Christian Science and Christianity
Christian Science as a religion teaches that our present reality in the physical world including life, physicality, death, sin, and sickness are merely illusions. We are part of a greater spiritual reality in which we will become a part of as we grow in truth. God is a powerful force but not a person as we understand it. Christ does not redeem us from sin because sin is an illusion. He is the way-shower pointing us to how we can obtain perfect truth and health. The Bible is insufficient as a source of revelation in Church of Christ, Scientist because it has been hopelessly reinterpreted and rewritten through the millennia. It only has value as it is interpreted through the grid of Science and Health.
Adherents to Christian Science the world over maintain what is known as Christian Science Reading Rooms. These are places of instruction where people may recover their health as they study and realize that they cannot be sick because God is not sick and God is the only true reality in the universe. In Church of Christ, Scientist Churches no preaching is ever allowed and there are no pastors. Official clergy would be the first and second readers who present the weekly lesson from the Bible and Science and Health. There are also practitioners who help the afflicted to receive the divine healing that comes from seeing that illness is illusory.
Salvation from sin is also unnecessary in Christian Science. There is no sin only a false belief in its existence. There is no death or resurrection for the person either. His body is buried but his soul invisibly and spiritually continues to live and grow.
Christian Science and Christianity have nearly nothing in common except some commonly shared language but even at this point the meanings behind this language are different. Orthodox Christianity teaches that God is a real and self-existent person who is separate from the visible creation. Furthermore, Christianity embraces the idea of a spiritual dimension and physical dimension to reality but there is only one reality and it is not an illusion. Christians believe that God created man righteous with the purpose of serving and worshipping Him. Man fell from this state of righteousness through willful rebellion against God and complicity with Satan a fallen and sinful angel. God in his righteousness and mercy has worked out a plan of salvation from this state of sin by taking the penalty of sin upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ. This offers the potential for those who trust in Christ to find forgiveness and eternal life from God. Sin is very real and is the cause either directly or indirectly of all illness and death present in the world. Christianity addresses human illness as part of living in a world that has been hurt by sin. The believer may request supernatural healing from God and may find himself healed through supernatural means, the means of medicine (as God has made possible its discovery and use), or not healed at all. In all cases the believer in Christ will be completely healed when he dies and enters into eternity.
Christianity addresses the health of mankind but does so in a more holistic fashion that includes body, soul and mind. The greatest illness is not the belief in illusions but an unrepentant and rebellious heart towards his Creator.
Christian Science churches number a little over 3000 worldwide with the majority of them located in the United States. The Church of Christ Scientist is also the sponsor of the renowned Christian Science Monitor.