Not to be confused with Scientology

Christian Science
What it is
 

The answers in this section of our web page are not intended to represent an official policy statement or to provide the final word on subjects that would necessarily require considerably more space and attention than can fit on a readable web page. It is in the spirit of offering a continuing dialogue that these “Questions and Answers” are provided. 

These answers are from a pamphlet originally published by the Christian Science Publishing Society.

What is Christian Science?

Christian Science is based on the words and works of Christ Jesus, and draws its authority from the Bible. Its teachings are set forth in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Although a distinctive part of Christian Science is the healing of disease by spiritual means alone, its higher purpose is universal salvation from every phase of evil - including sin and death ("Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give."  Matthew 10:8).
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What Bible does Christian Science use? 

In English speaking countries we use the King James Version of the bible in church services and in reading the weekly Bible Lessons. We also often use other current translations in our individual Bible study. Other areas of the world use Bibles published in local languages, such as the Luther Bible in German and the Louis Segond Bible in French. A tenet of Christian Science reads, “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient Guide to eternal Life” (Science and Health, p.497).
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What is Science and Health?  

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures explains fully and directly the spiritual teaching of the Bible, and reveals the divine Science that , when practiced, brings health and harmony to all aspects of our lives.
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Is Christian Science truly Christian? 

Yes. Its foundation is the teaching and example of Jesus. Christian Scientists take Christ Jesus’ promise seriously - that Christians should heal the sick as well as the sinning in his name. (Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12)
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Why is Christian Science a Science? 

It is a Science because it is the systematic application of rules based on a fixed principle. It heals through divine laws. We consider it to be the Science of Christianity that Jesus lived and taught. The proof is in changed and improved lives - morally, spiritually, and physically.
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What is the Christian Science view of God? 

We believe that God, Spirit, is the Supreme Being, the creator and governor of the universe. God is infinite, ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful, and wholly good. God’s nature is seen through the synonymous names for God used or implied in the Bible, including divine Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love.
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How does mankind relate to God? 

Every individual is actually the spiritual child of the one Father-Mother God. The true spiritual identity of everyone is the image and likeness of God. God’s children are His reflection, or expression, and are always under His infinite care. ("So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27).
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What's Father-Mother God? 

Father-Mother is the name of Deity, which indicates his tender relationship with his spiritual creation. (S&H 332-VIII) Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God. (S&H 516:23) So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. (Geneses i.27)
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What does Jesus Christ mean to a Christian Scientist? 

  Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, the Saviour, the Son of God. The term Christ describes Jesus’ divine nature or spiritual sonship with God. As both the Son of God and the Son of man, he was the mediator between God and man. ( “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6).
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Does Christian Science accept the virgin birth of Jesus and his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension? 

Yes. We believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. We fully accept the Gospel accounts of his birth, life, victory over death, and final ascension as the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and the evidence that he was the Son of God.
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How does a Christian Scientist pray?

We turn to God, divine Love, to learn more of His power and presence, and to listen for His direction. The prayer that affirms and understands God’s goodness and allness, challenging whatever appears to the contrary, is a powerful force. Prayer is the subject of the first chapter of Science and Health.
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What is the relationship between the theology and the healing ministry of Christian Science?

They are inseparable, the one being a proof of the other. Christ Jesus, our Exemplar and Saviour, showed that his theology and ministry included healing the sick. We see Christian Science as the rediscovery of the divine laws that Jesus understood, taught, and proved - and that these laws are as applicable today as they were 2,000 years ago.
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How does Christian Science go about healing the sick? 

Christian Science healing comes through scientific prayer, or spiritual communion with God. It is specific treatment. Such prayer recognizes a patient’s direct access to God’s love and discovers more of the consistent operation of God’s law or health and wholeness on his behalf. It knows God, or divine Mind, as the only healer. It brings the transforming action of the Christ, the idea of divine Love, to the patient’s consciousness. A transformation or spiritualization of a patient’s thought changes his condition (see Science and Health, p. 194, line 6).
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What is Christian Science's record of success with  healing? 

It has been practiced effectively for more than 130 years. In some families, Christian Science has been the means of healing and care for five generations. During the past 112 years, more than 50,000 authenticated testimonies of healing have been published in the monthly and weekly Christian Science periodicals. In addition, thousands of accounts of healing are given each week at Wednesday testimony meetings in Christian Science churches around the world. Three books, A Century of Christian Science Healing and Healing Spiritually, both published by The Christian Science Publishing Society, and Spiritual healing in a Scientific Age by Robert Peel (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), give detailed accounts of verified healings.
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How does Christian Science differ from faith healing, psychotherapy, Scientology, or positive thinking? 

There are crucial differences. The practice of Christian Science does not involve hypnotism, spiritualism, or suggestion. It is not the control of one human mind over another, nor the exercise of human will. It employs no formulas, chants, or rituals, no esoteric practices or secret writings. Although faith is an important element in this healing process, it does not rest on blind belief, but on an ever-increasing understanding of the present perfection of God’s spiritual creation. This is a practical and essential difference between Christian Science and what is generally considered faith healing.
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What was the start of the Christian Science Church - and why? 

In 1879, four years after the first publication of Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy and some of her students voted to “organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master [Christ Jesus] which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” The Church was reorganized in 1892, and the Church Manual was first issued in 1895 to provide a framework for church government and a blueprint for future development of its mission.
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How is the Christian Science Church governed? 

Its government is set forth in the Church Manual, a constitutional document that has remained unchanged since Mrs. Eddy complete it in 1910. Under this Manual, the worldwide business of The Mother Church is transacted by its Board of Directors. Each local church and society is a democratically governed branch of The Mother Church. Each branch church member has an equal opportunity to participate in branch church work, vote in the election of its local church officers, and serve in these positions.
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Why doesn't Christian Science have ministers?           

Ours is a lay church in which every member has equal standing with God. With the Bible and Science and Health as our pastor, we turn to prayer and these two books for counsel and healing.
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What are Christian Science church services like? 

The hour-long service includes congregational singing, a vocal solo, organ or piano music, silent and collective prayer, the audible praying of the Lord’s Prayer, readings from the Bible and from Science and Health, and a collection. In many localities there is also a Wednesday meeting that includes reading from the Bible and Science and Health, as well as testimonies of healing from the congregation. 
 
The Sunday services are conducted by lay Readers. The two Readers read a Lesson Sermon consisting of passages from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. All services are open to the public.
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Who was Mary Baker Eddy? 

Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, and author of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, a perennial best-selling book on healing. She was raised in New Hampshire by parents who were devout Congregationalists. The Bible was central to her religious and educational upbringing.
 
Her early adult life included more than its share of serious personal tragedies and poor health. Over the next twenty years chronic illness led her to explore many curative methods. None resulted in permanent healing until her discovery of Christian Science.
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How did Mary Baker Eddy discover Christian Science? 

In 1866 she was severely injured in a fall, and turned to the Bible as she had been accustomed to doing. All she had pondered in the past came strongly and clearly to her as she read an account of one of Jesus’ healings. She was immediately healed. Convinced that God had healed her, she spent the next several years searching the Scriptures to understand the principle behind her healing. She named her discovery Christian Science and explained it in 1875 when she wrote the first edition of Science and Health.
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Why do Christian Scientist call her their leader?

This term helps describe her relationship to the members of her Church (see Manual of The Mother Church, Article 22, Section 1). Christian Scientists refer to Mrs. Eddy as the Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science. Although we revere her, we do not worship her. Mrs. Eddy insisted that her followers: “Follow your Leader, only so far as she follows Christ.” (See Message to The Mother Church for 1902, page 4).
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