We are grateful to Prayer that Heals (https://www.prayerthatheals.org) for the following questions and answers about Christian Science.
Frequently Asked Questions about Christian Science.
Here are some common questions about Christian Science. Choose the questions that interest you and see our responses to all of the questions by scrolling down to the corresponding number. If you have other questions, contact us.
- Is Christian Science Christian?
- What is Christian Science? Is it Scientology? Is it a cult?
- What makes Christian Science churches different from other Christian churches?
- Do Christian Scientists go to doctors or believe in medicine?
- Does Christian Science forbid medical care or attention?
- Why don’t Christian Scientists drink or use drugs?
- Is Christian Science faith healing?
- How can I be healed?
- Why is “Science” part of your name?
- Why is Mary Baker Eddy called your “leader”?
- Do Christian Scientists ignore sickness, sin and death?
- Is Christian Science safe to use for healing children?
- Can both Christian Science and medical treatment be used?
- What do Christian Scientists think about salvation?
- How can we be “saved”?
- What does it mean to be born again?
- Why don’t more people practice Christian Science healing?
- What is a practitioner and how do they work?
1. Is Christian Science Christian?
Yes. Christian Scientists follow Jesus Christ and his example to love and heal.
The Christian Science church was established in 1879 when a vote was held, “To organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” Church Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, p.17.
Christian Scientists view Jesus as the beloved Son of God, the most spiritual man to walk the planet, and the full expression of the Christ. “Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 473:15.
Mary Baker Eddy speaks about Jesus in the Tenets of Christian Science which are important points that Christian Scientists follow in their everyday lives. Here are three of them:
“4. We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 496.
2. What is Christian Science? Is it Scientology or a cult?
Christian Science is a Christian religion based on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is not associated with Scientology, other churches, or cults. Christian Science is a way of life and spiritual thinking with healing based on prayer. We strive to love our neighbor and share a cup of cold water in Christ’s name.
Here is how you can find out more about Christian Science.
- See our What is Christian Science page for a complete description.
- You will find a lot of love and support at any Christian Science Church or Reading Room.
- The best way to learn more about Christian Science is to view healing testimonies and lectures on our website, and to read the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.
3. What makes your Christian Science churches different from other Christian churches?
The mission of the Christian Science church is to bless all mankind through understanding God and the healing power of prayer. Sin, or anything unlike God, must be cast out for healing to occur.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, wrote: “Anciently the followers of Christ, or Truth, measured Christianity by its power over sickness, sin, and death; but modern religions generally omit all but one of these powers, – the power over sin.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 142:4-7.
The Christian Science church teaches that, “Sin is forgiven only as it is destroyed by Christ, – Truth and Life.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 5:23-25.
The Christian Science Daily Prayer: “’Thy kingdom come;’ let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!” Church Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, p.41.
Jesus healed sickness as well as sin. His healings were the result of understanding spiritual laws that anyone can learn and prove. Find out more in our healing textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
“Jesus established in the Christian era the precedent for all Christianity, theology, and healing. Christians are under as direct orders now, as they were then, to be Christlike, to possess the Christ-spirit, to follow the Christ-example, and to heal the sick as well as the sinning. It is easier for Christianity to cast out sickness than sin, for the sick are more willing to part with pain than are sinners to give up the sinful, so-called pleasure of the senses. The Christian can prove this to-day as readily as it was proved centuries ago.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 138:17.
Christian Scientists participate in interfaith and ecumenical activities. We want to contribute in meaningful ways to the healing dialogue going on between faiths in our communities and worldwide. See “Circle of Faith.”
4. Do Christian Scientists go to doctors or believe in medicine?
Most Christian Scientists have found that healing through prayer is more reliable for them and their families than dependence on material means. However, Christian Scientists have great respect for medical professionals who devote themselves to the health and welfare of mankind.
Through Christian Science, people have found a healing method that improves them physically, morally and spiritually, and does not have a list of harmful side effects. Christian Science healing is often quicker and more permanent than managing disease or pain through medical treatment.
5. Does Christian Science forbid medical care or attention?
No. The choice of treatment for any problem is left up to the individual Christian Scientist.
Mary Baker Eddy investigated medical and other healing systems of her time before discovering that adherence to laws of God alone can cure. As a matter of fact, many people have turned to Christian Science when medical care failed them, or when doctors said there was no hope for a cure.
In Christ Jesus’ words “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. “There are thousands of documented, verified healings through the practice of Christian Science. The Christian Science Sentinel, Journal and Herald publish current healings. Also, see the chapter on Fruitage in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures where people of many faiths share how they were healed by just reading the book.
The study of spirituality and health is often included in modern medical school curriculum. “The research of David McClelland, PhD, of Harvard Medical School demonstrated that the power of love and spirituality makes the body healthier.”
