Christian Science is also called Church of Christ, scientist. Is the religious group that spun out of Christianity in 1866. The religion went through an initial interest and surge in membership, but never really took off as a mainstream religious sect. Membership peaked in the early 1930s with about a half a million people. Membership has decreased since then. Christian Science have never really broke through in regions that are not westernized and somewhat upper class; its main following has been here in the United States. Women make up the majority of the followers (at one time said to be 75 percent).
How did Christian Science start? And why was it appealing to people? Christian Science started by a lady named Mary Baker Eddy, but she cannot be given credit for most of the ideas that she penned. A man known for his mind healing techniques named Phineas Parkhurst (P.P.) Quimby is the real brain behind Christian Science doctrine. Mary Baker Eddy took the ideas from Quimby and, after he died, wrote the book Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures. This book became the lens through which Christian Science would read and interpret the Bible.
Mary Baker Eddy’s personal experience launched the spread of her and Quimby’s mind healing techniques. In 1866 Eddie slipped on some ice and was seriously hurt. She experienced of rapid recovery from the fall and begin to share her techniques that apparently worked for her. She said that now we can use the healing power that Christ intended for us. I attribute this desire for the power of healing as the key reason that Christian Science has a draw on people.
Standing at the root of Christian Science belief is the teaching that matter and the physical world are an illusion. Evil is also an illusion. Evil is from lack of realization that the physical does not exist. Therefore evil and the physical are wrapped up in the same illusion. If a person is sick or has a disease it is because of belief. If they forsake the belief then the sickness will go away.
How does this foundation affect their doctrine of God? If God is completely good and matter is illusion and evil, then God, in no way, is matter. Jesus Christ had a material body, therefore the person of Jesus is not God. Here is the quote from the Christian Science website: “Christian Science teaches that divine mine, God, is the infinite, all-knowing, ever-conscious cause and creator of all being. Since God is one, All, and infinite, there can logically be only one mind, and this mind is actually our real and only mind right now.” The Christian Science concept of God is essentially pantheistic, and obviously anti-trinitarian. They teach that God is all and in all, so there is nothing that is not at least part of God.
What about Jesus? If you have the name Christian in your title, you must put significant importance on Christ. Since Mary Baker Eddy tried to avoid the physical at all costs, she taught that Jesus was born out of the Virgin Mary’s spiritual thoughts. This brings the Virgin Mary to the point of being the creator of Jesus- that is, of the Spirit of Jesus. Eddy taught that Jesus, being the Son of God, was therefore not God. He was a spiritual Son of God, surely not much different than any of us.
What does Christian Science teach about the purpose of Jesus’ coming? Jesus could have only had spiritual reasons. Any physical accomplishments would be ruled out of Christian Science. Therefore, a physical death has no significance. The shedding of blood would have no significance. Jesus’ physical ascension is thought to be a spiritual ascension into a higher state of knowledge. Jesus did not really die, therefore did not really rise from the dead, but was spirit through it all. Jesus accomplished things in the spirit realm that we too are supposed to accomplish. This is what Eddy claimed to restore.
Consequently, with these doctrines of reality, God, and Jesus, salvation takes on a whole different meaning. Christian Science does not teach that there is a literal heaven or hell. Christian Science doctrine taken from Science and Health page 266 says “The sinner makes his own hell by doing evil, and the saint his own heaven by doing right.” Heaven and hell are defined by relativism; it is what you make it out to be. It teaches that man is good by nature, so needs nothing for salvation. “Man as gods idea is already saved with an everlasting salvation.” (Miscellaneous Writings page 261) Salvation is a spiritual harmony with that ultimate divine impersonal principal- “God”.
Applying a little bit of logic to the foundation of Christian Science, we need to look at the concept of idealism. Idealism is the belief that ideas and thoughts are all that exist. Similarly, solipsism is the belief that your own mind is all that exists. Yet people think they ought to share this view with others. But why would a logically consistent idealist or solipsist try to convince another mind that only 1 mind exists (God being the 1 mind in Christian Science)? This leads me to a question of consistency: why would Mary Baker Eddy write physical books for people if the mind/spiritual was all that existed?
If mind is all that exists, then why does every mind seem to agree on the reality physical things? A cop can pull over a person that ran a red light because the event actually happened. The driver will not get away with saying that the event “only happened in your mind”. Everybody that goes to look at the Grand Canyon actually sees the Grand Canyon. It is not something they conjure up in their mind because they all see the same thing. And it will look the same the next time you go to see it. If idealism were true each person ought to be experiencing a different sight, and the sight could change in the “blink of an eye”. So similarity of experience implies actuality independent of the mind (physical reality).
Bear in mind that Mary Baker Eddy said that her only authority was the Bible. But she became the Guru for what the Bible really says in her book Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures. She got to be the one to put her own secret twist on what she wanted the Bible to say. This under the disguise of divine knowledge and powers. Let’s take the Bible, what Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy claimed to be her only authority, and weigh her own doctrines and beliefs against it.
The Bible says that God is not pantheistic but is holy (Leviticus 19:2, Psalm 96:9, Romans 1:25). He is separate and distinct from his creation. Creation is fallen, but God can never fall. God is a Trinity (Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:13). There is one God (Isaiah 44:6) The Father is God (Psalm 89:26). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5: 3, 4 and Romans 5: 5). Jesus is God (Colossians 1:15 and Titus 2:13).
God created the physical world (Acts 17:24). Satan is one of the created beings, not just an immaterial concept (1 Peter 5:8). Sin and evil actually exist and they are part of our nature (Ephesians 2:3). Sin, and not illusion (like Hinduism says) is our key problem (Isaiah 59:2). Sins need to be admitted (1 John 1:9). Sin’s cure is not mental ascent, but confession and belief in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9) who’s blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7). Jesus did not merely come and appear risen from the dead spiritually, but physically and completely (Luke 24:39). Salvation is knowing and worshiping God, not absorption into a principle (Revelation 5:13, 21:3).
To conclude, Christian Science is metaphysically dishonest and contradictory. There is nothing Christian about Christian Science. The only thing scientific about it is deceptive mind science techniques. Christian Science is nothing but a rewrapped gnostic heresy that was birthed in the second century which claims that it was only by their secret knowledge that truth and salvation could be attained. Christian Science is closer to Eastern mysticism and the New Age movement than to biblical Christianity. Anytime someone brings a different gospel, even if that person claims to perform miracles, we must not allow that teaching to creep in at all (curse be on them! -Galatians 1:8). Unfortunately, through things like the word faith (name it, claim it) movement, Christian Science and it’s deception has found a way into mainstream Christianity. We need to be intelligent enough about the Christian faith to eliminate such heresies.