Letter to Christian Scientists
Dear Christian Scientist,
We are three Christian students from the University of Northern Iowa
who have recently become exposed to Christian Science teachings by visiting
various reading rooms, which led us to research Science and
Health, as well as
Mrs. Eddy's Letters to the Mother Church, and other Christian Science
We are writing this letter to you out of genuine concern, because while
Christian Science declares itself to be Bible based, the fact is that the
teachings of Christian Science are in direct contradiction to the Bible, as we
will show. Our hope is that you would read this letter with an open mind and
therefore look at the Bible for what it really says. Please do not think that
we are attacking any individual Christian Scientist with this letter; we hope
that you will not be defensive, but consider what we have to say.
In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy sets forth the tenets of
Christian Science on P. 497. The first tenet says: "As adherents of
take the inspired word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal
We agree with this first tenet. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3: 16, 17 that
Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and
training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped
for every good work". Please note that Paul says ALL scripture is
God-breathed. He also declares that the Bible is sufficient, as is, for use,
because God is the ultimate source of everything in the Bible.
Through our conversations with Christian Scientists, it is apparent
that they do not believe all scripture is God-breathed, contradicting not only
2 Timothy 3: 16, but also the first tenet of Christian Science. For example,
Mrs. Eddy teaches that the second chapter of Genesis is a lie (see Key
Scriptures). Since ALL Scripture is God-breathed, not a word of it is
and not a word of it could be corrupted by human interpretation: "First
you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's
own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but
men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Peter 1:20,21).
believe that even a word of the Bible is untrue -- let alone entire chapters --
is to deny that all Scripture is God-breathed. But if all Scripture is not
God-breathed, then the Bible is not a sufficient guide to eternal life.
Christian Science violates its own first tenet.
It is also apparent from our research, and extensive conversation with
Christian Scientists, that Christian Science holds to an allegorical
interpretation of many passages that are not clearly meant to be interpreted in
this manner, and also reads into the text many things that simply aren't
In Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics ask about the Christian Faith,
McDowell and Don Stewart write: "The message of the Bible is clear for those
who read it and seek to find out its meaning. The problem comes when people
bring their preconceived notions of the Bible and attempt to make the Word fit
their preconceived ideas." A passage of Scripture should only be interpreted
allegorically when there is definite indications in the text itself which
warrant such. Christian Science interprets many passages allegorically with
absolutely no basis for doing so, once again violating its own first tenet, and
2 Timothy 3:16, by denying the sufficiency of the Bible to lead people to
salvation by its own virtue -- that is, without the need to interpret key
passages in an allegorical manner. Examples for this are the passages on
Jesus' deity, sin, evil, Satan, and the Last Judgement (Second Death). A good
rule of thumb to go by is "When the literal sense makes good sense, seek no
other sense, lest you come up with nonsense." With this and 2 Timothy 3:
mind, let's look at what the Bible has to say about Jesus' deity, and
contrast this with the teaching of Christian Science.
Science and Health 473: 15-17 states: "... Jesus is the human
the Christ the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ." Contrast
this with Colossians 2: 9,10 "for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity
in bodily form, and you have been given fulness in Christ, who is the head over
every power and authority." Because God lives in Christ, Christ can not be
merely a divine idea, but must be a person: "in Christ...the Deity
bodily form." Clearly Christ is not a divine idea. Mrs. Eddy's
make a distinction between Jesus and the Christ, as if they were two separate
entities, is wholly unbiblical. Jesus Christ is one person: Jesus
name, meaning "Yahweh is Salvation," and Christ is His title, meaning "The
Anointed One." Contrast Mrs. Eddy's teachings on Jesus and the Christ being
separate with 1 John 2:22: "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that
Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist -- he denies the
Father and the Son."
