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Christian Science explains...

Written by: Branch, Rick    Posted on: 04/25/2003

Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics

Source: CCN

                  Christian Science explains...

              Jesus Never Died For No One Sinned!

                          Rick Branch

                          Arlington, TX

The entire Old Testament pointed forward toward the coming messiah.  The Gospels document the fact that Jesus was that expected messiah.  The remainder of the New Testament points back to the finished work of the messiah.

The pinnacle of Jesus' work can be summarized with the words, death, burial and resurrection.

However, according to Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, commonly known as Christian Science, Jesus could not die for Man's sins, because Mankind never sinned!

Despite the fact that the Bible is explicit about Man's sinful nature, that Jesus came to save Man from sin by becoming the sacrifice for man and that this saving process involved the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, Christian Science explains this is an error - or at the very least - Man's interpretation on these events are in error.

According to one of Eddy's many writing, "She affirmed that the Scriptures cannot properly be interpreted in a literal way.  The truths they teach must be spiritually discerned, before their message can be borne fully to our minds and hearts.

"That there is a dual meaning to every Biblical passage, the most eminent divines of the world have concluded; and to get at the highest, or metaphysical, it is necessary rightly to read what the inspired writers left for our spiritual instruction.

"The literal rendering of the Scriptures make them nothing valuable, but often is the foundation of unbelief and hopelessness.  The metaphysical rendering is health and peace and hope for all.

"The literal or material reading is the reading of the carnal mind, which is enmity toward God, Spirit" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 169).

Thus, to Eddy, reading the Bible in a literal style is to read it with the carnal mind, to read error into its meaning.  According to Eddy's preferred style, the metaphysical style, sin does not mean sin, death does not mean death and resurrection does not mean resurrection.

What then, according to Christian Science do these terms mean? How should people understand the Bible?  What was Jesus ultimate purpose?

                        Sin Is Not Sin

The idea that sin is not real may sound new to some, but Eddy explains that the idea did not originate with her.

She writes, "What is the cardinal point of difference in my metaphysical system?  This: that by knowing the unreality of disease, sin and death, you demonstrate the allness of God.  This difference wholly separates my system from all other.

"The reality of these so-called existences I deny, because they are not to be found in God, and this system is built on Him as the sole cause.  It would be difficult to name any previous teachers, save Jesus and his apostles, who have thus taught" (Unity of God, p. 9-10).

Hence, the idea that sin and death are unreal did not originate with Mary Baker Eddy, but rather, according to Eddy, with Jesus and His apostles.

Since sin is unreal, then according to Christian Science reasoning, "Man is incapable of sin..." (Science and Health: With Key to the Scriptures, p. 475).

If man is incapable of sin then how does one avoid the sin that seems to be happening in everyday life?  According to Eddy, sin or the appearance of sin can be avoided by denying its reality.

"To get rid of sin through Science, is to divest sin of any supposed mind or reality, and never to admit that sin can have intelligence or power, pain or pleasure.  You conquer error by denying its verity" (Ibid, p. 339).

Simply stated, sin is non-existent.  However, if one believes sin exists and wishes to stop sinning, then merely stop believing in the existence of sin.  If sin's reality is denied, then sin ceases to exist.

If there is no sin and man is therefore incapable of committing that which does not exist, then why does the Bible speak of Jesus dying in order to bring about man's atonement from sin?

                  Jesus Saving Action For Man

Keeping in mind the fact that according to Christian Science, Man is incapable of sin for sin is unreal, then Jesus' part in the redemption of mankind acquires an extremely unique interpretation.

Remember also that according to Eddy, the Bible is to be interpreted spiritually or metaphysically, not literally or with the carnal mind.

With all of this in mind, Eddy writes in her book Miscellaneous Writings in the question and answer section, "If there is no sin, why did Jesus come to save sinners?"

