The Christian Science religion

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The Christian Science religion

#1  Postby Cnidarian_King » Aug 24, 2016 10:52 pm

As an ex-member of the Christian Science church and cult, I thought it would be important for me to summarize and analyze the arguments from the religion so that it might be useful for anyone who is curious. When I tell people that I came from a Christian Science family, they automatically say, “oh yeah, the one with Tom Cruise who hates psychiatrists and the planet Xenu” and I remind them that is Scientology. Another common one that I get from both believers (most people that I know) and others is, “Isn’t that the faith that let those kids die?”—a statement that I would have disagreed with while I was on my spiritual bent but an accurate one that comes to most people’s minds when they think of CS. It is hilarious how CS members are so sure every other Christian belief is incorrect and the average Christian thinks CS is not really Christian—the arguing back and forth helped in abandoning my faith. Here is a more in-depth look at the theology in an essay in this document if more context is needed—
CS religion document.docx
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Mary Baker Eddy’s Key to the Scriptures is preached alongside the Bible on Sundays. Wednesdays are testimonial nights where people stand up and tell their individual anecdotes of ‘healing’, taken as evidence for the belief. Blindness, cuts, infections, depression, back aches, cancer, etc. are claimed to have been healed through God’s power in Mary’s writings and personal experiences. The few times I attended the Wednesday night testimony service, people thanked God for helping them feel less homesick, depressed and for passing their exams. My grades in grammar school would attest to the effectiveness of praying for my long division skills never developed until I studied. The failures of these attempted ‘healings’ are never reported because the Church never accepts any case as failed.

My father was nearsighted as a child from his long hours of reading but his CS parents insisted that he was just acting out and wanted to look like one of his other friends. He could hardly read the board in class. Now that both parents are gone, my dad admitted to me that they also rejected the glasses on the basis of their belief; that he was a perfect child of God who required no intervention in his ability to see. He was also subjected to the help of a CS practitioner in his infancy with a serious case of mastoiditis, when a simple incision in the ear drum or a schedule of antibiotics would have been preferable. Despite the fact that many children died at the beginning of the 20th century from mastoiditis (and before), my father survived without treatment.

Practitioners are inadequate replacements for doctors. They are given a two week course on how to heal—not by acknowledging a wound and treating it, but by believing that the person had never succumbed to whatever conditions that that they have complained about. They are trained to be personable and patient with people who doubt the efficacy of the practice and tend to persuade people with a close, personal interaction. They prey on the patient’s confirmation bias when they hope to experience a healing. We can draw some comparisons between the subjective feeling of being ‘treated’ by homeopathy and the CS methods because in both scenarios the patients are relieved of some perceived symptoms and they trust the abilities of who they consider to be experts. Of course, the position includes no relevant medical knowledge. For the people who do rely on CS to help them through serious, fatal illness, their success is no more guaranteed than by chance.

The training course is based on the Q &A section of the Key to the Scriptures and after three years of practice, they are allowed to see 30 pupils a year. They earn their C.S.B. after this time and become Bachelors of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy refers to Christian Science as medicine while practitioners claim that they practice their healing powers on their patients. In order for a healing to be placed in the CS sentinel, three people must vouch for the person being healed to confirm it—so there’s no room for fuck ups.

Many modern CS members seek medical care for injuries claiming that the healing occurred more quickly due to Divine Science. This was not always the case. The fact that many CS members now use medicine for many preventable diseases is encouraging, though it is prudent to point out that they no longer rely on the doctrine that they espouse. Namely, that the diseases don’t exist, because they are a form of error that that arise from what Eddy refers to as mortal mind. Here is a New York Times article by Paul Vitello illustrating this very point— http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/nyreg ... .html?_r=0

