Christian Science

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Not to be confused with: Scientology, Christian pseudoscience or Creation Science
For more information, see the Wikipedia article:
For more information, see the What's The Harm? article:
Christian science church in Illinois, USA
Christian science reading rooms are bookshops/lending libraries associated with the church.
The church was founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy.

Christian Science is a quasi-scientific and overtly religious belief system founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy and her interpretation of the Bible. Its central texts are The Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science & Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. The church that follows these principles is officially called the Church of Christ, Scientist. Christian Science is best known for its rejection of mainstream health care.


Beliefs and Teachings

Matter is an illusion

Christian Scientists deny the reality of the physical world. They instead believe that the only reality is purely spiritual and that there is only one substance of which we are all composed (god). As a consequence, Christian Scientists deny the reality of pain and disease, believing them to be deceptive misperceptions of the pure spiritual nature of man and god. They contend any such misperception may be remedied through prayer and reflection on god's perfection and goodness.

"The Science of Mind denies the error of sensation in matter, and heals with Truth. [...] Things material and temporal are insubstantial. [1]"

Christian Science addresses the theological problem of evil by teaching that evil is unreal and an illusion. The Christian Science position on the nature of evil may be stated as follows:

"Evil is a negation, because it is the absence of truth. It is nothing, because it is the absence of something. It is unreal, because it presupposes the absence of God, the omnipotent and omnipresent. Every mortal must learn that there is neither power nor reality in evil"

Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy [2]

Because they are not biblical literalists, and because they regard the material world as fundamentally unreal, Christian Scientists have no intellectual problem with the theories of contemporary geology, cosmology, or biology--for example in regard to the origin of mankind, the literal occurrence or non-occurrence of a worldwide flood, or indeed the age of the earth itself. (However, they sometimes object to detailed descriptions of disease, as tending to reinforce the symptoms described in the consciousness of the viewer or listener, with the consequent danger of externalizing these mental images on the body as physical symptoms.)

Prayer, Medicine, and Healing

Main Article: Religiously motivated medical neglect

Christian Scientists are encouraged to not use any conventional medical care, which they refer to as materia medica, including drugs and surgery, and instead favor prayer, faith healing and exorcisms. They believe prayer works through love and is a rediscovery of methods used by Jesus. [3] Christian Scientists do not forbid the use of medical care and leave the final decision to the individual believer; rather they preach that using such tools cause more harm than good. Christian Scientists believe that sickness is the result of fear, ignorance, or sin, and that when the erroneous belief is corrected, the sickness will disappear. They claim that over 80,000 healings have been recorded within the church, including curing cancer and repairing bone fractures. [4]

"I was so absorbed in the study of the "little book" that I hardly realized when the healing came, but I was healed, not only of the rupture, but also of other troubles, - inflammatory rheumatism, catarrh, corns, and bunions. [1]"

Their rejection of medicine is inspired by the example of Mary Baker Eddy who founded the church. However, she herself used morphine at times. Also, believers are also inconsistent in the use of some forms of medical assistance, including conventional treatment of bone fractures:

"Christian Scientists wear eyeglasses, go to dentists, use canes [...] Robert Peel, who wrote the definitive biography of Eddy, documented her use of morphine to ease the pain of kidney stones. [5]"

There have been many tragedies with the death of children due to the faith of their Christian Science parents. Many do not treat their children because their beliefs teach them not to use medicine. Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty is a charity which aims to end child abuse or neglect related to religion, culture, or quackery through public education, research, and a limited amount of lobbying.

Healers within the church charge fees for their services (rather similar to auditing in Scientology).

"Christian Science practitioners are professionals and do charge for the treatment they provide. Each practitioner sets individual rates, so feel free to discuss payment with any practitioner you contact. [6]"

Christians Science healing prayers work no better than a placebo. The church has no rules regarding vaccinations, which makes religious exemption from otherwise compulsory vaccinations rather hard to justify. [7] Christian Science cannot explain why God does not heal amputees. Since they cannot perform the healing they claim, they do not meet the sign of true Christians as given in several places in the New Testament e.g. Mark 16:18 Bible-icon.png.

Conception of God and Jesus

Christian Science considers God to be perfect and good, and as a "Father-Mother" figure.

"We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God's image and likeness. [8]"
"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 [1]"
"Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation. [1]"

Jesus is considered to be the "Way shower" but not God. They believe the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus occurred but have a unique interpretation as it the significance of Jesus.

"The Christian who believes in the First Commandment is a monotheist. This he virtually unites with the Jew's belief in one God, and recognizes that Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God. [1]"
"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. [1]"

Dietary restrictions

Christian Scientists do not consume alcohol or tobacco. Many believers abstain from tea and coffee.

"The depraved appetite for alcoholic drinks, tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, is destroyed only by Mind's mastery of the body [9]"

Social views

Christian Scientists generally defend the separation of church and state as affording a protection for civil freedom and religion.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Mary Baker Eddy—discoverer, founder, author, teacher
  4. [3]
  5. Suffering Children and the Christian Science Church, The Atlantic, April 1995
  6. [4]
  7. [5]
  8. [6]
  9. [7]

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