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Is Christian Science Christian?
What does Christian Science Teach?
Christian Science History
Terms and Definitions of Christian Science
Interesting Quotes from Mary Baker Eddy
Questions to Ask Christian Scientists
Of all the Biblically based cults in America today, Christian Science is one of the most interesting. Not only does it deny the essential doctrines of Christianity, but it has completely reinterpreted the Bible. It drastically redefines the Bible’s culture and terminology and rips thousands of scriptures out of their historical and biblical contexts. The result is a non-Christian mixture of metaphysical and philosophical thoughts. Christian Science is so foreign to the Bible that, if it didn’t use words like Jesus, Trinity, Love, Grace, Sin, etc., you’d never suspect it had anything to do with the Bible at all. Additionally, the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which is the Christian Scientist’s mainstay of spiritual knowledge, reads with a rhythm of pseudo logical statements that has the tendency to dull the senses when read long enough. Is Christian Science Christian? Definitely not.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is the primary interpretive source of the Bible and source guide of Christian Science. It interprets the Bible in a radically different way. It is so different, in fact, that it absolutely rejects the substitutionary atonement of Jesus and states that it had no efficacious value (S&H, 25:6). It denies that Jesus is God, second person of the Trinity (S&H, 361:12-13). It says that sin is a false interpretation of Divine Mind and is nonexistent (S&H, 335:7-15). And it says that the Holy Spirit is Divine Science, which is best represented by Christian Science (S & H, 331:31). The list can go on and, unfortunately, it does.
To the Christian Scientist, God (the Father-Mother) is a Principle known as the Divine Mind. It has no personhood and no personality. A catch phrase used in their literature is that God is "All in All." In other words, God is all that exists and what we perceive as matter is an interpretation of divine mind. Since God is love, it means that sin and sickness are only errors of interpreting the Divine Mind and have no true reality (S & H, 330:25-274; 470:9-14).
To the Christian Scientist, Jesus is a Way-shower. He is someone who epitomized the true principle of the Christ Consciousness, which indwells us all. Therefore, Jesus did not really die on the cross. He was not God in flesh. He made no atonement in shedding His blood (S&H, 25:6).
Christian Science teaches that man does not have a sinful nature and is a reflection of Divine Mind. To achieve "salvation," he needs only to find the true reality of understanding, as revealed in Christian Science teachings. Unfortunately, these teachings are from Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who founded the religion in the 1870's, and not from God.
The Christian Scientists consider their philosophy to be consistent with the original teachings of Jesus. They consider truth a matter of higher understanding and learning. But the reality is that Christian Science has only produced unbiblical and false doctrines. Eternal destruction is the only thing that will result from its false teaching. The fires of hell will be a bitter reality for those who have been taught that they don’t exist. TOP OF PAGE
IPS Note: Unfortunately we have to disagree on this point. The fires of hell as traditionally taught by the church do not exist. The importance of the subjects of Heaven and Hell cannot possibly be over stated, since one or the other is the final, unalterable and eternal destination of every one of us. The belief that Hell is a place of unending torment has been so strongly held throughout the history of Christianity that few have dared to challenge it. Besides which since most modern challenges have come from the cults, a person who dares to question the traditional viewpoint runs the risk of being labeled a cultist. However, the deeper one delves into the subject the less persuasive the argument in favor of the traditional view become. For example, there is not a single verse in the entire Bible that says anything remotely similar to "everyone has eternal life; it's only a matter of where each will spend it." Yet, this is what most of the church believes, assuming that the idea has it's origins in the Bible. It does not. Of the many references to the spirit in the Bible, never once is it said to be immortal, imperishable, or eternal. On the contrary, the Bible tells us that God alone possesses immortality. Additionally, over and over again, Christians routinely go through some astounding verbal and theological gymnastics to take the word death, and make it mean eternal ‘life’ in hell, and take the word “perish” and make it mean "never perish". However, it is totally pointless to embark on a investigation unless one is prepared to set aside one's denominational presuppositions, and other biases, and rely strictly on what the Word says. This seems to be easier said than done for many, if not most, Christians. See What and Where is Hell?
What Does Christian Science Teach?
The following doctrines are referenced out of the primary Christian Science work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. It is supposed to be a companion to the Bible. Science and Health together with the Bible are called the Pastor of Christian Science.
God is infinite...and there is no other power or source, S&H, 471:18.
God is Universal Principle, S&H 331:18-19 [See Section on God]
God cannot indwell a person, S&H 336:19-20
God is the only intelligence in the universe, including man S&H 330:11-12
God is Mind, S&H 330:20-21; 469:13
God is the Father-Mother, S&H 331:30; 332:4
The Trinity is Life, Truth, and Love, S&H 331:26
Belief in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity is polytheism, S&H 256:9-11 [
IPS Note: The traditional doctrine of the Trinity is based on human ideas and has little, if any, basis in the Scriptures]. See three articles on The Trinity HERE]
Christ is the spiritual idea of sonship S&H 331:30-31
Jesus was not the Christ, S&H 333:3-15; 334:3
"Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared..." S&H 361:12-13 [See Jesus... Lord, Liar, or Lunatic?]
