Christian Science has spread through the so-called Christian World, especially the U.S.A., and has captivated many, with its "reading rooms" in almost every sizable city and also in many small towns; its "reading racks" have been placed in many railroad and bus stations, airports, hotels, etc., and its literature is circulated even in remote country districts. Accordingly, we believe it is quite timely and appropriate that its teachings be carefully and honestly examined in the light of what is truly Christian and what is really scientific. While those Christian Scientists who are prejudicially biased and sectarianly blinded may not welcome such an examination of their teachings, those who are honest and desirous of only the truth, will welcome an honest examination of any of their public teachings; and if errors are found to be contained therein, they will be glad to have them brought to light in order that they themselves, as well as others, may eschew evil and cleave only to that which is good (Job 1:1, 8; Rom. 12:9; 1 Thes. 5:21).
Of course, what one believes or disbelieves personally is his own business, and not subject to public criticism. But when individuals, or a number of people joined together, publish their doctrines to the world, inviting others to join them, their doctrines are properly subject to public discussion. We shall endeavor herein to discuss some of the main teachings of Christian Science in a fair manner, for the benefit of all. We have only a kindly feeling for our Christian Scientist friends. Generally speaking, they are a very fine class of people.
WHY CHRISTIAN SCIENCE DRAWS MANY
The growth of Christian Science has astonished the world. Its teachings appeal to a very intelligent, well-to-do class of people, of considerable mental independence. Generally speaking, the physical healing of either themselves or their friends seems to have been more or less associated with their conversion to this group. Their realization of the cure brings to them the conviction that there is a supernatural power outside of man, and arouses a religious sentiment such as they have never known before. It seems to them that they have started a new life, under the influence of a marvelous discovery, a new approach to God and a better understanding of His Word. One reason for this is that the majority of those generally considered as Christians (and practically all in the so-called Christian world except Jews and infidels are so regarded) have merely a form of godliness (2 Tim. 3:5), without ever having experienced its real power.
Additionally, some sincere Christian people, especially during the past hundred years, have been in great perplexity because of the stupendous nonsense intermingled with truth which has been handed down to them from the Dark Ages. Under the increasing light, thinking people could not swallow some of the monstrous statements of some of the creeds as readily as did their forefathers. Gradually the various sects which formerly persecuted all others as heretics, forbidding any to preach except by their ordinations, found themselves compelled to desist from making their tenets too prominent. Thus many people have concluded that practically the only difference between the various denominations is in church forms, ceremonies, ordinations, etc.
The doctrine that God had predestined 999 out of every 1,000 to an eternity of torture in fire was gradually looked at as too horrible to believe. The alternate doctrine, that God did not foreordain the matter thus, but that He did not have the wisdom or power to avoid such a catastrophe for His creatures, was equally repugnant. Consequently, preachers began to teach that the destiny of sinners, the world in general, was not literal fire, but "remorse of conscience," etc.—each manufacturing a hell according to his own wisdom or ignorance and to suit his congregation.
It was under such conditions that Christian Science was born, and has grown to its present proportions. Five things especially favored its growth: (1) its professed acceptance of the Bible; (2) its rejection of the "everlasting torment" doctrine of the Dark Ages, whether physical or mental; (3) its teaching respecting the power of the mind over matter; (4) its healings, which it attributed to Divine power; (5) the apparent gentleness and kindness of word and manner of many of its proponents.
HOW CHRISTIAN SCIENCE STARTED
While Mary Baker Eddy claimed to be, and is generally supposed to have been, the "discoverer" of Christian Science, it is evident that according to The Quimby Manuscripts Phineas P. Quimby was the real originator of it. He was born in New Hampshire in 1802 and died in 1866. Though poorly educated, he became known as "Dr." Quimby, due largely to his practice of "mental healing." In early life he became an admirer of Mesmer and absorbed many of his ideas regarding mental suggestion and hypnotism. In his practice of mesmerism he adapted an assortment of religious terms and employed certain principles of psychology, thus giving it a religio-scientific aspect, which attracted many. He denied the principle that matter has reality. He spoke of his system of healing as "Science of Health" and "The Science of The Christ," and in 1863 (see The Americana Encyclopedia) he called it "Christian Science," several years prior to 1866, when Mary Baker Eddy claims to have "discovered" it.
