The religious affairs page of the Saturday edition of the Belfast Telegraph is comprised mostly of two large items – [1] the ‘musings’ of their religious affairs correspondent, Alf McCreary and [2] a ‘Thought For The Weekend’ given by one of a panel of 4 writers. The rest of the space on the page is then filled up with short items submitted to the paper by various religious groups and churches. In Saturday 2nd February 2008 one of those shorter items read as follows –

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, has announced the launch of http://www.christian-science.com

The public will hear first-hand accounts of people who are living Christian Science and how their prayers have healed them and others. Tom Black, of the Christian Science board of directors said “People hear about Christian Science relying on prayer for healing, but what does that really mean? It is good to know that people who rely on the web for information have a place where they can hear about Christian Science healing directly from those who have experienced it.” The Church also wants the website to clear up some common misconceptions about Christian Science, underlining the fact that it is a Christian, Bible-based religion, AND NOT A CULT, and that Christian Science is not Scientology.

Let me begin by saying that the one statement that I wholeheartedly agree with from this short item is that ‘Christian Science is not Scientology’. Scientology is a relatively recent CULT [founded just over 50 years ago and based on the writings of L Ron Hubbard and his book “Dianetics”] whereas Christian Science is a much older CULT [founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy and based on her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”]. As you will see from this I also wholeheartedly refute the assertion in the item that “Christian Science…is a Christian, Bible-based religion and not a CULT”.

In the early years of ‘Take Heed’ Ministries I wrote a published a series of short information leaflets on various non-Christian cults, movements and practices and one of those was titled ‘Christian Science, Salvation and The Scriptures’. I plan in this article to quote some sections from that leaflet to show why Christian Science is not a ‘Christian, Bible-based religion’ and most assuredly is a non-Christian ‘CULT’.

Under a sub-heading of “Christian Science and Salvation” I wrote this [with a few little rewordings here and there] –

“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 The Scriptures teach that it is on the merits of His “precious blood” [1st Peter 1:19} that God is graciously prepared to save those trusting alone in the person and finished sacrificial work of Jesus Christ alone [Ephesians 2:8-9 & Revelation 5:9].

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 the teaching of Hebrews 10:12 (“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God”) we find on page 23 of ‘Science and Health etc’ 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 [12] referred to in Hebrews 10 makes it quite plain that the death of Jesus Christ 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”. [As a complete aside those sentiments could easily today have been written by the ‘penal-substitution’ denying Steve Chalke, Brian McLaren and other ‘emergent church’ leaders] Mrs Eddy [just like Steve Chalke etc today] fails to understand that the righteous anger of a Holy God is stirred up against the sins of mankind [see John 3:36] and that righteous anger requires satisfaction and propitiation. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ is the satisfaction for our sins which we ourselves cannot make for in Romans 3:25 we read about the crucified Christ “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” or as the apostle John put it “he is the propitiation for our sins” [1st John 2:2]. Christian Science denies that the death of Jesus Christ was such a sacrifice.

In Romans 5 we read the following [v 6] “Christ died for the ungodly” and [v 8] “but God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”. Does Christian Science teach that Jesus Christ actually died? On page 44 of ‘Science and Health etc’ 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 Christ 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 quoted by Mrs Eddy, Romans 5:10. 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 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 “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 the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.

Quite simply, 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 bears the 4 ‘hallmarks’ of a non-Christian CULT –

1. An earthly head or founder – Mary Baker Eddy.
2. An authority in addition to or in pace of the Bible – ‘Science and Health’
3. A wrong view of the person and work of Jesus Christ
4. A wrong view of salvation.

I still have copies of this leaflet in full and should anyone wish to obtain some copies I will gladly send them, free of charge, to any who request them.

Further helpful information on the cult of Christian Science can be accessed on this link – https://carm.org/christian-science

Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 4 February 2008