Category Archives: Q&A

How Does One Become a Student of Christian Science?

HOW DOES ONE BECOME A STUDENT OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE?

All you need to do is study the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, and strive daily to put into practice what you are learning. You do not need to join a church or group, although these are available in many areas for those who find such support useful. Churches provide an opportunity to meet other students, and to use what you are learning about Christian Science in a supportive atmosphere.  The church (known as The Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts) does not have a monopoly on the textbook, and those who do not want to get involved with organized religion may feel free to study Science and Health and call themselves students of Christian Science.  But the local churches are a good place to hear testimonies of healing and make friends with other Christian Scientists. Most have Sunday School available for children up to age 20.

The textbook itself is a teacher and guide, and, in conjunction with God’s daily revelations to you through individual prayer, should be sufficient for your spiritual education. But, if you would like to have personal instruction, there are experienced Christian Science teachers available. Their names are listed in The Christian Science Journal, which is available from The Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston online or in Christian Science Reading Rooms. If you have a Reading Room in your area, you might find it a great source for Christian Science and Bible literature.

The Christian Science Publishing Society also publishes a study guide, The Quarterly Bible Lessons.  These are daily lessons focused on a theme for the week. On Sundays, the lesson is read at CS church services all over the world. Mrs. Eddy had designated the Bible and Science and Health as the official “Pastor” for CS churches.  This means that you will not hear a personal sermon delivered from the podium, but will be listening to the Word of God straight from the books, with no comments from the Readers. Unlike other worldwide religions, however, the same lesson will be read at all Christian Science churches and societies, so no matter where you travel or move, the message will be consistent.  It sends a powerful prayer out into the world each week.

Also helpful are public practitioners of Christian Science. Most are authorized by The Mother Church in Boston and are listed in The Christian Science Journal.  You can also find other healers online.  Most of these dedicated people are in the full-time ministry of the practice, but some are part-time or beginners. Call them for prayerful assistance if you would like to try spiritual healing for your problems. Most would be happy to work with you and get you started in your study of Christian Science.

A great one-stop source online is JSH.christianscience.com (JSH Online).  There you will find lists of Churches and Societies, Practitioners, Teachers, CS Nurses and more.  Also JSH (referring to Journal, Sentinel, and Herald — the official publications of the Christian Science Publishing Society) provides access to thousands of articles published since the late 1800’s, plus recent podcasts and webblogs.  Much of the content is free to the public; but to reach more you can subscribe.  You can also learn more about Christian Science and the Church at ChristianScience.com.

 

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How Can Christianity Also Be a Science?

HOW CAN CHRISTIANITY ALSO BE A SCIENCE?

Christianity, as demonstrated by Christ Jesus, is based upon God’s laws. These divine laws can be studied, put into practice, and demonstrated as Truth on a consistent basis by those spiritually prepared and working from an understanding of God, rather than from belief alone, or blind faith.

Christian Science is a Science because it is a body of knowledge and facts that can be studied and analyzed. It explains and demonstrates the nature and essence of all Being and the relationship between God and His infinite ideas. It sets aside all human theory, opinion, beliefs, religious creeds and dogmas, and accepts as true only those facts, rules, and laws which can be understood both spiritually and scientifically, and proven true by demonstration.

Christian Science is also a Science because it teaches the scientific classification of all true ideas, and the identification of these ideas with the one Divine Mind. Only those effects that can be traced back to the one true Cause, God, are classified as “real.”  Christian Science also teaches the classification of all false concepts, and the identification of these errors with their source: the carnal, mortal mind and its beliefs of the five physical senses. Those effects that cannot be traced back to the one true Cause, God, are classified as “unreal.”

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

“Christian Science differs from material science, but not on that account is it less scientific. On the contrary, Christian Science is pre-eminently scientific, being based on Truth, the Principle of all science.” (S&H 123)

“In Christian Science mere opinion is valueless. Proof is essential to a due estimate of this subject. Sneers at the application of the word Science to Christianity cannot prevent that from being scientific which is based on divine Principle, demonstrated according to a divine given rule, and subjected to proof. The facts are so absolute and numerous in support of Christian Science, that misrepresentation and denunciation cannot overthrow it. Paul alludes to ‘doubtful disputations.’ The hour has struck when proof and demonstration, instead of opinion and dogma, are summoned to the support of Christianity, ‘making wise the simple.'”  (S&H 341)

What are the Essential Points of Christian Science?

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL POINTS OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE?

