and why Jesus said to "Beware of false teachers!" We must "test the
spirits to see whether they are from God;" ( 1 John 4:1-3).
Key Person or Founder,
- Biblical Christianity: Jesus Christ. Founded about AD 30-33, in the Judean province of Palestine (Israel today), under the Roman Empire. Followers of Jesus Christ become known as Christians.
- Christian Science: Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). Founded 1875 in Massachusetts. Headquarters in Boston, MA.
- Biblical Christianity: The Bible, written originally in Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament), and Greek (New Testament).
- Christian Science: Science and Health, With Key to the Scriptures; Miscellaneous Writings; Manual of the Mother Church; and other books by Mrs. Eddy. The Bible (not as reliable). Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and other official periodicals.
Who is God?
- Biblical Christianity: The one God is Triune (one God in three persons, not three gods): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Often the title "God" designates the first person, God the Father. God is a spiritual being without a pyshical body. He is personal and involved with people. He created the universe out of nothing. He is eternal, changeless, holy, loving, and perfect.
- Christian Science: According to Mrs. Eddy, God is an impersonal Principle of life, truth, love, intelligence, and spirit. God is all that truly exists; matter is an illusion.
Who is Jesus?
- Biblical Christianity: Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity. As God the Son, he has always existed and was never created. He is fully God and fully man (the two natures joined, not mixed). As the second person of the Trinity, he is coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. In becoming man, he was begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus is the only way to the Father, salvation, and eternal life. He died on a cross according to God's plan, as the full sacrifice and payment for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day, spiritually and psychically immortal. For the next 40 days he was seen by more than 500 eye-witnesses. His wounds were touched and he ate meals. He psychically ascended to heaven. Jesus will return again visibly and psychically at the end of the world to establish God's kingdom and judge the world.
- Christian Science: Jesus was not the Christ, but a man who displayed the Christ idea. ("Christ" means perfection, not a person.) Jesus was not God, and God can never become man or flesh. He did not suffer and could not suffer for sins. He did not die on the cross. He was not resurrected physically. He will not literally come back.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
- Biblical Christianity: The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or energy field. He comforts, grieves, reproves, convicts, guides, teaches, and fills Christians. He is not the Father, nor is he the Son, Jesus Christ.
- Christian Science: Holy Spirit is defined as the teaching of Christian Science. Impersonal power.
How to be Saved
- Biblical Christianity: Salvation is by God's grace, not by an individual's good works. Salvation must be received by faith. People must believe in their hearts that Jesus died for their sins and psychically rose again, which is the assurance of forgiveness and resurrection of the body. This is God's loving plan to forgive sinful people.
- Christian Science: Humanity is already eternally saved. Sin, evil, sickness, and death are not real.
What Happens after Death?
- Biblical Christianity: Believers go to be with Jesus. After death, all people await the final judgement. Both saved and lost people will be resurrected. Those who are saved will live with Jesus in Heaven. Those who are lost will suffer the torment of eternal separation from God (hell). Jesus' bodily resurrection guarantees believer that they, too, will be resurrected and receive new immortal bodies.
- Christian Science: Death is not real. Heaven and Hell are states of mind. The way to reach heaven is by attaining harmony (oneness with God).
Other Facts, Beliefs, or Practices
- Biblical Christianity: Group worship, usually in churches. No secret rites. Baptism and Lord's Supper (Communion). Active voluntary missionary efforts. Aid to those in need: the poor, widows, orphans, and downtrodden. Christians believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament (Tanakh). Jesus said his followers would be known by their love for one another.
- Christian Science: Members use Christian Science "practitioners" (authorized professional healers who "treat" supposes illnesses for a fee) instead of doctors. Healing comes through realizing one cannot really be sick or hurt and that the body cannot be ill, suffer pain, or die since matter is an illusion. Attracts followers by claims of miraculous healing. Publishes Christian Science Monitor newspaper.