What’s Christian Science?

Things You Always Wanted to Know
but Didn’t Know Who to Ask

 

Q: So. . .what is Christian Science?

A: Christian Science is the system of spiritual healing based on the laws of God found in the Bible.

Q: Do Christian Scientists believe in Jesus?

A: Yes. Christ Jesus is the most amazing person to ever walk the earth. His life and teachings are the foundation of our church.

But Jesus is not just a good man. He is the Son of God, the promised Messiah. He came to save us from the materialism of the world and the sin that goes with it. He looked beyond what the world called a miserable sinner or a hopeless cripple and saw the dearly loved child of God. He came to reveal our inseparable relationship with God. (Right: sanctuary at First Church, NYC.)

But it’s not enough just to believe in him. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 KJV) We strive to follow his teaching and example in our daily lives.

Q: How does Christian Science view God?

A: God is infinite, all-powerful, ever-present Love and only good. He is Truth and Life. He is Spirit, the divine Mind, the Soul and governing Principle of the universe, the only Cause and Creator.

The more we get to know God and understand His allness, the more we see His healing power in our lives and the world.

Q: Why do you call it Christian Science?

A: We usually think of science in relation to the material laws that govern the physical universe or the human body. But Jesus understood the spiritual laws, or science, of God’s love, power, and grace.

Jesus always healed those who asked for help. It was not guesswork, nor the favoritism of a capricious deity. There was a science of divine law behind everything he said or did. These laws, the Science of Christ, are just as available today as they were to Jesus and his disciples. You can learn and prove them for yourself.

(Below: the Christian Science Mother Church in Boston, MA.)

Christian Science 'Mother Church,' Boston


Q: Then. . .is Christian Science the same as Scientology?

A: No, not at all. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about our church today. There has been a lot of confusion on this because the names sound similar. But Christian Science is a Christian denomination based on the life, teaching, healings and atonement of Jesus. Scientology does not consider itself a Christian religion.

Q: What role does the Bible play in the Christian Science?

A: The inspired Word of the Bible is the ultimate authority for our faith. We turn to it for guidance, inspiration, healing, rebuke, strength, and encouragement. We read it. We study it. We strive to understand it better and live its teachings.

Q: What are your church services like?

A: Our services start with singing and are focused on the Bible. You’re always welcome at our Sunday worship service and Wednesday testimonial meetings. We’d love to have you visit.

(You can find a church in the New York City tri-state area here.)

On Sunday, in addition to a brief Scripture reading, our sermon is an in-depth Bible lesson read by two lay readers. One reads from the Bible and the other reads supporting passages from the Christian Science textbook. These two books actually serve as our Pastor.

On Wednesday evenings, after a short Bible lesson, hymns, and a time for prayer, everyone has the opportunity to share ideas, inspiration, and testimonies of healing.

Our services are simple, straightforward, and prayerful. There is no pageantry. We listen to the Word of God and engage with its message.

(Below: a special Wednesday night testimony meeting for kids at the Tarrytown church.)

wednightKids


Q: How did the Christian Science church get started?

A: The Christian Science church had its beginnings in 19th century America in the midst of an explosion of religious awakening and fervor. People were searching for genuine spirituality.

In 1866, a New England woman was raised from her deathbed by reading her Bible. One moment, she was not expected to live through the day. The next moment, she was instantly well. Because of this experience, she spent the next three years of her life searching the Scriptures to discover how she had been healed.

Mary_Baker_Eddy
This woman, Mary Baker Eddy, began healing others and teaching the healing precepts she found in the Bible. She proved that the original Christianity of Jesus, which included healing the sick as well as saving the sinner, could be practiced today just as it was 2,000 years ago.

In 1875 she published a book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which explained what she discovered about healing through prayer. (Right: Mary Baker Eddy the discover, founder, and leader of Christian Science.)

Eddy had deep roots in the Congregational Church of her native New Hampshire, but in 1879 she founded a new Christian denomination, the Church of Christ, Scientist. She spent the rest of her life healing others and promoting the cause of Christian healing throughout the world.