Mrs. Eddy's maiden name was Mary Ann Morse Baker. She was born in New Hampshire in 1821, and died in 1910, of pneumonia and complications due to old age. She survived her three brothers and two sisters, also her three husbands: George W. Glover, Daniel M. Patterson and Asa Gilbert Eddy. According to record, in Oct. 1862 (four years before Quimby's death) she (then Mary Patterson) consulted "Dr." Quimby for treatment of "spinal inflammation" and was much impressed with his treatment and his manuscripts, which she studied thoroughly and copied extensively.
From 1867 to 1870, after Quimby's death, Mrs. Eddy edited and taught his theories extensively; and in 1875 she published these theories revamped into her own style, and with numerous changes, under the title, Science and Health, With Key to the Scriptures. In it (p. 465) she defined God as "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love"; and in her reply to the question, "Is there more than one God or Principle?" she stated, "There is not. Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe." She states further (p. 468) "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. … Matter is mortal error. … Matter is the unreal." As to the origin and healing of disease, she states (p. 482) "Sickness is part of the error which Truth casts out. … Christian Science … heals the sick on the basis of the one Mind or God. … The human, mortal mind so-called … causes the belief in disease." Also, on p. 368 she states, "Admit the existence of matter, and you admit that mortality (and therefore disease) has a foundation in fact. Deny the existence of matter, and you can destroy the belief in material conditions."
The relationship between Mrs. Eddy's ideas just stated and those of Mr. Quimby, the mesmerist, is readily discernible from the following excerpts from a Quimby manuscript dated Feb. 1862, hence written before his acquaintance with Mrs. Eddy: "God is Wisdom. … The sick are strangers to this Wisdom. … This Wisdom is superior to opinions. … Opinions are nothing but error that man has embraced. … There is no wisdom in matter. … God is Truth and there is no other truth. … Understanding is God. … All science is a part of God. … Disease being made by a belief … is the work of the devil or error. … Now if you can face the error and argue it down then you can cure the sick."
After Mr. Quimby's death, Mrs. Eddy, building upon his theories as a foundation, marched forward to world renown; however, she did not want it known that she borrowed most of her basic teachings from Mr. Quimby, the mesmerist. In fact, she claimed that any similarity between her own ideas and Mr. Quimby's was due to her having given him the benefit of her own theories while he was treating her. But his prior writings prove that her claim is a false one. She minimized him by writing, "Mr. Quimby was neither a scholar nor a metaphysician. He certainly had advanced views of his own, but they commingled error with truth." Of course, Mrs. Eddy would have her readers believe that her similar teachings are all truth!
HITCHES HER THEORIES TO THE BIBLE
Like Mr. Quimby, the mesmerist, Mrs. Eddy captivated the human mind with a system of paradoxes and appealing suggestions, the very nature of which was alluring, due largely to its imaginations and inconsistencies veneered with apparently beneficial and plausible deductions. Recognizing the growing revulsion of thoughtful people against such Dark-Age doctrines as everlasting torture for all except the saints, etc., and, on the other hand, their desire not to abandon the Bible, which mistakenly they had come to believe taught such monstrous misconceptions of Divine justice, wisdom, power and love, Mrs. Eddy, who was looking for an "orthodox" supernatural cause to explain some physical results which the trained observer would have readily credited to applied psychology, took advantage of the situation and hitched her theories to the Bible.
On rereading her Bible Mrs. Eddy found a God of justice, wisdom, power and love (though she considered Him to be a principle rather than a personality), and she thought she discovered some of her theories, especially some borrowed from Mr. Quimby (though she later claimed to be the originator of them), embodied in the words and practices of Jesus. From this point onward she was active in building up for herself a new theology, which she claimed was derived from the Bible, alleging that she had discovered an entirely original system of Divine healing, supposedly the same method Jesus used. People had healed the sick with mesmerism, hypnotism and mental suggestion long before Mrs. Eddy's time, but not with her theories of theology and her methods of "using God"—not as a person, but as a principle—"the All Good."
