We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Unification Church (Moonies)

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” John 19:30
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. Hebrews 10:12
For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. Matthew 24:5

(Most of the history in this article comes from Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin; Revised, Updated and Expanded Edition, October 2003, with General Editor Ravi Zacharias.)

The founder and leader of the Unification Church is North Korean-born Sun Myung Moon, whose parents were Confucian farmers. Moon was born January 6, 1920 as Yong Myung Moon (Shining Dragon Moon). When his family converted to the Presbyterian Church in 1930, Yong retained his Confucian veneration of his ancestors, and in his early teen years he attempted to contact then in the spirit world.

Moon reportedly had a vision of Jesus when he was 16-years-old on Easter morning, April 17, 1936. This “first vision” story has some discrepancies like the LDS “first vision” story of Joseph Smith. While 16 is the generally accepted age, some Unification authorities place the vision anywhere from 15 to 18 years of age. A major problem with the claim is that April 17, 1936 was a Friday and not a Sunday, so it could not have been on Easter. Additionally, depending on which calendar one uses, in 1936 Easter was either on March 30th or April 12th. Apparently, the Unification Church has not addressed this problem.

Moon was first married in 1945 in North Korea to Choi Sun Kil and had a son. After World War II, Moon was involved with various “Pentecostal” groups where he participated in “séances, spiritism, ancestral spirit guidance, and a host of occult practices.” (KofC, p.374)

Moon was excommunicated from the Presbyterian church in 1948, the year in which Moon was also first arrested for “irresponsible sexual activity.” In February 1949 Moon married Kim X while still married to Choi, which resulted in the pair being sentenced to prison for bigamy. (There is some possibility that Moon had four marriages by this time.)

In October 1950, during the Korean War, Moon’s prison was bombed by United Nations forces, freeing the prisoners, and Moon traveled south to Pusan, South Korea. It was in Pusan where he wrote his Divine Principle during 1951-1952. On May 1, 1954, Moon established the Unification Church in Seoul, the official title being The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. (“The phrase "Holy Spirit Association" has the sense in the original Korean of "Heavenly Spirits" and not the "Holy Spirit" of Christianity.” Wikipedia) By the end of 1955 there were 30 churches in South Korea.

“Again, he was arrested on July 4, 1955, for irresponsible sexual activity that caused a scandal at Ewha Women’s (Methodist) University in Seoul. … Moon was released October 4, 1955, because the eighty women involved in the incident exercised their right of silence in court. It was also reported by the Church of the Nazarene Korea Mission that Moon’s church was involved in an unusual sexual ‘blood cleansing’ rite where a woman was to have sexual intercourse with Sun Myung Moon to cleanse her blood from Satan’s lineage. The ‘cleansed’ woman could then cleanse her husband through sexual union with him. This ritual was based upon the Unification doctrine that Eve fell by having intercourse with Satan; therefore, a woman having intercourse with Moon, who is the Lord of the Second Advent, would be cleansed. Just as Eve passed Satan’s tainted blood lineage on to Adam, likewise the cleansed Unification member passes purification of blood on to her spouse.” (KofC, p.374-375) The church ceased this practice after a period, most likely as a result of the increasing membership.

In 1958 Moon sent missionaries to Japan, and the following year he sent them to the United States.

In March 1960, at the age of 40, Moon, known by his followers as “Father,” married his current wife, Hak Ja Han, who was 17-years-old; she is referred to as “Mother” by members of the Church. She and Moon had thirteen children, all who are supposedly “sinless,” and the two are called “True Parents.” Additionally, their wedding was considered to be the “marriage of the Lamb” of Revelation 21:9. “To Unification members, this monumental event ushers in the ‘New Age, the Cosmic era.’ Moon and his wife are the first True Parents and have the power to bless other marriages with pureness and ‘sinless’ offspring. Incidentally, this is why the Unification Church conducts massive weddings, with up to three hundred thousand couples at a time. These blessed couples supposedly are sinless families on earth.” (KofC, p.375) Since his marriage, it has been reported that Moon has had numerous affairs.

In 1964 Moon sought out spiritist-medium Arthur Ford and discussed his mission with a disincarnate spirit. The Unification Church published the events of the séance until they realized Christians considered such things as abhorrent to God, and they have since suppressed all references to Moon’s entire history of occultic practices.

