Frequently Asked Questions
What do Christian Scientists believe?
Christian Scientists believe in one, infinite God who is All and all-good. They believe that God is not distant and unknowable, but that God is all-encompassing and always present, and that each individual is loved by God, cared for by Him, and made in God’s spiritual image.
Christian Scientists believe in the Bible and in Christ Jesus as the Son of God, or promised Messiah. And they believe that Jesus’ teachings and healing work expressed scientific Christianity, or the application of the laws of God—laws which are still practical and provable today, by anyone, anywhere. Christian Scientists consider the Commandments, as well as Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, to be central to their lives and practice of Christianity.
Above all, Christian Scientists believe in the saving, healing power of God’s love—that no one is beyond redemption, that no problem is too entrenched or overwhelming to be addressed and healed. In other words, Christian Scientists don’t believe that salvation occurs at some point in the future, but that the presence of God’s goodness can be experienced here and now—and by everyone.
Christian Science is the same as Scientology, right?
No. Other than a similarity in name, the two have nothing in common. (Please see About Christian Science for further information on the healing system discovered by Mary Baker Eddy in 1866.)
Why is it called Christian Science?
It’s Science because it’s based upon a set of spiritual principles—laws relating to the nature of God and His creation.
Why do you call yourselves Christian?
Because Christian Science is based on the Bible, and Christian Scientists follow the teachings and ministry of Christ Jesus. The virgin birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection and ascension of Christ Jesus, as well as other central Bible teachings, are all central to Christian Science theology.
Is Christian Science a cult?
No. There is no brainwashing, mind control, or blind following of a leader. Christian Scientists do have a deep respect and appreciation for the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, but they do not worship her.
Is it true that Christian Scientists don’t take medicine?
Generally, a Christian Scientist’s first choice is to rely on prayer for healing, and in most cases, this means that a medical remedy is unnecessary. There is no biblical or church prohibition of medical treatment, nor do Christian Scientists believe that it’s God’s will that anyone suffer or die. A Christian Scientist’s decision to rely on prayer comes from trust, not blind faith, in God, and from a conviction that God’s care continues under every circumstance.
What is a Christian Science practitioner?
Christian Science practitioners are self-employed individuals who have completed training in spiritual healing given by an authorized teacher of Christian Science, and who devote themselves full time to helping and healing others through prayer.
Does the Christian Science Church provide such care?
No. Christian Science-based care is provided by individuals who practice Christian Science teaching. Just as some Catholic, Jewish or Baptist care providers may integrate their faith in their delivery of care, Christian Scientist care providers integrate their faith into their care. The Church (organization) does not function as a health care provider.
Is Christian Science the same as a positive thinking?
No. Positive thinking relies on the human mind to think or effect a good result. Christian Science starts with God and the conviction that God’s goodness embraces each of us, all the time.
Is Christian Science faith healing?
No. Christian Science does not involve pleading with God to heal the sick and then accepting His will, good or bad. Nothing in Christian Science theology says it’s God’s will that anyone suffer, get sick, or die. Christian Science shows God to be entirely good, and therefore His will for each individual is only health and life.
What’s involved in Christian Science treatment?
Christian Science treatment is the application of spiritual principles—who and what God is and what that means for each individual—to the specifics of any given situation. These spiritual principles, applied, have a tangible effect—restored relationships, financial well-being, physical healing, and so on.
What do Christian Science nurses do? What are their professional skills and qualifications?
Christian Science nurses provide skillful, non-medical physical care for anyone relying on Christian Science for healing. This care includes bathing, dressing wounds, assistance with mobility, feeding, and so forth. Preparation for the professional practice of Christian Science nursing often includes coursework provided by Christian Science nursing organizations, one-to-one training from an experienced Christian Science nurse, and/or experience with facility or private-duty Christian Science nursing.
What would you do if you broke your leg?
Many Christian Scientists would tell you that they would instinctively turn to God for healing because they’d seen the effectiveness of this approach in the past. This, however, does not prevent any Christian Scientist from seeking medical treatment if they choose.
An adult choosing prayer and not medical help is one thing, but how can you make that decision for a child?
Parents who choose Christian Science treatment for a child do so because they’ve seen the effectiveness of this treatment in their own lives. Christian Science parents are like any other parents—they love their children and want the very best care for them. They know they’re under a moral and legal obligation to ensure that their children receive care, and there is no prohibition of traditional medical care in Christian Science teachings.
What do you do in the case of communicable disease?
Christian Scientists care about their neighbors and fellow community members and gladly abide by city and state laws or mandates regarding quarantines, vaccinations, and the like.
Why do you lobby for exemptions to health laws that allow you to keep your children from going to doctors?
Christian Scientists aren’t seeking exemptions from the law, but recognition within it. They’re trying to ensure that laws provide every citizen a choice of healthcare, including the system of spiritual prayer that Christian Scientists have found to be effective.
Do Christian Scientists carry health insurance or life insurance?
Every Christian Scientist makes his or her own financial and health decisions in accordance with state and federal laws.