Mrs. Eddy had a keen mind and considerable wisdom in its exercise. She claimed to hold to the Bible, even though perverting its teachings. She did not make her teachings too antagonistic to other theories. She contented herself with vague, ambiguous statements as to the future life. She laid principal stress on healing, and settled all doctrinal difficulties with the dictum that there is no evil, no sin, no death; that what have been so called are only errors of the mind.
The very absurdity of these statements advertised them. People said, What does it mean—There is no death, no sickness, no pain, no sorrow, no evil of any kind? Absurd! Later, they said, We will see how Christian Scientists explain death, sickness, pain and sin. Thus curiosity led them into the metaphysical labyrinth which Mrs. Eddy had skillfully constructed. Having little intelligent knowledge of the Bible, they fell an easy prey to "Mother Eddy's" errors. If some of her definitions were fanciful, far-fetched and unscriptural, they were no more so than some of the illogical teachings to which people in general had been accustomed from childhood.
Mrs. Eddy claimed that she gave the spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures, as distinct from the mortal and material interpretation. She had quite a way with the English language, especially as found in the Scriptures; her twisting of the meaning of words was often rather captivating, to say the least. She considered the history of Adam as allegorical throughout, a description of error and its results, etc. Man was created in God's likeness, free from sin, sickness and death; but this Adam who crept in (she does not explain how) was the origin of our belief that there is life in matter, and served to obstruct our growth in spirituality. She states (Science and Health, p. 338, lines 14-17): "Divide the name Adam into two syllables, and it reads, a dam, or obstruction. This suggests the thought of something fluid, of mortal mind in solution."
In Gen. 4:16, according to Mrs. Eddy, the land of Nod represents dreamland. "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod." She comments, "The material man is shut out from the presence of God. … They cannot come into His presence, and must dwell in dreamland, until mortals arrive at the understanding that material life, with all its sin, sickness, and death, is an illusion, against which divine Science is engaged in a warfare of extermination" (p. 543). One may well wonder how such puerile, unfactual and unscientific interpretations and perversions of the meaning of words could ever appear in a textbook on science—"Christian Science"! Another similar example is the account of Mrs. Eddy's accusing a woman follower of adultery. When faced with the necessity of defending herself for having made such a terrible charge, she in all seriousness explained that the lady had adulterated the truth.
At the outset, Mrs. Eddy hoped that existing churches would welcome her theories. This, however, did not come to pass. Hence in 1879, in Boston, she founded the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Within a half century branches throughout the world totaled 2370 churches and societies. In 1883 she founded the Christian Science Journal, a monthly magazine, and in 1898 the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly. In 1908 she established the Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE
While Mrs. Eddy claimed that "the Bible has been my only authority," she did not hesitate to reject portions of it which would not lend themselves to her "spiritual" interpretation. Thus in her "Key to the Scriptures" on Genesis, we find that she mentions the two accounts of creation (Gen. 1:1—2:5 and 2:6 onward, the latter being in explanation of the first), but after giving her "spiritual" interpretation of the first, she states (pp. 521, 522), "The continued account is mortal and material … the opposite error. … The Science of the first record proves the falsity of the second. If one is true, the other is false, for they are antagonistic."
In addition to rejecting portions of the Scripture, an instance of which was just noted, Christian Science is found to be in conflict with many of the teachings of God's Word. Let us now go to approved Christian Science writings for some of its statements of its beliefs; we will first list these statements in each case, and then set forth Bible statements which they contradict. Unless otherwise indicated, all page and line references given are to Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures.
(1) "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love" (p. 465); "Mind is God" (p. 310, line 29); "God is Mind" (p. 311, line 4); "God is not a person" (94th edition, pp. 605, 634). The Bible says: Jesus is "the image of the invisible God" (Col. 1:15), "the express image of his person" (Heb. 1:3); "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" (John 5:26).
