2003 Kingdom of the Cults
The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ
One prominent trait of all non-Christian religions and cults is their pointed denial of the scriptural doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Jesus Christ. Christian Science ranges high in this category on the basis that it unequivocally denies the true deity of our Lord and the triunity of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9). Eddy said, and most decisively so, that “the theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Triunity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM” (Science and Health, 256). Going beyond this declaration Eddy also wrote: “Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (S & H, 361), and she crowned this travesty with the astounding “revelation” that “Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune Person called God” (S & H, 331). Thus it was that with one sweep of an unblushing pen, a vindictive, ignorant, untrained, and egocentric old woman banished the God of the Bible from her religion forever. It is hardly necessary to examine at length the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Christ to refute Eddy’s vague ramblings, but it is profitable, we believe, to review those passages of Scripture that so thoroughly unmask the pronounced shallowness of the Christian Science contentions.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). “Let us go down, and there confound their language” (Genesis 11:7). “Who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8).
Then we could mention Genesis 18 where Abraham addresses God personally as Lord (Jehovah) over ten times; the obvious plurality of the Godhead is strongly implied if not expressly declared by the use of three angels to represent God. The fact that God intended to beget a Son after the flesh and of the line of David by virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35; cf. Psalm 2:7; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5; Acts 13:33), that this Son in the likeness of flesh was His eternal Word (John 1:1, 14, 18), and that He is true deity (Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:8–11; Revelation 1:8, 17–18; Hebrews 1:1–4, etc.) and a separate person from God the Father is all indicative of the truth that Jesus Christ was truly the God-man of prophecy and the personal Messiah of Israel. It is fruitful to note also that Eddy recognizes the “true” God not as Jehovah but as “I AM” (S & H, 256), apparently oblivious of the fact that the word “Jehovah” is itself taken from the Hebrew verb form “to be” (Exodus 3:14), literally “I was, I am, I continue to be” or as the Jews render it “the Eternal”—(, the tetragrammaton). Keeping with this vein of thought it will be easily recognized that Jesus identified himself with the same “I AM” or Jehovah—and, in fact, claimed in no uncertain terms that He was that “I AM,” (John 8:58) for which the Jews were ready to stone Him to death on the grounds of blasphemy (John 8:59 and 10:30–33).
As to Eddy’s argument that Jesus was God’s Son, not God, the answer is painfully simple when thoroughly analyzed. The solution is briefly this: Christ was God’s Son by nature, not creation, as we are; hence, His intrinsic character was that of Deity—His attributes were Divine—He possessed “all power,” etc. (Matthew 28:18). He therefore could not be a true Son unless He were truly divine; therefore, He could not be the Son of God at all without at once being “God the Son,” i.e., of the very nature of His Father. The Scriptures declare God’s Son is Deity—“The Mighty God the Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6), or the Image of God (Colossians 1:15) Impress of His Substance Radiance of His glory” (Hebrews 1:1–3), etc. Innumerable testimonies as to His divinity are given, far too exhaustive to record here, but evidence nonetheless and beyond disputation. To reduce the Trinity so evident at Christ’s baptism and the Great Commission (“In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19) to three of Eddy’s choice terms, “Life, Truth, and Love,” and declare all else “suggestive of heathen gods” (Science and Health, 256) is a prime demonstration of crass indifference to biblical terminology and historical theology—an emphatic Christian Science attitude instituted by Eddy.
John tells us that Christ was by His own admission equal in deity to God the Father (John 5:18; cf. Philippians 2:8–11; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3), yet inferior in position and form during His earthly ministry (John 14:28) as a man. The Eternal Word voluntarily humbled himself, became human and subject to our limitations, even to the death of the cross, the Bible tells us, but never for a moment did He cease to be what by nature and inheritance He always was and will be, God the Son, second person of the Trinity, eternal Creator and Savior of the sons of men.
Therefore, let us remember most clearly that Christian Science offers a dual Christ, a great man inspired by the “Christ idea” as Eddy would have it, one who never really “died” at all for our sins.