Moon moved to the United States in 1971. He said, “I came to America primarily to declare the New Age and new truth…. This is why God appeared to me and told me to got to America to speak the truth.” (KofC, p.375)

In 1976 Moon held a rally in Washington, DC, at the Washington Monument, attended by 200 to 300 thousand people. Moon told the audience “that his work had broken down all the walls of the spirit world, and spirits were descending rapidly upon the earth.” (KofC, p.376)

During the mid-1980s Moon was convicted of income tax evasion and spent thirteen months in federal prison. As with so many other cult leaders, Moon’s private wealth has reached millions of dollars.

In 1994, Moon changed the official name of the church to the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.

In April 2008, Sun Myung Moon appointed his youngest son, Hyung Jin Moon, to be the new leader of the Unification Church. However, Moon was still active at 90 years old when, in February 2010, he blessed about 7000 couples in a mass wedding is Seoul.

Currently, the Unification Church is making an emphasis to appear more mainstream, and has instituted a new outreach called, Lovin’ Life Ministries, which is intended to become the new church in America. Membership in the church is accomplished through a 21-day course.

Although Moon goes by the title of “Reverend,” there is no history of him being ordained in any denomination, and the Unification Church does not ordain, so it is apparently a title he took for himself. He also claims the title, “Lord of the Second Advent,” and is referred to as the “Messiah.”

Besides the mass wedding, another distinguishing feature of the Moonies is their fund-raising tactics. They sell flowers at many public venues, including street intersections. Tactics for fund-raising include what Moon calls “heavenly deception” - lying. Moon has stated, “Even God tells lies very often.” (KofC, p.377). This “heavenly deception” includes pretending to be wheel-chair-bound to gain sympathy while selling flowers, and giving names of false charities.

The Unification Church owns many large corporations, as well as the Washington Times newspaper.

Doctrine: “The Unification Church is one of the best cults at disguising its unusual, nontraditional beliefs from the unsuspecting secular world.” (KoC p.371) Most of their doctrine is based on Taoist philosophy, and, in fact, Moon claims the Taoist Book of Changes (I Ching) is a key God provided for Moon to interpret the Bible. Since the Unification Church is so far removed from any semblance of Biblical teachings, rather than spend a lot of time on their many doctrines we will look at highlights from just a few.

1. God: “God is viewed as the creator, whose nature combines both masculinity and femininity, and is the source of all truth, beauty, and goodness. Human beings and the universe reflect God's personality, nature, and purpose. ‘Give-and-take action’ (reciprocal interaction) and ‘subject and object position’ (initiator and responder) are ‘key interpretive concepts,’ and the self is designed to be God's object. The purpose of human existence is to return joy to God.” (Wikipedia) God’s characteristics in Moon’s theology are based on Yin and Yang dualism. Unification theology denies the Trinity.

2. The fall of Adam:  Prior to writing Divine Principle, Moon supposedly personally faced Satan and questioned him about the Fall until Satan told him the truth about it. “When man was created, Lucifer became extremely envious of God’s love for man. He also saw Eve’s great beauty and lusted after her. At this time Lucifer had not fallen himself, but because of jealousy and lust he entered into an unlawful relationship with Eve. Their sexual intercourse constitutes the spiritual fall of man as well as the fall of Lucifer. When Eve participated in an illicit relationship with Lucifer, she received spiritual insight and realized that she had violated the purpose of creation. She knew then that her intended spouse was not Lucifer but Adam. Subsequently she had intercourse with Adam in an attempt to restore her position with God. Adam, however, was still spiritually immature. Consequently they entered into a relationship which constituted they physical fall of man. So there is a dual aspect to the fall: a spiritual fall and a physical fall. Both of them have to do with sexuality.” (A Guide to Cults & New Religions, by Ronald Enroth & Others, p.157)

3. Jesus: Unification teaching deny the virgin birth, and say that Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father, was Jesus’ father. They also deny that Jesus is God, and that he is an ordinary man but without original sin. Moon claims it was Christians who claimed that Jesus is God. Jesus was supposed to marry and raise sinless children.

4. The atonement: According to Moon, when he met Jesus as a teen, Jesus told him that his crucifixion and death were not supposed to have happened, and that they caused him to not complete his mission of marrying and raising a family. This was because his disciples failed to find him a bride. Because of this, Jesus could not save man physically, but only spiritually. Therefore, Moon was to complete mission by raising a perfect family as a model for the world. (Apologia Report, Vol. 15:8, 3/3/10, p.2) As an aside, in addition to meeting Jesus, Moon also claims to have met Moses and Buddha.

