First Church of Christ, Scientist (also known as Christian Science)

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There is no life, truth, intelligence or substance in matter. All is infinite mind, in its infinite manifestation. For God is all in all. Spirit is mortal truth. Matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal. Matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God and man is his image and likeness, therefore man is not material. He is spiritual. A lot of people confuse Christian Science with Scientology, faith healing, because they get into that quite a bit. They get confused with New Age practices and also Eastern religions.

They actually present themselves as a resurgence of primitive Christianity as a demonstrable scientific system.

What you find in Christian Science reading rooms are various publications, the works of Mary Baker Eddy. Her name is the most well known in this movement. She founded Christian Science. You’ll find various publications on proofs, or testimonies, of people being healed by Christian Science. Another thing to note is that they have several major publications that you’ll find throughout the whole world, like the Christian Science Monitor, which is a newspaper. They have the Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel. They are pretty prolific when it comes to creating content.

Christian Science is neither Christian or science.

They don’t believe that Jesus is God. They don’t believe that Jesus died on a cross, nor do they believe that his blood atones for our sins. They don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead bodily. They don’t believe in salvation as we see it. They have a completely different view of salvation. They don’t believe in Jesus’ bodily ascension. They don’t believe that Jesus is going to return someday. They do not believe in the Trinity. They don’t believe in hell, or sin. They believe that sin and evil, and the devil and death and disease, are illusions. They don’t believe in suffering. They don’t believe that God created a material universe. They believe that this entire universe is an illusion. They don’t believe in the virgin birth as the Bible sets forth. They do have a virgin birth, but it is so different than what the Bible talks about. They believe that Jesus was a fallible man. Demons are just bad thoughts. They do not believe that the word of God is infallible. So its not divinely inspired. Its full of corruptions. But they also believe that Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is inspired and without error. This was Mary Baker Eddy’s key work. Obviously, we are looking at Mary Baker Eddy as a prophet, and their Scriptures are now above the Bible.

Their version of prayer is much different than ours. They aren’t asking God for help. They don’t believe they are communicating with a personal God. They don’t use doctors, at least, not as often as we do. They prefer to use Christians Science practitioners for healing. Going to the doctor is frowned upon. It’s not official doctrine to not use doctors or medicines or immunizations. They don’t observe any ordinances like the Lord’s Supper or baptism.

They use the Bible, but they don’t follow the typical customs that we’re used to as Christians. Their church services are kind of divided. They have a little section of time where they have Bible readings. The Bible readings are not expounded on at all. Then they read excerpts from Mary Baker Eddy’s book.

Christian Science was started by Mary Baker Eddy. It basically was influenced with some major illnesses in her life. She had some kind of spinal weakness, and this caused seizures, and she also had some other health problems as well. These health problems influenced her as time goes on to come up with the doctrine and form the First Church of Christ Scientist.

As an adult, Eddy became involved with various forms of the occult, including spiritism. She sometimes fell into a deep trance, in which sometimes people would ask her for advice on various matters. She claims that she experienced various encounters during the night, including strange rapping sounds and seeing dead people by her bedside. She sometimes received messages from the dead.

Then enters a character named Phineas Quimby. He’s kind of like a faith healer. He was a metaphysical healer, and he was known for his particular view of sin, sickness, disease and death existing only in your mind. He believed that wrong thinking, or false beliefs, caused disease. Mary Baker Eddy went to this guy for him to hopefully heal her back. On November 7, 1862, she believed that her back had been healed. This 1862 date, somewhere around that time, 1866, she had a nasty fall on some icy pavement, and she believed that she was instantly healed when the healing truth dawned upon her senses.

Going back to this Phineas Quimby, he had a work called Science of Man, and Mary Baker Eddy plagiarized many sections of Phineas Quimby’s book. Phineas Quimby referred to his system sometimes as Science of the Christ or Science and Health. Mary Baker Eddy writes her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She comes to the point where illness, death and disease is in your mind, and it can be cured by positive thinking.

This probably sounds familiar to you because it has found its way into the Christian church. There was a book by Rhonda Burns called The Secret which has become very popular because of people like Oprah Winfrey. By thinking positively and tapping into the cosmic energies to work for you and bring about change in your life.

Before we leave Phineas Quimby, it’s interesting to note that several of his students went on to found the New Thought Movement, which has now spawned other movements like Religious Science and the Unity Church. These movements are considered precursors of the contemporary New Age Movement.

Lets move on to another influence on Mary Baker Eddy’s life. She despised Calvinism, and she completely disagreed with the final judgment and also hell, or eternal punishment. Her father was a Calvinistic preacher, and her and her dad had a lot of disagreements. She argued with her dad often, especially during her teenage years, and this formed her ideas on her faith that was to be birthed in 1866.

Another person who influenced her thoughts and really put some things in her head concerning this future movement was a woman named Anne Lee. She recognized divinity as both masculine and feminine, our Mother/Father God. A lot of times Christian Scientist refer to God as Father/Mother.

She allowed herself to be represented as the equal and successor to Christ, kind of like a Christian Science version of the Pope. She was okay with this. She was so revered by her loyal followers, she wanted to be called Mother Eddy. Christian Science is based on a pantheistic worldview. They have a view that God is all in all. They have a quotation that they often recite. “All is infinite mind in its infinite manifestations for God is all in all.” That’s from one of Mary Baker’s writings called Miscellaneous.

