The following article was written by a former Christian Scientist
Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) in 1879, with their headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (S&H) is the text book which is used alongside the Bible (KJV)
Many books attempt to describe Christian Science and its doctrine. However, I thought it useful to show in some small part how it refutes all the points central to mainstream Christian doctrine. We start with the fundamental fact that the Bible is not viewed as God’s Word.
“…the thirty thousand different readings in the Old Testament, and the three hundred thousand in the New, – these facts show how a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record…” (S&H, p.139).
Not Evangelical Christianity
Christian Science separates the names of Jesus and Christ; Jesus is believed to be mortal and Christ to be the spiritual and true idea of God; the Word in John 1:1 is Christian Science. They teach the unreality of sin, sickness and death and deny the necessity of Jesus dying for our sins on the cross. They teach that the first chapter of Genesis is the true record of the story of creation, rejecting the material world in which we live. It is said that God created real man in His image and likeness; therefore we are perfect, in reality. The second chapter of Genesis is treated as a metaphor, the material world, which has no reality. We have, in this stage of existence, to correct our thinking in order to align ourselves as God’s perfect child, thereby freeing ourselves of our mortality – an illusory state, and proving dominion over our material body.
MBE also claims that the Holy Spirit is Christian Science. Heaven and hell are states of mind or consciousness and there will be no judgement day. Instead, each person obtains salvation from his or her belief in materiality through spiritual growth, which continues after death. Dr Walter Martin’s book, The Kingdom of the Cults is an excellent reference to the many doctrinal differences between Christian Science and Evangelical Christianity.
There is no doubt in my mind that Christian Science can be termed a cult and many who leave it have great difficulty re-entering the “real world”, because of their previous isolation. Christian Scientists are secretive, because they are fearful of other people’s thoughts and knowledge of their ailments. They believe that everything is a result of one’s thinking. (See The Religion that Kills: Christian Science: Abuse, Neglect, and Mind Control by Dr Linda S. Kramer.)
Dr Kramer is a former Christian Scientist, now a Christian, and she deals thoroughly with the cultic aspect of the group. It also discusses the emotional and physical neglect, which ensues for followers of Christian Science, particularly of children, who are not allowed to discuss real problems, feelings or illnesses or seek medical help because it is thought that this will make their situation more difficult to heal. There is a great emphasis on healing and this is the attraction that it offers.
Some Scriptures to Compare
Christian Way, a group of former Christian Scientists give a number of comparisons between Science and Health and Scripture. We list below just a few for you to follow through when talking with a Christian Scientist. They show that the one who created Christian Science is certainly not the God of Scripture.
“Christ came to destroy the belief in sin.” – Science & Health, 473:6-7
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8
“No final judgement awaits mortals, for the judgement-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually…” – Science & Health, 291:28-31
“And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” – Hebrews 9:27
“One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part.” – Science & Health, 23:3-5
“And he Himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24
“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.” – Science & Health, 25:6-9
“…And the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7
“To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the divine Principle of being.” – Science & Health, 6:14-16
“And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” – John 17:3
Attitude To Medical Treatment
A Christian Scientist does not seek medical treatment at all (1). It is suggested that if one did, he or she would be interfering with the “healing” because there is no compromise between Christian Science and the medical option; they believe that the worldly medical thought cannot rest alongside spiritual thoughts. A Christian Scientist would repeat the words of MBE and seek to “identify” him/herself with the perfect God. Some may contact a Christian Science practitioner who would help them to know the truths of Christian Science. This practitioner could be miles away and need never visit the “patient” to see their condition. If everyday care was needed, a Christian Scientist may well call on a Christian Science “nurse.” However, do not be deceived, these people have NO medical training and they will not even use sterile dressings. They merely wash, feed and read the Christian Science books to their “patients.” Hansard reported on 28th March 2000, Column 739/740 that “Christian Science Nursing Homes” and “nurses” are exempted from the Nursing Homes Act 1928 and the Registered Homes Act 1984.
My enquiries about these ‘nursing homes’ brought an email response from in which it was suggested that these places would be considered for new regulations from 2002, but The Care Standards Bill will still allow Christian Science Nursing Homes to avoid most regulatory supervision. Lord Weatherill (whose wife is a Christian Scientist) sought reassurance that Christian Science practices would not be affected. (Further information is also available in God’s Perfect Child by Caroline Fraser, pp.328-337.)
The latest information (July 2002) from the NHS enquiry Line on this issue is that:
“Since 1st April 2002 Christian Science Nursing Homes now fall under the remit of the NCSC for inspection and regulation purposes. They are now classified as care homes not providing medicines or medical treatment (NM) and are required to comply with the National Minimum standards for Care Homes and Care Home Regulations.”
