Home Listen to this article Return to Table of Contents previous / next article

Branch Church Requirements


Requirements for Organizing Branch Churches. SECT. 7. A branch church of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., shall not be organized with less than sixteen loyal Christian Scientists, four of whom are members of The Mother Church. This membership shall include at least one active practitioner whose card is published in the list of practitioners in The Christian Science Journal. (Man 72:25)

Readers in Branch Churches. SECT. 6. These Readers shall be members of The Mother Church. (Man 32:17)

"They must keep themselves unspotted from the world,"
(Man. 31:9).


1. Sixteen loyal Christian Scientists, four of whom are members of the Mother Church
2. At least one active practitioner listed in the C.S. Journal (Christian Scientist)
3. Readers must be members of the Mother Church and unspotted (Christian Scientists)

"We are Christian Scientists, only as we quit our reliance upon that which is false and grasp the true. We are not Christian Scientists until we leave all for Christ" (SH 192:4, emphasis added).

Based on these by-law requirements, were there ever any earth-based Christian Science branch churches? Mrs. Eddy noted, after visiting the Mother Church for the last time, "There are no Christian Scientists there." This comment should provoke us all to strip mortal mentality of its shroud, be filled with the Holy Ghost, and bring forth fruits worthy of His name. We know that Christian Scientists - those who have left all for Christ - "shall not unite with organizations which impede their progress in Christian Science" (Man 44:24). Therefore, if they are among those numbered to organize a branch church, or if they are a Reader, they must recognize that church is Christ's provision of a wholly spiritual organization. To think of Christian Science churches as material symbols of a divine idea is a mistake. They are Spirit brought into view by Christ.

Once we have chosen the course for good and proven it, the only impelling reason to be a member of a Christian Science church is to provide a cup of cold water in Christ's name. A member of a branch Church of Christ, Scientist brings His temple with him to church; he comes to serve. His only benefit is the joy of helping others see the light he sees. Jesus received no social benefit or accolades for washing the disciples' feet, but he did fulfill the Father's will, finish his work, and stand within the framework of divine Light. "Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:13-14). When we are as faithful as the Master, we will receive the same reward.

George Denninger ©

Home Listen to this article Return to Table of Contents previous / next article