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1. Source of Authority. Mary Baker Eddy claimed the Bible was her “only textbook” and “only authority.” Yet she also said the Bible has thousands of errors — 30,000 in the Old Testament and 300,000 in the New Testament. Christian Scientists believe that Mrs. Eddy’s discovery of Divine Science is the “final revelation” from God. They claim Science and Health is divinely inspired (even though it has been proven to contain numerous plagiarisms and revisions). — Science and Health is the “first book” which has been “uncontaminated by human hypothesis” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 115; Science and Health, pp. 99, 139, 456-457). [HJB] One is only supposed to read the Bible if they have Eddy’s “key” in hand, so as to find out what a passage means. The implication is that God couldn’t make Himself plain, but has to have Mary Baker Eddy interpret what He says. With this in mind, the world was, in effect, left to grope in darkness until Mrs. Eddy came on the scene.
2. Language. Christian Scientists have given Bible terms allegorical, metaphysical definitions that are completely different from normal usage. Everything is spiritualized to the point that the physical no longer exists. New meanings have also been assigned to many traditional theological doctrines. (For example: “Adam was not an actual person who was created by God and fell into sin. ‘Adam’ means error; a falsity; the belief in ‘original sin,’ sickness, and death; evil; the opposite of good.”) [HJB]
3. Trinity. Christian Science clearly repudiates the Trinitarian Godhead: “The theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Tri-unity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I Am” (Science and Health, p. 256). Instead, “Life, Truth, and Love constitutes the triune Person called God … God the Father-Mother; Christ the spiritual idea of sonship; divine Science or the Holy Comforter” (Science and Health, p. 331-332). Christian Science teaches that the Biblical concept of the Trinity suggests “heathen gods” (Science and Health, p. 152). God is thus viewed as an impersonal “Divine Principle,” a conception of one’s mind (Science and Health, pp. 361, 469). On page 465 in another of Mrs. Eddy’s “authoritative” books, entitled Miscellaneous Writings, she wrote: “God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite, mind, spirit, soul, principle, life, truth, love,” but devoid of any personality. [HJB] [To the contrary, the Bible teaches that God is a triune, personal, transcendent Being who created “the world and all things in it” (Act 17:24). He is not a pantheistic all-in-all. He is holy and just, as well as love. God created and governs the universe, including man (Acts 17:24-27).]
4. Jesus Christ. Christian Science denies that the incarnation of Christ was the fullness of deity dwelling in human flesh, denies the perfection of the man Jesus, and attempts to explain away the historical death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (Science and Health, pp. 336, 29, 332, 53, 398, 313, 593;Miscellaneous Writings, p. 201) Christian Science believes that Mary’s conception of Jesus was spiritual — on pages 332 and 347 of Science and Health, the virgin birth of Christ is described and explained: “Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God. … Mary’s conception of him was spiritual.” Christian Science believes that the names “Jesus” and “Christ” do not refer to the same person — that Jesus is the human man and Christ is the “divine idea” (i.e., “dualism”). They teach that the spiritual (good) cannot dwell in material bodies because they are evil; thus Jesus could not have been both God and man. [To the contrary, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is not the divine idea of God but was God uniquely manifested in the flesh, truly God and truly man, one divine Person with two indivisible natures, who is the only Savior and the only truth and Lord (John 1:1-3,14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6-7; John 14:6).] Christian Science believes that Jesus was not God and the only way to heaven, but only the “wayshower” (cf. Jn. 20:31; I Jn. 4:2,3).
Christian Science not only denies that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, it also denies that Jesus is one Person with two natures — fully God and fully man. Christian Science presents Jesus Christ in terms of a Gnostic duality: “The spiritual Christ was infallible: Jesus as material manhood was not Christ” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 84). “Christ as the true spiritual ideal, is the ideal of God now and forever …” (Science and Health, p. 361). “The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual …” while, “The corporeal [physical] man Jesus was human only (Science and Health, p 332). Yet “matter is mortal error … matter is the unreal and temporal” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 21). So what Christian Science actually concludes is that the physical humanity of Jesus was an illusion, ”as it seemed to mortal view” (Science and Health, p. 315).
Concerning the blood atonement of Jesus Christ: “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 …” (Science and Health, p. 25). Christian Science teaches that the death of Jesus Christ for sin was a “man-made” theory, and that Jesus was alive in the tomb, demonstrating the “power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense” (Science and Health, p. 44). Eddy states, “Christ was not crucified … Jesus, being the man who possessed the Christ consciousness, was the one who went to the cross and who appeared to die.” Thus, according to the theology of Christian Science, the Bible only appears to say that Jesus died on the cross and His body was laid in the tomb; it must instead be understood that Jesus actually never died, but was rather in the tomb denying death’s reality!
5. Holy Spirit. Christian Science denies that the Holy Spirit is a personal being. It teaches that the Holy Spirit is Christian Science. — “This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science” (Science and Health, p. 55). It is the unfolding of the thoughts and infinite mind of God (pp. 502-503). [cf. Jn. 16:13-14] Thus, God, the Holy Spirit, cannot indwell a person (Science and Health, p. 336).