(2) "Petitioning a personal Deity is a misapprehension of the source and means of all good and blessedness; therefore it cannot be beneficial" (Vol. 11, p. 124). The Bible encourages prayer to a personal God: "When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven"; "Ask, and it shall be given you"; "How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to then that ask him" (Luke 11:2, 9, 13); "Let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil. 4:6).
(3) "Evil has no reality" (p. 71, line 2); "Evil is … not real" (p. 311, line 6). The Bible says: "Deliver us from evil" (Matt. 6:13); "Abhor that which is evil" (Rom. 12:9); "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom. 12:21).
(4) "The supposition that … there are good and evil spirits, is a mistake" (p. 70, line 11). The Bible says: "Of the angels He saith … Are they not all ministering spirits?" (Heb. 1:7, 14); "Who [God] maketh his angels spirits" (Psa. 104:4; Heb. 1:7); "He [Jesus] preached to the spirits in prison" (1 Pet. 3:19); "In that same hour he cured many … of evil spirits" (Luke 7:21).
(5) "There is no personal devil. A lie is all the Satan there is" (Vol. 11, p. 39). The Bible says: "He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth [Was a lie ever in the truth?], because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie [Can a lie speak itself?], he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it" (John 8:44); "Thou [Lucifer, light-bearer—Isa. 14:12-17] hast been in Eden the garden of God … thou [as originally created by God] wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. … I will destroy thee … and never shalt thou be any more" (Ezek. 28:13-19; see also Heb. 2:14).
(6) "Matter seems to be, but is not" (p. 123, line 12); "Spirit, God, … never created matter" (p. 335, line 8). But God's Word says: "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1).
(7) "Man coexists with God and the universe" (p. 266, lines 31, 32; p. 267, line 11). The Bible says: "God created man" (Gen. 1:27); "What is man? … Thou madest him a little lower than the angels" (Heb. 2:6, 7; Psa. 8:4, 5).
(8) "Soul is sinless" (p. 288, line 22). The Bible says: "If a soul shall sin" (Lev. 4:2; 5:1, 17; Num. 15:27); "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4, 20).
(9) "Man is spiritual and perfect"; "The real man cannot depart from holiness" (p. 475, lines 11, 29). The Bible says: "There is none righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:10); "All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isa. 53:6).
(10) "Man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death" (p. 475, line 28); "He is above sin or frailty" (p. 266, line 30); "There is no sin" (p. 447, line 24). The Bible says: "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23); "If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:10).
(11) "Prayer is not to be used as a confessional to cancel sin. Such an error would impede true religion" (p. 5, lines 22, 23); "We cannot escape the penalty due for sin" (p. 6, line 1). The Bible says: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin" (Psa. 32:5); "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
(12) "Man is never sick, for Mind is not sick and matter cannot be" (p. 393, line 29); "Man is incapable of sickness" (p. 475, line 28). The Bible says: "They brought unto him all sick people" (Matt. 4:24); "He was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him" (Phil. 2:27).
(13) "There is no death" (pp. 428, line 1, 429, line 3); "Death is the illusion" (p. 428, line 3); "Man is deathless" (p. 266, line 29); "Death is but a mortal illusion" (p. 289, line 18). This agrees with Satan's lie, "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4; see also John 8:44), but not with God's Word: "As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom. 5:12); "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
(14) "No final judgment awaits mortals" (p. 291, line 28). The Bible says: "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt. 12:36); "He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:31).
(15) "Miracles are impossible in Science" (p. 83, line 12). The Bible says: "Many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he [Jesus] did" (John 2:23); "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul" (Acts 19:11).
(16) "One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin" (p. 23, line 3); "The efficacy of the crucifixion lay in the practical affection and goodness it demonstrated for mankind" (p. 24, line 27). The Bible says: "He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself"; "This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God"; "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 9:26; 10:12, 14).