The Scriptures hold forth as a ray of inextinguishable light the deity of our Lord and the Trinity of God. We must therefore be ever vigilant in our defense of the personal Jesus who is our personal Savior, lest the impersonal Christ of Christian Science be allowed further opportunity to counterfeit the Christ of the Bible. This counterfeit, so widely taught in Christian Science, is merely another false theory that masquerades under the banner of the Christian religion and attempts to subvert the true Christian faith.
The Figment of Divine Authorship
Let us return, however, to Eddy’s explanation of how she “discovered” Christian Science. According to an authorized statement published by the Christian Science Publishing Society of Boston, Eddy, after a fall on a slippery sidewalk February 1, 1866, was pronounced “incurable” and given three days to live by the attending physician (Dr. Alvin M. Cushing). The third day, allegedly her last on earth, Eddy (the statement makes out) cried for a Bible, read Matthew 9:2, and rose completely healed. Thus the statement claims “she discovered” Christian Science.
Corroborating this new story, Eddy in her book Retrospection and Introspection (38) declares that in February of 1886 (one month after Quimby’s death), she was mortally injured in a sidewalk fall and was not expected to live. She, however, vanquished the angel of death in this skirmish, and on the third day emerged triumphant over her bodily infirmity.
This is the story maintained by the organization today, as a comment on the First Church of Christ, Scientist web site states:
From the home of the Wentworths in Stoughton, Massachusetts, where, as we said, she taught from the Quimby manuscripts, Eddy went on to Lynn, Massachusetts, where she completed her “writing” of Science and Health, which she published in 1875. After leaving Lynn, largely because of the revolt of most of her students, Eddy came to Boston and opened what later became “The Massachusetts Metaphysical College” (571 Columbus Avenue), where she allegedly taught some 4,000 students at $300.00 per student over a period of eight years (1881–1889). One cannot help but wonder what would induce a reasonably intelligent person to spend that amount of money for a course that never lasted the length of a college half-semester and which was taught by a staff hardly qualified intellectually to instruct the ninth grade. Eddy herself knew nothing of biblical history, theology, philosophy, or ancient languages. Christian Science sources have attempted for years to prove that Eddy was a scholar in these fields, but the Rev. J. H. Wiggin, her literary adviser for some years, and himself an excellent scholar, has gone on record saying that she was grossly ignorant of the subjects in question.
When Eddy left the thankless community of Lynn, Massachusetts, she was then sixty-one years old and had less than fifty persons she could call “followers.” As the calendar neared 1896, however, the indomitable will and perseverance of Mary Baker Eddy began to pay sizable dividends. Her churches and societies numbered well over 400 and the membership in them eventually increased from 800 to 900 percent. Considering what she had to work with, Eddy accomplished a financial miracle and a propaganda goal unrivaled for its efficiency and ruthlessness. From her ceaseless efforts for deification and wealth, there flowed continual revisions of Science and Health, which the “faithful” were commanded to purchase and sell, or stand in danger of excommunication from the Eddy autocracy. Should the skeptical reader wish proof on this point of history and on Eddy’s insatiable greed for the comforts of financial security and power, we quote her announcement to that effect in its entirety:
Miscellaneous Writings is calculated to prepare the minds of all true thinkers to understand the Christian Science textbook more correctly than a student can.
The Bible, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, and my other published works are the only proper instructors for this hour. It shall be the duty of all Christian Scientists to circulate and to sell as many of these books as they can.
If a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist shall fail to obey this injunction it will render him liable to lose his membership in this church.—Mary Baker G. Eddy.
But let it be observed that her religious pandering was not limited to one edition of Science and Health—no, Eddy extended her tactics to other fields, as well. For example, in February of 1908 she “requested” all Christian Scientists to read the “new” edition of Science and Health, which contained on page 442, beginning at line 30, information she affirmed to be of “great importance.” Said Eddy:
I request Christian Scientists universally to read the paragraph beginning at line 30 on page 442 in the edition of Science and Health, which will be issued February 29. I consider the information there given to be of great importance at this state of the workings of Animal Magnetism, and it will greatly aid the students in their individual experiences.—Mary Baker G. Eddy.
