Christian Science ChurchQUESTION: Is a Christian Science church a true church?ANSWER:
Is a Christian Science church a true church? What is a true church? When Jesus Christ established His church, its foundation was belief in the divinity of Christ. In Matthew 16, we find this encounter between Jesus and Peter, one of His disciples:Then he asked them, "Who do you say I am?"
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it"
(Matthew 16:13-18, NLT).
This belief, that the man Jesus is indeed God come in human flesh, is the central teaching of the true church, established by no one less than Christ Himself.
John, another of His disciples, taught:"Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is the way to find out if they have the Spirit of God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God. If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. These people belong to this world, so they speak from the world's viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God; that is why those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception"
(1 John 4:1-6, NLT).
Let there be no doubt - the true church, also called the Body of Christ, is based on these teachings and beliefs - that Jesus is true man and true God. Any other teaching is false.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, says she derived her teaching from the Bible. In practice she feels her revelations were better than the Bible: Miscellaneous Writings 1833-1896, p. 170:19-21 "the material record of the Bible, …is no more important to our well being than the history of Europe and America."
The late Dr. Walter Martin compares Christian Science with Gnosticism, a teaching that sprang up in the early church era. Gnosticism claimed to have a superior knowledge even to that of the apostles, giving them an inner knowledge of the nature of God and Jesus Christ. They taught that the physical world was evil. The apostles, Martin says, understood that any denial of the material world attacked the incarnation. Basically, according to Dr. Martin's seminal work The Kingdom of the Cults,
Christian Science teaches that "Jesus is not God. The incarnation and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ did not occur." They teach that we are all part of God's being and all share in His divine nature. This teaching is not
In The Handbook of Today's Religions,
authors Josh McDowell and Don Stewart say this about Christian Science: "Christian Science is neither Christian nor scientific because every important 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."
Fortunately, Jesus warned us ahead of time about people like Mrs. Eddy: "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:15-16, NASB).