Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was born in 1821 in Bow, Massachusetts. She was raised in a religious home and became a member of the Congregational Church. She had always loved reading and studying the Bible and praying to understand its practical message.
In 1866, Mary was told she would not recover after a severe fall on an ice covered street. She was diagnosed as being in critical condition not expecting to live. But she chose to believe that God was “a very present help in trouble”. (1) With prayer, Mary was led to read from the Bible the third chapter of Mark and the ninth chapter of Matthew. By turning to the Bible, it revealed to her the spiritual nature of life. “This revelation was both the discovery of divine Truth and the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy of the Comforter promised by Jesus”. (2) Her acknowledgement resulted in immediate healing. “God’s assignment for her, she believed, was to share with mankind the “science” behind her healing. In the divine light of this revelation, the Bible she knew so well became a new book to her, a textbook that needed to be studied and put in to practice through the type of spiritual healing Christ Jesus had practiced two thousand years earlier”. (3) This resulted in the founding of the Christian Science movement.
In 1879 Mary Baker Eddy established the First Church of Christ, Scientist “to organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.”
(1) Eddy, Mary Baker, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p 13
(2,3) Caché von Fettweis, Yvonne and Warneck, Robert Townsend, Mary Baker Eddy: Christian Healer Amplified Edition, p 59
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 image—spiritual, not material.
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.
One of the best ways to learn more about Christian Science is to explore the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, written by Mary Baker Eddy.
The Tenets of Christian Science are as follows:
1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
2. We acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God. We acknowledge His Son, one Christ; the Holy Ghost or divine Comforter; and man in God’s image and likeness.
3. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.
4. We acknowledge Jesus’ atonement as the evidence of divine, efficacious Love, unfolding man’s unity with God through Christ Jesus the Way-shower; and we acknowledge that man is saved through Christ, through Truth, Life, and Love as demonstrated by the Galilean Prophet in healing the sick and overcoming sin and death.
5. We acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter.
6. And we solemnly promise to watch, and pray for that Mind to be in us which was also in Christ Jesus; to do unto others as we would have them do unto us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.