A – If God is Spirit, and God is all, then non-Spirit (matter) does not exist. 1) God is all in all. 2) God is good. God is mind 3) God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter 4) Spirit is the real and eternal. Matter is the unreal and temporal 5) If God is life, and God is all, then non-life (death) does not exist 6) If it is true that man lives, this fact can never change in science to the opposite belief that man dies. 7) Life is real and death is the illusion 8) If God is healthy, and God is all, then non-healthy (sickness) does not exist. 9) Man is never sick for mind is not sick and matter cannot be. 10) If God is good, and God is all, then non-good (evil) does not exist. From these all the doctrines of Christian Science follow.

Judgment and wrath are bad thought processes that bring consequences on the people of the world. Evil is not real, and God did not create evil or sin. Sin is just simply a bad thought process.

Now we’re going to talk about terms that Christian Science uses.

Angels – God’s thoughts passing to man. An inspiration of goodness, purity that counters evil and material reality

Atonement – At – one – ment, lifting the whole man into Christ consciousness. The biblical account is metaphorical and not real.

Baptism – The daily ongoing purification of thought and deed.

Eucharist – Spiritual communion with God, celebrated with silent prayer and Christian living. It is a submergence in Spirit.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – The belief that God created disharmony in the world.

Body – The form of expression of both Spirit and soul. It is the apparent materialization of the limits of soul as influenced by a person’s conscious development in Christian Science principles.

Christ – The divine idea man. Jesus was not the Christ, but a perfect representation of the Christ consciousness that is the true and higher self of every person. Christ is the manifestation of all that is good and true. The realization of divine principle. A Christian Scientist can say, “I am Christ.” Jesus and the Christ are two separate beings. New Agers and other groups have very similar concepts. Jesus was a man, and Christ, this divine idea, this mindset, came upon him, and he became Jesus the Christ.

Creation – A product of divine mind. Divine mind is another name for God that Christian Scientists use. There is only one reality that emanates and is part of the divine mind. Anything that is not in harmony with the divine mind is not a reality, but a lack of understanding of the principles of divine mind brought about by people.

Devil – Evil, a lie, error. He is an entity, not a person, and has no existence. A belief in sin, sickness and death.

Evil spirits – False beliefs.

When you take all of these words and apply them to the Bible, the Bible becomes a disaster area as you cannot make heads or tails of anything. Everything is metaphorical. You can’t read it and get any sense out of it.

Flesh – An error of physical belief. A supposition that life, substance and intelligence are in matter. An illusion.

Gods – A belief that life, substance and intelligence of both mental and material. A supposition of sentient physicality.

God – Spirit, who is ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful and good. God is the Father/Mother God. Other names for God are Divine Mind, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love. To the Christian Scientist, God is the governing principle of the universe to which a person must harmonize his belief system.

Healing – Accomplished by correct thinking according to Christian Science principles. A change of belief that effects physical symptoms.

Heaven – Not a literal place of eternal bliss, but a harmonious condition of understanding where a person’s consciousness are in harmony with Divine Mind. Harmony, the reign of Spirit, government of divine principle.

Hell – A state of mind, which can include the effects of the improper understanding of Divine Mind and Christian Science principles. Hell is not a literal place of damnation and eternal torment. Hell exists when a person’s thoughts are out of harmony with the reality of Divine Mind. Mortal belief error. Lust, hatred, sin, sickness, effects of sin.

Holy Spirit – The divine science. It’s the Spirit of God, and is only discernable and knowable through his spiritual awareness. Its an emanation, a presence, a law of God in action. There is a sense in which the Holy Spirit is not a being at all, but rather a thought process, this harmonious mindset you achieve.

Jesus’ stripes – The rejection of error. It has nothing to do with the beating Jesus received in the flesh.

Knowledge – The evidence of pain from the five corporeal senses. Mortality, beliefs and opinions. Its the opposite of spiritual truth and understanding.Material reality is non-existent. It’s only an interpretation of Divine Mind. Even though a person may feel pain or sickness, it does not exist.

Mortal Mind – Nothing claiming to be something, for mind is immortal. Error creating errors.

Pastor – The combined books of the Bible with Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Personhood – An aspect and reflection of Divine Mind.

Prayer – Contemplation and internalization of divine truths. The taking hold of God’s willingness. An affirmation of God’s being in relation to man. Prayer from the Christian Science perspective does not ask God to intervene, but rather a process of learning more of God’s spritual reality.

Resurrection – Spiritualization of thought. A new and higher idea of immortality or spiritual existence. Material belief yielding to spiritual understanding.

Salvation – Life, truth and love, understood and demonstarted as superme over all. Sin, death and sickness are destroyed.

Sickness – False understanding giving the appearance of reality by the unfaithful and ignorant of divine principle and mind.

Sin – Not understanding and behaving according to divine law of God, and the law of our being.

Soul – Man’s consciousness. That which he has apprehended or developed out of Spirit. Both consciousness and subcounsciousness.

Spirit – Another name for God. Divine substance, mind, divine principle. All that is good. Christ.

Wrath – The working out of the law of God’s being upon a person. It is not God’s judgment upon a sinner.

They believe that the traditional view of the Trinity is polytheism. They believe that creation, all that we see, all this matter, is an illusion. God did not create a material universe, but rather the creation is the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities in the mind of God. They don’t believe Jesus is God.

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