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Christianity Vs Christian Science

Perhaps you have been on a downtown street and noticed a sign in a window advertising a “Christian Science Reading Room.” What is Christian Science? Is it Christian? Is it science? Let’s check out the answers to these questions and more!

What is Christianity?

Christianity is faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It follows the teachings of the Bible. Christians believe God created the world. The first two humans, Adam and Eve, sinned, breaking their relationship with God and bringing death to the world. Jesus came to earth to pay the penalty for sin and restore humans to a relationship with God.

What is Christian Science?

Christian Science is a religion established by Mary Baker Eddy in the 1800s. It is a cult that deviates from Christianity and the Bible. Its official name is the Church of Christ, Scientist. Its teachings come from Eddy’s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Eddy tried to tie Biblical scriptures in with her belief in mind over matter. Christian Science is not a large religion. Today, only about 2,000 small congregations meet worldwide, about half in the USA, usually in storefront reading rooms.

What is the Origin of Christian Science?

As a child in the early 1800s, Mary Baker had what appeared to be tonic-clonic and absence seizures. Mary’s first husband died when she was six months pregnant, and she had a physical and mental breakdown. Unable to care for her baby, she lay in bed for months.

Mary eventually remarried but remained in poor health. Her second husband contacted Phineas Quimby, asking if he could cure his wife. Quimby believed that manipulating an invisible natural force within a person could bring healing without medical treatment. Quimby taught mind over matter, saying that one’s thoughts could make one sick or heal. Mary visited Quimby and reported that she was better. However, she still had relapses of whatever her illness was.

Quimby died in 1866, and the following month, Mary fell on the ice and suffered a head injury that knocked her out and caused seizures again. A doctor gave her morphine, which she used occasionally throughout her life. She reported that she read about Jesus healing the paralytic man in Matthew and used Quimby’s teachings of mind over matter to heal herself. She separated from her husband and spent the next few months staying with spiritualist friends who believed they could communicate with the dead at seances. These friends reported that Mary was argumentative and even violent multiple times.

A few years later, Mary wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and started the new teaching of “Christian Science,” as she called it. She said she was merely going back to early Christianity when miracle healings were common. She founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879.

View of Sin

  • Christianity teaches that everybody has sinned and fallen short of God’s standards. The first sin separated Adam and Eve from their intimate relationship with God. Sin is disobeying God’s laws.
  • Christian Science teaches that the fall of Adam and Eve never happened. Eddy believed that humans are an expression of God and thus perfect, with no sin. She said that one gets victory over sin by realizing it’s simply an illusion.

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

  • “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned.” (Roman 5:12)
  • “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)

View of Sickness

Christianity teaches that sin brought sickness and death to the world. Moses warned the Israelites that disobedience brought God’s curse, which included sickness like fever, inflammation, and the plague (Deuteronomy 28:15, 21-22). When Jesus came to earth, He proved His deity by beginning to undo the curse of sickness. Jesus and His apostles healed thousands of sick and disabled people. The apostle James told the church that if believers are sick, they should call the elders of their church to pray for them and anoint them. However, godly people in the Old and New Testaments used medicine and doctors. Luke, the author of one of the Gospels, was a physician. When King Hezekiah was deathly ill, the prophet Isaiah said to place a compress of figs on the boil (Isaiah 38). 

Christian Science says that, like sin, sickness is only an illusion. If a person admits they are sick, it becomes a reality. But if a person denies the existence of sickness, then they are no longer under its control. They are free of sickness. Christian Science says that the miracle healings in the Bible “were not supernatural, but supremely natural.”

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14)
  • “Jesus answered, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.’” (Luke 5:31)

View of Death

Christianity teaches that death is the result of the original sin in the Garden of Eden. Everyone will die. However, when Jesus returns, He will reverse death for those who believe in Him. They will be resurrected.

Christian Science: Christian Science teaches that death, like sickness and sin, is an illusion. Eddy taught that Jesus didn’t really die but exercised a supreme act of mind over matter. She wrote, “Death is but another phase of the dream that existence can be material.” Because they believe death is an illusion, if someone dies, Christian Scientists might pretend like nothing happened when a family member dies.  

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
  • “It is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27)
  • “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies’” (John 11:25)

The Efficacy of Christ’s Blood

Christianity: In the Old Testament, the blood of a sacrificial animal was necessary for God to forgive sin. The New Testament teaches that Jesus’ blood cleans us from all sin.

Christian Science: Eddy wrote, “The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father’s business.”

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:2)
  • “But now in Christ Jesus you who previously were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
  • “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Deity of Jesus Christ

Christianity teaches that Jesus is fully God, the second person of the Trinity.