(17) "Jesus never ransomed man by paying the debt that sin incurs" (Vol. 11, pp. 143, 144). The Bible speaks of "redemption, through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:14); "The Son of man came … to give his life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28); "Who gave himself a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6); "For if through the offence of one [Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many … the free gift is of many offences unto justification" (Rom. 5:15, 16).
(18) "His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while He was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas He was alive" (p. 44, lines 28, 29). The Bible says: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom. 10:9); "I am he that liveth, and was dead" (Rev. 1:18); "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. 15:20).
(19) "Jesus' students … saw Him after His crucifixion and learned that He had not died" (p. 45, line 32—p. 46, line 3); "Jesus lived and reappeared. He was too good to die" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 70). The Bible says: "Christ died for the ungodly"; "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us"; "We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Rom. 5:6, 8, 10).
(20) "Jesus' unchanged physical condition after what seemed to be death was followed by His exaltation from all material conditions … and revealed unmistakably a probationary and progressive state beyond the grave" (p. 46, lines 20-24). The Bible says: "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living" (Rom. 14:9); "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3).
IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHRISTIAN?
The above outstanding examples (many more could be given) readily show that Christian Science, while claiming to have the key to the Scriptures, openly contradicts God's Word in many instances. In its claim that God is Mind, Principle, etc., it is in effect pantheistic. In its claims that Jesus did not die for our sins, and that "Jesus never ransomed man by paying the debt that sin incurs," etc., it is decidedly anti-Christian. Christian Science has no room for a Savior: for if "there is no sin" and if "man is incapable of sin," then surely he needs no Savior. Mrs. Eddy even went so far as to write, "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, 319). And, if "there is no death," if it is "but a mortal illusion," and the fall, sin and death are done away with, there cannot, of course, be any resurrection of the dead, or raising of the race up to something lost in Adam. Hence resurrection, according to Mrs. Eddy's "spiritual" definition (Science and Health, p. 593) is merely "spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding." Therefore, because Christian Science teaches so contrary to so many of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible, it is decidedly anti-Christian, and the name "Christian" attached to it is a misnomer. To corroborate the above, we have the testimony of a well-known Christian Science Reader and Practitioner; in resigning from the Christian Science Movement, he wrote in part as follows:
"Since I understand the Bible to be an expression of God's Plan, I more and more realize that Christian Science not only fails to reveal that Plan, but even conceals it.
"By its denial that Adam was originally perfect and subsequently fell from that perfection, Christian Science consequently denies:
(a) The necessity of a Ransom-price.
(b) That our only hope of everlasting life is in our acceptance of the Redeemer, Christ, in obedience to His commandments—Acts 4:10-12.
(c) That there will be 'times of restitution of all things spoken,' because man could not be restored to something he never yet enjoyed—Acts 3:21.
(d) That Adam 'was not deceived,' sinning willfully—1 Tim. 2:14.
"By teaching death to be merely an avenue to another plane of consciousness, Christian Science aids Satan in perpetuating his first falsehood, 'Ye shall not surely die' (Gen. 3:4), thus making it impossible for the Scientist to understand Christ to be 'the resurrection and the life,' as set forth in the Bible (John 11:25), and that Jesus suffered death as a substitute for Adam and his race, 'a ransom for all'—1 Tim. 2:6.
"All my reasons for rejecting Christian Science may be briefly summarized thus: If the Bible is true, many principles of Christian Science are utterly false, and I must recognize that either the one or the other must be rejected. I therefore reject Christian Science, and in obedience to candid conviction and conscience I accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God, the Revelation of the Divine Plan of the Ages. My purpose in thus stating my position is not to berate Mrs. Eddy nor to imply that she willfully sought to deceive mankind, but to assist Christian Scientists and others who are sincerely seeking after truth and righteousness.