Current Christian Science esteem for Science and Health is still as great. Today Christian Scientists call the Bible and Science and Health their only “pastor,” noting, “With the Bible and Science and Health as our pastor, Christian Scientists turn to prayer and these two books for counsel and healing.” Christian Scientists are promised, “Your dual and impersonal pastor, the Bible and Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures, is with you; and the Life these give, the Truth they illustrate, the Love they demonstrate, is the great Shepherd that feedeth my flock, and leadeth them ‘beside the still waters.’ ” Christian Scientists have no problem adding Eddy’s book to the Bible as having equal divine authority:
Continuing further into the Eddy legend, we are once again confronted with the cold, impartial testimony of history where Eddy’s boundless “generosity” and “selflessness” are concerned. Shortly after the famous “Woodbury Suit,” wherein Eddy was accused of slandering a former disciple, the Christian Science treasury showed a marked decrease in volume, the result of large legal fees due in consideration of services rendered during the case. As a result of this, Eddy perpetrated on the faithful the infamous “Tea Jacket Swindle,” calculated to draw from her gullible followers the revenue with which to further strengthen her treasury. In line with this scheme she drafted the following solicitation to her church universal, which appeared in the Christian Science Journal, December 21, 1899:
Inspiration and Authority of the Bible
Christian Science, as a theology, and all Christian Scientists, for that matter, both affirm that the Bible is God’s Word and quote Eddy to “prove” that their whole religion is based upon the teachings of Scripture. Eddy said:
In Psalm 119 we read: “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven thy word is very pure thy word is true from the beginning.” The prophet Isaiah reminds us: “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8), and Christ himself confirmed these great truths when he said: “The scripture cannot be broken. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away” (John 10:35; Matthew 24:35). It will be remembered also that the apostle Paul stamped with divine authority the testimony of the Scriptures when he wrote: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Coupled with these unassailable voices of testimony as to the Bible’s authority, it is evident from the words of Jesus himself and the writings of His disciples and apostles that He believed in the authority of the Old Testament most emphatically, and even alluded to Old Testament characters and events as being within a historical context, thus establishing the authenticity and trustworthiness of the Old Testament.
The Bible declares that it, not Eddy and Christian Science, is the supreme authority on the activities of God and His relationship to man. Christian Science employs every art and method of paradoxical reasoning to escape the dilemma with which it is faced. It switches terminology around until the terms in question lose all logical meaning, and it spiritualizes texts until they are milked dry of any divine revelation whatsoever. To the average Christian Scientist, the Bible is a compilation of ancient writings “full of hundreds of thousands of textual errors. Its divinity is uncertain, its inspiration questionable. It is made up of metaphors, allegories, myths, and fables. It cannot be read and interpreted literally” Consequently, Christian Scientists believe, owing to the utter and hopeless confusion that the Bible allegedly engenders without a qualified interpreter, that it is necessary to have someone interpret the Bible for them. Eddy is the divinely appointed person to fulfill this task. Through Science and Health, she, they affirm, “rediscovered the healing principle of Jesus and His disciples, lost since the early Christian era,” and has blessed the world with Christian Science—the “Divine Comforter.” To all Christian Scientists, then, since they swear allegiance to Eddy, “the material record of the Bible is no more important to our well-being than the history of Europe and America” (Miscellaneous Writings, 170).
The reader is asked to compare this supposedly “Christian” view with the foregoing scriptural references and the words of Christ and the apostle Paul, who said and wrote respectively:
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:14–15).