Please read the question below for more detail. Also, many of your questions can be answered by reading the chapter on “Physiology” in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 165.
6. Why don’t Christian Scientists drink or use drugs?
Christian Science treatment follows the healing practice of Christ Jesus, where no drugs or doctors were used. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science states, “Divine Truth, Life, and Love gave Jesus authority over sin, sickness, and death.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 26:14-16
Eddy further states, “Drugs and hygiene cannot successfully usurp the place and power of the divine source of all health and perfection.” If God is the source of our health and well-being, then health is a condition of divine Mind, and not of matter, material things, medicine or human opinion. The one divine Mind directs, impels, inspires and protects us.
Christian Scientists rely on God for all abilities and capabilities, and depressants and stimulants are not needed to dull thinking and enhance it. We are spiritual thinkers and need to keep our thought clear.
7. Is Christian Science faith healing?
No. Christian Scientists believe that God is good and is Love. Healing takes place based on an understanding of the true nature of God and His creation. There is no reliance upon rituals, blind faith, human will, or the will of God for illness or death. All of God’s children are created spiritually, and as spiritual beings they reflect life and health.
We believe that Jesus had an understanding of God which allowed him to heal. He saw others as God’s perfect children, made in His reflection (see the Bible, Genesis, Chapter 1).
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science states: “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 476:32-2.
“In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 477:2-4.
The Christian Science method of following God’s laws, involves uplifting thought to a spiritual level to address and overcome concerns and fears. Prayer allows us to uplift thought and be receptive to divine healing. More about healing prayer.
8. How can I be healed?
See the answer to this question on christianscience.com
9. Why is “Science” part of your name?
The use of the word “Science” in Christian Science does not refer to material laws. Proven laws of God can be applied scientifically to any problem. Christian Scientists study the Bible very carefully to understand the nature of God and man as His reflection.
Christian Science healing is scientific. It’s based on spiritual laws of God that can be learned, understood, and proven. By definition, any science is reliable, consistent, and provable, and Christian Science is no exception. There are over a century of documented testimonies of healing in the Christian Science Journal and Christian Science Sentinel.
10. Why is Mary Baker Eddy called your “leader”?
Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science religion after many years of Bible study and a search for spiritual truth. She is respected and well-loved as a spiritual leader, but has never been worshipped as an idol. Eddy wrote, “Follow me only so far as I follow Christ.”
Mrs. Eddy worked diligently to create a church structure devoid of personal attachments, and organized according to standard business practices. There are no true leaders or heads of any Christian Science church. Church business is conducted by a board of directors elected by the members of each church.
Christian Science churches do not have pastors like other churches. We have “readers” who read Bible Lessons compiled by The Mother Church. The lessons include Bible verses and related ideas from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and these books are considered the church “pastor.” We love knowing our “pastor” is available anytime we need help, day or night.
11. Do Christian Scientists ignore sickness, sin and death?
No. It is very important to stay vigilant and address ungodly thoughts when they occur, and to replace them with spiritual ones. “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, – neither in nor of matter, – and the body will then utter no complaints.“ Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 14:12-15.
Further, “Divine Truth, Life, and Love gave Jesus authority over sin, sickness, and death,” according to Mary Baker Eddy’s study of the Bible. Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 26:14-16. Jesus never gave illnesses names or agreed with symptoms of disease. He banished them with spiritual thinking, not by education of material conditions, and we can do likewise.
Christian Scientists rely on God for good health which is inherent in us as His perfect reflection and His image and likeness. This understanding and love of God permits healing to take place, whatever the material condition or problem may seem to be.
12. Is Christian Science safe to use for healing children?
Yes. Children have a great capacity to understand God, and are naturally inclined to be healed through prayer. There are thousands of documented healings of children of all ages in the Christian Science periodicals.
If assistance is needed for any problem, Christian Science practitioners are on call. They are dedicated, educated and trained healers who work with people of all ages. Practitioners work with parents of the very young to address fear and to apply God’s spiritual laws. Christian Science nurses are also available to help foster a healing atmosphere and provide skilled physical assistance to anyone relying on Christian Science for healing.
Christian Scientists are very loving people that only want the best for their precious families. Parents often find that Christian Science treatment is a reliable and effective way of healing physical and emotional problems for all the members of their family, although they are always free to choose another method of healing for any reason.
13. Can both Christian Science and medical treatment be used?
Christian Science heals spiritually. Medical science heals materially. Mixing the two methods only weakens the other method of healing, so in using both you actually are not getting better results, but are taking power away from each method.
Christian Scientists do not educate themselves about disease and other physical problems because it puts the emphasis on the material body, and takes away from the spiritual viewpoint. The best way to understand Christian Science healing would be to talk to a Christian Science practitioner or attend a church service or lecture.
