Christian Science and Christianity
In first looking at the movement known as
it strikes as being like any other Christian denomination. They certainly accept the bible as a guide to the word of God and also acknowledge Jesus Christ. So what is the differences between Christian Science and the mainstream Christian denominations and how was it founded?
Let's start by answering the second part of the question first. Christian Science was founded in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy. Her interest in Christianity and the Bible was lifelong but in her childhood and early adult years suffered much ill health. Because of this and the early death of her first husband George Glover, she began to study some of the healing ministries. During her second marriage to Daniel Patterson, she ventured across Phineas P. Quimby and his natural healing methods which involved the use of hypnotism and animal magnetism. Mary Baker Eddy's study of healing through confidence and positive thinking continued until Quimby's death in 1866. Her health improved dramatically during this period but she suffered a relapse in later years. Soon after the death of Phineas P. Quimby, Mary Baker Eddy encountered a near fatal accident, slipping on an icy pavement. At the point of death she came to understand that healing comes from the "Divine Mind"; God. She was miraculously cured.
The following three years saw Mary Baker Eddy undertaking intensive research into the Bible to find answers as to how the healing had come about. The results can be seen in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" which ranks alongside the Bible as the word of God according to Christian Scientists.
Quimby's work recognised the importance of the mind in healing the body. Mary Baker Eddy took this further by proclaiming that the "Divine Mind", God, healed the body. This is one of the fundamental beliefs of Christian Science with recognised medicines and healings taking a backseat, although not totally rejected as certain Christian denominations do. With her new found interpretations of the Bible, Mary Baker Eddy claimed that she had found the science within scripture.
In 1877 Mary Baker Eddy married for the third time and in 1879 she founded the
Church of Christ, Scientist
in Boston, the banner which flies the Christian Science movement today. Mary Baker Eddy died in 1910 but the church membership flourished until about 1950 with membership at its peak estimated to be about 350,000. Today data on membership is unknown but the following is considered to spread across 60 nations with about 2,300 congregational branches.
Devotees to Christian Science believe in the Bible as a sufficient guide to eternal life which differs from many Christian denominations which declare the Bible as THE word of God.
At the core of Christian Science belief and practices is spiritual healing and the power of prayer with regards to healing. Although the preference is to be able to heal the body through belief and prayer, Christian Science does allow the intervention of conventional medicine; but generally as a last resort.
Christian Science sees everything in terms of the spiritual and thus nothing physical is deemed real, only imaginary. God is seen as all and God is viewed as good and as man has never departed from God who is viewed as good, sin doesn't exist.
Christian Science also interprets the conception of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Holy Trinity very differently to mainstream Christianity. To find out more read "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" as at www.christian-charity-world.com we encourage all aspects of Christianity to be explored.
How fantastic is that?
Church of Christ, Scientists UK
Church of Christ, Scientist