Christian Science – same as Scientology, right?

Core Beliefs

As a Christian Scientist I believe in one, infinite God who is All and all-good. I believe that God is not distant and unknowable, but that He/She is Father-Mother, all-embracing and always present, and that every individual is made in God’s spiritual image, loved by God and cared for by Him.  This is the nature of God seen in the life of Jesus, as related in the Gospels.  Prayer that brings this understanding into focus for an individual or for a community can bring healing results.  The Tenets of Christian Science are spelled out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.

Why is it called Christian Science?

It’s considered a Science because it’s based upon a set of consistent and unvarying spiritual principles that can be applied to the variety of circumstances in daily living —laws relating to the nature of God and His creation that can be made practical in life transformation and healing.


Why do you call yourselves Christian?

Because Christian Science is based on the Bible, and Christian Scientists follow the teachings and ministry of Christ Jesus. The virgin birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus, as well as other key Bible teachings, are all central to Christian Science theology. The distinguishing text used by church members and others studying Christian Science – Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures – is not considered a replacement for the Bible, or a second Bible.  Christian Scientists regularly read it alongside the Bible as a book that brings out the core message of spirituality and healing in the Scriptures, particularly the words and works of Jesus.

Is Christian Science a cult?

Well I guess you would expect the answer “no” to appear on this website! 🙂  The many Christian Scientists I have come to know over the years have been among the most independent thinkers I have ever met.  So why would anyone call it a cult?   Mostly this comes from the tendency of some Christian groups to feel they are called to denounce various other denominations in this kind of pejorative way, in a manner that might itself be considered un-Christian in character.  In terms of the more general use of the word there is no brainwashing or mind control.  Nor is there blind following of a leader.  As a Christian Scientist I have a huge respect and appreciation for the character and extraordinary accomplishments of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.  And I find the ideas in her writings indispensable in helping me along on my spiritual journey.  But I do not worship her.   (She herself made it clear she didn’t want anyone to do that!)


Is it true that Christian Scientists don’t take medicine?

Generally, a Christian Scientist’s first choice is to rely on prayer for healing, and in most cases, this means that a medical remedy is unnecessary.  (Here are some examples of that.)  There is no biblical or church prohibition of medical treatment, nor do Christian Scientists believe that it’s God’s will that anyone suffer or die. A Christian Scientist’s decision to rely on prayer comes from trust, not blind faith, in God, and from experience, and from a conviction that God’s care continues under every circumstance.


What is a Christian Science practitioner?

Christian Science practitioners are self-employed individuals who have completed training in spiritual healing given by an authorized teacher of Christian Science, and who devote themselves full time to helping and healing of others through prayer, as they themselves have experienced it.


Does the Christian Science Church provide such care?

No.  Christian Science-based care is provided by the freelance individuals described above, who practice Christian Science teaching.  Just as some Catholic, Jewish or Baptist care providers may integrate their faith in their delivery of care, Christian Scientist care providers integrate their faith into their care.  The Church (organization) does not function as a health care provider.


Is Christian Science the same as a positive thinking?

No. Positive thinking relies on the human mind to think or effect a good result. Christian Science starts with God and the conviction that God’s goodness embraces each of us, all the time.


Is Christian Science faith healing?

No. Faith is an important factor in reaching the spiritual understanding which brings about healing, just as each stepping-stone is an important factor in crossing a river. Christian Science, though, does not involve the blind faith of pleading with God to heal the sick and then accepting His will, good or bad. Nothing in Christian Science theology says it’s God’s will that anyone suffer, get sick, or die. Christian Science shows God to be entirely good, and therefore His will for each individual is only health and life.


What’s involved in Christian Science treatment?

Christian Science treatment is the application of spiritual principles—who and what God is and what that means for each individual—to the specifics of any given situation. These spiritual principles, applied, have a tangible effect—such as restored relationships, financial well-being, physical healing, character transformation and so on.


What do Christian Science nurses do? What are their professional skills and qualifications?

Christian Science nurses provide skillful, non-medical physical care for anyone relying on Christian Science for healing. This care includes bathing, dressing wounds, assistance with mobility, feeding, and so forth. Preparation for the professional practice of Christian Science nursing often includes coursework provided by Christian Science nursing organizations, one-to-one training from an experienced Christian Science nurse, and/or experience with facility or private-duty Christian Science nursing.


What would you do if you had a serious physical problem to face?

Most of us who are Christian Scientists would tell you that we instinctively turn to God for healing because we have seen the effectiveness of this approach in our lives. This, however, does not prevent any Christian Scientist from considering and seeking medical treatment if they choose.


An adult choosing prayer and not medical help is one thing, but how can you make that decision for a child?

Parents who use Christian Science treatment for a child do so because they’ve seen the effectiveness of this treatment in their own lives.  Christian Science parents are like any other parents—they love their children and they want the very best care for them. They know they are under a moral and legal obligation to ensure that their children receive care, and there is no prohibition of traditional medical care in Christian Science teachings.


What do you do in the case of communicable disease?

Christian Scientists care about their neighbors and fellow community members and gladly abide by national laws or mandates regarding quarantines, vaccinations, and the like.


Why do your colleagues in the United States of America “lobby” for exemptions to health laws that allow you to keep your children from going to doctors?

Christian Scientists are not lobbyists in the sense of contributing funds to political parties, but they do engage in dialogue with politicians of all parties about issues that could have an impact on the public’s freedom to practice prayer-based spiritual healing.  They don’t seek exemptions from the law, but recognition for reasonable practice within it. They’re trying to ensure that laws provide every citizen a choice of healthcare, including the system of spiritual prayer that Christian Scientists have found to be effective.


Do Christian Scientists carry health insurance or life insurance?

Some have health insurance, and most probably have life insurance. Every Christian Scientist makes his or her own financial and health decisions.



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