In my recent discussions on Christian Science, I’ve had some interesting comments. To get a CS saying anything at all is a good thing since they are taught not to debate, argue or discuss their beliefs if there are any really tough questions… like, “how can you say matter doesn’t exist? If I hit you in the face, I’m sure your non-existent face would feel the full brunt of my non-existent fist.” Never mind facts.
And the following writer, Hank, ignored some facts about the discussion when he made the following comments:
I find it interesting that when people are so engrained in thought (some call it being brainwashed) that they fail to see the big picture – and whats more, unsubstantially(sic) reject ideas that challenge their own. They fear what they don’t understand.
Hank’s problem is that he didn’t read all the posts that I’ve written concerning Christian Science. If he had, he would have known that I was raised as a third-generation Christian Scientist. My father was a Christian Scientist (he isn’t any longer, he is now a true believer), and his father was a Christian Scientist. I joined the Mother Church when I turned 21 and I was a faithful member for at least a year after that. Then the illogical aspects of the religion begin to bother me. So to accuse me of not understanding is a ridiculous charge. I understand the religion and the fact that the founder of CS, Mary Baker Eddy, plagarized her “truth” from a man named P. Phenias Quimby, who was literally a snake-oil salesman. This is not taught to us growing up. The leaders of CS don’t want their members to realize their beloved leader was a quack. Tell me, who is brainwashed in this scenario? The one who questions Christian Science and their beliefs, or the one who is a devoted follower of MBE?
Hank goes on:
How did Jesus heal, really? Ask yourselves that. I would challenge each of you to actually read, and try to understand what Christian Science is, and the Bible for that matter. Becuase I don’t think you do.
This is one of those charges made against those who don’t know the faith. I’m sure it works well among those not raised in the faith. He was addressing both me and my brother, both raised in the faith. He is also asking about the healings of Christ. He is making the mistake of placing too much emphasis on Christ’s healing and not enough emphasis on the statements made by Christ on why He came to earth. Jesus is very clear about His purpose and it is not to teach us how to heal ourselves, as those in Christian Science would have you believe. Listen to Christ’s own words on the subject:
Mark 1:38 “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
Yes… He came to preach. Over and over again Jesus preached to and taught the people. This is one of His primary purposes. He was preaching about the Kingdom of God (Luke 4:43), about repentance, about the need to trust in and believe Him for salvation. He would say such statements that if we wanted to be a part of Him, then we must drink His blood and eat His flesh (John 6.) He was alluding to the union we have with Christ, not His literal blood and body, and this would be played out in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. He would teach that the Law, when fully understood, condemns all mankind, and all need to trust in Him for salvation. He would teach and preach on both heaven AND hell. In fact, we have more information about hell that came directly from Jesus than any other person in the Bible. After all, He was the one that created hell for the purpose of dealing with Satan, a being that He created, and Satan’s minions (also beings that He created, See Matthew 25:41). He would also tell us that in heaven, we are not like we are here on earth. There is no marriage in heaven. By doing so, He is saying that this is the way we are created, with material bodies that are fallen and need to be redeemed by Him.
He redeems us by calling us to repentance for our sins.
Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Now the CSer might say He is addressing the physically ill, so this points to a purpose of healing. The problem is that central to their theology is that they see the material world as evil and non-existent. They believe that since God is Spirit and that God is all in all, then the only true existence is that which is spiritual. But God didn’t make a spiritual world, but a material world. He even went so far as to call all things that He made good. So to call matter evil is to dispute what God has said about His creation.
Are we not spiritual as well? Originally, yes. There was a spiritual aspect to us but when sin entered into the world, all mankind died with Adam spiritually speaking and physically as well. Physical death represents the spiritual death that Adam introduced into the world via his sin against God. Therefore, we are all born physically alive, but spiritually dead. Ephesians 2:1ff. shows us that we are spiritually dead until God makes us spiritually alive. Jesus called this being “born again.” This new birth must come from God, the Holy Spirit working in our lives, in conjunction with the preached word of God. This is why Jesus preached so much.
He also came so seek and save that which was lost. This is what He preached. Luke 19:10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Again, the point is that Jesus states His purpose over and over again, and never once does He point that His purpose is to teach us how to heal ourselves, or to save ourselves, or to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. He is telling us that we are incapable of doing all these things, and that we need to depend upon Him for everything. John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
In other words, we cannot do anything apart from Him. If we bear any fruit worthy of repentance, it is because we are in Him and the Holy Spirit is in us helping us, leading us, guiding us in bearing that fruit. None of this comes about without saving faith in Him. (Realize that CSers do not believe that Jesus is the Christ, but that He represented the Christ. Right there, they differ on who Christ is. See this link concerning His deity.)
The point is that CSers believe that Jesus came merely to teach us to heal. This is what MBE taught for she was always sick and healing was a major concern for her. She says that she healed herself when “a spirit” came upon her and taught her the truth of CS. Her testimony is that she was near death because of a fall onto the ice. She was walking, fell on the ice and was near death. They summoned a doctor and the doctor said there was nothing he could do for her (there was nothing wrong. The same doctor would say that when he examined her, she wasn’t anywhere near death). Then in the middle of the night, the spirit came, taught her all about CS and she was “miraculously healed.”
From this healing comes the well spring of their theology and religion. The problem is that healings they always boast of are never ones that are verifiable like the ones that Christ did. In other words, they are never healings that are obvious to the human eye, as were the ones that Christ did. Every miracle that Jesus performed was such that it was obvious that a miracle had taken place, blind people seeing, the lame for decades walking, the dead rising, etc. For the typical CSer, the testimony of healing is always questionable because they are the ones testifying to the sickness and the healing. It’s not something that we can see, as in the lady in the wheel chair who was paralyzed for 35 years, suddenly got up and walked.
In fact, you can find just as many cases where the sick in CS ended up dying as they were in healing. This has always been one of my problems with CS. If it is true, then why don’t they walk through a hospital or two, heal everyone inside and show us the validity of their claims. If their belief system is true, then it should be true at all times and for everyone. Not just those inside CS. If CS is true then why don’t they go into the Children’s hospitals and close them down because of their ability to heal? They don’t do so because they cannot. The CSer is just as powerless as we are when it comes to healing ourselves by positive thinking. That stinking matter, that is sinful and fallen, will not cooperate with our positive thoughts.
In fact, a closer look at true Christianity will show that often times, sickness is used by God to bring us into a closer relationship and dependence upon Him. The Father lovingly uses our sufferings for our benefit and His glory. This is the truth of our sanctification. We can expect to suffer on this side of glory because our Lord suffered as well. Jesus did come to alleviate suffering, but not on this side of glory. Only those who believe in Him for salvation will benefit in His glory and redemption.
Since Christian Scientist do not believe in Jesus Christ of the Bible, then they are not partakers of this blessing. This is the problem with cults, they use the same terminology that we do, but to them it means something different. This being the case, they do not worship the true and living God of the Bible, but a false god of MBE’s own making. We can only pray that God opens their eyes to the truth as He did for me, my brothers and my father.