Here are a few frequently asked questions and their answers.
Is Christian Science the same as Scientology?
Christian Science has no association with the Church of Scientology.
Christian Science also has no connection with “creationism,” “intelligent
design” or Christians who are also scientists.
What exactly is Christian Science healing?
Christian Scientists see it as the reestablishing of the healing method practiced by
Jesus and his early followers. It is based wholly on the spiritual teachings
and truths of the Bible.
Christian Science prayer involves gaining an understanding of ourselves as the spiritual
image and likeness of God instead of a material, biological being. Cure of
illness or healing from sin are the natural outcome of gaining this spiritual
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health: “The physical healing of Christian
Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle,
before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and
disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and
sin to reformation” (p. xi).
Over many generations, since the late 1800’s, cures of all forms of illness have
taken place through the practice of Christian Science in the U.S. and around
the world. There are many instances in which cures through Christian Science
have been medically verified.
Christian Science is not faith healing, quackery, positive thinking, or mind over matter.
It does not involve hypnosis, mental suggestion, physical manipulation, ritual,
self-delusion, psychological practice, or any technological or medical tool. It
is wholly prayer-based.
Is it true that Christian Scientists don’t take medicine or go to doctors?
Generally, a Christian Scientist’s first choice is to rely on prayer for healing, and in
most cases, this results in no need for medical intervention.
A Christian Scientist’s decision to rely on prayer is not a blind faith in God.
It’s based on solid experience with effective results through prayer. There is,
however, no church requirement to avoid taking medicine or going to a doctor.
Like anyone else, Christian Scientists want the best possible care for themselves
and their families. They don’t believe that it is ever God’s will for someone
to suffer or die.
What is a Christian Science nurse?
Christian Science nurses provide nonmedical physical care to patients who are relying on Christian Science for healing. They work at Christian Science Nursing
facilities around the world, or as private, home-duty nurses.
Who is Mary Baker Eddy?
Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910) was an influential American author,
teacher, healer and religious leader, noted for her groundbreaking ideas about
spirituality and health, which she named Christian Science. She articulated
those ideas in her major work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,
first published in 1875.
Is Christian Science a cult?
No. Far from it. Christian Scientists are independent thinkers. Churches are run
democratically by all members, with no ordained clergy or hierarchy. Services
contain no ritualism or personal preaching.
While Christian Scientists do have a deep appreciation for Mary Baker Eddy, they do
not worship or deify her.
Why not combine Christian Science with medical treatment?
In practice, Christian Scientists have found that combining these two methods just
doesn’t work. On the one hand, Christian Science treatment lifts thought toward
a spiritual, nonmaterial view of being. Traditional medicine focuses thought
and effort solely on the material body. They’re based on opposite standpoints.
They’ve found it simply works best if only one system is used.
Christian Scientists hold no antagonism toward medical practice, but usually rely
completely on prayer-based healing.
What do you do in the case of communicable disease?
Christian Scientists care about their neighbors and communities. They abide by city and
provincial laws or mandates regarding quarantines, vaccinations, etc. They take
seriously the safety and protection of others, and would take special
precaution not to expose anyone to a communicable disease.
An adult choosing prayer and not medical help is one thing, but how can you make that decision for a child?
Christian Science parents are like any other parents—they love their children and want
the very best care for them. They also know they’re under a moral and legal
obligation to ensure that their children receive quick, effective care. Parents
who choose Christian Science treatment for a child do so usually because of a
consistent record of healing in their own lives, and a knowledge of its
effectiveness for others.
The decision to use Christian Science treatment is not made lightly and certainly
not out of blind faith, or religious zeal. Christian Science does not practice
martyrdom, nor does it teach that God’s will is anything other than to bring
health, wholeness, and harmony to one’s life.
What is a Christian Science lecturer?
A lecturer is someone who gives public talks, conducts workshops, or participates
in panel discussions on Christian Science. These events are often sponsored by
local branch churches. This international group of speakers, appointed by The Mother Church, is known as the Christian Science Board of Lectureship.