5. The Bible and revelation: “It is stated in their history that Moon struggled for nine years (the original Divine Principle says seven) to discover the truth of Divine Principle. The Divine Principle is authoritative scripture in the Unification Church and is considered superior to the Bible. ~ Through Divine Principle, in its latest version, Moon’s followers understand and interpret the Bible. … It must be explained by the organization and God’s prophet for today: Rev. Sun Myung Moon.” (Kingdom of the Cults, p.373)

There is a debate as to the origin of Moon’s Divine Principle. Unification writers are divided as to whether it was “discovered” or came as revelation. Most likely, the origin of this work came from Moon’s former teacher, Klder Baik Moon Kim, who taught similar “principles” to Moon in 1946. It was under Kim’s tutelage that Moon changed his name to Sun Myung Moon (Shining Sun and Moon). Moon’s Divine Principle was published six years later.

Moon said, “The Bible, however, is not the truth itself, but contains the truth.” Moon then claims that new truth comes from God through Moon. The introduction to Divine Principle says, “This truth must appear as a revelation from God himself. This new truth has already appeared! God has sent his messenger …. His name is Sun Myung Moon.” (KofC, p.380)

Moon says his Divine Principle is the “Complete Testament,” becoming the third testament of the Scripture after the Old and New Testaments.

6. Marriage: Those couples married in the Unification Church become part of the sinless mankind which will bring physical salvation to the earth. Moon’s blessing on these mass weddings guarantees their children will be sinless. After the wedding, the couples remain celibate for 40 days, after which they consummate the marriage for three days and then remain celibate for three years.

How to Witness: The best way to witness to Moonies would be to start with the reliability of Scripture and then undermine the prophet by comparing his teachings with the Bible.

I think it’s fair to say that there is nothing resembling biblical Christianity in the Unification Church. The Moonies are deceived by the same evil behind all the other cults - Satan.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Unity School of Christianity

Founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889, Unity is one of the fastest-growing New Age church systems. They do not claim to be a church, rather they claim to be a school which “seeks to help anyone, regardless of church affiliation, ‘to find health, peace, joy and plenty through his day-by-day practice of Christian Principles.’” (Confronting the Cults, by Gordon R. Lewis, p.131)

Charles Fillmore was born near St. Cloud, MN, in 1854, and married Mary Caroline Page (“Myrtle”) in 1881. The couple ended up moving to Kansas City, MO, where Charles set up a real estate office.

The origin of Unity began in 1886 when the Fillmores went to see a lecture given by “mental healer” Dr. E.B. Weeks. Myrtle, who had suffered for years with tuberculosis and malaria, was immediately taken by Weeks’ talk. “One of his statements transformed her life: ‘I am a child of God and therefore I do not inherit sickness.’ Since life is intelligent, she began to reason, it can be directed by thinking and talking. ‘Then it flashed upon me,’ Mrs. Fillmore wrote, ‘that I might talk to the life in every part of my body and have it do just what I wanted. I began to teach my body and got marvelous results.’ Mrs. Fillmore spoke words of truth to each life center silently and aloud until the organs responded. After asking for divine forgiveness for misusing her body she determined to entertain no anxious or negative thoughts. In two years Myrtle Fillmore was no longer an invalid.” (Confronting the Cults, p.132)

Charles, supposedly crippled from infancy, wasn’t ready to accept his wife’s new healing technique and began studying “mind science” and Eastern religions, including Hinduism and Buddhism. After several months he decided to apply his wife’s healing principle to himself. “My chronic pains ceased. My hip healed and grew stronger, and my leg lengthened until in a few years I dispensed with the steel extension that I had worn since I was a child.” (Confronting the Cults, p.132).

The Fillmores then began counseling and praying with others to heal them. This required more and more time, so Charles then left his real estate business and published his first paper in 1889. The Fillmores borrowed ideas from Christian Science and New Thought (a healing movement developed from P.P. Quimby’s system), and added in ideas from the Eastern religions Charles had studied, including the teachings on reincarnation. Pressure from Mary Baker Eddy forced them to stop using terms common to Christian Science, although they had a long relationship with New Thought.

Originally named “Modern Thought” in 1889, the Fillmores’ teachings became known as “Christian Science Thought” in 1890, then “Thought” in 1891, and finally “Unity” in 1895.

Myrtle died in 1931 and Charles then married his private secretary. Charles died in 1948 and the leadership of Unity passed to his two sons, Lowell and Rickert. Unity is headquartered in Lees Summit, MO.

