Mary Baker Eddy, now considered a Christian scientist published a book called Science and Health in 1875, where she claimed that healing is possible through prayer. The book looked at the Christian religion, and she obtained her inspiration through closely studying the Bible. Soon after, a religious movement known as Christian Science was born, and today, this is a religion followed by millions of people. Christian science follows the principles of the Bible, along with the central textbook, which sold more than nine million copies by the year 2001.
What Do Christian Scientists Believe?
Christian science beliefs fall in line with what many who study the Bible believe, but does have some alterations from what people following a more traditional Christian religion tend to believe. In essence, Christian scientists believe that disease and sin happen when one is not close enough to God, and that through prayer alone can one truly heal and recover from diseases and illnesses.
When one wanders off the path and gains distance between themselves and the divine being, which is God, they must pray in order to become closer to God once again. The belief here is that prayer is all that is needed to achieve healing – both spiritually and physically.
In terms of health care systems, Christian scientists often tend to prefer spiritual healing over Western medicine and professional medical care. When someone who follows the beliefs of Christian science becomes ill, they and those around them will turn toward prayer and spiritual healing sessions in order to provide care for the ill one.
This, however, does not mean spiritual healing is followed by all. The Christian Science church has noted that they allow each member to choose which health care system is most appropriate for their own lives, as well as individual situations.
What Is Christian Science Church?
A church that follows the guidelines and beliefs set out by Mary Baker Eddy is, in some senses, different from a traditional Christian church. There are no pastors ordained at a Christian Science church since the religious believes that all hold divine characteristics inside of them; thus there is no need to appoint leadership at the church.
During Christian science church sessions, a First Reader and a Second Reader are present. The First Reader is elected, while the Second Reader will be appointed. The First Reader is responsible for reading passages out of the book that Christian scientists follow, known as “Science and Health.” The Second Reader will then read passages from the original Bible following the readings from the First Reader.