Christian Scientist discusses faith healing

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Spirit of Austin

Christian Science lecturer Lorenzo Rodriguez spoke at The First Church of Christian Science Sunday afternoon. Christian Scientists believe physical illness results from spiritual problems.

Photo Credit: Allen Otto | Daily Texan Staff

Following Christ and seeking to experience man’s likeness to God can lead to peace and healing, said a Christian Science lecturer in a talk Sunday.

About 100 people gathered to hear Christian Science practitioner Lorenzo Rodriguez give a talk titled “Listen, Trust and Follow Without Fear.” He also spoke at Christian Science gatherings in the Austin area on Friday and Saturday. Rodriguez shared his own experience with the religion and talked about how to apply the tenets of healing to everyday life.

“You have to understand Christian Science reality from the heart, not the head,” Rodriguez said. “It’s from consciousness; it’s from awareness. I can say ‘God is great and God is good and God is all love,’ but if I am not part of that, it is just a theory.”

Christian Science was founded in 1879, four years after Mary Baker Eddy wrote “Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures.” Christian Scientists study her book along with the Bible and believe that physical illness is the result of spiritual problems.

Rodriguez’s aunt introduced him to the religion when he was unemployed during his mid-20s. He said reading “Science & Health” transformed his worldview, and he soon found a job.

“Instead of the anxiety and fear that I had before, trusting a power higher than mine replaced it,” he said. “I started feeling within everything that was happening outside. I started feeling peace. I didn’t know why. But I started feeling peaceful.”
Practitioners work with patients and claim to use spirituality as a way to heal physical ailments or improve life circumstances.

“We do go to the hospital if someone has a problem that Christian Science can’t work out, but generally, Christian Science works better,” said member Pat Jackson. “I’ve been healed by practitioners and as a direct result of prayer.”

Jackson grew up in the Christian Science church, but many members come to the religion later in life. Sunny Scott-Luther grew up Catholic. One day at a hair salon, she heard a woman talking about Christian Science and was intrigued.

Now, she’s been a Christian Science practitioner in Austin for 18 years. She is also the superintendent of the Sunday school program at First Church of Christ Scientist Austin on Guadalupe Street, where the program was held Sunday.

“This woman at the salon, she lent me ‘Science and Health,’ and I loved it,” Scott-Luther said. “It brought the divine into the human experience. It made it practical in a day-to-day way.”

Although most people at the lecture were practicing Scientists, a few guests came to hear Rodriguez talk about the religion. Jann Carlson-Duchmann came because her mom is a Christian Scientist. It wasn’t her first time at the church, Carlson-Duchmann said, and she enjoyed the talk.

“I’m not a generalizer, and he generalized some things about non-Christian Scientists,” Carlson-Duchmann said. “I’m not a churchgoer, but I don’t think anything bad about the church. Everyone has a different path for spirituality.”

The First Church of Christian Science has weekly meetings on Sundays and Wednesdays.