Mary Baker Eddy smugly denies empiricism throughout her writings. It could be described as a force field type of hand waving where the ideas of disease and discontent are simply deflected and not actually addressed. Practitioners are not easily able to dismiss examples that are placed in front of them though; you would have to be pretty deluded to imagine that the stitches and pain are just imaginary. For example, a rash I had was attributed by my practitioner to the stress I had felt in the previous week from school—CS members often draw unsubstantiated links between psychological distress and physical manifestations. But the point is that she accepted the existence of my rash. They also draw the origin of psychological pathologies to their view of mortal mind, that disorders like schizophrenia are learned by malpractice and incorrect thinking. But don’t worry because according to them none of it is real anyway. :smoke: :grin:

It is condescending to deny that someone is suffering from a chronic or acute condition when they are. Perhaps the overall dismissal of diseases and the relative frequency of deaths between CS members and the general population have kept the number of adherents low since the large peak in the mid 20th century. There appears to be a few options in remedying the justified outrage at the lack of healing; the first is to deny that there ever is anything to heal—this is more commonly asserted when the issue is apparently minor, like a bruise, cut or temporary emotion. When it comes to a severed limb, a healer may ask that the pupil suspend their judgment and view their new life development as a challenge (given by God) to help us learn about ourselves. I’ve had to stick my finger down by throat after hearing that the prevalence of Marasmus and Kwashiorkor are the result of our own mistaken views about the world, or that they present a challenge that is given to us by an all loving God.

If there isn’t any detectable difference so far between the ‘average’ Christian belief and CS, here is a brief summary. Christian Scientists (particularly practitioners) have the same ability to heal as Jesus, miracles don’t exist because there is no need for them in this paradise, hell is not real (but is experienced as in our lifetime as mortal error) and there is no acknowledgement of sin, disease or death. Interestingly, the CS religion does not claim that individual souls exist, but that an all-encompassing soul, God, does and is referred to as Infinite Mind. And just because sin is off the table, drinking, non procreative sex, movies, and holidays are the result of mortal error and must also go (so, no fun). One of the many self-contradicting premises of the religion is that we must pray to heal our own suffering and yet simultaneously refuse to believe that the suffering is real. :think:

Even more pathetic in the never ending list of contradictions is the fact that Christian Scientists rely on empiricism to make their claims about healing; they notice when a headache leaves or an emotional upset ends in reduced arousal and they attribute it to ‘God’ healing. If the headache or emotion does not leave them, they reaffirm to themselves that they are already healed and that their own mind is trying to mislead them. More to the point, many clinical conditions without immediate resulting pains, such as B-12 deficiency anemia, would not even be addressed in CS, let alone discovered until much later. My point is that CS believers can’t possibly believe that the material doesn’t exist when they are constantly aware of their own physiological reactions and use the so-called methods of Divine Science to heal them. If there are any Christian Scientists on the forum who would like to challenge my interpretation of these premises, I hardly think my construal is inaccurate.

I apologize for this dry post. It has been at least many years since my attendance at any church service and this blast from the past is anything but refreshing—it is simply esoteric to the point that my eyes have glazed over. Here are a few experiences that helped me leave the religion in a run on paragraph, though I will share more experiences at some point perhaps;

When I learned about electromagnetism in a cartoon my church teacher told me that ALL television shows are a lie and that electromagnetism was not real. He also explained that my cats weren’t going to heaven with me. The first time I took an ibuprofen rather than pray for my headache to ease, I realized how much better the pain killers were than praying. Church is boring. I said “fuck God” in my mind many times in one day and nothing happened to me. No explanation for Noah’s flood satisfied my understanding of a loving god that kills off a majority of life on the planet, not to mention the lack of evidence that it happened at all. The conundrum with needing to pray for diseases that aren’t real has to be the most transparently ridiculous parts of the religion. Eddy’s writing style is so bland and filled with mixed metaphors that it is a wonder that anyone still believes the shit or reads it for anything other than a mild sedative effect. Even more importantly, my parents were not strict CS members and did not enforce the details of the text on a daily basis. Questioning the text was also allowed.

Obviously those beginning reasons for leaving were not all rationally based, but neither was my belief. :thumbup:

I don’t care about changing anyone’s mind when it comes to this bullshit, but it is difficult to keep my lips sealed when I hear vapid claims about God helping my brother find a football that he lost in the bushes. Inevitably, I try to appeal to my family’s sense of reason. My mom has abandoned the belief in God but still struggles with many of the teachings that were drilled into her as child—she also puts on a fake belief mask for my brother because of the fact that he is still devout. She tries to preserve his feelings and of course, that is her choice.

