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How I became Christian again: my long journey to find faith once more | World news | The Guardian

There is often plenty of fanfare when a rock musician decides to go on a spiritual search. But people don't always hear about a more modest approach to spiritual questions or about a musician's quiet effort to help others through prayer. That's why we felt this interview might be of special interest to our readers. For nine years Keith Wommack , along with his brother, Kevin, wrote music for, played with, and managed the Wommack Brothers Band. They were successful enough to have tours both in the United States and Europe.

We first learned of Keith when he sent us an article describing some of the lessons he had learned through his study of Christian Science. His article was packed with a number of treasured spiritual insights he had collected over the years from the Christian Science Sentinel and The Christian Science Journal. When he mentioned he had also been in a rock band, we decided to ask him to talk further with us about the band and his spiritual journey. For many years, after high school, I performed in a rock band that traveled to a number of cities primarily in the United States.

Since the band performed at night, during the day in every city we went to, I would find a quiet place where I could study and pray to gain more spiritual insight and to learn how to heal as Christ Jesus healed. In most cities that place was the Christian Science Reading Room. I probably shocked more than one attendant when I sauntered into the Reading Room with a full beard and hair down to my waist. And several times the rest of the band would follow me a few hours later, to see what I was up to.

At different times it was different sizes, usually about five people. With a crew, you are always traveling with a bunch of people. My brother and I really had to rely on Christian Science because we were responsible for these musicians and their families.

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My brother kept three calendars—one for the month we were working on and two ahead for booking the shows. And sometimes we would look at these calendars, and it would look really bleak. But we would just know that every need was met by God. I got started when I was much younger. I'm a fourth-generation Christian Scientist, and while I was growing up, there were always scattered piles of Sentinels and Journals stacked high in the family storage area.

Over the years I explored the entire collection. In the articles I found thoughts of healing, love, care, and the constant assurance that man is not separate from God, because man is His perfect expression. These truths have guided my journey of spiritual discovery. They have helped me to begin proving in my own life that I am indeed God's child—spiritual, complete. These wonderful truths fortified me through my years in high school.

Testimony and Spiritual Journey of Phil Moser

They gave me a Christlike foundation from which to begin to tackle problems that came up. Smoking, drinking, or drug abuse never were the slightest temptation; my thoughts were already filled with my Father's plan.

In fact, later when we had the band we found that people would refrain from using drugs because they knew that we didn't use them. We were probably offered more shows because we were not doing drugs. They knew we would show up in the first place, and they knew we would perform. Also they found that our business dealings were professional.

Some people might say that the life of a rock musician and the kind of study you were doing don't mix. What made you stick with your study? I think it was just a basic yearning for Truth. Those truths were making footholds in my thought. Had you seen healings through Christian Science in your family, and did that make you want to know more? Actually it was just a search for Truth. I've always known that Christian Science heals and never really doubted it.

I don't know of a particular healing in my family that caused me to do deeper study. There was a healing that I had that really stands out to me. It was after I had made the decision that I was quitting the band, and we had maybe three months of shows to do in order to give everyone time to find other work.

I was working on an amplifier with a long-handled screwdriver, and it slipped and went right into my eye. And at first there was no pain, and I just prayed, recalling some truths I had learned. I had a lunch date and had to go to it immediately. During the lunch date, all of a sudden the pain hit me so severely that I couldn't open my eye to see. It took me hours to drive several blocks to get home. Once home I had to wear sunglasses and close the blinds because the light was so painful to the eye. I called a Christian Science practitioner to help me through prayer.

At one point my brother came into the room and read to me from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science. I remember he read this passage, which begins with a statement about God as divine Mind: Exercise this God-given authority.

Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action. I thought, "If everything I learned in Christian Science Sunday School is true, and if everything I learned in Primary class instruction is true, then it's true right here and now, and I'm the spiritual child of God. The next day we had a show in Corpus Christi, Texas. I believe the only problem left was that the eye was just a little out of focus. I never had had any problem with my eyes before. We played four nights, and on the last morning I woke up with extreme pain again, but there was no evidence of the scratch; that had been completely healed.

The pain was so severe I couldn't really think; so I woke my brother up, and he went and called the practitioner that I was working with. My brother came back and said, "The practitioner wants to know if you've ever been to Moscow.

The Relationship between Science and Spirituality

The pain disappeared and my eye came in focus. You mentioned when you wrote us that you often shared Christian Science with people you met while you were traveling. Did you share with other musicians? Yes, I explored countless alternative therapies, not leaving any stone unturned. I even went to several churches in my area to seek healing, which was tough as an atheist. Did the mindfulness practices prepare you for the healing you experienced when you attended your first Christian Science lecture? The mindfulness allowed me to be aware of all the painful sensations and distressful emotions, and yet remain equanimous.

The last Buddha taught the ability to remain undisturbed amidst the jarring testimony of the senses, but Christ taught how to do that and how to heal. Yet mindfulness has been important to my Christian Science practice — allowing me to think deeply and to concentrate better.

That God could be the centre and circumference of being. I found this idea perplexing because I thought of myself as diseased from the inside out. When I tried coming to terms with it I felt a sudden inflow of peace and love, which stayed with me for the whole hour of the lecture. When I came out I was pain free and walking upright.

What exactly do you mean by that term? This new view of God, which Mary Baker Eddy wrote about in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures , views God as a loving Principle who is always present, rather than a far-off deity that needs to be petitioned for help. I learned I could access God anywhere and at anytime. If you met somebody struggling with a health problem — possibly one considered incurable — what would you tell them about Christian Science?

I would say that where their description of hopeless is, there is hope. He is a member of the Christian Science church in Victoria, BC, and has been a professional writer and editor for 22 years. Email this article to a Friend. Cull the best solution to overpopulation. Find out what's happening in your community. Diver who helped with Thai cave rescue sues Elon Musk. Province asks Saanich police to move campers at new tent city.