The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Jesus Christ is God, a
fact which Christian Science ignores. John 1:1 says "In the beginning
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Here we see
THE WORD = GOD
In John 1:14,15 it states "The Word became flesh, and made His dwelling
among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the
only Son from the Father. John bore witness to Him..." Also in Revelation
19:13-14 John writes about Jesus "...and His name is the Word of
armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses, and dressed in
fine linen, white and clean." Here we see that
JESUS = THE WORD
Simple logic declares that if A=B and B=C then A=C. Therefore,
THE WORD = GOD and
JESUS = THE WORD, then
JESUS = GOD
Also, in Revelation 21: 5-7, it says: "He who is seated on the throne
said 'I am making everything new!' Then He said 'write this down, for these
words are trustworthy and true'. He said to me: 'It is done. I am the Alpha
and the Omega, the Beginning and the End...he who overcomes will inherit all
this and I will be his God, and he will be my son.'" Here God says that
the beginning and the end. In Revelation 22:12,13, Jesus (see 22:16) says
"Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone
according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the
Last, the Beginning and the End." Jesus clearly shows that He is God by
saying things about Himself that only God can say about Himself.
The Jews also understood Jesus claims to be God. John 10: 30-33 reads
"'I and the Father are one.' Again the Jews picked up stones to stone
Jesus said to them: 'I have shown you many miracles from the Father, for
of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any of these,'
the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be
Jesus did not mean that he was God when He stated "I and the Father are one,"
then why did Jesus not correct the Jews when they interpreted it this way?
Also, when studying the original Greek of Jesus statement I and the Father are
one," the word translated "one" means one in essence, or
John 20: 26-28 shows that the disciples believed that Jesus is God. It
states: "A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was
with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and
said 'Peace be with you!' Then He said to Thomas, 'Put you finger here;
hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and
believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and My God!'" If Jesus is
not God, as
Thomas exclaimed, then why didn't Jesus correct Thomas for his "error"? The
disciples, who lived with Jesus for three years, believed He is God, and at
times worshiped Him. Jesus accepted their worship! (See Matthew 28:17, Luke
5:8) Since God alone is to be worshiped (see Luke 4:8), why did Jesus not
correct these "errors" if He truly is just a man?
Paul also declared that Jesus is God. In Romans 9:5 he writes "...and
from them [the Jews] is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God
overall..." Also in Titus 2:13 Paul writes "...while we wait for the blessed
hope -- the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus
When these passages are interpreted as they are meant to be
interpreted, in the literal, common sense manner (which is the same method of
interpretation used when reading Science and Health, and this
nearly all other literature), there is no way around the fact that Jesus is
God. There is no foundation for allegorically interpreting these verses. Jesus
Christ is clearly 100% man and 100% God.
For further proof of Jesus' deity, see these verses: He is omnipresent
(Mt. 18:20; 28:20; Acts 18:10) omniscient (Mt. 16:21; Lk. 11:17; Jn. 4:29),
omnipotent (Mt. 8: 26, 27; 28:18; Jn. 11: 38-44; Lk 7:14-15).
C.S. Lewis sums this up: "I'm trying here to prevent anyone saying the
really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept
Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.'
is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man, and said the
sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either
be a lunatic -- on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg -- or else
he would be the Devil of Hell." Either Jesus was, and is, God incarnate,
or He was a madman and a liar. You must make a choice.
Christian Science's teachings on sin and evil are also contradictory to
the Bible. Science and Health 480: 23, 24 states "evil is but an
it has no real basis. Evil is a false belief, God is not its author."
Miscellaneous Writings, p. 27 states "Here also is found the path of
statement, the cardinal point of Christian Science, that matter and evil
(including all inharmony, sin, disease, death) are unreal." Also, page
Science and Health states: "Christ came to destroy the belief of
sin." But if
sin is unreal, a belief we should not have, then why does the Apostle John,
Jesus' closest disciple, state that "If we claim to be without sin, we
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8)?
While Mrs. Eddy states over and over again that sin is just an illusion
(above references and Science and Health, 71:2, 287:22,23, 480:23,
she also states that salvation is "...sin, sickness and death destroyed."
(Science and Health, 593:20-22). If sin is only an illusion,
having no real
existence, how can it be destroyed? Putting it another way, do you destroy
something that does not exist?