Christian Science: Eddy said that Jesus was not God and never claimed to be.

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
  • “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
  • “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)

View of the Trinity

Christianity teaches that the Trinity is three equal and eternal Persons in one God: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Christian Science says that there is only one God in one person. Eddy believed that the Trinity was polytheism, or the worship of more than one god. She rejected the deity of Jesus Christ.

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 20:18-19)
  • “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

View of the World

Christianity teaches that the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) created the world in seven days (Genesis 1). All things in the material world – the rocks, trees, people, and animals – are real. There is also a spiritual world – God, the angels, the demons, and our spirits.

Christian Science believes that the material world (what we can see, touch, taste, and hear) isn’t real. It’s all an illusion. God created only the spiritual world. Only the spiritual world is real and completely good. Eddy said that our view of ourselves as imperfect humans is distorted. She said that true humanity is perfect and eternal.

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
  • “You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their lights, The earth and everything that is on it, The seas and everything that is in them. You give life to all of them, And the heavenly lights bow down before You.” (Nehemiah 9:6)


Christianity: the church’s mission is to “know Him and make Him known.”

Christian Science: Eddy’s mission was to reveal the “truth” that the spiritual idea corrects and destroys human thoughts, which are the source of sin and sickness. She said this was Jesus’ mission to all humanity. Christian Science seeks to reprogram people’s minds to see reality as they think it really is and understand God’s nature.

Bible verses and Scriptural support for Christianity

  • “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’” (Mark 16:15)
  • “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Questions for those who follow Christian Science

·       How can we be saved without first recognizing our sins before God?

If sin is only an illusion, why do so many Bible verses talk about sin as something real, something that must be punished, and something that Jesus paid the penalty for?

·       Why should we repent if we are incapable of sinning?

Christian Scientists say that goodness is real, but sin is unreal. They say we don’t need to repent of our sins but we should repent of our sinful attitude (our misunderstanding of reality). However, the Old Testament lists many sins to avoid, like stealing, killing, adultery, etc. Why would God tell us not to do these things if they aren’t real? Why does the Bible say to “repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out?” (Acts 3:10)

·       If we are already saved and there is no sin, why do we need Jesus’ cleansing blood? Why do we need forgiveness?

Mrs. Eddy said that Jesus’ blood was not efficacious for our sins. She must not have believed the Bible because it says, “but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all time, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:12)

If we haven’t sinned and don’t need forgiveness, why does God’s Word tell us that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.?” (1 John 1:9)

·       If Jesus didn’t really die, why did He repeatedly tell his disciples that He would die and rise again on the third day? Why did His disciples repeat this teaching over and over throughout the New Testament?

See Matthew 12:40, 17:21, 33, 20:19,  Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:33-34, Luke 9:22, 24:7, John 2:9, Acts 10:40, 13:30, 1 Corinthians 15:4

Christian Science is not Christian (nor Science)

“Christian” Science clearly isn’t Christian. It denies all of the basic teachings of Christianity, such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, what God defines as sin, the fall of man, the need for salvation, Jesus’s atoning death on the cross, Jesus’ resurrection, and more. By denying all these things, this cult essentially denies the inspiration and authority of the Bible, which teaches all these things. The Bible does teach about miracle healing, yet it’s not a matter of mind over matter. It’s a matter of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Neither is Christian Science scientific. It views sickness as a mental error that needs correcting. Sickness is real. Genuine science has demonstrated causes such as bacteria, viruses, autoimmune issues, poor eating habits, genetics, etc. Furthermore, medical science has made astounding progress in curing many diseases and reducing the symptoms of others. For years, Christian Science forbade its members to use medicine or medical treatment. Many suffered horribly and died needlessly because they refused to take advantage of medical science.

Is the Bible Reliable and Accurate?

Absolutely! More than any other ancient document, over 25,000 manuscripts exist of part or all of the New Testament. These manuscripts have retained astounding accuracy over two millennia. Archaeological discoveries support every book of the Bible. Most of the Biblical stories are eyewitness accounts. In the case of the four gospels, multiple people tell the same story. Yes, there are differences, as one would expect. Different people remember different details and see different things. Yet, they don’t give conflicting accounts of what Jesus taught or did. Only 17 passages might have slight translation issues in tens of thousands of manuscripts. None of these affect fundamental doctrine. The rest of the New Testament is virtually unchanged between the newer and older manuscripts.


Fortunately, the false teachings of Christian Science appear to be dying out. However, Satan is alive and active. He is constantly finding new ways to twist the Scriptures and deceive people. The best way to guard against this is to read the Bible – the whole Bible – regularly. Study and meditate on it. Memorize it. Put on the full armor of God so you can protect yourself from the devil’s wily schemes. 

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