The web site of the Aequus Institute also informs us that every motel room in USA (much like the Gideons in UK) is being targeted to have a copy of S&H in them.
Christian Science also seems to be attempting to masquerade as part of the New Age Movement, by giving lectures at health expos/conferences etc. The Borders Bookshop in Glasgow started to advertise a Science and Health /spiritual healing event to be held in their store on 1 November 2001. However this was cancelled, it appears, because of active lobbying and prayer by The Christian Way in America and its counterpart in this country. (Further information on the New Age link is available in God’s Perfect Child by Caroline Fraser, pp.403-416.)
Books and Contacts
There are three books to which I draw your attention.
God’s Perfect Child – Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church by Caroline Fraser. This is a highly acclaimed, thorough investigation of Christian Science, its history and current situation. It includes the documentation of children, more particularly in America, who have died because their parents did not seek medical intervention. If you seek more information on this, please look at http://www.childrenshealthcare.org
Blue Windows by Barbara Wilson, which describes her life growing up in Christian Science and its effects on her life.
The Unseen Shore by Thomas Simmons, which is interesting from the male perspective!
All these books are obtainable via the Internet.
Another source of reference for the Christian who may have left Christian Science or who may still have relatives in it, especially for those with difficulties, depression or need help “connecting” with people is Christian Way. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here you will find great encouragement from other Christians who have and are going through difficulties as a result of Christian Science. There is now an email link in the UK at email@example.com.
I was brought up in Christian Science from a young child to my early twenties. My mother and I were devoted to its study and I never envisaged a life out of it. We were alienated from our family, who could never understand us, our patterns of thinking and behaviour. I never received medical treatment for anything as I was growing up, nor was I immunised. My visits to the dentist were a nightmare where I was never allowed so much as an injection for pain relief. When teeth were extracted, I well remember standing at the bus stop, sobbing with pain and bleeding profusely.
I was expected to “know the truth”, as Mrs Eddy taught it, and then I would be healed! I also remember many nights of pain with earache, where I never seemed to be able to recite Mrs Eddy’s words effectively. Mercifully, I was never seriously ill. When I was older, I had to obtain permission from a Christian Science practitioner to receive dental treatment.
My childhood was spent having my thoughts “corrected” at every turn, to be in tune with Christian Science. Having said that, my grandmother, to whom I was strongly attached, often would sing Christian hymns with me when my mother was not with me and she would speak to me about going to heaven and meeting Jesus. I was a child who had serious worries about death, having witnessed an aunt sobbing that she could not bear to die, and these words about Jesus were always comforting to me.
I was forcibly made to join in membership with the Christian Science Church in America at the age of 12 or 13. The pen was put in my hand. I was active in the local Church and served on various committees. I also worked on a holiday work placement in the so-called Christian Science Nursing Homes.
When I arrived at Teacher Training College, I was convinced that I was going to teach others how much they needed Christian Science. My very first friends I made were active Christians and I gradually began to see that they had a peace and joy that I longed to have. It never occurred to me that if I was in pain, then I should seek medical help. Friends found me a dentist and it made me realise that Christian Science was not so wonderful after all!
I was converted at the Christian Union Meetings and many of those Christian friends I made at that time are still my friends today and actively display my posters concerning the Christian Way in Britain in their Fellowships.
One verse that has always stayed with me is, Mark 13:31, “Jesus said, Heaven and earth will pass away; but my words will never pass away.”
I have never doubted that becoming a Christian, to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, was the right decision to make. I have always longed to meet other ex-Christian Scientists and I am so happy to have received such encouragement from Christian Way. Thirty years is a long time to wait and I pray that this work will help people in their immediate need. It is very difficult to readjust to “the real world” and there are all sorts of situations which can be difficult for the newly saved from Christian Science.
“In Britain, Christian Scientists have three days to heal an affliction by prayer before they must seek traditional medical help.”
He added that the following passage was used to support this action in their family:
“Until the advancing age admits the efficacy and supremacy of Mind, it is better for Christian Scientists to leave surgery and the adjustment of broken bones and dislocations to the fingers of a surgeon, while the mental healer confines himself chiefly to mental reconstruction and to the prevention of inflammation. Christian Science is always the most skilful surgeon, but surgery is the branch of its healing which will be last acknowledged. However, it is but just to say that the author has already in her possession well-authenticated records of the cure, by herself and her students through mental surgery alone, of broken bones, dislocated joints, and spinal vertebrae.” Science & Health, 401:27 … return