CHRISTIAN SCIENCE IS IT FOR CHRISTIANS?
Some may believe that Christian Science is just another denomination. After all, don't they read the Bible and quote Scriptures and believe in "faith healing"? Don't they use the name of Jesus Christ and believe in the atonement? These are good questions, and as such they deserve good, Biblical answers.
Mary Baker Eddy is the founder of Christian Science. She wrote down her beliefs in a book called "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures". We will be quoting from this book throughout this tract, but we will not quote exact page numbers, since there are over 500 published editions of this book, and chapters have been shifted around numerous times. Therefore the edition in our possession would not necessarily match the one you have, but with a little research, you can verify these quotations.
Mrs. Eddy claimed to have discovered the Science of Metaphysical healing in 1866, and gave it the name "Christian Science". She denied the reality of the material world, claiming all humans are really spirits, and physical bodies are an illusion. She believed that she was only a scribe, and her book was divinely dictated. In 1879, Mrs. Eddy organized her church, naming it "The First Church of Christ, Scientist". Now called "The Mother Church", it has spawned many others throughout the world, all run according to Mrs. Eddy's "Church Manual", with a five-person board in control.
IT SOUNDS CHRISTIAN!
It's true that Mrs. Eddy used such terms in her writings as "God", "Jesus Christ", "Truth", "Love", "Life", "Atonement", etc., but she attached entirely different meanings to these words than Christians understand. We will now consider several points regarding Christian Science that SEEM Christian, but in fact will prove not to be Christian at all.
VIEW OF THE BIBLE
Christians believe that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 316)
Christians believe the Bible as it is written, and believe it to be God's infallible truth. Christian Science, while claiming to acknowledge the authority of the Bible, even reading it in their church services, have one very important condition. The Bible must be read in the light of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures". What happens when the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's book disagree? In every case, Mrs. Eddy's book takes precedence over the Bible! For example, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" says that death does not exist. Romans 510 plainly says it does. "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Here we have a direct contradiction between the two books. What will Christian Scientists do at this point, following the leading of Mrs. Eddy? Mrs. Eddy interjects the word "seeming" before the word "death" in this Scripture, to try and twist the Bible around to her doctrine of the denial of the reality of death. It is interesting that she could not deny the reality of her own death by her interpretations, and did indeed, in reality, experience death herself.
BELIEF IN GOD
Christian Scientists profess a belief in God, but what kind of a God? Certainly not the same kind of God the Bible presents! The God of Christian Science is not a personal God, but a Pantheistic God. That is, their God is the impersonal soul of the universe, a force, the sum total of all created. "God is all" declares Mrs. Eddy, with a very Hinduistic flavor. The Bible presents a self-existent, Eternal God, the Creator. This One True God of the Bible has revealed Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Space does not permit the listing of the numerous Scripture references, but please send for our booklet, "Is the Trinity True?")
The One, True God of Scripture, revealed in His triune nature, is not the "trinity" referred to in "Science and Health". Mrs. Eddy states, "Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune Person called God--that is, the triply divine Principle, Love. They represent a trinity in unity, three in one,--the same in essence, though multiform in office God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter." The Christian Science "trinity" is not the Christian Trinity, but a distortion of the nature of God.
VIEW OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE REGARDING JESUS
The Christian Scientists often use the name of Jesus Christ, even saying some good things about Him. However, they are not presenting the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Scriptures warn us that there would be those presenting "another Jesus" (2 Corinthians 114). Christian Science truly falls into this category. The Jesus Christ of the Bible is Truly God and Truly Man. Christian Science denies the Deity of Christ, refusing to believe that He is God incarnate in the flesh, as the Bible teaches. 1 Timothy 117 calls Jesus Christ the "only God". 1 Timothy 316 says He is "God who was revealed in the flesh." Christian Science, however, proclaims, "Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ." Christian Scientists also refuse to worship Jesus Christ, although He was plainly worshipped in the Bible. (See Matthew 1433; 289).
THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
The literal, physical death of Jesus Christ and His glorious resurrection, so plainly taught in the Bible, and confirmed by numerous eye-witnesses, is dealt with in a very peculiar way by Christian Scientists. First there is the "problem" of physical death, which they must deny. Therefore, when the Bible records that Jesus was in the tomb for three days, Mrs. Eddy explains it away this way "His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulcher, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal material sense."
Jesus Christ died on the cross. (See John 1933, Romans 56,8; etc.). Yes, Jesus was really physically dead when He was placed in the tomb. He certainly was not in there, hiding and subsequently lying to others about the "reality" of His death, but He was dead and He did rise again. 1 Corinthians 153 says, "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures."
ATONEMENT AND SIN
Of course, Christian Science cannot have a Savior dying for their sins, since they don't believe they have any! After all, their physical bodies really do not exist according to their philosophy "All is Spirit", so how can there be sin with no material body? Mrs. Eddy reasons this way, "If God made all that was made, and it was good, where did evil originate? It never originated or existed as an entity. It is but a false belief." In other words, deny sin, and sin will not exist for you. How different from the teachings of the Bible. "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not is us." (1 John 110)
WHAT ABOUT THE HEALINGS IN CHRISTIAN SCIENCE?
While most doctrines of this group can be shown to be false when compared with the Bible, many still point to their healing record as proof of God's blessing. Let us begin by clearing up one phrase. This group does not practice "faith healing" as taught in the Bible. The Bible tells us there is disease and sickness, which can be healed through the power of God. What Christian Science practices is not "faith healing", but denial of sickness. After all, if they do not in reality have a physical body, how can it then get sick? The sickness must be imagined! Since many illnesses really are of a mental nature but produce physical symptoms, "healing" can be brought about by denying the sickness! Also, the attitude of the mind has a lot to do with physical healing from real diseases. We must exercise extreme caution when checking out any reported healings. Look for medical confirmation. Was the original diagnosis correct? Was the patient really cured, and did the healing last? It's interesting that Mary Baker Eddy could not mentally do away with a toothache, but ended up going to a dentist and insisting on a painkiller! Why accept the beliefs of a person for whom her own theories did not work, not only in the matter of her own pain, but also in the matter of her death?