Manual of The Mother Church/Discipline/Complaints

Boston, U.S.A.: Allison V. Stewart, pages 50–55

Article XI.


Departure from Tenets. Section 1. If a member of this Church shall depart from the Tenets and be found having the name without the life of a Christian Scientist, and another member in good standing shall from Christian motives make this evident, a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be called, and the offender's case shall be tried and said member exonerated, put on probation, or excommunicated.

Violation of By-Laws. Sect. 2. A member who is found violating any of the By-Laws or Rules herein set forth, shall be admonished in consonance with the Scriptural demand in Matthew, 18: 15-17; and if he neglect to accept such admonition, he shall be placed on probation, or if he repeat the offense, his name shall be dropped from the roll of Church membership.

Violation of Christian Fellowship. Sect. 3. Any member who shall unjustly aggrieve or vilify the Pastor Emeritus or another member; or who does not live in Christian fellowship with members who are in good and regular standing with this Church, shall either withdraw from the Church or be excommunicated.

Preliminary Requirement. Sect. 4. No church discipline shall ensue until the requirements according to the Scriptures, in Matthew, 18 : 15-17, have been strictly obeyed, unless a By-Law governing the case provides for immediate action.

Authority. Sect. 5. The Christian Science Board of Directors has power to discipline, place on probation, remove from membership, or to excommunicate members of The Mother Church. Only the members of this Board shall be present at meetings for the examination of complaints against church members; and they alone shall vote on cases involving The Mother Church discipline.

Members in Mother Church Only. Sect. 6. A complaint against a member of The Mother Church, if said member belongs to no branch church and if this complaint is not for mental malpractice, shall be laid before this Board, and within ten days thereafter, the Clerk of the Church shall address a letter of inquiry to the member complained of as to the validity of the charge. If a member is found guilty of that whereof he is accused and his previous character has been good, his confession of his error and evidence of his compliance with our Church Rules shall be deemed sufficient by the Board for forgiveness for once, and the Clerk of the Church shall immediately so inform him. But a second offense shall dismiss a member from the Church.

Working Against the Cause. Sect. 7. If a member of this Church shall, mentally or otherwise, persist in working against the interests of another member, or the interests of our Pastor Emeritus and the accomplishment of what she understands is advantageous to this Church and to the Cause of Christian Science, or shall influence others thus to act, upon her complaint or the complaint of a member for her or for himself, it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors immediately to call a meeting, and drop forever the name of the member guilty of this offense from the roll of Church membership.

No Unchristian Conduct. Sect. 8. If a member of this Church were to treat the author of our textbook disrespectfully and cruelly, upon her complaint that member should be excommunicated. If a member, without her having requested the information, shall trouble her on subjects unnecessarily and without her consent, it shall be considered an offense.

Not to Learn Hypnotism. Sect. 9. Members of this Church shall not learn hypnotism on penalty of being excommunicated from this Church. No member shall enter a complaint of mental malpractice for a sinister purpose. If the author of Science and Health shall bear witness to the offense of mental malpractice, it shall be considered a sufficient evidence thereof.

Publications Unjust. Sect. 10. If a member of The Mother Church publishes, or causes to be published, an article that is false or unjust, hence injurious, to Christian Science or to its Leader, and if, upon complaint by another member, the Board of Directors finds that the offense has been committed, the offender shall be suspended for not less than three years from his or her office in this Church and from Church membership.

The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, Tenets. Sect. 11. If a member of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, or a member of a branch of this Church break the rules of its Tenets as to unjust and unmerciful conduct — on complaint of Mrs. Eddy our Pastor Emeritus — and this complaint being found valid, his or her name shall be erased from The Mother Church and the branch church's list of membership and the offender shall not be received into The Mother Church or a branch church for twelve years.

Special Offense. Sect. 12. If a member of this Church, either by word or work, represents falsely to or of the Leader and Pastor Emeritus, said member shall immediately be disciplined, and a second similar offense shall remove his or her name from membership in The Mother Church.

Members of Branch Churches. Sect. 13. A member of both The Mother Church and a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, or a Reader, shall not report nor send notices to The Mother Church, or to the Pastor Emeritus, of errors of the members of their local church; but they shall strive to overcome these errors. Each church shall separately and independently discipline its own members, — if this sad necessity occurs.