In a recent article on the subject of ‘PURGATORY’ that is located on http://www.takeheed.info/pdf/November-2014/Purgatory.pdf I included as part of the article the text of a leaflet that I wrote and published in the early days of ‘Take Heed’ Ministries. The leaflet in question was called ‘Purgatory before Death’. It was one of a number of leaflets I wrote and published on a variety of topics but all of them are now long-since out of print. It is my intention (DV) to republish the text of these leaflets as online ministry web site articles and where suitable to link them to a video on the ministry YouTube site.
One of the leaflets was titled ‘Christian Science, Salvation and The Scriptures’ and what follows now is the text of that leaflet –
‘Christian Science, Salvation and The Scriptures’
“Salvation belongeth unto the Lord” (Psalm 3:8)
Of all the characters mentioned, and stories told in the Bible, one person and His life-story stand unique. I refer of course to the person and life-story of Jesus Christ. Unique in that He was born of a virgin and that after living a sinless life He was crucified on a Roman cross and buried in a tomb hewn from rick. Three days and three nights later He rose from the dead and appeared unto many of His followers for forty days before He ascended into the heavens from the Mount of Olives. One of His disciples, the Apostle Peter said these words which are recorded in Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there SALVATION in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be SAVED”. In this leaflet I want to look at what The Scriptures have to say on the subject of Salvation and then to look at what Christian Science has to say on the subject. This leaflet is not written in a spirit of anger or animosity but with the sincere prayer that many will “come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1st Timothy 2:4).
THE SCRIPTURES AND SALVATION
SALVATION as a theme runs right through the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. It was the declared purpose for His coming into this world. When the angel announced to Joseph that Mary would bear a son he added these words “thou shalt call his name Jesus for he shall SAVE his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus Himself on the day He visited Jericho declared “the Son of Man is come to seek and to SAVE that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
That was the purpose for Jesus Christ coming into the world but how was He to accomplish the goal of SAVING His people who were lost? Jesus Himself answers that question for in Mark 10:45 we read His words “the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many”.
After the Apostle Peter’s declaration at Caesarea Philippi “Thus art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) Jesus gave fuller details of how He was to “give his life a ransom for many”. In Matthew 16:21 we read “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples how that he MUST go unto Jerusalem and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes and BE KILLED and BE RAISED again the third day”.
Standing before Pilate who was shortly to deliver Him into the hands of the soldiers for crucifixion Jesus said “TO THIS END was I born and FOR THIS CAUSE came I into the world” (John 18:37). He was born to SAVE; He died to SAVE; Can He SAVE? In Hebrews 7:25 the writer of that letter says this concerning Jesus “He is able also to SAVE them to the uttermost that come unto God by him seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them”. Yes, the resurrected and ascended Jesus Christ is able to SAVE.
But on what grounds is He able to SAVE? Is it on the grounds of His perfect obedience to His Father’s will whilst here on earth (John 4:34) and because of the sinless life which He led? (2nd Corinthians 5:21). These things in and of themselves are not the grounds for SALVATION but rather they qualified Him to be the perfect and acceptable SACRIFICE required to atone for the sins of His people. To be SAVED means to be RECONCILED to God, to be JUSTIFIED by God, to have been REDEEMED from the condemnation of our sins and to be FULLY CLEANSED from our sins.
On reconciliation we read “And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to RECONCILE all things unto himself” (Colossians 1:20).
On justification (to be declared righteous by God – perfectly and permanently pardoned by God – see Luke 18:13-14) we read “Much more then being now JUSTIFIED by his blood, we shall be SAVED from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9).
On redemption we read “In whom we have REDEMPTION through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
Finally on being fully cleansed from sin we read “the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin” (John 1:7).
All of the benefits of SALVATION were earned on the grounds of the “blood” that was shed by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
In Hebrews 10:12 we read “But this man, after he had offered one SACRIFICE for sins for ever sat down on the right hand of God”. The Apostle Paul expressed it in these terms “Christ our Passover is SACRIFICED for us” (1st Corinthians 5:7) reminding us of how in Egypt, those who sheltered behind the blood of the slain Passover Lamb were saved from the Angel of Death sent by God in judgment. (Exodus 12).
So, today, those who shelter only behind the merits of the shed blood of the Lamb of God (1st Peter 1:18-19) can rest assured that, when God once more and finally judges this world, He will once again affirm “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13). The merits of the shed blood are indispensable in the matter of personal SALVATION because THE SCRIPTURES declare concerning forgiveness of, and pardon from the consequences of our sins, “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
The message of THE SCRIPTURES concerning SALVATION is summed up in the words of Jesus found in Matthew 26:28 “This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins”.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND SALVATION
Christian Science encourages people to study the bible and to read the book ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’ which was written by Mary Baker Eddy who founded The First Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. What I wish to examine is the Christian Science teaching on the value and merits of the sacrifice, cross and shed blood of Jesus Christ for as we have already seen The Scriptures teach that it is on the merits of His “precious blood” (1st Peter 1:19) that God is prepared to graciously SAVE those who have faith only in the person and finished sacrificial work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Revelation5:9). (Cecil – see the statement highlighted in green in the earlier section ‘The Scriptures and Salvation’).