Weekly publications of Unity are Daily Word and Weekly Unity. Monthly publications include Good Business (for working people), Progress for young people, Wee Wisdom for children, and Unity for sick people. Unity also operates “Dial-A-Prayer.”

Doctrines: Similar to Christian Science, with Hinduism mixed in. The Fillmores’ attitude toward doctrine can be summed up in a statement Charles wrote in an early edition of Modern Thought: “He who writes a creed or puts a limit to revelation, is the enemy of humanity…. Creeds have ever been the vampires that sucked the blood of spiritual progress in the past, and life can only be kept in the present movement by latitude of thought tempered always by the power that moves the world, love.” (Confronting the Cults, p.133).

Much of Unity’s teachings, like Christian Science, are also in line with gnosticism. “According to gnosticism, God is impersonal and one’s eventual goal is to reach oneness with this impersonal God. Gnostics view Jesus Christ as a human being who possessed, in some great way, the expression or presence of God. To them, Jesus refers to the man and Christ refers to the divine influence. Rather than agreeing with the Bible by declaring that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 5:1), gnostics, including Unity, separate Jesus from the Christ. Unity is not as interested in theology as it is in prosperity and happiness. A survey of the literature of Unity will clearly show that the stress is on material and worldly happiness, not spiritual happiness.” (Handbook of Today’s Religions, by Josh McDowell and John Stewart, p.132)

Below are some samplings of Unity doctrines. Reference citations below are from Handbook of Today’s Religions or Confronting the Cults.

God: Like Christian Science, Unity’s God is a force or energy which permeates the universe.

a. “Though personal to each one of us, God is it, neither male nor female, but principle.” (Myrtle Fillmore, How to Let God Help You, 1956, p.25).

b. “The Father is Principle, the Son is that Principle revealed in creative plan, the Holy Spirit is the executive power of both Father and Son carrying out the creative plan.” (Charles Fillmore, Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, p.629)

c. “God is all and all is God.” (Unity, August 1974, p.40)

d. “God is not loving…God does not love anybody or anything. God is the love in everybody and everything. God is love…God exercises none of His attributes except though the inner consciousness of the universe and man.” (Jesus Christ Heals, Unity School of Christianity, 1944, pp.31,32)

The Bible: “We believe that the Word of God is the thought of God expressed in creative ideas and that these ideas are the primal attributes of all enduring entities in the universe, visible and invisible. The Logos of the first chapter of the Gospel of John is the God idea of Christ that produced Jesus, the perfect man. We believe the Scriptures are the testimonials of who have in a measure apprehended the diving Logos but that their writings should not be taken as final.” (Unity’s Statement of Faith, part 27.)

Jesus: “Christ consciousness” that is within all of us.

a. “The Bible says that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, but the Bible does not here refer to Jesus of Nazareth, the outer man; it refers to the Christ, the spiritual identity of Jesus, whom he acknowledged in all his ways, and brought forth into his outer self, until even the flesh of his body was lifted up, purified, spiritualized, and redeemed, thus he became Jesus Christ, the word made flesh. We are to follow into this perfect state and become like Him, for in each of us is the Christ, the only begotten Son. We can, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and example, bring forth the Christ within us, the true self of all is perfect, as Jesus Christ commanded his followers to be.” (Unity, Vol. 57, no.5, p.464, and Vol. 72, no.2, p.8)

Salvation: There is no necessity for salvation because sin and evil are illusions. “To eradicate physical ills and mental sickness and to attract happiness, all a person needs to do is to tap into, or become attuned, aligned, or united with the ‘Divine Mind.’” (New Age Cults & Religions, by Texe Marrs, p.329)

a. “There is no sin, sickness or death.” (Unity, Vo. 47, No. 5, p.403)

b. “The atonement is the union of man with God the Father, in Christ. Stating it in terms of mind, we should say that the Atonement is the At-one-ment or agreement of reconciliation of man’s mind with Divine Mind through superconsciousness of Christ’s mind.” (What Practical Christianity Stands For, p.5)

The Gospel: “The gospel of Jesus is that every man can become God incarnate. It is not alone a gospel of right living, but also shows the way into dominion and power equal to and surpassing that of Jesus of Nazareth.” (Charles Fillmore, The Revealing Word, p.88) Compare this to 1 Cor. 15:1-3.