The best way to learn Christian Science is through careful study of its textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, and the immediate or steadfast mental application of what you learn. Christian Science is an infinite subject!  We never stop learning.  But here are just a few of the essential points of Christian Science in the words of its Discoverer, Mary Baker Eddy:

“This is Christian Science: that mortal mind makes sick, and immortal Mind makes well; that mortal mind makes sinners, while immortal Mind makes saints; that a state of health is but a state of consciousness made manifest on the body, and vice versa; that while one person feels wickedly and acts wickedly, another knows that if he can change this evil sense and  consciousness to a good sense, or conscious goodness, the fruits of goodness will follow, and he has reformed the sinner.”  (Miscellaneous Writings, 219)

“The superiority of spiritual power over sensuous is the central point of Christian Science.”  (S&H 454)

“This conviction, that there is no real pleasure in sin, is one of the most important points in the theology of Christian Science.” (S&H 404) 

“Two essential points of Christian Science are, that neither Life nor man dies, and that God is not the author of sickness.” (S&H 349) 

“The chief stones in the temple of Christian Science are to be found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good, and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not to be found in the body; that Spirit is not, and cannot be, materialized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual real man has no birth, no material life, and no death.” (S&H 288) 

“This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is sinless and eternal.” (S&H 304)

“The heart that beats mostly for self is seldom alight with love. To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science.” (Miscellany 160)

A study of the textbook Science and Health will explain the meaning behind those statements, some of which may sound radical to the first-time reader.  When it is realized that man, the “image and likeness” of God, is actually a spiritual idea of the divine Mind, and not the mortal that is testified to by the physical senses, they come to make sense and offer a path out of the the wholly material view of the universe.

How does Christian Science define God?

HOW DOES CHRISTIAN SCIENCE DEFINE GOD?

In the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,  one brief answer to this question “What is God?” is as follows:

“God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.” (S&H 465)

Mary Baker Eddy goes on to explain that those terms are “synonymous,” and writes:

“They refer to one absolute God. They are also intended to express the nature, essence,
and wholeness of Deity. The attributes of God are justice, mercy, wisdom, goodness,
and so on.” (S&H 465)

Elsewhere, in the Glossary of Science and Health, she defines God this way:

God. The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.

The entire textbook explores the “nature, essence, and wholeness” of God, which is the
foundation for the system of Christian Science. Christian Scientists study and pray daily
to get a better understanding of our heavenly Father-Mother.

What is the Mission or Purpose of Christian Science?

WHAT IS THE MISSION OR PURPOSE OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE?

Those who have studied the life of Mary Baker Eddy know that she desperately sought relief from years of physical suffering. When she found that God’s laws are available to heal sickness, she devoted her life to proving these laws, and teaching others how to demonstrate them, so that the whole world would benefit from her discovery. She recognized that Christian Science does more than heal sickness; it heals the root cause of physical suffering: the false belief that God’s child is a sinful mortal, rather than the spiritual “image and likeness” of God. She writes:

“It is not alone the mission of Christian Science to heal the sick, but to destroy sin in mortal thought. This work well done will elevate and purify the race. It cannot fail to do this if we devote our best energies to the work.” (Miscellaneous Writings 4)

“Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin; and this task, sometimes, may be harder than the cure of disease; because, while mortals love to sin, they do not love to be sick.” (Rudimental Divine Science 2)

In addition to healing sin and physical problems, Christian Science enables us to improve our lives in other ways. For example, many students have proven this statement by Mrs. Eddy:

“The term Science, properly understood, refers only to the laws of God and to His
government of the universe, inclusive of man. From this it follows that business men
and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance
and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and
comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity. The human mind,
imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater
endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose. A knowledge of
the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends
the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It
raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity.” (S&H 128)

Is Christian Science Based Upon the Bible?

IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE BASED UPON THE BIBLE?

Yes. Mary Baker Eddy explains: “I have found nothing in ancient or in modern systems on which to found my own, except the teachings and demonstrations of our great Master and the lives of prophets and apostles. The Bible has been my only authority. I have had no other guide in ‘the straight and narrow way’ of Truth.” (S&H 123)

The Bible is given in-depth study by most Christian Scientists, who have found new meaning in its timeless lessons by learning to recognize the spiritual intent behind familiar words and stories. We follow the teachings and example of Christ Jesus, who is the Son of God, our Master, and our Way-shower.

What is Christian Science?

This is the first of a number of questions and answers on Christian Science that originally appeared on the website First Lessons in Christian Science.

WHAT IS CHRISTIAN SCIENCE?

Christian Science is a system of spiritual healing. It is a religion and a science.
In a higher sense, it is the term for the divine laws of God that govern His universe.
These laws were discovered by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866. She spent the rest of her
life bringing this discovery to the attention of the world and helping others to understand how to demonstrate these laws in healing sin and sickness. The complete explanation of Christian Science is found in Mary Baker Eddy’s primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, originally published in 1875.