"After five years of close application of each principle of Christian Science, as a Practitioner and Reader and earnest worker, I finally found myself in this predicament: Well, what am I here for? I have rented this office, have arranged for telephone service, etc., and have set myself apart for — what purpose? For no purpose other than to enable others to tell me they are suffering and that they wish me to relieve them. But whence come the patients? Is there any sickness in spirit? Is there any pain in perfection? Am I in spirit? Christian Science says that I am. But do I believe that God is all in all? I do. Then am I a consistent practitioner when I encourage myself to believe that there is any sufferer, anyone needing my services? No! Then the time has come for me to be honest with myself, and acknowledge that my so-called patients are themselves the objects of my own false sense, according to the entire theory upon which I have built. Should I not rather practice upon myself, on the basis of Mrs. Eddy's own statement: 'The substance, life, intelligence, truth and love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and we [not our patients] shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of science.' (Science and Health, p. 516, edition of 1903.)
"With all due respect for Mrs. Eddy, I indeed must recognize the inconsistency of her attempt, through Science and Health, to 'bear consolation to the sorrowing, and healing to the sick, instead of at once proceeding upon the basis of Christian Science herself, to 'subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses' which deceived her into believing that 'God [who suffers not a woman to teach in the Church — 1 Tim. 2:12] called her to proclaim His Gospel to this Age': whereas God Himself (Principle), according to Christian Science, had no sense of any need of a Christian Science Gospel, or any other. I now thank our personal, intelligent Creator, JEHOVAH, that He did know our need of redemption from actual sin and death, and sent Jesus to preach a Gospel consistent with itself, with reason, and with His own all-important mission of atonement, by the blood of His cross."
IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SCIENTIFIC?
True science always recognizes facts and takes them into account, instead of foolishly denying their existence. How much faith would we have in the findings of an astronomer who claimed that stars do not really exist, but are merely figments of the imagination? How much confidence could we have in a physician who had imbibed some of Mrs. Eddy's "science," and thus would tell us that he is about to give us some material pills that do not exist, to relieve us from a pain we do not have? But then, possibly the doctor himself did not exist, and the person which we thought we saw and talked with just seemed to be there, seeing that Mrs. Eddy's Science and Health (p. 123, line 12) unscientifically tells us the scientific secret that "Matter seems to be, but is not"!
Again, let us consider an extremely fat man from the viewpoint of this "science falsely so called" (1 Tim. 6:20). He carries with him a big business about the middle—so much so that he hasn't been able to see his material toes for months—but why worry about that, seeing he has no toes—he just thinks he has them! He bulges behind, he bulges in front, he bulges at the sides. But his Christian Science friends know that he is not a fat man—he only has an 'enormous error"! Mrs. Eddy explains it as follows: "Obesity is an adipose belief in yourself as a substance." The fat man is therefore not fat at all—he just has an adipose belief, and for the sake of his spiritual health he better get rid of it! Why take exercises? Why cut down on food intake? Just believe what Mrs. Eddy says: "Matter is a mortal illusion, wholly inadequate to affect man" and "the physical senses must give up their false testimony." By applying such unscientific scientific ideas he can feel of his "enormous error" and declare that "the false testimony" of his "physical senses" has fooled him again and that after all he is a very thin man, if indeed he exists at all—at least in the flesh!
It is evident from the above that, in addition to being anti-Christian, Christian Science is also unscientific, and that in this respect too it is a misnomer. Christian Science is something like the American breakfast food called "Grape-nuts," which contains neither grapes nor nuts—for Christian Science is neither Christian nor scientific.
IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE LOGICAL?
We will now endeavor to show why we consider Christian Science to be illogical also. "Mother Eddy," striving after truth, declared that there is no pain, no sickness, no sorrow, etc. The truth she was feeling after, but did not fully grasp, is that sin, sickness, sorrow, death, are abnormal conditions, resulting from the curse that came upon our race at the beginning because of disloyalty to God. We agree with Mrs. Eddy to the extent of saying that these unsatisfactory conditions are not designed by God to be everlasting. He does not recognize them as proper for those in fellowship with Him. Jesus Himself tells us that their obliteration will be the work of His Millennial Kingdom (Rev. 5:10; 20:6; 21:4; 22:3).