Reincarnation: This belief is borrowed from Hinduism. “We believe that the dissolution of the spirit, soul, and body caused by death, is annulled by rebirth of the same spirit and soul in another body here on earth. We believe the repeated incarnations of man to be a merciful provision of our loving Father to the end that all may have opportunity to attain immortality through regeneration, as did Jesus. This corruptible must put on incorruption.” (Unity’s Statement of Faith, Article 22)

As anyone can see by comparing Unity doctrines to true Christian doctrines, Unity has nothing in common with the Christian faith as defined by the Holy Bible.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Unitarian Universalist Association

I had always wondered how the Unitarian Universalists got to where they are.  I've been writing an introductory apologetics for high schooler and UUA is one of the cults I am covering, so I had to do a wee bit of study in my books to put together their history.  So I'm now posting most of the section for my course.

Unitarian Universalism is actually the merging of two movements, the Universalists and the Unitarians, in 1959. Universalism teaches that all people are saved and that there is no such thing as eternal punishment because no one is lost. Unitarianism teaches that God is only a unity and not a triune God.

Both these belief systems are contradictory to our non-negotiable doctrines.

Unitarianism has long been a belief, virtually from the first century, but as a movement it can be traced to anti-Trinitarians in 16th century Europe. From there it moved into England in the 17th century, and then to the American colonies in the 18th century. Apparently, except for the anti-Trinitarian belief (including the lack of divinity in Christ), the rest of their theology was fairly orthodox and they considered the Bible as authoritative. But once the doctrine of the Trinity was left behind, it didn’t take long to leave all other doctrines in the dust.

American Unitarianism developed from New England Congregationalism when a liberal wing of the Congregational Church in Massachusetts requested to never subscribe to a creed. However, while the movement was primarily a split of the Congregationalist churches, the first body of Unitarianism was the Episcopal King’s Chapel in Boston in 1785.

When Unitarian philosophy met with early 19th century Transcendentalism, “Unitarianism passed from the status of a heresy to that of a clearly non-Christian philosophy.” (Lloyd F. Dean, The Withering of Unitarianism, p.16-17, as cited in Kingdom of the Cults, p.340)

The “apostle of American Unitarianism” was William E. Channing, who preached a famous sermon in 1819 outlining the Unitarian view. In 1825 the American Unitarian Association was formed and a national conference was established 40 years later. Unitarians have no creed, rather their constitution of the general conference stated that, “these churches accept the religion of Jesus, holding in accordance with his teaching that practical religion is summed up in the love to God and love to man.” (Handbook of Denominations, by Frank S. Mead, p.240)

Universalism has its base in many cultural streams, and is found in many religious systems throughout the world. Christian Universalists claim their heritage in the early Christian Gnostics, and down through numerous teachers over the centuries. Its formation as a religious denomination seems to have started in 1759 by James Relly of England, when he wrote Union, opposing Calvinism’s doctrine of the election of few. His teachings of universal salvation influenced Wesleyan evangelist John Murray, who came to New Jersey in 1770.

Murray discovered numerous groups of like-minded people in New England and then became the minister of one in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In 1779, the Independent Christian Church of Gloucester became the first organized Universalist church in America. Eleven years later the Universalists met in Philadelphia and drafted their first declaration of faith and established their church government.

“Government was established as strictly congregational; doctrinally, they proclaimed their belief in the Scriptures as containing a revelation of the perfections and will of God and the rule of faith and practice, faith in God, faith in Christ as a mediator who had redeemed all people by his blood, in the Holy Ghost, and in the obligation of the moral law as the rule of life.” (Handbook of Denominations, p.242).

According to Handbook of Denominations, this Philadelphia declaration was adopted by New England Universalists in 1793, about the time Hosea Ballou was ordained in the Universalist ministry. Ballou broke with the teaching of the New England group and, in 1805, published his Treatise on Atonement, which gave the movement “its first consistent philosophy.” “Ballou rejected the theories of total depravity, endless punishment in hell, the Trinity, and the miracles. Humankind, said Ballou, was potentially good and capable of perfectibility; God, being a God of infinite love, recognized humanity’s heavenly nature and extraction and love the human race as his own offspring. The meaning of the Atonement was found not in the bloody sacrifice to appease diving wrath, but in the heroic sacrifice of Jesus, who was not God but a Son of the eternal and universal God, revealing the love of God and anxious to win all persons to that love.” (p.242)

As the belief systems of the Unitarians and Universalists came to become more and more similar, the two organizations merged to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. As an organization, they have abandoned all historic Christian doctrines and continue to become more and more radical in their liberal views.

