Are the beliefs of the Christian Scientists Biblical?

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The Christian Scientists Movement is made up of a group that embraces the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy. Mrs. Eddy believed in “Absolute Pantheism.”  And this system of unbiblical beliefs hold many views that are common with Hinduism.

“Absolute Pantheism” mistakenly interprets Isaiah 45:22, “I am God; there is none else” with the thesis that absolutely “all is God,” and therefore the material world is illusory. Accompanying this is a Monistic view of reality – taken from the Greek monos (one, only, alone). Monism is the belief that there is only one reality. So, according to the Christian Scientists, if all is God (Mind), then that reality must be God. And if God is Spirit, and all is God or Mind, then the material world must not be real.

The Indian philosopher Shankara (780-820 A.D.) set forth what he considered to be the true interpretation of the Hindu Upanishads (one of many sacred writings of the Hindus) that absolutely “all is Brahman” and the material world is Maya (illusion). And Mrs. Eddy reechoed these same beliefs: “There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite mind, in its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.” (Science & Health, p. 468).

Sadly, most “Christian Scientists” are not aware that this world view is a grandchild of one particular philosophical school of Hinduism known as Advaita Vedanta. Advaita means non-dualism. In this philosophy the non-dualism pertains to the spirit (God or Brahman) vs. matter.

In the texts of Science and Health up to the 33rd edition there are quotations from the sacred Hindu text “The Bhagavad Gita”, as well as allusions by Mrs. Eddy to Hindu philosophy. But these were omitted in later editions, causing modern-day Christian Scientists to be unaware that their founder gleaned from Hindu philosophy. (See further information in Hinduism Invades America, by Wendell Thomas, © Beacon Press).

As for the verse in Isaiah 45:22, it simply means that there is none else but God. Yahweh is the only true God, and that His material creatures are not to worship idols (other “so-called” gods). This world view is Theistic which believes God is personal and His creatures, as well as the world, are very real.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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