You are also invited to visit any Christian Science Reading Room to find verified testimonies of healing, often by medical doctors, of everything from warts, colds, vision problems, deafness to diabetes, cancer, heart disease and AIDS. Christian Science also heals relationships, loss of income, grief, lack of supply, stress, accidents, and has proven a powerful help to students, business people and those with addictions.
All testimonies are verified by three people before being published. There is a historical record of approximately 80,000 healings through the Christian Science Publishing Society. We also have testimonials of healing on this website.
14. What do Christian Scientists think about salvation?
Christian Scientists believe that salvation is here and now as the Bible states: ”Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.” Revelation 12:10.
“’Now,’ cried the apostle, ‘is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,’ – meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life.“ Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 39:18-22.
“Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 291:12-13 For Christian Scientists salvation is achieved through reform. Paul said, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Understanding Life, Truth and Love and demonstrating them in our lives, will destroy sin, sickness and death. The daily study of the Bible and the textbook, Science and Health, brings into our consciousness the power of God unto salvation. For more, please read page 291 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” II Cor 6:2.
“His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God’s rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 3:9-11.
15. How can we be “saved”?
“We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved…” Acts 15:11 we.
“Our Master fully and finally demonstrated divine Science in his victory over death and the grave. Jesus’ deed was for the enlightenment of men and for the salvation of the whole world from sin, sickness, and death. Paul writes: “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the [seeming] death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p 45:6-13.
Christian Scientists follow this tenet: “We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 497:13-19.
We believe that anyone can be saved that follows and practices the laws of God and the teachings of Christ Jesus. There are many ways that God saves individuals and groups of people. As Noah and his family were saved from the great flood, people are saved from evil and unhappiness, suffering and death. Relying on God relieves us of a sense of personal responsibility and responsibility for others, and brings relief and joy. God loves you as he loved Jesus Christ. We are all loved sons and daughters of God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21 “When it is learned that disease cannot destroy life, and that mortals are not saved from sin or sickness by death, this understanding will quicken into newness of life.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 426:16-19.
16. What does it mean to be born again?
In Christian Science, being born again refers to newness or awakening in thought. Anyone can be reborn by obtaining a spiritual perspective of life.
“Man understands spiritual existence in proportion as his treasures of Truth and Love are enlarged. Mortals must gravitate Godward, their affections and aims grow spiritual, – they must near the broader interpretations of being, and gain some proper sense of the infinite, – in order that sin and mortality may be put off.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 265:3-15.
“This mortal is put off, and the new man or real man is put on, in proportion as mortals realize the Science of man and seek the true model.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 409:23-26.
The story of Nicodemus in John 3 illustrates these thoughts: “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:1-7.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Cor. 5:17. “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Eph. 4:24.
“So far as the scientific statement as to man is understood, it can be proved and will bring to light the true reflection of God - the real man, or the new man (as St. Paul has it).” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 300:9-12
17. Why don’t more people practice Christian Science healing?
The study and practice of Christian Science requires self-discipline, focus and commitment to love and heal. It is quite a tall order to live up to scriptural demands to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” II Cor. 6:17.
“Wherefore Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the material world and be separate.” Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. p. 451:2-4.
With all of the temptations and negative conditions in the world, it may seem easy to lose focus on the spiritual good. However, the system of Christian Science and divine healing prayer is metaphysical and open to everyone 24/7.
We have wonderful online resources. People around the world are reading online Christian Science periodicals and the Bible Lesson, watching testimonial videos online, listening to church services, participating on social media, and more. We invite you to connect online for daily inspiration.
Everyone is welcome at church services on Sundays and Wednesdays. There is nothing like sitting in church, relaxing and receiving the support of church members. Branch churches invite you to attend church services and lectures to learn and ask questions, and each church has a public Reading Room open to people of all faiths.
With God all things are possible!
18. What is a practitioner and how do they work?
Christian Science Practitioners devote their full time to helping others through healing prayer. If you want to learn more about prayer-based healing, you may call or e-mail a practitioner. Some may also be available online. Prayer treatment can be given in person or remotely.
A listing of Christian Science Practitioners may be found in any issue of The Christian Science Journal. Copies are available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. Many Christian Science Practitioners may also be found in the Yellow Pages.
Journal-listed practitioners are dedicated to the full-time practice of Christian Science healing. They are professionals that work for a fee paid by the patient, on a case-by-case basis.
All kinds of healings occur through Christian Science treatment including, but not limited to, physical, mental, emotional and financial. They also may work with you for treatment of animals and pets.
See the six basic Tenets of Christian Science.
Visit the official Mother Church website, ChristianScience.com, for answers to more questions.