Be wary that this belief is significantly different from other brands of Christianity and that the use of guilt is not applied quite the same. You can’t say that CS members are immoral for preaching that hell is real, they don’t. They do, however, make their believers feel that it is their own fault when some calamity befalls them—it is a self-attributing blame that is not easily undone. I have convinced myself that my own thought process is what is failing me, and that I must not be asking God to help in the correct way. I will finish with the prayer that concludes each Sunday service. It summarizes the bizarre beliefs of the faith with the cult-like “scientific statement of being”—

“There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is his image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (Key to the Scriptures, p. 468:9-15).

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and in case anyone needs nightmares...
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#2  Postby Cnidarian_King » Aug 24, 2016 10:57 pm

Here are the papers that give the last post context:

The following article addresses a 1988 breakout of measles on the Principia College Campus due to low vaccination rates.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... 42/?page=1

I can only access the abstract of this cohort study, but if any one does have access to this, I would love to read it. It is between the Principia College campus and another group at the University of Lawrence in Kansas—
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2769921

This link discusses the history of law regarding the clashes between medical care and Christian Science. The language in the Washington state Senate Bill 5408 passed in 2015 now prevents parents from using CS practitioners in place of medical care. Let’s hope that trend spreads to the rest of the states. For a brief summary of the opposition to the bill, read this con argument from the language surrounding the law—
“Proponents [of the bill] are working under false premises, not all religions are created equal. Spiritual healing is the premise of Christian Science so if this language is repealed, what do the Christian Scientists have left? Concerns raised involved another church that does not have a good record with faith healing. Christian Scientists have practiced faith healing for generations. Getting medical help doesn't ensure a better outcome” (my emphasis).
https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/wa ... ical-care/
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#3  Postby SafeAsMilk » Aug 25, 2016 12:33 am

Thank you for posting this :cheers: I'm looking forward to reading it more closely when I've got the time.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#4  Postby felltoearth » Aug 25, 2016 1:27 am

My Ex's late uncle (and family) was (are) CS. He had diabetes and got gangrene. They decided to pray for healing. Idiot died of a completely operable malady.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#5  Postby Weaver » Aug 25, 2016 11:33 am

Being near her erstwhile home in Seneca Falls, NY, there are a bunch of stories still floating around about Eddy.

My grandfather used to tell of once when she announced she would walk on the water of Seneca Lake. A large crowd gathered to see it. Eddy asked them repeatedly whether they had faith that she could walk on water - and, after numerous replies in the affirmative, Eddy supposedly said "Well, if you have faith, then I don't need to do it," and went back inside.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#6  Postby SafeAsMilk » Aug 25, 2016 1:19 pm

Weaver wrote:Being near her erstwhile home in Seneca Falls, NY, there are a bunch of stories still floating around about Eddy.

My grandfather used to tell of once when she announced she would walk on the water of Seneca Lake. A large crowd gathered to see it. Eddy asked them repeatedly whether they had faith that she could walk on water - and, after numerous replies in the affirmative, Eddy supposedly said "Well, if you have faith, then I don't need to do it," and went back inside.

That can't be true :lol:
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#7  Postby Dark energy » Feb 04, 2017 1:14 am

Dear Christians

I found this verse
and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

from the scientific viewpoint,this verse doesnt make sense to me,because a star cant just fall into earth because the earth will just blaze from this strong thermo-nuclear effect,our sun is a medium star and atleast 100 earth can fit into it,so it is impossible for the sun to fall into the earth but can can fall into it due to the suns sheer size.we know more bigger stars in our local group of stars,how can you reconcile this verse with basic common sense.
thank you
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#8  Postby LucidFlight » Feb 04, 2017 1:18 am

Checkmate, Christians.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#9  Postby Thommo » Feb 04, 2017 1:38 am

I'm pretty sure it's referring to star as in "star of stage and screen" and "sky" as in the broadcaster owned by Rupert Murdoch. When you interpret it that way the meaning is clear. The stars are falling because they've been overindulged and had to resort to various mind altering chemicals. Just as the fig leaf is blown clear by the wind of change the refreshing breath of rehab and sobriety will lift them again and propel them to a newer, more spiritually fulfilled life.