Unitarian Universalists have no creed and permit all followers to believe in God as their own consciences dictate. Secular humanism is the primary philosophy, and half the signers of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto were Unitarian Universalist ministers, as were the first four presidents of the American Humanist Association and many AHA leaders.

Unitarian Universalists are known for supporting homosexual unions, abortion, redistribution of wealth, the feminist movement, sexual immorality, and virtually every politically-liberal philosophy. Additionally, as the 20th century progressed, the UUA accepted many New Age/Eastern religious practices such as yoga and Eastern forms of meditation.

Doctrines: Members of UUA hold to many beliefs within each doctrine.

1. No religious belief is exclusive; all religions have truth. Claiming one above any other is intolerant.

2. The Bible is not absolute or infallible; it is a human book with moral, scientific and historical errors. “Reason, conscience, and experience are the final test of all religious truth claims.” (KofC, p. 349)

3. God. One may or may not believe in God, but He will never be triune. God may be a “higher power” or a divine part of the individual. God may also just be a name for the ordering principle in nature.

4. Jesus. Strictly human, a good moral teacher (some may dispute whether he was a good moral teacher). His miracles, virgin birth, and resurrection are all denied.

5. Man originated through evolution. Man has the natural ability to do good and has no original sin nature.

6. There is no sin to be saved from. Salvation is by making this world a better place to live. We save ourselves through developing our moral character.

7. Heaven is not a place, rather it is a state. Hell and eternal punishment are inconsistent with a loving God and therefore do not exist. People experience “hell” as a consequence of bad deeds.

8. Bodily resurrection is unscientific and impossible.

I hope this introductory information on UUA was helpful in understanding them.  I have actually posted some other sections from my course, which you can read in the entries on RLDS/Community of Christ, Word of Faith and Christian Science.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Scientists)

Mary Ann Morse Baker was born in Bow, NH in July 1821 to strict Congregationalist parents. Mary was frequently ill with both physical and emotional ailments until she was 22-years-old. At that time she married businessman George W. Glover, whose sister was married to Mary’s oldest brother. According to Walter Martin, in his book Kingdom of the Cults, Glover’s “untimely death of yellow fever in Wilmington, South Carolina, some seven months later, reduced his pregnant wife to an emotional and highly unstable invalid, who, throughout the remaining years of her life, relied from time to time upon the drug morphine as a medication.” (p.150)

Mary moved back to her father’s home and had a son not long thereafter, naming him George after his father. When Mary’s mother died in 1849, George’s custody became an issue. Her father remarried and did not want the boy staying with them, so he lived with a series of relatives.

In June of 1853, Mary became the wife of a dentist, Daniel M. Patterson, who was a relative of her father’s second wife. He did not want Mary’s son, so the son lived with friends in Minnesota.

The history of the religion of Christian Science actually starts with a fellow named Phineas Parkhurst Quimby of Portland, Maine. P.P. Quimby developed a system of “mental healing” in the 1850s which he called “The Science of Man,” and used the terms “The Science of Christ” and “Christian Science” to refer to his system. Another term he used for his system was “Science of Health.” He was essentially a hypnotist and faith healer.

Mary met Dr. Quimby in 1862 when she and her husband moved to Portland, and Mary sought Quimby’s care for “spinal inflammation.” Most of Mary’s writings and ideas are stolen from Quimby’s writings and teachings, with much of her work being direct plagiarism from him. More of her writings have been proven to be plagiarized from other authors’ works.

As with other false prophets, Mary Baker Eddy’s claims of how her religion originated were put down in writing long after the fact, and mostly after Quimby was dead and unable to expose her. She claims to have discovered her system in February 1866 (the month after Quimby died) after a fall on a slippery sidewalk when her attending doctor said she was “incurable,” with only three days to live. On her third day, she called for a Bible and read Matthew 9:2 and was suddenly healed. Supposedly, convinced that God had healed her, she then spent the next several years studying the Scriptures and “rediscovered” the faith-healing secrets the church lost when it supposedly apostatized.

The doctor who supposedly diagnosed Mary, Alvin Cushing, stated under oath in a 1000-word statement that he never gave such a diagnoses, and that Mary was in good health and that he treated her later in August of 1866 for other ailments. It was during this period in 1866 that Mary’s husband, Daniel, left her. Seven years later she divorced him on the grounds of adultery.

