What is Christian Science?

“Science” comes from a Latin word meaning “to know.” Christian Science is explained as knowing the healing power that Christ Jesus taught and practiced.

Christian Science was discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy, a New England woman who had suffered a life filled with sickness and personal tragedy. During childhood, she experienced various illnesses which kept her from school. Ill health continued in early adulthood, and was coupled with the deaths of her husband and parents, as well as desertion by her second husband and the loss of her only child when she could not provide for him.

To combat her illnesses, she tried various “cures,” including some harsh 19th century medicine, herbal therapy and hypnotism. None worked.
Shortly after the Civil War, she was critically injured in a fall and became bedridden. As a churchgoing woman, she turned wholeheartedly to God and read the biblical account of one of Jesus’ healings and found what she described as a new understanding of Christ’s restorative and healing power. As a result, her injuries and long-time illnesses were healed by this power at that time.
She then undertook a nine-year in-depth study of the Bible, and Jesus’s healings in particular, and wrote a book explaining how Jesus’ healing power was still available today. The book is called “Science and Health With a Key to the Scriptures.”

This 700-page volume, teaches that God is all good, and that a true understanding of Him not only destroys sin but also the sickness and discord that often are the result of a lingering belief in sin or a power apart from God. Prayer and study, as well as living this Truth in daily life, are the keys to gaining the understanding of God, which destroys all appearance of evil. The basis of the teachings of Christian Science is in the first chapter of the Bible, in Genesis: “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him: .. And God saw everything that He had made and behold it was very good.” (A full explanation of these teachings will be found in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” )

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH

When her teachings were rejected by the established churches, she and her followers formed the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, as a separate church in 1879 . This organization is known today as The Mother Church which has branch churches throughout the world, which hold services on Sundays and Wednesdays and maintain Reading rooms open to the public. A reading room is a combination bookstore, library and quiet place, where anyone can study Christian Science teachings and buy various publications. People who are not members of the church are always welcome.

Christian Science has no clergy; instead, the Bible and Mrs. Eddy’s book have been ordained as the church’s pastors. Sunday worship services include the reading of what is called a Bible lesson-sermon, prepared through the Mother Church, with specific explanation of biblical verses from “Science and Health With a Key to the Scriptures.” Every branch Church of Christ, Scientist in the world reads the same lesson sermon each Sunday. Service also include prayer and hymn singing.

The Wednesday Meeting is called the Testimony Meeting, as members publicly explain how they have been healed through a deeper understanding of God.