Is it wise to say in one breath that these will pass away, and in the next breath that they are non-existent? Surely we all value consistency and logic! Otherwise language would bring us confusion instead of intelligence. Let us then say that these conditions exist because man is out of relationship with God through sin; and that according to the Bible mankind will be delivered from this bondage of sin and death into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21).
The perfect race was in Father Adam before he sinned; and through Christ, the Second Adam, eventually the earth will be filled with perfect human beings, and "all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord" (Num. 14:21). "By one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all … but not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation [unto death]; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus, who died to pay that debt for Adam and the race in his loins when he sinned] the free gift came [and will come—no verb occurs in the Greek; accordingly, the word came was supplied by the translators] upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Rom. 5:12, 15, 18, 19).
We give Mrs. Eddy and the Christian Scientists credit for desiring to be logical and truthful, but there is neither logic nor truthfulness in their statement that "There is no death, no sickness, no pain." The most that can be conceded by the most generous logician in harmony with facts is that there would be no death, no sickness, no pain, no sorrow, if things were in the right condition. But things are not in the right condition, as the Bible declares (Mal. 3:15; Eph. 2:2; 2 Tim. 3:1-8) and as all can see; and they will not be so until the Savior who redeemed the world by the sacrifice of Himself shall assume His kingly office and remove the curse. Then there will be no more sin, death, sorrow or pain (1 Cor. 15:21-26; Rev. 20:14; 21:4; 22:3). But since Mrs. Eddy and the Christian Scientists fail to recognize and state these facts clearly, it follows that, however attractive her teachings may be to some people, they cannot be relied upon, because they are off the true foundation—recognizing neither the facts of sin and death nor the necessity for redemption therefrom by Jesus' sacrifice nor for the coming Restitution.
Furthermore, Christian Science does not differentiate between the Church, which has been in process of selection for more than nineteen centuries, and the world, which still lies in the Wicked One, and which will not be dealt with until the Church is fully glorified, and with her Lord shall inherit the Kingdom of God on earth (Matt. 6:10; Psa. 2:8; Luke 12:32; Rom. 8:17; Rev. 5:10; 11:15; 20:4). Jesus prayed for His Church, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth" (John 17:17). While Christian Scientists and people of other denominations, and some heathen as well, are, many of them, moral, exemplary, honorable, yet few claim to be sanctified. Indeed, the sanctifying features of truth they ignore or do not see. We are not to think of church attendance or of rejection of profanity, liquors, etc., as sanctification. The putting away of the filth of the flesh is indeed commendable, but is only a primary step in the right direction.
Throughout the Gospel Age God has been calling a sanctified class—a set-apart people—testing them under the promise, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). This does not signify faithfulness to a denomination or a cult, but faithfulness to the Lord, to the testimony of His Word, to the principles of righteousness and to self-surrender to walk in Jesus' footsteps.
MRS. EDDY'S INCONSISTENCIES
In some respects Mrs. Eddy did not practice what she preached. She had poor health, and it is said that she found a release and a new world in writing her book, Science and Health. However, while she recommended her theories for the benefit of others, she did not always carefully follow them herself. For instance, it is reported that her close personal associates testified that she resorted to morphine for relief from pain. While Christian Science Church authorities disparage all evidence that she ever resorted to drugs after her discovery of Christian Science, they do admit in their general denial of Jan. 26, 1929, that "she employed, in a few instances, an anesthetic for the purpose of temporary relief from extreme pain." One naturally wonders how she could have pain, if pain is an illusion, if matter does not exist and if suffering is "not part of true spiritual existence"—it must be that she had no true spiritual existence!
It is recorded that by 1903 Mrs. Eddy's chronic illness became so painful that doctors were called in, and after 1904 her health was so impaired that she no longer trusted herself to a public appearance. By 1906 she was in a very serious condition. Despite her dictum that "man is never sick," "is incapable of sickness," she was suffering from gallstones, as well as from her hysterical ailments of many years' standing. She was by this time under constant medical care, a Boston specialist visiting her regularly each week. Despite her famous first ten words in her "Scientific Statement of Being"—"There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance, in matter" — she resorted to medical doctors and drugs for relief from pain when her material substance needed attention. And finally she died and her unscientifically non-existent material substance went the way of all flesh.
