This is the last in a two-part series on Scientology.
Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars are dedicated followers of the religion L. Ron Hubbard founded more than 60 years ago: Scientology.
What do Tom Cruise, John Travolta and other Scientologists believe? Below is a brief comparison of key biblical teachings and the beliefs of the Church of Scientology.
Note: The Baptist Faith and Message features a fuller treatment of Christian doctrines and includes Scripture references.
What the Bible 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.
What Scientology says about God:
Hubbard rejected the Christian understanding of God, particularly the Trinity. Scientology expresses the concept of God in vague terms such as the Eighth Dynamic or Supreme Being. According to Scientology.org, “Unlike religions with Judeo-Christian origins, the Church of Scientology has no set dogma concerning God that it imposes on its members,” meaning they are free to interpret God in whatever way they wish.
Think you know a lot about the differences between Christianity and other belief systems? Here’s a chance to test your knowledge — and have a little fun along the way. The answers are at the end of the exam.
1. Which of the following is not a Hindu scripture:
a) Rig Veda
b) Sama Veda
c) Yajur Veda
d) Darth Veda
2. True or false:
Islam is the second largest religion in the world – and one of the fastest growing.
3. True or false:
Buddhism has its roots in Hinduism but differs in many beliefs and practices.
4. The great dividing line between Judaism and Christianity is:
a) Kosher foods
b) The Sabbath
c) Mel Brooks
d) Jesus as Messiah
5. Who founded Scientology:
a) Tom Cruise
b) L. Ron Hubbard
c) E. Buzz Miller
d) Stephen Hawking
6. Which of the following religions is best summarized by the statement, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become:”
b) Christian Science
7. A cult is best described as:
a) A blue oyster
b) A dead-end street
c) Merchandise at Big Lots
d) Counterfeit Christianity
8. Muhammad taught that Jesus (circle all that apply):
a) Was a great prophet
b) Was born of a virgin
c) Lived a sinless life
d) Died on the cross
e) Is coming back one day
9. The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny (circle all that apply):
a) Ever knocking on your door
b) The deity of Christ
c) The Trinity
d) Soul sleep
e) Eternal punishment in hell
f) Jesus’ invisible return in 1914
10. Who is Siddhartha Gautama?
a) Master of the pan flute
b) The explorer who discovered Guatemala
c) The founder of Buddhism
d) The real name of rapper Snoop Dogg
11. True or false:
Mary Baker Eddy, L. Ron Hubbard and Sun Myung Moon joined forces in 1984 to form what they claimed was “perfect Christianity.” They called their new organization the Unification Church of Christian Scientology.
12. According to Mormon history, which of the following Jewish tribes crossed the Atlantic and became the ancestors of the American Indians:
a) The Lamanites
b) The Jebusites
c) The Parasites
d) The Kung Pao Buckaroos
1) d; 2) true; 3) true; 4) d; 5) b; 6) c; 7) d; 8) a, b, c, e; 9) b, c, e; 10) c; 11) false; 12) a
Some of Hollywood’s brightest stars, and other prominent figures, are dedicated followers of the religion founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard: Scientology. Is Scientology Christian? Decidedly not. So what do Tom Cruise, John Travolta and other Scientologists believe? Below is a chart comparing key teachings of Christianity and the Church of Scientology.
|What the Bible says about God:||What Scientology 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).||The Supreme Being is purposely left undefined and does not become particularly relevant in Scientology theory or practice. God is variously referred to as “Nature,” “Infinity,” “the Eighth Dynamic,” “all Theta (life)” and so forth. Usually the individual Scientologist is free to interpret God in whatever way he or she wishes.|
|What the Bible says about Jesus:||What Scientology 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 the eternal God, 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).||Jesus was a man who was not particularly enlightened. The Church invented him as the savior of the world. Some Scientologists classify him as an “Operating Thetan,” which means a person aware of his true nature and abilities.|
|What the Bible says about salvation:||What Scientology 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).||Salvation is the enlightenment of the thetan as to his true nature and abilities.|
|What the Bible says about man:||What Scientology 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).||In his true nature, man is an eternal spirit being with divine powers (thetan).|
|What the Bible says about the Bible:||What Scientology 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).||The Bible is one of the world’s religious searchings. But as far as Scientology practices are concerned, it is largely irrelevant.|
|What the Bible says about sin:||What Scientology says about sin:|
|Sin is violation of God’s perfect and 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). 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 is merely falsehood or ignorance, and especially that which opposes Scientology. Man’s fall was not into spiritual and physical death, but into matter and ignorance.|
|What the Bible says about death:||What Scientology says about death:|
|Physical death and spiritual death come upon all people as a consequence of their sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1). A person becomes spiritually alive when he or she is “born again” or “born from above” (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 inconsequential dropping of the body, which all thetans have experienced trillions of times.|
|What the Bible says about heaven and hell:||What Scientology 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).||Heaven and hell are Christian myths, or mental implants from previous lives.|
Copyright 2008 by Rob Phillips