Do we find any direct reference to the sacrifice, cross and shed blood of Jesus Christ in the writings of Mrs Eddy? Concerning the question of a ‘sufficient sacrifice for sin’, contrary to what we have already quoted from Hebrews 10:12, we find on page 23 of ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’ the following written by Mrs Eddy ‘One sacrifice, however great, is INSUFFICIENT to pay the debt of sin’. So, Christian Science DENIES that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to atone for sin.
The verse referred to in Hebrews 10 makes it plain that the death of Jesus on the cross was a sacrifice. Is that how Mrs Eddy views it? On page 24 of her book we read ‘The efficacy of the crucifixion lay in the practical affection and goodness it demonstrated for mankind’. Mrs Eddy fails to understand that the ‘righteous anger’ of a Holy God is stirred up against the sins of mankind (John 3:36) and that ‘righteous anger’ requires satisfaction or propitiation. The sacrificial death of Jesus is the satisfaction for our sins, which we ourselves cannot make, for in Romans 3:25 we read this about the crucified Jesus “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” or as the Apostle John put it “he (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins” (1st John 2:2). Christian Science denies that the death of Jesus was such a sacrifice.
In Romans 5 we read the following “Christ died for the ungodly” (v 6) and “but God commendeth (demonstrates) his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (v 8). Does Christian Science teach that Christ actually died? On page 44 of ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’ we read ‘His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of spirit to over-rule mortal material sense’. Christian Science denies that Jesus died.
To reinforce this false teaching, Mrs Eddy adds to the Word of God for on page 45 of her book she says ‘Paul writes “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the (SEEMING) death of His Son”. The word (SEEMING) is not in the verse Romans 5:10 that was (mis)quoted by Mrs Eddy. Proverbs 30:6 warns “Add thou not unto his words lest he reprove thee and thou be found a liar”.
Concerning the shed blood of Jesus Christ we find this statement by Mrs Eddy on page 25 of her book ‘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 as he went daily about his Father’s business’. In cold, stark terms Mrs Eddy dismisses the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ and contradicts the Apostle John who wrote, as we saw earlier “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1st John 1:7). Christian Science denies the cleansing power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Where does that leave Christian Science and true SALVATION? Quite simple, without faith in the sacrifice, cross and shed blood of Jesus Christ there is NO SALVATION. Christian Science is a religion which CANNOT SAVE and those who trust in its teachings and reject the SALVATION wrought out by Jesus Christ through the sacrificial shedding of His blood on the cross will be lost forever.
Christian Science teaches that sin is unreal (see page 339 of ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’) and that people must come to realise that they are ‘incapable of sin’ (page 475 of ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’). The Bible teaches that sin and its wages – “death” (Romans 6:23) are very real for they “entered into the world” and “all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). “There is none righteous” (Romans 3:10) and the truth for each of us is, as Paul stated, “I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18).
We are all sinners and sin and its eternal consequences are real and not an illusion – see Matthew 25:41-46. Please take heed of the words of the Apostle John who wrote “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1st John 1:8).
The Apostle Paul wrote concerning Jesus “he is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). Why could Paul write that? Because he trusted alone in “Jesus Christ (the person) and him crucified (the finished work)” (1st Corinthians 2:2) for his SALVATION. “Sirs, what must I do to be SAVED? And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (His person and His finished work) and thou shalt be SAVED” (Acts 16:30-31).
Earlier in this article I mentioned that I hoped to link the online publishing of each of these early ‘Take Heed’ tracts with a suitable video on the ministry YouTube site.
When it comes to the question of HEALING from medical complaints Christian Science has very distorted, unbiblical views. Walter Martin in his book ‘The Kingdom Of The Cults’ wrote the following (pp 163-164) –
‘The great byword of Christian Science, incidentally, is “prayer”, and they never cease reminding their audience that they always pray to “God” for HEALING. But is it real prayer? The scriptures teach that prayer is one’s petition to a personal God who sees our needs and answers them (Philippians 4:6-7). Not so in Christian Science. Mrs Eddy many times reaffirmed her conviction that prayer to a personal God is a hindrance, not a help. To her and Christian Science the only true prayer is the affirmation of “Principle Allness” and the identification of one’s self with this pantheistic “Principle”. From this basic misconception stems the illusion of man’s inherent goodness and the denial of the “erroneous” ideas that evil, or for that matter, sin, suffering, disease or even death is real… Nowhere in the annals of cultism is there to be found a person who camouflaged so expertly the “broad way of destruction” under a canopy of apparent serenity as did Mary Baker Eddy’.
I conclude this article by now inviting you to watch a video that sadly highlights the tragic consequences of looking to Mrs Eddy in the matter of physical healing for the body rather than listening to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ who said “They that are well need not a physician, BUT they that are sick” (Luke 5:31). Whilst the Lord here was actually ‘spiritually’ challenging the self-righteous Pharisees who thought they were not ‘sin-sick’, we cannot overlook the fact that in this illustration the Lord puts His ‘seal of approval’ upon the medical profession and their involvement in the treatment of physical sickness.
The video can be viewed on –
“TRAGEDY in the CHURCH OF CHRIST SCIENTIST” (‘Christian Science’)
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 28 November 2014