By Dave Horn, former Indiana Committee on Publication from Raleigh, North Carolina
Here’s a picture of Alfred Farlow. He was the first Manager of Committees on Publication. He worked directly with Mrs. Eddy, and she guided much of his pioneering activity as he responded to unjust media attacks on Christian Science. He survived our Leader, and when he retired in 1914, the Boston Sunday Post asked him to describe his approach to Committee work. You may appreciate his answer, as it appeared in the March 29, 1914 issue of the Post. He wrote:
“I made no effort to effect an untimely introduction of Christian Science in the newspapers or other periodicals, nor to intrude upon the public in any way. I regarded Christian Science in human consciousness as one might a plant which is destined to thrive and
grow with the sole help of God’s sunshine and rain, while human hands are restrained from meddling with it, and from injuring its tender shoots and branches. I entertained that Christian Science would make its way in the world because of its healing efforts, and would be known by its fruits, and that our neighbors would be attracted to it by reason of its good works…”
In other words, if Christian Science was a sailboat, “healing efforts” and “fruits” would be the bow of the boat, cutting through “the waves of sin, sorrow and death” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 203), and the Committee on Publication would be the stern of the boat, correcting misconceptions which often arise IN THE WAKE OF SPIRITUAL HEALING.
One might argue that seeking to increase public awareness in Christian Science by media interaction is like trying to sail backward, and ignores our Leader’s warning not to “rush forth single-handed to combat the foe….” Instead, she directs us to “strengthen your
citadel” and “remain within the walls for its defense.” (Pulpit and Press by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 2). This conclusion, uninformed by scientific theology, might tempt us to shun the media and just keep to ourselves.
As Committee on Publication, I learned that interaction with the media heeds our Leader’s warning, provided I visited editors humanly, while remaining “within the walls” of my “citadel” prayerfully. Humanly, I used media meetings to correct evil with good. “Within the walls” of Truth I knew Principle never weighs good and evil in the balance, for it unfolds only as good. Humanly, I measured progress by the number of meetings, but “within the walls” of Truth, the only number is One.
I also learned that media meetings are nothing more than human ways and means, UNTIL I know that what appears to be a mortal editor is just a false view of an honest spiritual expression of God. Empowered by this scientific theology, I was warmly welcomed by many editors, whispering in my heart what Jacob said to his brother Esau — “I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.” (Gen. 33:10)