Our Church headquarters is in Boston and there are Branch Churches in over 130 countries.

S&H_study-ed_smlQ: What exactly is this book Science and Health written by Mary Baker Eddy?

A: Science and Health is a textbook of spiritual ideas, concepts, and laws. In it, Eddy shares a spiritual interpretation of the Bible. The book explores how Jesus healed and presents a detailed explanation of the metaphysical system of healing she calls Christian Science.

As the title makes clear, it is a “key” the Scriptures. It unlocks the Bible so we can understand it better. Of course, it isn’t a replacement for the Bible anymore than a key can substitute for the gold inside a treasure chest it unlocks.

Q: Do you have a Sunday School for my kids?

A: Yes, we are dedicated to providing a strong spiritual foundation for children. The youngest classes focus on the Ten Commandments, the Sermon the Mount (especially the Beatitudes), and the Lord’s Prayer. Older classes dig into the Bible and learn how to turn to God for help.

Sunday School is available for children and young people under the age of 20 and is usually at the same time as our Sunday service. We’d love to welcome your kids to our Sunday School.

(Click the “Churches” tab above to find the location nearest you in the NYC area.)

Q: Do you adhere to the traditional creeds of the Christian Church?

A: The Orthodox Creeds were written centuries after Jesus walked on the Earth. Our goal is to practice the original Christianity Jesus taught his disciples. Our only “creed” is to follow and obey Christ.

Q: Why does Christian Science appeal to people from diverse religious backgrounds and even many atheists?

A: Christian Science never expects you to accept or believe something unless you can prove it for yourself. God is knowable. He is not cloaked in mystery. He is not a punitive, anthropomorphic deity wielding arbitrary judgments. God is infinite Love, as much our Mother as our Father.

This understanding of God is a very liberating experience and brings healing. Christian Science presents God in a way that we can begin to comprehend His true nature.

Q: What if I need healing in my life? Is there someone who will pray for me?

A: Yes. Many of our church members dedicate their lives to the healing ministry. They are called Christian Science practitioners. Their names and contact information are listed in one of our church magazines, The Christian Science Journal. You can get a copy at a Reading Room or click here for a directory.

A practitioner would be happy to talk to you and pray with you for healing. (Just as a heads-up, they do charge for their services. This is how they make their living. The church does not subsidize them.)

You can also get a copy of Science and Health, the book mentioned above. It explains how to pray for healing. In fact, the last 100 pages contain letters from people who have been healed by reading the book.

Q: How do I find out more about Christian Science?

A: There are lots of ways actually. You are always welcome at a church service on Sunday or Wednesday. Click here or on the Churches tab above to find a location near you in the great NYC area. (If you live outside the Tri-state region, click here to find a worldwide directory of churches.)

Another way to learn more is to visit a Christian Science Reading Room, which is basically our church bookstore. We would love to talk to you and answer any questions. Reading Rooms have lots of resources: books, magazines and audio to help you on your spiritual path.

(Below: the Reading Room display area at First Church, Ridgefield, CT.)

ridgefield_RRm2


Click on the Reading Room tab at the top of this page to find one near you in the NYC area or here for other locations.

And of course, you can always contact us here at CSNYC.com. We can either answer your questions or get you connected with someone who can.

We are here to support your spiritual progress. Please let us know how we can be of help.

ChristianScience.com

ChristianScience.com
Study (or listen to) the eBible Lesson • Connect with an online community • Read an article on JSH Online • Contact a Christian Science practitioner
• And much, much more. . .

Read the Book

Science&Health sterling edtn
First published in 1875 and read by over eight million people. Christian Scientists call Science and Health their textbook.

The Good News

Christian Science Monitor
The Christian Science Monitor is an international newspaper that has been winning Pulitzers for over 100 years. There's a daily (more like hourly) digital version and a weekly print magazine.

Your Daily Lift

daily-lift_sml An award-winning podcast — two minutes of inspiration, five days a week, rain or shine.