and Liberty: From Orthodoxy to Heresy in One Year. Los Angeles: DeVorss & Company, 1970.
This book is Merritt’s explanation for his departure from the institutional Christian Science Church. He attributes his questioning attitude to his reading of Charles S. Braden’s Christian Science Today: Power, Policy, Practice, which shook his “psychological structure to its very foundation” (11). He notes that although Christian Science came as a challenge to orthodoxy in the first place, the “organized segment of the Mary Baker Eddy movement was in its turn to spawn its own orthodoxy…” (74). However, he also acknowledges that the more he has learned about the “undoctored history of Mary Baker Eddy, while allowing for the feet of clay on all idols, the more I have to admire her!” (23). His greatest critique against the institution of the Christian Science Church is that “Within the tightly controlled thinking, reading, discussion amongst communicants of the Christian Science Church, there is little danger of cherished fiction being undermined by factual information” (37). When he began questioning the effects of such tightly guarded institutionalizing of the Church, he came to oppose the extremist attitude prevalent in the 1960s against medical support in times of crisis, the over-spiritualization of sexual relations, and other extremist views. With no room for critiquing, he left the Church, finding fellowship among other Independents.
This reference is written by an ‘independent’ Christian Scientist and is included in the bibliography because of its historical value. For further explanation, click here.