6. The Resurrection. It is obvious that if Jesus never physically died on the cross to atone for sins that mankind cannot commit (Science and Health, pp. 45-46), then the resurrection must also have a unique meaning in Christian Science. Eddy explains, “When Jesus reproduced his body after its burial, he revealed the myth or material falsity of evil; its powerlessness to destroy good and the omnipotence of the Mind that knows this: he also showed forth the error of nothingness of supposed life in matter, and the great somethingness of the good we possess, which is of Spirit, and immortal” (Miscellaneous Writings,p. 201). Jesus resurrection was thus the manifestation of the error of evil. He demonstrated that sin and death are illusions and that if one wishes to rid themselves of these illusions, they only need to deny their reality.
7. Sin. Christian Science denies the existence of all matter, including man’s physical body. They say that man is “incapable of sin, sickness, and death.” They claim sin, sickness, and death are the “effects of error,” thereby denying the reality of sin. [HJB] Bottom line, to Christian Science, there is no sin (Science and Health, p. 447). This is a consistent deduction and fundamental principle of the Christian Science system — namely, God is all and God is good, and since the real man has never departed from his original state of perfection, he is not in need of salvation. He is saved now and reposing in the bosom of the Father. He has always been saved — that is, as God’s idea of the expression of the mind, man is forever held in the divine consciousness. And since sin and evil have no reality, all ideas of sin and evil are illusions. They are the product of the mortal mind. Hence, it is a sense of sin which is sinful because of the illusory product of the mortal mind. They say that man’s real problem is the belief of sin, and that “Christ came to destroy the belief of sin.” [Eddy writes in Miscellaneous Writings in the question and answer section: “If there is no sin, why did Jesus come to save sinners?” She answers, “Jesus came to seek and to save such as believe in the reality of the unreal; to save them from this false belief; that they might lay hold of eternal Life …” (p. 63). In other words, Jesus came to save mankind from the false belief that sin is real! Jesus saving work was to exemplify the fact that death is unreal, that sin is only an illusion or false belief, and that to deny its existence is the ultimate task of each person.]
8. Salvation. Since Christian Scientists do not believe that sin is real, they, therefore, see no need for salvation in Jesus Christ. Notwithstanding, Christian Scientists still teach a salvation based on works — and contrary to even their own teachings, a salvation through victory over suffering and temptation. [HJB]
9. Hell. Christian Science denies the existence of hell and eternal punishment, and, therefore, there is no devil (Science and Health, p. 469). Hell is defined as “mortal belief; error; lust; remorse; hatred; revenge; sin; sickness; death.” They believe that hell is a self-imposed “mental anguish,” emanating from the guilt of one’s imagined sin. [HJB]
10. Man’s Destiny. Christian Science teaches that since God is all good and nothing that is real exists outside God, then sin, sickness, and death are mortal error or an illusion. Christ, as the Truth, therefore came to set man free from these false beliefs by His teachings and example (Science and Health, pp. 473, 475, 108). Christian Science denies the penal, substitutionary atonement of Christ, saying, ”The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed on ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about His Father’s business” (Science and Health,p.25). “Jesus taught the way of Life by demonstration. There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in Divine Science shows us this way” (Science and Health, p. 242). ”Universal salvation rests on progression and probation … No final judgment awaits mortals …” (Science and Health, p. 291)
11. Disease and Death. Christian Scientists claim that since organic disease does not exist, “the cause of all so-called disease is mental” [i.e., ‘the belief in sin is thereby the cause of it’], “a mistaken belief” (Science and Health, p. 377). They say that since our physical bodies do not exist, disease and death are only illusions (Science and Health, pp. 348,386). [To the contrary, the Bible teaches that sin, sickness, and evil are not an illusion, but a result of man’s willful choice to rebel against a Holy God, and death (both physical and the spiritual eternal separation from God) is the result of sin (Rom. 3:10, 23; 5:12-14; 1 John 1:8-10).] They believe they have restored Christ’s principles of divine healing through their practices of mental healing; i.e., the healing performed by Christian Science involves helping a person to deny the reality of his illness, and thereby, any failure to heal is due to a person’s inability to overcome his belief. Mary Baker Eddy claimed to have this power of healing (called Divine Science), though she never provided any tangible proof of it. [HJB] [Whereas the Christian Science approach to healing may help psychosomatic illnesses, it has been scientifically demonstrated that it is not effective with real illness. In fact, studies comparing the cumulative death rates of practicing Christian Scientists with control groups have shown significantly higher death rates among the Christian Scientists (Journal of American Medical Association, September 22/29, 1989, pp 1657-58; and Morbidity Weekly Report, August 23, 1991, pp. 579-582).]
12. The “Gospel” of Christian Science. Jesus, who possessed the Christ consciousness as do all men to a lesser extent, went to the cross, not to bring about forgiveness of sin, for sin is an illusion, but rather to demonstrate that death is an illusion. On the morning of the resurrection, the supposed physical body of Jesus was reproduced in its original illusionary form, for all matter is illusion, and thereby demonstrated to mankind that all could do the same by denying the reality of sin and death.
Jesus’ “seeming” death on the cross was not intended to pay for our sins, but to prove the unreality of sin, disease, and death. The Bible is full of mistakes. Jesus’ words were recorded by “dull disciples … in a decaying language,” and must be spiritually interpreted through Christian Science.
To put it another way: “Jesus was laid down as the result of apparent death, into a fictitious tomb, in an unreal body, to make an unnecessary atonement for sins that had never been a reality and had been committed in an imaginary body, and that He saves from non-existing evil those headed toward an imaginary hell, the false fancy of an erroneous Mortal Mind” (J.K. VanBaalen, The Chaos of Cults).