Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy died in December of 1910, just over 100 years ago. On December 30, 1910, one of her faithful followers claimed that Eddy would rise from the dead, just as Jesus did. It only took Jesus three days, however, and Mrs. Eddy has now been resting for a solid century.
At the end of December in 1910, Augusta E. Stetson, close follower of Mrs. Eddy, gave her fellow Christian Scientists a message as reported by The LA Times:
"[S]he believed the millennium is at hand, that the end of the gospel age has arrived and that Mrs. Eddy will return in the semblance of human form and will continue to lead her followers... Mrs. Stetson said, in substance, that she is watching and waiting for the 'manifestation' of Mrs. Eddy and asserted that Mrs. Eddy's 'return' from the grave may be expected in a few days or a few years - possibly even twenty years from now- but that she is confident that the founder of Christian Science will reveal herself not only to the few scientists who have attained a high degree of 'spirituality but to the world at large.'"
The purpose here is not to pick on Christian Scientists. The purpose is to take a careful examination of the Christian Science religion and compare its teachings to the Bible. With a name like Christian Science, many people might tend to think the religion has something to do with Christians who enjoy studying the sciences. This is not the case. Mary Baker Eddy's teachings reject major Christian doctrines, and are not favored by the sciences either since they deny the existence of the material world.
Mary Baker Eddy slipped on an icy sidewalk in 1866 and injured herself. Eddy was in her early forties, and had been studying the ideas of Phineas P. Quimby, who taught that people could heal themselves through the power of their minds. Eddy read the Bible, and was struck with the idea that only God, the Divine Mind, could heal. She herself was healed, and she began to spread her ideas about healing to other people.
Mary Baker Eddy claimed to take her ideas from the Bible, but Christian Scientist beliefs distort fundamental Christian doctrines and reject major biblical truths.
Christian Scientists can sound like the general Christian population when they talk about the virgin birth, the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus the Messiah. They affirm these beliefs. However, the similarities end there. The whole purpose of Jesus' death and resurrection are distorted by Christian Science doctrines. Eddy's followers deny the deity of Christ. They deny the existence of a real Heaven or Hell. They do not believe there will be a final judgment, nor do they believe that Jesus died for our sins because they deny the reality of sin and evil. The Christian Science God is a depersonalized "infinite Mind." In contrast, the Bible teaches that God is our heavenly Father (Matt 6:9), whom the Holy Spirit leads us to call "Daddy" (Rom 8:15).
The crux of Christian Science belief is that the material world is merely an illusion; all is spiritual. "Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal" (S&H, p. 468). Christian Scientists are known for refusing medical treatment because they believe their problem is not actually physical. Every malady that appears to be physical, Eddy argued, actually has a root spiritual cause that needs to be addressed for healing to take place.
Christian Scientists consider Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to be a sacred text equal to the Bible. However, this companion book repeatedly contradicts the Bible. Consider the following contrasts between Eddy's teachings and the Word of God.
1.Jesus did not reflect the fullness of God (S&H 336:20-21).
In Jesus dwells all the fullness of God. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." - Col 2:8-9
2. God cannot indwell a person, (S&H 336:19-20).
The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts: "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." - 2Cor 1:21-22
3. God is Mind, (S&H 330:20-21; 469:13)
God is much more: "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." -Jer 9:24
4."Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared..." (S&H 361:12-13).
Jesus is God. "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?" - John 14:9
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I Am." - John 8:58
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." - John 1:1-2
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Phil 2:10-11
5. There is no devil, (S&H 469:13-17).
Jesus said there is a devil. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." - John 8:44
6. There is no sin, (S&H 447:24).
Sin is a real problem, and Jesus dealt with it. "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." - Ecc 7:20
"But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." - Isaiah 59:2
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Rom 6:23
7.Evil and good are not real, (S&H 330:25-27; 470:9-14).
Evil and good are real. "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God." - 3 John 1:11
8.The sacrifice of Jesus was not sufficient to cleanse from sin," (S&H 25:6).
Worthy is the lamb that was slain. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." - 1John 1:7
"Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." - Rev 5:12
The LA Times 100 years ago recorded Mrs. Stetson as saying, "Unlike Christ, Mrs. Eddy will remain on earth when she 'manifests' herself..."
Jesus Christ arose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of people over a period of 40 days (1Cor 15:4-8), and is still impacting the lives of individuals today. Mary Baker Eddy has yet to show up, and her followers are dwindling in number.
Remember, the best way to recognize a lie is to already know the truth. Be careful not to be blown about by every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14), but be like the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11) and search the Scriptures carefully to prove what is true.