Some of Mrs. Eddy's followers felt sure she would return to demonstrate to the world that she was not really dead, for according to her unscientific and illogical claim (Science and Health, pp. 266, 428, 429), "Man is deathless," "There is no death," and "Death is the illusion." But her "illusion" held her fast; she never came back; hence she could not prove that Satan's original lie that "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4; John 8:44) is true, though she taught it as a truth, and was one of its ablest supporters. If not a "new creature" (2 Cor. 5:17), then she, like others, is unconsciously asleep in the grave, awaiting her resurrection awakening at the time of the Lord's Second Advent (Eccl. 9:5, 10; Job 14:21; John 11:11-14; 5:28, 29; Acts 24:15).
Christian Scientists tell us that they have benefited mentally and physically from following Mrs. Eddy's theory and denying that there is any pain, etc. We quite agree that the will is a powerful factor in resisting disease—that if we brood over sorrows, difficulties, aches and pains, they are increased by the operation of our minds. We agree with all physicians, that the mind should be diverted from our diseases. But it is illogical, irrational and, above all, untruthful to say that we are without pain when we have pain. No lover of truth can consent to this. The fact that one admits being healed demonstrates his belief in the existence of disease and pain. Honesty, including honesty of thought, must be first with all right-minded people, and surely this is pleasing to God.
Generally speaking, Christian Scientists are to be commended for their gentleness and kindness of word and manner. As a class they are refined people, and we do not wish to disparage them. Our purpose has been merely to honestly examine their public teachings and to expose the anti-Biblical, anti-Christian, unscientific and illogical theories found therein, for the benefit of Christian Scientists who may really wish to know the truth, and for the benefit of others, that they also may avoid such pitfalls of error. Now "darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people" (Isa. 60:2), but we look forward with joy to the time when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9), "for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD" (Jer. 31:34); and during that thousand-year resurrection day, when the world will be given its trial for life, Satan will be bound a thousand years, "that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled" (Rev. 20:2, 3). Then Mrs. Eddy (providing she was not a "new creature"—2 Cor. 5:17) will learn of the true God, the Personality, whose existence she denied, and will receive forgiveness for her inherited and unintentional sins, which she claimed she didn't have, by the blood-bought ransom merit, which she disclaimed as having saving power (Science and Health, p. 23, line 3). We rejoice for Mrs. Eddy and other Christian Scientists in general, together with all those who have accepted or will accept salvation through the blood of Christ, "who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time"; for God "will have all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:6, 4), free from Satan's deceptions.
In closing we quote from a letter written by Mr. Henry Lincoln Case, a well-known soloist and composer of sacred music, which we publish here for the benefit of our readers:
"Dear Brethren in Christ: For several years a Trustee of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, New York City, as well as musical director of the choir, I naturally became conversant with many phases of Christian Science in addition to those familiar to the average member or trained student. The inconsistencies, both of doctrine and of practice, which came to my notice during the eight years of my membership, forced me to choose between withdrawing, or stifling my conscience. I left the church, not knowing where to go. For several years thereafter, I was 'without Christ, a stranger from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world' (Eph. 2:12). But how different is everything to me now! I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to God 'who hath called me out of darkness into His marvelous light' (1 Pet. 2:9). … Being advised of 'STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES' [which Bible Standard Ministries supplies — Editor], I procured them immediately. Too much praise cannot be spoken or written concerning these books! A knowledge of the Truth, God's great Plan for humanity, as pointed out so lucidly by these volumes, has completely revolutionized my mind and my life. In the clear light of the true Gospel everything takes on a new aspect. Faith is bestowed. How I wish every Christian Scientist, and all others, could know the real teaching of the Bible! With the knowledge I have gained … I have learned to fervently love God—an entirely new experience for me. Believing you would be pleased to have this testimony, I remain
"Henry Lincoln Case."
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