Lesson 3 w/answersThe Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science)
Last week we concluded our study on Mormonism. I hope all of you gained greater insight into the LDS church and its doctrine as a result of our study last week.
This week as our study of cults continues it’s a case of mind over matter, or it’s the mind that matters, or no matter at all….I’m speaking of course of the Church of Christ Scientist – or Christian Scientist as it’s also known. Again this week we’ll see a little Biblical truth scattered among the lies, distortions, and a complete dependence on mankind’s will and intuition put forth as a “Christian” religion. Human reason and will packaged as a Christian faith. As you study the questions, and discover the answers this week our study will bring you face-to-face with the reality around us and why so many people flock to these false teachers and prophets. Again this week we’ll learn as much about sound Christian doctrine as we do about another false religion.
So get your research tools handy -- you might find the Internet extremely helpful this week -- as well as Dr. Martin’s book, "The Kingdom of the Cults", and answer the following questions:
- Who founded the Christian Science Church?
- ANSWER: Mary Baker Eddy.
- Where was it founded and when?
- ANSWER: Founded in the Back Bay section of Boston in 1879.
- Today who is the sole authority within the Christian Science Church?
- ANSWER: Though long dead the sole authority within the cult is still Mary Baker Eddy – this distinguishes them from groups like the LDS or Jehovah’s Witness who have vested the sole authority in some ruling body.
- What is their position on the Bible?
- ANSWER: They claim they believe it, but they hold Eddy’s writings up as equal or even in some cases higher authority and criticize or loosely translate other verses.
- What’s their teaching on the Trinity?
- ANSWER: It’s denied. They believe that Jesus is the “Son” of God – a distinct person and that believing in the Trinity would be polytheism, believing in many gods, therefore Jesus is NOT God.
- What do they believe about Jesus?
- ANSWER: That he was a man and fallible while on earth and was not Christ until Christ became a spiritual being, and then he became infallible.
- What is their teaching about God?
- ANSWER: That He is good, that he is all-knowing all-seeing, that His good is mind, that nothing is matter, that mind is everything.
- What do they teach about the virgin birth of Christ?
- ANSWER: Jesus was a Galilean Prophet born of the Virgin Mary’s spiritual thoughts of Life and its manifestation.
- What’s their doctrine of miracles teach?
- ANSWER: That the sick are not healed merely be declaring there is no sickness but by knowing that there is none.
- Christ’s atoning blood is also an interesting doctrine. What do they teach about sin and the fact that Christ shed his blood for us to blot out that sin?
- ANSWER: That it’s a heathen conception to think that God would actually require human blood to atone for sins. The real atonement is through understanding.
- Jesus’ Death and Resurrection is another doctrine that separates cults from Christianity. What do they teach about this doctrine?
- ANSWER: That Jesus’ disciples learned after the crucifixion that Christ did NOT die, and that Christ hid in the sepulcher, where he was alive to demonstrate within the narrow tomb the power of the Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense.
- What do they teach about the existence of evil?
- ANSWER 1: It is an illusion, and a false one at that. Evil does not exist, it is just an illusion. Therefore evil is a false belief and God is not its author.
- ANSWER 2: That metaphysics is the real answer based on Mary Eddy’s Baker’s system which rests on one God and denies the actual existence of both matter and evil….there was a never a moment in which evil was real.
- How about the nature and existence of Hell, what do they teach?
- ANSWER 1: That the sinner makes his own hell by doing evil and the saint his own heaven by doing right.
- ANSWER 2: That fire and brimstone is actually a reference to the metaphysical fact that suffering is a thing of mortal mind instead of body.
- ANSWER 3: Heaven and hell are then states of thought and not destinations…they are something we experience here and after death.
- What do they teach about Salvation?
- ANSWER 1: That man was God’s idea, therefore salvation has already occurred for everyone and it’s eternal.
- ANSWER 2: One sacrifice, no matter how great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin.
- How do they believe man was created?
- ANSWER 1: Man originated from spirit not dust.
- ANSWER 2: Man is God’s image and likeness; whatever is possible to God is possible to man as God’s reflection.
Again this week we may be wondering how it is that any clear thinking person can so easily be mislead into believing in the false teaching of this cult, and yet many are. If you have the chance this week visits their web site and see for yourself how well packaged and logical their teachings appear to the lost. This cult, like so many others appeals to the desires of mankind to be their own gods, to be masters of their own destinies, and to rise above God, just as Satan and his followers aspire to do.
As I said last week in my class, re-visiting Genesis Chapter 2 and Eve’s encounter with Satan will shed great light on Satan’s ways, and man’s bent toward self fulfillment – the Church of Christ Scientists appeals to that desire by wrapping itself in trappings that make it appear to a true follower of Christ, when indeed it is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
I encourage you to remain faithful in this study and to commit to loving, seeking and witnessing to our lost brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends and co-workers, who have followed after such radical false teaching, believing these lies for the truth.
May God fill us with a discerning spirit as we continue our study – next we’ll begin to look at some of the world religions claiming to have the answer and attracting millions of followers – next week we’ll take a quick look at Buddhism.