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Re: The Christian Science religion

#10  Postby SafeAsMilk » Feb 04, 2017 5:47 am

Thommo wrote:I'm pretty sure it's referring to star as in "star of stage and screen" and "sky" as in the broadcaster owned by Rupert Murdoch. When you interpret it that way the meaning is clear. The stars are falling because they've been overindulged and had to resort to various mind altering chemicals. Just as the fig leaf is blown clear by the wind of change the refreshing breath of rehab and sobriety will lift them again and propel them to a newer, more spiritually fulfilled life.

Don't do drugs. Stay in school.

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Re: The Christian Science religion

#11  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Feb 04, 2017 8:30 am

Dark energy wrote:Dear Christians

I found this verse
and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

from the scientific viewpoint,this verse doesnt make sense to me,because a star cant just fall into earth because the earth will just blaze from this strong thermo-nuclear effect,our sun is a medium star and atleast 100 earth can fit into it,so it is impossible for the sun to fall into the earth but can can fall into it due to the suns sheer size.we know more bigger stars in our local group of stars,how can you reconcile this verse with basic common sense.
thank you

You do realise there are equally silly, non-scientific verses in the Koran, right?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#12  Postby Dark energy » Feb 04, 2017 8:45 am

i am interested to hear that also.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#13  Postby felltoearth » Feb 04, 2017 5:27 pm

Thommo wrote:I'm pretty sure it's referring to star as in "star of stage and screen" and "sky" as in the broadcaster owned by Rupert Murdoch. When you interpret it that way the meaning is clear. The stars are falling because they've been overindulged and had to resort to various mind altering chemicals. Just as the fig leaf is blown clear by the wind of change the refreshing breath of rehab and sobriety will lift them again and propel them to a newer, more spiritually fulfilled life.

Don't do drugs. Stay in school.


Lots of things fall to earth. Trust me.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#14  Postby felltoearth » Feb 04, 2017 5:27 pm

Thommo wrote:I'm pretty sure it's referring to star as in "star of stage and screen" and "sky" as in the broadcaster owned by Rupert Murdoch. When you interpret it that way the meaning is clear. The stars are falling because they've been overindulged and had to resort to various mind altering chemicals. Just as the fig leaf is blown clear by the wind of change the refreshing breath of rehab and sobriety will lift them again and propel them to a newer, more spiritually fulfilled life.

Don't do drugs. Stay in school.


Lots of things fall to earth. Trust me.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#15  Postby Alan B » Feb 04, 2017 5:46 pm

All we gotta do is to tie these stories in with meteor showers - 'Shooting Stars' so-called.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#16  Postby Thommo » Feb 04, 2017 6:03 pm

felltoearth wrote:Lots of things fall to earth. Trust me.


I think you're right. You would indeed know. :nod:
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#17  Postby Dark energy » Feb 04, 2017 7:18 pm

Alan B wrote:All we gotta do is to tie these stories in with meteor showers - 'Shooting Stars' so-called.


The Koran really talks about shooting,Pulsars which are called "Tariq" aka the knocker but that is beside the point.i am waiting for little bit of explanation from the jesus lovers.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#18  Postby Alan B » Feb 04, 2017 7:23 pm

No, the Koran doesn't talk about Pulsars.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#19  Postby Fallible » Feb 04, 2017 8:23 pm

This possibly isn't the best place on the internet to wait for answers from Jesus lovers. We only have a handful, and I haven't seen any posting for quite a while.
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Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
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Re: The Christian Science religion

#20  Postby Thommo » Feb 04, 2017 8:28 pm

Muslims love Jesus don't they? He's one of their holiest prophets.
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