Jesus did not reflect the fullness of God, S&H 336:20-21
Jesus did not die, S&H 45:32-46:3
The Holy Spirit is divine science, S&H 331:31
There is no devil, S&H 469:13-17
There is no sin, S&H 447:24 [The problem is few know, or understand how the Bible defines sin]
Evil and good are not real, S&H, 330:25-27; 470:9-14
Matter, sin, and sickness are not real, but only illusions," S&H 335:7-15; 447:27-28.
Life is not material or organic, "S&H, 83:21
The sacrifice of Jesus was not sufficient to cleanse from sin, "S&H, 25:6. [See Salvation]
True healings are the result of true belief, "S&H, 194:6"
Additionally, Christian Scientists prefer not to use doctors, medicine, or immunizations. Christian Science Practitioners are used to help people through the false reality of illness.
Proper prayer and training are employed to battle the "non-reality" of illness.
They have no ordinances like the Lord's Supper or baptism.
Church services are interspersed with Bible reading and readings from Science and Health.
Mary Baker Eddy is highly regarded as a revelator of God's word, almost equal to Jesus.
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Christian Science History
Christian Science was founded by a woman named Mary Baker Eddy. She was born Mary Ann Morse Baker in New Hampshire in 1821. (She died in 1910.). She was the daughter of a New Hampshire Congregationalist church member. As a child, she was frequently ill and highly emotional. She is said to have been "domineering, quarrelsome, and extremely self centered."1 At age 22, she married George Glover. He died seven months later. She then married Dr. Daniel Patterson, but that marriage failed in divorce. In 1862, while suffering from an illness, she visited a man named Phineas Quimby. He taught a system of healing dealing with the mind. He taught that the mind had the power to heal the body. He exerted a significant influence on her thinking regarding spiritual matters. [See .. Roots of Evil]
In 1866, she fell and was seriously injured and she was not expected to recover. She apparently read Matt 9:2 ("And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee") and experienced a miraculous cure. It was this experience that convinced her of the truth of Christian Science.
She first published "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" in 1875, when she was 54. She claimed it was the final revelation of God to mankind and asserted that her work was inspired of God. The word "Key" in the title of her book is in reference to her being the woman of Revelation 12; that she is the key to unlocking the Bible, which she called a dark book. She claimed the Bible had many mistakes and that her writings provided the "Key" spoken of in Rev. 3:7.
She married Asa Eddy in 1877. In 1879, four years after the first publication of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy and some of her students voted organized the church of Christ (Scientist) in Boston Massachusetts. Of course, like all cults, it claimed to be the restoration of the original New Testament Church.
In 1881 she opened a metaphysical college and charged $300 for 12 healing lessons. The Church was reorganized in 1892, and the Church Manual was first issued in 1895 which provided the structure for church government and missions. She died in 1910, a millionaire. TOP OF PAGE
Terms and Definitions of Christian Science
Angels are God’s thoughts passing to man, an inspiration of goodness, purity that counters evil and material reality. [See Angels]
Atonement is not the shedding of Christ’s blood, but "At-one-ment." "Lifting the whole man into Christ Consciousness." The Biblical account is metaphorical, not real. [See Salvation]
Baptism means the daily, ongoing purification of thought and deed. Eucharist is spiritual communion with God, celebrated with silent prayer and Christian living. It is a "submergence in Spirit." [See Baptism]
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the belief that God created disharmony in the world.
Body is "the form of expression of both spirit and soul" (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, p. 628). It is the apparent materialization of the limits of soul as influenced by a person’s conscious development in Christian Science Principles.
Christ is the divine idea man. Jesus was not the Christ but a perfect representation of the Christ consciousness that is the true and higher self of every person. Christ is the manifestation of all that is good and true, the realization of divine principle. A Christian Scientist can say, "I am Christ." [See Section on Jesus]
Creation is the product of Divine Mind. There is only one reality which emanates and is part of the Divine Mind. Anything that is not in harmony with the Divine Mind is not a reality, but a lack of understanding of the principles of divine mind brought about by people.
Death - "An illusion, the lie of life in matter."
Devil - "Evil, a lie, error." He is not an entity, not a person, has no existence. "A belief in sin, sickness, and death."
Evil spirits are false beliefs
Flesh - "An error of physical belief; a supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are in matter; an illusion."
Gods - "A belief that life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and material; a supposition of sentient physicality.
God is Spirit who is a ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful, and good. God is the Father/Mother God. Other names for God are Divine Mind, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. To the Christian Scientist God is the governing Principle of the universe to which a person must harmonize his belief system. [See Section on God]
Healing is accomplished by correct thinking according to Christian Science principles. A change in belief that effects physical symptoms. (SH p. 194:6)
Heaven is not a literal place of eternal bliss, but a harmonious condition of understanding where a person’s consciousness are in harmony with Divine Mind. "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government of divine Principle." [See Abraham and The Promise]
Hell is a state of mind which can include the effects of their improper understanding of Divine Mind and Christian Science Principles. Hell is not a literal place of damnation and eternal torment. Hell exists when a person’s thoughts are out of harmony with the reality of Divine Mind. "Mortal belief, error; lust; hatred, sin; sickness; effects of sin." [See Hell]
Holy Spirit, the, is Divine Science. is the spirit of God and is only discernable and knowable by a person through his spiritual awareness. It is an emanation, a presence, "a law of God in action."