If sin is unreal, why does Romans 5:8 declare "While we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us"? If sin is unreal, why does Romans 3:23 declare
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"? Nowhere in the
sin ever referred to as an illusion or false belief. Sin is rebellion against
God, which is often an act. In Exodus 20: 13, God says "You shall not
When someone murders, they are directly defying God, and they have therefore
sinned. Thus we see that this sin is an act, not an illusion or
If sin were an illusion, then why did God give us a law, stating that certain
actions are wrong? The Bible clearly teaches that ".. through the law we
become conscious of sin" (Romans 3:20). Why does God want us to be conscious
of sin if it doesn't exist?
Furthermore, if sin is just a false belief, then where did this
illusion come from, since Christian Science teaches that God's creation is
still entirely good? (See Christian Science Sentinel, Dec. 12, 1994). How is
it possible for a good creation to have wrong (false, bad) beliefs? The truth
is, that while God did create everything completely good, creation is now
corrupt because of the Fall of Man, as Romans 5:12 clearly teaches,
just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in
this way death came to all men, because all sinned." NOWHERE in the
it say that matter, sin, evil, disease, and death are unreal. In fact, the
Bible states the very opposite.
In talking to various Scientists, it is also apparent that Christian
Science teaches that demons and Satan are not real beings, but simply "lies,"
"wrong ideas," or just "nonexistent and unreal." The Bible teaches
that demons and Satan are in fact real spirit beings. In Zachariah 3:1, God
talks directly to Satan. (See also Job 1 and 2). If Satan were unreal, or
simply a "lie," how can God speak directly to Him? (Also read Luke 8:
Luke 8: 29, says, "Many times it [the demon] had seized him and though
chained hand and foot, and kept under guard, he had broken his
if demons are unreal, how do they give this man superhuman strength? If they
are unreal, why do they ask Jesus not to torture them? Also, after the man had
the demons cast out, why did Jesus not tell the man the demons had been unreal,
and set the record straight? Also, what caused the pigs to jump off the cliff
if not demons?
In Science and Health 110: 16-19, Mrs. Eddy makes one of her
claims of divine revelation. "No human pen nor tongue taught me the science
contained in this book, Science and Health; and neither tongue nor
overthrow it." There is strong evidence, however, to the contrary; that Mrs.
Eddy's Rdivine revelation is actually a plagiarism of Phineas Quimby's
writings and ideas, and therefore not original to her and not "divinely
revealed." In addition, Mrs. Eddy's claim of "divine revelation" clearly
contradicts Jude 3: "I found it necessary to write appealing to you to
for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints."
Quimby was a healer who applied the power of suggestion in affecting
his cures. He called his word "The Science of Christ" and "Christian
Mrs Eddy became an enthusiastic follower of his in 1862 after her back injury
was healed by him. An affidavit of Mrs. Sarah G. Crosby, an intimate friend of
Mrs Eddy while she was a patient of Quimby, states "I do not hesitate to say
that Mrs. Eddy's teachings in 1877 and Dr. Quimby's teachings in 1864 were
substantially the same; in fact, as I heard them both, I know they
In 1921, Horatio Dresser published The Quimby Manuscripts,
compared with Mrs. Eddy's writings, revealed many parallels leading some to
comment, "...as far as thought is concerned, Science and Health is
all Quimby' (Ernest Sutherland Bates and John V. Dittermore, Mary Baker
Eddy: The Truth and The Tradition, 1932, p. 156).
In the Christian Science Journal for June 1887, Mrs Eddy writes this
about Phineas Quimby: "I never heard him intimate that he healed disease
mentally; and many others will testify that up to his last sickness, he
us magnetically..." But in March of 1871, Mr. W.W. Wright asked this
"Has this theory ever been advertised or practiced before you introduced
by any other individual?" Mrs. Eddy replied, "Never advertised, and practiced
by only one individual who healed me, Dr. Quimby of Portland, Maine, an old
gentleman who made it a research for 25 years, starting from the
magnetism, then going forward and leaving that behind. I discovered the
a moments time, and he acknowledged it to me; he died shortly after, and since
then, 8 years, I have been founding and demonstrating the science...please
preserve this and if you become my student, call me to account for the truth of
what I have written."
