What is Christian Science?

Question
What is Christian Science?
Answer

Christian Science is a cult. Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). As the story goes in 1866, Mary Patterson (name change to Mary Baker Eddy after her marriage) slipped on some ice and was in critical condition. She asked for her Bible and while reading it she suddenly recovered. She later called this the moment she discovered "Christian Science."

She taught her system to numerous men and women. In 1875, she published Science and Health, explaining the "science" of her healing method(s). In 1877 she married one of her students, Asa Gilbert Eddy. Christian churches would not accept her teachings, so in 1879 she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist. She later founded a college and published a newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor.

Though some later left it, several well-known individuals have been deceived by this cult, including: Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, Kelsey Grammer, Henry Fonda, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, Marlyn Monroe, Doris Day, Robert Duvall, Val Kilmer, Jim Henson, Alan Shepherd, Ernest Hemingway, etc.

The table below compares and contrasts a few of the teachings of Christian Science with Christianity.

Christianity Scripture Christian Science
There is one true and living God, who exists as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Deut. 6:4; John 1:1-3; 15:26 Trinity is polytheistic. Eddy denied that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. Redefines the Trinity as life, truth, and love.
Jesus is God. John 1:1-2; 20:28; 1 Tim 2:5 Denies deity of Christ.
Believes in Death and Resurrection of Christ. 1 Cor 15:3-4; 2 Cor 5:14-15 Denies the Death and Resurrection of Christ.
Christ secured the salvation of his people at Calvary. John 3:16, 5:24; 1 Cor. 15:3-4 Sin and death are false beliefs. Believes man is already saved.
God created man in his own image. Gen 1:26-27; 1 Cor 11:7; Col 3:10 People are divine spirits, or part of God.
Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21 Bible is to be interpreted by Eddy's writings. Denies that Scipture is infallible.
Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God. WSC 14. Rom 3:23; Jas 4:17; Sin, death, disease, and pain, are not real; they are merely illusions.
The wages of sin is death. Rom 3:23; Heb 9:27 Death is an illusion. People, like God, are immortal spirit or mind and therefore do not die.
God is the sovereign judge and sends some to Hell and others to Heaven. Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:10 A sinner makes his own hell by doing evil, and the saint his own heaven by doing right.

Those in Christian Science need Christ. See "Is Jesus the ONLY WAY to Heaven?" below.

References

[1] Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, (Christian Science Publishing Society, 1934).
[2] Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, (Trustees under with will of Mary Baker, G. Eddy, 1924).
[3] Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, (First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1941).
[4] Lucia Greenhouse, fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science (Broadway Books, 2012).
[5] Willa Cather, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science, (University of Nebraska Press, 1993).

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).