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Comparing Christianity to Christian Science

03 Apr

Download this chart and an article providing an overview of Christian Science

  Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist

What the Bible says about God: What Christian Science says about God:
There is one true and living God, who exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; John 1:1-3, 6:27, 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:13; 1 Peter 1:2). Christian Science teaches that “the theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Triunity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM…. Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (Science and Health, pp. 256, 361). Eddy also denied that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, since God is an impersonal “principle.” The Trinity is redefined as life, truth, and love.
What the Bible says about Jesus: What Christian Science says about Jesus:
He is the virgin-born Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:35).  He is eternal, the Creator, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit (John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:1-13). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), rose physically from the dead (Matt. 12:38-40; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and is coming back physically and visibly one day (Matt. 24:29-31; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-14). Christian Science denies the deity of Christ: “Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (Science and Health, p. 361). It also denies His virgin birth: “A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God’s fullness be reflected by a single man, else God would be manifestly finite, lose the deific character, and become less than God…. Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God” (Science and Health, pp. 336, 29-30).Christian Science minimizes Christ’s work at Calvary: “One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin…. 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…. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin” (Science and Health, pp. 23, 253).Eddy taught, “If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me” (First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 318-19).Finally, Christian Science denies that Jesus died and rose again: “His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulcher, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense…. Jesus’ students … learned that He had not died” (Science and Health, pp. 44-46).

What the Bible says about salvation: What Christian Science says about salvation:
Christ’s death at Calvary completely paid our sin debt so that salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus (John 3:16, 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Since sin and death are false beliefs (illusions), salvation involves overcoming the false idea that they exist with the realization of man’s divine spirit and mind. “Man as God’s idea is already saved with an everlasting salvation” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 261).
What the Bible says about man: What Christian Science says about man:
God created man in His image – with a human spirit, personality and will. A person’s life begins at conception and is everlasting, but not eternal; that is, our lives have no end, but they did have a beginning (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 139:13-16). People are divine spirits, or part of God. “God is the principle of man; and the principle of man remaining perfect, its idea or reflection – man – remains perfect” (Science and Health, p. 466). Eddy further taught, “Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (Science and Health, p. 468).
What the Bible says about the Bible: What Christian Science says about the Bible:
The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, and is His sole written authority for all people (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Christian Science interprets the Bible in light of Eddy’s writings, particularly Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In addition, Eddy expressed some doubts about the textual reliability of the Bible: “a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record, with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages” (Science and Health, p. 139).
What the Bible says about sin: What Christian Science says about sin:
Sin is violation of God’s holy standards. All humans are sinners (Rom. 3:10) and are under the curse of sin – spiritual and physical death (Gen. 2:17, 3:17-19; Rom. 3:23, 6:23). Only faith in Christ and His work on our behalf frees us from sin and its consequences (John 3:16, 5:24; Eph. 2:8-9). Sin, along with death, disease and pain, are not real; they are merely illusions. “The only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief…. They are not true, because they are not of God” (Science and Health, p. 472).
What the Bible says about death: What Christian Science says about death:
Physical and spiritual deaths come upon all people as a consequence of their sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1). People become spiritually alive when they are “born again” (John 3:3-6; Eph. 2:1-5). At physical death, our souls and spirits separate from our bodies [which go into the grave to await resurrection and final judgment] and enter an everlasting state of blessedness [for those born again] or torment [for those who die in their sins] (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:8).  Death is an illusion. People, like God, are immortal spirit or mind and therefore do not die.
What the Bible says about heaven and hell: What Christian Science says about heaven and hell:
Hell is a place of everlasting conscious existence where the unbeliever is forever separated from God (Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 14:9-11, 20:10).  As for Heaven, all believers have God’s promise of a home in Heaven, will go there instantly upon physical death, and will return with Christ from Heaven to earth one day (Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 19:11-16). Christian Science teaches that “the sinner makes his own hell by doing evil, and the saint his own heaven by doing right” (Science and Health, p. 266). “The advanced psychist knows that this hell is mental, not material, and that the Christian has no part in it (The first Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160). “Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind” (Science and Health, p. 291).

 

Copyright 2008 by Rob Phillips

 

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