She also writes of Quimby in a letter to The Portland Courier,
could not be wiser than my master." In a letter to Quimby on January 12,
she writes "...I am to all who see me a living wonder and a living
your power..." In another letter to Quimby she writes "...who is wise but
you..." In yet another letter, March 31, 1864, she writes "...dear Dr., what
could I do without you..."
Yet, in Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24, Mary Baker Eddy
"It was in Massachusetts, in February, 1866, and after the death of the
magnetic doctor, Mr. P.P. Quimby, whom spiritualists would associate
but who was in no wise connected with this event, that I discovered the
of divine metaphysical healing, which I afterward named Christian
Mrs. Eddy clearly contradicts herself several times, and her writings are
clearly not divinely revealed, but a plagiarism of Phineas Quimby's
Now the obvious question arises: What about the healing? While many
of the healings of Christian Science can be explained without appealing to the
miraculous, some accounts are of seemingly true healings. If this is so, then
it would be an example of the "signs and false wonders" done by Satan
Apostle Paul speaks about in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Satan is the great
counterfeiter, and his attempts to duplicate the works of God and the miracle
of healing are no exception. It sure makes sense that Satan would appear to do
good things for people if it will keep them from the truth: "For even Satan
disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants
also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will
correspond to their deeds" (2 Corinthians 11:14,15). Matthew 24:24 also
declares: "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great
signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect."
We all want to be well, but never at the cost of rejecting the true Jesus
Josh McDowell and Don Stewart sum it all up in Understanding the
"Christian Science is neither Christian nor scientific because every
doctrine of historic Christianity is rejected by Christian Science. The claim
of divine revelation by Mrs. Eddy is contradicted by the facts that clearly
attest she does not represent the God of the Bible. Although she speaks in the
name of Jesus, her teachings conflict with His in every respect." Don't you
find this odd?
This leads us to the ultimate purpose of this letter: what the Bible
really has to say about salvation. Contrary to what Christian Science teaches,
there really is a hell. Hell is not something we experience on this earth when
we are going through "tough times" or dealing with our "belief in sin." Hell
is eternal separation from God in a place, where a person
may go after one
dies, as Matthew 7: 13, 21-23; 8: 12,29; and dozens of other passages
clear. For example, Jude 6 says, "And the angels that did not keep their own
position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in
chains in the nether gloom until the judgement of the great
Matthew 25:41, when Jesus says to those at his left hand "Depart from
cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
13: 41 says "The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of
his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and throw them into the
furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." Read
common sense, literal manner, these passages are abundantly clear.
Clearly the Bible teaches that there is a hell, that it is eternal, and
that it is the final destination of all who die in their sins. In fact,
human beings have sinned and so deserve to spend eternity there: "All have
sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Because
God is holy and righteous, he cannot let sin into his presence, and he cannot
let sin go unpunished. Since all sins are against an infinite God, all
punishment for sin must also be infinite. Romans 6: 23 says "The wages
is death" (eternal punishment and separation from God). Because all have
sinned, all deserve
death. Can we really expect God to smile down on all the Charles Mansons and
Adolf Hitlers of the world and say, "That's okay, children. Do whatever
you on, as long as you're having a good time"? And all people, whether guilty
of lying, or murder, or theft, have the same problem with sin: "For whoever
keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For
He who said `Do not commit adultery,' said also, `Do not kill.' If you do not
commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law"
Before anyone can have eternal life in heaven, their sin, and the
penalty they deserve for their sin, must be taken care of. God cannot just
overlook it -- forgiveness always has a cost. For example, if my roommate
knocks my T.V. off of the shelf and it breaks, I would say to him, "I forgive
you," but someone still has to pay for the T.V. Likewise, in a court of law,
when someone is found guilty of breaking the law, a just judge cannot just let
the criminal go free, in which case he would cease being just, but must
sentence the criminal. In the same way, God had to bring the gavel down on us
and say "death"!