The Personality of God the Father and the Holy Spirit
In Christian Science theology, if it be properly understood, the term “God” is merely a relative one and bears no resemblance whatsoever to the Deity so clearly revealed in the Bible. As has been amply shown, Eddy interchanges the terms “Life,” “Truth,” “Love,” “Principle,” “Mind,” “Substance,” “Intelligence,” “Spirit,” “Mother,” etc. with that of “God”; thus, Christian Science contends that God is impersonal, devoid of any personality at all. Biblically speaking, of course, this is a theological and historical absurdity since the core of Jehovah’s uniqueness was His personal nature—I AM—indicative of a reflective and constructive Mind. Jesus repeatedly addressed His Father as a direct object, “I” and “Thou,” postulating a logical subject/object relation in communion, and at least twice the Father answered Him (see Matthew 3:17 and 17:5), establishing His independence of person. This would have been impossible if God were circumscribed by Eddy’s theology, for only a personality or cognizant ego can think reflectively, carry on conversation, and use the personal pronouns “I” or “He,” etc. The God of the Old Testament and the New is a personal, transcendent Being, not an impersonal spirit or force, and man is created in His image, that of a personal, though finite, being. The higher animals, to whatever degree they “think,” are incapable of rationality and, also unlike man, of the faculty of “knowing,” as Descartes once put it: “Cogito ergo sum” (“I think, therefore I am”). But far surpassing this elementary distinction between the God of Christianity and that of Christian Science is the inescapable fact that the God of the Bible does what only a personality can do, and these traits forever separate Him from the pantheistic god of Christian Science, which is incapable by definition of performing these things. Briefly, God is described as capable of doing the following things:
1. God remembers. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25; also compare Psalm 79:8; Jeremiah 31:20; Hosea 8:13).
2. God speaks. “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8; see also, Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 43:10–13; 44:6; Matthew 17:5; Hebrews 1:1).
3. God hears, sees, and creates. “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Genesis 6:5); “God heard their groaning” (Exodus 2:24); “and when the people complained and the Lord heard it” (Numbers 11:1); “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
4. God “knows,” i.e., He has a mind. “The Lord knoweth them that are his” (2 Timothy 2:19); “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1 John 3:20); “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11).
5. God will judge the world. “Therefore I will judge you saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 18:30); “Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge” (Ezekiel 34:20); “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
6. God is a personal Spirit. “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24); “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1); God’s Son is declared to be the “express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3), therefore God is a person.
7. God has a will. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10); “Prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2); “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17); “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7, 9).
From this brief résumé of some of God’s attributes, the interested reader can doubtless see the vast difference between the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the “Divine Principle” of Eddy’s Christian Science. Psychologically speaking, a principle cannot remember; “Life, Truth, and Love” cannot speak audibly; nor can “Substance, Mind, or Intelligence” hear, see, create, know, judge, or will. The God of the Bible does these things; the god of Christian Science cannot. Christian Science may admit that a mind or an intelligence can do these things, but Eddy does not recognize the existence of personality in the Deity, and only a personality has a mind or an intelligence. Eddy’s god (Principle) cannot create nor can it exert a will because Principle or even a principle, if you desire, does not possess a will by any logical definition. The god of Christian Science is an it, neuter in gender—merely a name—incapable of metaphysical definition or understanding outside of the maze that is Christian Science theology. The apostle Paul triumphantly reminds us, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). The true Christian has a personal relationship with his Lord; he prays through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit; he asks that it might be given; indeed, personal contact is the very source of the Christian’s life and spiritual peace. Christian Scientists have no such contact and consequently no real spiritual life or peace, only the riddles and incoherencies of Eddy and a basic uncertainty about good health. Concerning the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the attitude of Christian Science toward it, little need be said since Eddy’s attitude was so obvious, but at the risk of repetition a short review may be profitable. As a matter of course, Eddy denied both the personality and office of the Holy Spirit and for His exalted ministry substituted “Divine Science” (Science and Health, 55).
To refute such a decided perversion of Scripture and historical theology one need only recall who the writers of the Bible, and Christ himself, considered the Holy Spirit to be in respect to personality and power. In the sixteenth chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus instructed His disciples about their new ministry and duties and promised them a “Comforter” who would strengthen and guide them after His ascension. To quiet their fears Jesus told them that it was essential to the coming of the Comforter, who issued forth from the Father, that He (Jesus) go away. The Lord said:
Certainly these points of evidence disprove the meager attempts of Christian Science to reduce the third person of the Trinity to a metaphysical catchword (“Divine Science”), and reveal clearly for all to see the semantic deception Eddy has utilized in attempting to undermine this great scriptural truth.
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