Jesus’ stripes is simply his rejection of error, not the beating he received in the flesh (S&H, 20:15).
Knowledge - "Evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses; mortality; beliefs and opinions. The opposite of spiritual Truth and understanding." (S. H. 590).
Material reality is really non-existent. It is only an interpretation of Divine Mind. Even though someone might feel pain or sickness, in reality it does not exist.
Mortal Mind - "Nothing claiming to be something, for Mind is immortal; error creating other errors."
Pastor really means the combined books of the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Personhood is an aspect and reflection of Divine Mind.
Prayer is contemplation and internalization of divine truths. "The taking hold of God’s willingness." It is an affirmation of God’s being in relation to man.
Resurrection is "Spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding."
Salvation is "Life, Truth, and Love understood and demonstrated as supreme over all; sin, sickness, and death destroyed." [See Salvation]
Sickness is the false understanding given the appearance of reality by the unfaithful and ignorant of Divine Principle and Mind.
Sin is not understanding and behaving according to Divine Law of God and the law of our being. [See Sin]
Soul is "man’s consciousness -- that which he has apprehended or developed out of Spirit. . . Soul is both conscious and subconscious" (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, p. 628).
Spirit is another name for God. Divine substance; Mind; divine Principle; all that is good." Christ
Wrath is really the working out of the law of God’s being upon a person. It is not God’s judgment upon a sinner. [See The Wrath of God]
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Interesting Quotes from Mary Baker Eddy
from Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures
"One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part. That God’s wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made" (S&H, p. 23:3-7).
"The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father’s business" (S&H, 25:6-8). [See Meaning of The Cross]
"His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulcher, whereas he was alive . . ." (S&H, p. 44:28-29). [See The Resurrection]
". . . his body was not changed until he himself ascended, — or, in other words, rose even higher in the understand of Spirit, God . . .and this exaltation explained his ascension, and revealed unmistakably a probationary and progressive state beyond the grave" (S&H, p. 46:15-17; 20-24).
"His students then received the Holy Ghost. By this is meant, that by all they had witnessed and suffered, they were roused to an enlarged understanding of divine Science" (S&H, p. 46:30-32).
"A scientific mental method is more sanitary than the use of drugs, and such a mental method produces permanent health" (S&H, 79:7-9).
"It is contrary to Christian Science to suppose that life is either material or organically spiritual" (S&H, 83:21-22).
"The admission to one’s self that man is God’s own likeness sets man free to master the infinite idea" (S&H 90:24-25).
"The theory of three person in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggest polytheism . . ." (S&H, p. 256:9-11).
"Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation" (S&H, p. 332:4-5.).
"The word Christ is not properly a synonym for Jesus, thought it is commonly so used" (S&H, p. 333:3-4).
"Mind is the I AM, or infinity. Mind never enters the finite. . .but infinite Mind can never be in man . . .a portion of God could not enter man" (S&H, p 336:1-2,13,19-20).
". . . and recognize that Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God" (S&H, p 361:11-13). [See Section on Jesus]
Speaking of Gen. 2:7, "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being," Eddy says, "Is this addition to His creation real or unreal? Is it the truth, or is it a lie concerning man and God? It must be a lie, for God presently curses the ground..."(S&H, p. 524:13-27).
In describing what the Devil is, it says, "Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality nor mind; the opposite of Truth; a belief in sin, sickness, and death; animal magnetism or hypnotism; the lust of the flesh, which saith: ‘I am life and intelligence in matter. There is more than one mind, for I am mind, - a wicked mind, self-made or created by a tribal god and put into the opposite of mind, termed matter, thence to reproduce a mortal universe, including man, not after the image and likeness of Spirit, but after its own image." (S&H, p. 584:17-25).
"If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me." (The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, pp. 318, 319). TOP OF PAGE
Questions to Ask Christian Scientists
If God is all in all, then where did evil come from?
If everything is an interpretation of divine mind, then why do people have different understandings of God?
If sickness is an illusion, why do you have practitioners who go out to Christian Scientists in attempts to heal them?
If sin is not real, then why does the Bible say that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23)? As well as, "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us," (1 John 1:18).
In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy said, "The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father’s business." Why would she contradict so plainly the teaching of Scripture that says, "but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
Why would Mary Baker Eddy directly contradict the Jesus’ own claim of Himself? She said that "Jesus is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but the Son of God." (S & H 361:12-13). Is she calling Jesus a liar? [See Section on Jesus]
If "Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death" as Eddy said in Science and Health 475:28, then why do people die? Why does the Bible say that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23)?
Why would Mrs. Eddy say Jesus did not die (S&H 45:32-46:3) when the Bible clearly teaches that He died (Rom 8:34; 1 Thess 4:13; 1 Cor 8:11; 1 Pet 3:18;1 John 1:7).
If our physical senses do not tell us the truth about the material world then how can we trust them when we read the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures or hear its message with our ears? TOP OF PAGE