Mary had been teaching from the Quimby manuscripts in Stoughton, MA and then moved to Lynn, MA where she finished her book, Science and Heath, in 1875. This is the Christian Science religion’s primary “scripture.” In 1877, when she was 56, Mary entered her last marriage to Asa G. Eddy, who had come to her for treatment. He would died after only five years of marriage, in 1882.

In 1879 Mary chartered her new church in Charlestown, MA, “The Church of Christ, Scientist.” This church was established "to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." Mary claimed she found hundreds of errors in the Bible, and that her teachings were the “final revelation of God for mankind.” Of course, Mary was the pastor of this new church.

After a revolt among her students, Mary moved to Boston where she started what became known as “The Massachusetts Metaphysical College, where she taught beginning in 1881. After Asa died, Mary continued teaching in her college until 1889 when she closed it to revise her book, which now was called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Mary claimed it came by revelation from God: "I should blush to write a Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as I have, were it of human origin, and I, apart from God, its author; but as I was only a scribe echoing the harmonies of heaven in divine metaphysics, I cannot be super-modest in my estimate of the Christian Science textbook."

Boston became the headquarters for her new church. There, in 1888, she opened a reading room for her writings. Mary completed her church manual in 1895, establishing procedures for governing the organization. Mary reopened her college in 1899.

As with other cults, Mary’s real purpose seems to have been to make money off of her religion. As Mark Wheeler on “Catholic Answers” website (http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9202prof.asp) notes, “Mary Baker Eddy wished to acquire wealth. The original edition of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures was advertised as ‘a book that affords an opportunity to acquire a profession by which you can accumulate a fortune.’ Her followers were commanded to buy and sell copies under pain of excommunication. They were forced to buy each new edition, even though only a few words might have been changed. Eddy, who started her religion without a penny, died a millionairess.”

Mary Baker Eddy died in December 1910.

Mary’s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is divided into two sections. The first section is Science and Health where-in she gives her theological teachings in regards to her health teachings. The second section, Key to the Scriptures, is her explanation of Genesis, Revelation and Psalm 23.

A very good way to start looking at Eddy’s teachings are to look at what she called “erroneous postulates.” In these postulates she makes it clear that matter only exists as illusion. Let’s take a look at these, as cited in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures chapter 4:

"The first erroneous postulate of belief is, that substance, life, and intelligence are something apart from God.
“The second erroneous postulate is, that man is both mental and material.
“The third erroneous postulate is, that mind is both evil and good; whereas the real Mind cannot be evil nor the medium of evil, for Mind is God.
“The fourth erroneous postulate is, that matter is intelligent, and that man has a material body which is part of himself.
“The fifth erroneous postulate is, that matter hold in itself the issues of life and death, - that matter is not only capable of experiencing pleasure and pain, but also capable of imparting these sensations. From the illusion implied in this last postulate arises the decomposition of mortal bodies in what is termed death.”

Doctrines: References to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures will be abbreviated as “S&H” with the page numbers from the soft-cover. I’m going to cite several passages under each section, but these are only a portion of the many that could be cited.

1.  A primary foundational belief is that nothing is real - everything is illusion and nothing material exists. Sin, disease and sickness are all illusions with may be overcome by the mind. “Temporal life is a false sense of existence.” (S&H, p.122)

a. “Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science.” (S&H, p.39)

b. “Death will be found at length to be a mortal dream, which comes in darkness and disappears with the light.” (S&H, p.42)

c. “He presented the same body that he had before his crucifixion, and so glorified the supremacy of Mind over matter.” (S&H, p.45)

d. “The ‘man of sorrows’ best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good. These were the two cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science, which armed him with Love.” (S&H, p.52)

e. “The entire education of children should be such as to form habits of obedience to the moral and spiritual law, with which the child can meet and master the belief in so-called physical laws, a belief which breeds disease.” (S&H, p.62)

f. “The scientific fact that man and the universe are evolved from Spirit, and so are spiritual, is as fixed in divine Science as is the proof that mortals gain the sense of health only as they lose the sense of sin and disease.” (S&H, p.69)

g. “Close your eyes, and you may dream that you see a flower, - that you touch and smell it. Thus you learn that the flower is a product of the so-called mind, a formation of thought rather than of matter. Close your eyes again, and you may see landscapes, men, and women. Thus you learn that these also are images, which mortal mind holds and evolves and which stimulate mind, life, and intelligence.” (S&H, p.71)

h. “Suffering, sinning, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, they will have no power over man, for man is immortal and lives by divine authority.” (S&H, p.76)

i. “Science shows that what is termed matter is but the subjective state of what is termed by the author mortal mind. (S&H, p114)

j. “Thus matter will finally be proved nothing more than a belief, wholly inadequate to affect a man through its supposed organic action or supposed existence.” (S&H, p.125-126)

