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The Church of Christ, Scientist, or The Christian Science Church is composed of The First Church of Christ Scientist and smaller branch churches in the world. They all agree on working to fulfill the teaching and vision of Mary Barker Eddy by teaching what her vision of a church was, and her understanding of Jesus Christ. Christian Scientists view God as being an “incorporeal Spirit, creative Principle, supreme, omnipotent Father-Mother, omnipresent and omniscient”.Human beings are seen as all the children of God although many people have not reached the level of understanding of the divinity obtained by Jesus Christ, who is seen as the embodiment of the “divine idea of sonship”.
As God is the only true reality, people are subject to illusions concerning the nature of the material world. In the Christian Science teaching heaven and hell are not places, but rather consist of states of consciousness. Heaven is the bliss of realizing oneself with God and hell is the “self-made anguish” that comes from believing in pain and death.God is completely good, therefore, evil is illusionary in the view of Christian Science. Salvation consists of bringing oneself into “harmony with one’s true nature as God’s reflection,” which is a state that can be obtained through good works and the cultivation of Christian virtues.
Christian Scientists are always encouraged to follow the example of Jesus Christ. However, there are only two principle tenets of this faith, which indicates that salvation is not seen as dependent on belief in Christ as the actual, physical son of God.The first tenet is to “turn only to God,” for guidance, as God is “perfect Mind…the Mind that was also in Christ”. The second tenet is to follow the injunction of Jesus and “love thy neighbor as thyself”.
There are no ordained ministers within Christian Science religious practice. Services are conducted by “Readers, who read from the Bible or from material associated with the Christian Science church”. Christian Science practitioners or Christian Science nurses receive training in the principles and beliefs of the church and they offer a “prayer-based healing ministry” as an alternative to medical services.Relative to Jehovah Witnesses, who have frequently have conflicts with the courts over health care for their children, Christian Science parents are actually encouraged by the church practitioners to cooperate with authorities whenever there is a dispute of this nature.
The Christian Science church also urges its members to report communicable diseases, have their children vaccinated and provide certified midwives or other attendants at childbirth. While reliance on conventional medicine is frowned upon in the Christian Science teaching, the use of medical intervention is purely left up to individual and their conscience.Christian Science followers do not have belief in conventional physicians and view them as antagonist to their belief.
Their views are, rather, seen as being ineffectual since they believe that disease resides in the body rather than in the mind and spirit. Although suffering and or illness appears to be real, Christian Scientists believe that this illusion evolves from false beliefs or errors in thought, which can be rectified though “asserting the truth of one’s being as an idea of God”.Christian Scientist view marriage as being legal and moral reasoning for procreation but view procreation as “a human institution rather than a divine one”. Marriages are not performed by the Church because Mary Eddy, founder of the church, stated that church members should be married by the clergy of other denominations. She believed that in marriage, “separation should never take place, and it never would, if both husband and wife were genuine Christian Scientist”.
Surely no marriage is not prone to divorce, but the church strongly suggest the prayer healing of marriage difficulties. Christian Science teaches that “homosexuality is a condition that should be addressed with compassion and with efforts to heal rather than with either condemnation or uncritical acceptance”. Any type of sexual activity is only seen as appropriate when within a legal marriage.
Mary Eddy believed that “as long as people understood themselves to be physical beings they would be sexual creatures who could sustain humankind only through sexual reproduction.Once human thought was perfected, however, sexuality for its own sake would subside, humans would become immortal, and procreation as we know it would become unnecessary”. When it comes to the ethical and moral issue of abortion The Christian science church has no particular stance on this issue. But the church does trust within its followers that they will pray and make the right decision when faced with an issue as such. But it seems that to seek out an abortion is not within the Christian Science following because the church states that “harmony with seeing God’s child as perfect and divine”.