Frequently Asked Questions About Christian Science
Table of Contents
- What is Christian Science?
- What are its Basic Teachings?
- What are its Tenets?
- Who is Mary Baker Eddy?
- Is Christian Science related to Scientology?
- What is the Christian Science view of God?
- Is it true that Christian Scientists don’t take medicine?
- What is the history of Christian Science?
- How can Christian Science help me?
- What activities are available?
- Have any other questions?
What is Christian Science?
Christian Science is a religion based on the words and works of Christ Jesus, who taught humanity the true meaning of Love. Thus, the heart of Christian religion is Love and about feeling and understanding God’s love for each one of us. For additional and detailed information about Christian Science, please visit the “What is Christian Science?” page on ChristianScience.com.
What are its Basic Teachings?
Christian Science is based on the Bible, and is fully explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. She discovered that Jesus’ promise “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14:12) was not “supernatural, but supremely natural” (Science and Health, p.xi). This can mean resolving difficult challenges of health, relationships, employment, and other personal and global issues through prayer. But Christian Science is so much more than a system of self-help or health care. Ultimately, it is a way to draw closer to our loving Father-Mother, God, as well as all of humanity.
What are its Tenets?
From Science and Health (pp.496-497)
- As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
- We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.
- We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
- We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
- We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
- And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.
Who is Mary Baker Eddy?
Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) was raised in a Puritan home and loved and studied the Bible. Throughout her life, she questioned conventional views about science, theology, and medicine and continually searched the Bible for answers. One overarching question she sought to answer was: How was Christ Jesus able to heal the sick? She found the answer in 1866 when she had a severe fall and was not expected to live. Reading one of Jesus’ healings, she found herself suddenly well. Eddy could not explain to others what had happened, but she knew it was the result of what she had read in the Bible. This led to nine years of intensive scriptural study and the discovery that there is a spiritual “science” that underlies the universe, the laws of which can be relied on for healing today – just as they were over 2,000 years ago. She went on to become a public speaker, teacher, and bestselling author. She founded a college for teaching Christian Science healing, an international church, and multiple publications, including the award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor.
Christian Science is sometimes confused with Scientology, New Age practices, faith healing, and Eastern religions. It has also been called un-Christian or labeled a cult. Actually, Christian Science is none of the above. The inspiration it offers runs deeper than positive thinking. It is deeply Christian. Christian Science teaches that it’s never God’s will for anyone to suffer, be sick, or die. Instead, it shows how God is entirely good, and therefore His will for each of us is only health and life.
What is the Christian Science view of God?
The first chapter of Genesis presents God as wholly spiritual and utterly good. This goodness is then beautifully revealed as integral to God’s creation as well. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Christian Science, pointing to Bible passages like these, defines God as “The great I AM; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence” (Science and Health, p.587). Thus, we see our spiritual identity and relationship with God as perfect, made in His “image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
Is it true that Christian Scientists don’t take medicine?
It’s up to each person who practices Christian Science to choose the form of health care he or she wants. Many Christian Scientists decide to pray first about every challenge –including health issues – and find it effective. Many healthcare professionals today are recognizing options outside of conventional medicine. Christian Scientists recognize and respect the interests of medical professionals and don’t oppose them. We all care about the preventive and curative aspects of health care. Like all systems of healing, the track record for Christian Science isn’t perfect. But, over 80,000 Christian Science healings have been published throughout the past 140 years, including cancer, broken bones, diabetes, smoking, and countless other problems.
What is the history of Christian Science?
In 1866, after many years of study, Mary Baker Eddy discovered what she considered to be the Science of the Christianity as taught and lived by Christ Jesus. She dedicated herself to teaching, preaching, and healing others through this system of applying spiritual laws – Christian Science – and in 1875 she published her primary book about it, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. By 1879, she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, “to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing” (Church Manual, p.17). Though it is not necessary to be a church member to study Christian Science, today, there are members in over 130 countries and democratically run churches in over 70 countries.
How can Christian Science help me?
Christian Science is studied and practiced by people all over the world and it can help you in the same way it helps others. When asked why they love Christian Science, people said things like:
- Christian Science works – I found healing!
- I feel loved unconditionally, without judgment.
- The Bible makes more sense to me.
- Christian Science helps me feel safe.
- Through prayer, Christian Science brought me comfort.
- I feel God’s tender presence more than ever.
- Jesus’ life and teachings are more relevant to me now.
- I found a better sense of peace and harmony in my life.
- It gave me the opportunity to bless others.
What activities are available?
Along with twice-weekly services that include Sunday School classes for children, Christian Science churches around the world maintain public Reading Rooms and sponsor talks and lectures on various subjects. Additional church activities vary from church to church, and may include Christian Science nursing services, care committees, chaplain services in correctional facilities, etc. This site is a great way to find out what’s going on in the Houston area.
Have any other questions?
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