Having asked the question, Eddy then answers, "Jesus came to seek and to save such as believe in the reality of the unreal; to save them from this false belief; that they might lay hold of eternal Life, the great reality that concerns man, and understand the final fact, - that God is omnipotent and omnipresent..." (p. 63).

Jesus came to save mankind from the false belief that sin is real.

"Our Master bore the cross to show his power over death; then relinquished his earth-task of teaching and demonstrating the nothingness of sickness, sin and death, and rose to his native estate, man's indestructible eternal life in God" (Ibid, p. 64).

Jesus saving work was to exemplify the fact that death is unreal, that sin is only an illusion or false belief and that to deny their existence is the ultimate task of each person.

            A Different Work From A Different Jesus

The teaching that Jesus went to the cross to demonstrate that "...the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise" is central to Christian Science theology (Science and Health, p. 472).

This idea is so foreign to biblical Christianity that it is not surprising to find that Christian Science not only teaches a faulty reason why Jesus came, but also believes in an erroneous Jesus.

According to Eddy, "Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God, healing the sick and the sinning and destroying the power of death.  Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ" (Ibid, p. 473).

The Jesus of Christian Science was a man who possessed the Christ consciousness, who demonstrated the falseness of sin and the path for escaping sins influence - deny its reality.

The apostle Paul warns Christians to be wary of those who would come preaching "another Jesus" (II Corinthians 11:4).  Christian Science would certainly fall within the bounds of this warning.

                    The Cross And Jesus Death

Similar to the Christian Science idea that sin is an illusion, they also teach that "there is no death" (The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany, p. 300).

If there is no death then what of the cross?  Remembering the "duality of Jesus the Christ" as taught by Eddy, her comments in Christ and Christmas will make sense.

She states, "Christ was not crucified - that doom was Jesus' part" (p. 21).  Jesus, being the man who possessed the Christ consciousness, was the one who went to the cross and who appeared to die.

However, because "Life is real, and death is the illusion", Jesus could therefore not die (Science and Health, p. 428).

As Eddy explained, "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" (Ibid, p. 44).

Thus, when the Bible appears to say that Jesus died on the cross and His body was laid in the tomb, it must be understood, according to Christian Science theology, that Jesus actually never died but was rather in the tomb denying deaths reality.

If the death Jesus appeared to suffer for the sins that man cannot commit is in reality a misunderstanding of biblical teachings, then what of the resurrection?

                Jesus Resurrected from Non-Death

It is obvious that if Jesus never died on the cross to atone for sins that mankind cannot commit, than the resurrection must have a unique meaning in Christian Science too.

After finishing a brief section on the unreality of sin and death, Eddy then turns to the resurrection of Jesus.

She explains, "When Jesus reproduced his body after its burial, he revealed the myth or material falsity of evil; its powerlessness to destroy good and the omnipotence of the Mind that knows this: he also showed forth the error of nothingness of supposed life in matter, and the great somethingness of the good we possess, which is of Spirit, and immortal" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 201).

Jesus resurrection was thus the manifestation of the error of evil.  He demonstrated that sin and death are illusions and that if one wishes to rid themselves of these illusions they only need to deny their reality.

In a chapter titled "Is there no death", Eddy confirms her twisted metaphysical theology by declaring, "Resurrection from the dead (that is, from the belief in death) must come to all sooner or later; and they who have part in this resurrection are they upon whom the second death has no power.

"All life is Spirit, and Spirit can never dwell in its antagonist, matter.  Life, therefore is deathless, because God cannot be the opposite of Himself.

"In Christian Science there is no matter; hence matter neither lives nor dies" (Unity of Good, p. 41).

Thus, in the final analysis, Jesus, who possessed the Christ consciousness as do all men to a lesser extent, went to the cross, not to bring about forgiveness of sin, for sin is an illusion, but rather to demonstrate that death is an illusion.

On the morning of the resurrection, the supposed physical body of Jesus was reproduced in its original illusionary form, for all matter is illusion, and thereby demonstrated to mankind that all could do the same by denying the reality of sin and death.

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