2.  God: Is called “Father-Mother God.” Other titles for God are: “Truth,” “Life,” “Love,” “Mind.”

a. “[God] is a power, something we feel and know in our hearts…God, Mind, tells us what we need to know, when we need to know it.” (Tract titled, “Our Father-Mother, God”)

b. “The Jewish tribal Jehovah was a man-projected God, liable to wrath, repentance, and human changeableness.” (S&H, p.140)

3. Sin.

a. “To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish will furnish more than its equivalence of pain, until belief in material life and sin is destroyed.” (S & H, p.6)

b. “Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, nor thing, but is simply a belief, an illusion or material sense.” (S&H, p.71)

c. “Evil is a suppositional lie.” (S&H, p.103)

4. Virgin Birth: “The Virgin-mother conceived this idea of God, and gave to her ideal the name of Jesus - that is, Joshua, our Saviour. The illumination of Mary’s spiritual sense put to silence material law and its order of generation, and brought forth her child by the revelation of Truth, demonstrating God as the Father of men. The Holy Ghost, or divine Spirit, overshadowed the pure sense of he Virgin-mother with the full recognition that being is Spirit. The Christ dwelt forever an idea in the bosom of God, the divine Principle of the man Jesus, and woman perceived this spiritual idea, though at first faintly developed. … Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God.” (S&H, p.29-30)

5. Jesus: The Christian Science Jesus was not Christ, nor did He really die.

a. “Born of a woman, Jesus’ advent in the flesh partook partly of Mary’s earthly condition, although he was endowed with the Christ, the divine Spirit, without measure.” (S&H, p.30)

b. “Jesus mapped out the path for others. He unveiled the Christ, the spiritual idea of divine Love.” (S&H, p.38)

c. “The lonely precincts of the tomb gave Jesus a refuge from his foes, a place in which to solve the great problem of being. His three days’ work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate. He met and mastered on the basis of Christian Science, the power of Mind over matter, all the claims of medicine, surgery, and hygiene.” (S&H, p.44)

d. “His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense.” (S&H, p.44)

e. “Jesus’ students, not sufficiently advanced fully to understand their Master’s triumph, did not perform many wonderful works, until they saw him after his crucifixion and learned that he had not died.” (S&H, p.45-46)

f. “The spiritual Christ was infallible; Jesus, as material manhood, was not Christ.” (Miscellaneous Writings, p.84)

6. The Atonement: Eddy’s teachings here have nothing in common with orthodox teaching. Here are samples of Eddy’s teachings:

a. “Atonement is the exemplification of man’s unity with God, whereby man reflects divine Truth, Life, and Love.” (S&H, p.18)

b. “Every pang of repentance and suffering, every effort for reform, every good thought and deed, will help us to understand Jesus’ atonement for sin and aid its efficacy.” (S&H, p.19)

c. “The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part. That God’s wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made. The atonement is a hard problem in theology, but its scientific explanation is, that suffering is an error of sinful sense which Truth destroys, and that eventually both sin and suffering will fall at the feet of everlasting Love.” (S&H, p.23)

d. “The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father’s business.” (S&H, p.25)

e. “Divine Science reveals the necessity of sufficient suffering, either before or after death, to quench the love of sin. To remit the penalty due for sin, would be for Truth to pardon error. Escape from punishment is not in accordance with God’s government, since justice is the handmaid of mercy.” (S&H, p36)

7. The Holy Spirit: “In the words of St. John: ‘He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.’ This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science.” (S&H, p.55)

8. Other aberrations:

a. Audible prayer is sinful and useless - God only listens to mental prayer. (S&H, Chapter 1)

b. “The act of describing disease - its symptoms, locality and fatality - is not scientific. Warning people against death is an error that tends to frighten into death those who are ignorant of Life as God. … A scientific mental method is more sanitary than the use of drugs, and such a mental method produces permanent health.” (S&H, p.79)

Christian Science is like Hinduism in its teachings of the afterlife, in that they teach a continuance of a circle of life while reaching higher planes. “Death will occur on the next plane of existence as on this, until the spiritual understanding of Life is reached.” (S&H, p.77)

Christian Science --- Neither Christian nor science!