Fortunately, there is good news. John 3: 16 declares "For God so loved
the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not
perish but have eternal life." The fact that we are sinful shows us that we
need a savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ, God's ONLY provision for our
sin. On the cross, Jesus experienced the death penalty that WE DESERVE for our
sins. He died in our place: "But God demonstrates His own love
toward us, in
that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5: 8).
third day He rose from the dead, so that not only did he assume our punishment,
but He freed us from the bondage Satan has us under because of our sins: "He
was delivered up to death because of our offenses, and He was raised to life
again because we have been acquitted" (Romans 4:25).
It is not enough just to know these facts. We must individually
RECEIVE Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord; then we can know and experience
God's love and plan for our lives. "But as many as received Him, to them He
gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His
name" (John 1:12). We receive Christ as an act of the will through FAITH
putting our TRUST in Him, and Him alone for our salvation. If you receive
Christ, at that moment He will come into your life (Revelation 3:20 and
Colossians 1:27), forgive your sins (Colossians 1:14), make you a child of God
(John 1:12), give you eternal life (John 5:24), you will experience new birth
(Read John 3:1-8), and you will begin the great adventure for which God
you (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Can anything be
more wonderful than this?
One who admits they are a sinner and puts their trust in Christ for
salvation has eternal life because Christ has paid the death penalty for their
sins. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."
(John 6:47) Those who do not admit they are sinners and place their trust in Christ
are responsible to pay their own death penalty and do not receive eternal life:
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son
shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him" (John 3: 36;
see also John 3:17-21).
Ephesians 2:8,9 states, "For by grace you have been
faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God -- not
works, lest any man should boast." Grace is God's undeserved love for
do we need grace? Because we are sinners and salvation can not therefore be
earned; it can only be received as a gift. What have we been saved from? We
have been rescued from eternal separation from God. Why do we need to be
saved? Because we have sinned against a holy and perfect God, and therefore
"the wages of sin is death." How are we saved? ONLY if we admit that we are
sinners and repent (turn from self to God) and put our faith, our TRUST, in
Jesus Christ alone, for our salvation. Then he will come into our lives and
forgive our sins and make us the kind of people He wants us to be. We have His
promise: "He who comes to me I will not cast out" (John 6:37).
Trust is more than just intellectual belief. In 1860
walked across the Niagara Falls on a tightrope, pushed a wheelbarrow across and
even carried a friend across on his shoulders. Surely a large crowd gathered
to see such an amazing event. He then said to the people, "Do you
I can go across there again?" They responded, "Of course we believe, we just
saw you do it," as they applauded and cheered. "If so, he responded, I
volunteer to get on my back." The crowd was deathly silent and nobody
muscle. The point: Sure they believed, but they were not willing to
him. Many believe intellectually in Christ, but they are not willing to
trust Him to pay their death penalty and be their Savior!
You can receive Christ right now BY FAITH (TRUST) through prayer. God
knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my
I confess that I have sinned against you by exchanging your Truth for a lie. I
open the door of my life and receive you as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for
forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my
life, make me the kind of person You want me to be, and open my eyes so I can
read your Word for what it really says. In Your name I pray."
Jesus is concerned with our lives on this earth as well as our life in
the world to come -- eternal life begins the moment we trust Christ as our
saviour, and that means living a life pleasing to Him by letting Him direct and
empower our lives. If you have received Christ, you can know on the basis of
His promise that Christ lives in you and you have eternal life from the moment
you invite Him in: "And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal
life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who
does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have
written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may
know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5 :11-13).
Please carefully consider what we have said. We would appreciate it if
you would write back, and we would be glad to answer any questions. If you do
make a decision to trust Christ as your personal savior, we encourage you to
get in touch with us and a Church where Christ is honored and His Word is
preached. If you do not receive the true Jesus Christ into your life, we
challenge you next time you read the Bible to ask God-- and mean it-- to open
your eyes to the Truth. Then you will see your need to trust Jesus Christ (who
is 100% man and 100% God) as your Savior.
Scripture quotations are from the NASB, NIV, and RSV.
Go back to Contend for the Faith.
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