By Carolyn Poole
Founder of Christian Way
Christian Science was my whole life. I was a third-generation member of a branch church, The Mother Church in Boston, and was Class taught. I fully practiced Christian Science by reading my lesson each day, by not going to doctors or taking medicine, and by serving on various committees. The latter included presiding as president of the Executive Board. I thought we had the truth (that God is Mind and all is mental). I believed that Jesus was human man who demonstrated the Christ Truth just as you and I can when we become as spiritually advanced as he was. Jesus was not the same as the Christ. He was the Way-Shower. I did not know my religion was called a cult; that it was not considered Christian. In 1969 I went alone to hear Billy Graham in the Anaheim Stadium. I was curious about him because he was famous. I do not know what he said or why I did what I did, but I went forward and received prayer. After I sat back down, an evil presence came to me. It told me I would be dead before the night was over. I nearly panicked. I asked God to forgive me for my being there and for being disloyal to Christian Science. The evil thing left me, and I blamed it all on Billy Graham. After that I forgot the whole affair. Since my religion was supposed to be based on the Bible, I tried to read the Bible and understand it, but I found much of it too difficult. Then in 1975, it occurred to me to have a Bible study under a guide. I proposed this to my church, but nothing came of it.
At this time I had reached the age of being a grandmother, yet I had never been invited to a Bible study. So I was surprised when two women, whom I did not know, knocked on my door and invited me to a home study with the Christian Women’s Club. I later learned that God had prompted these two women separately to go door-to-door in my block. I was the only one to accept. After many months of study, I started seeing verses in my Bible which I had read and yet had never really been aware of. My conception of God and His plan for man began to change. It began to dawn on me that Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, founder and leader of Christian Science, had taken the place of Jesus for the people in her religion. In the church Manual she had said she was the only one to be called Leader. In Matthew 23:10 (NAS), Jesus said He was the only one to be called Leader. I was faced with two people telling me that he or she was to be my only leader. Christian Science taught that Christian Science was the Revelation; that Mrs. Eddy was the Revelator; and that we cannot know the Revelation unless we know the Revelator. Since the Revelation was the truth about God, we had to go through Mrs. Eddy to know God. In other words Mrs. Eddy was the way to God. For the first time I saw that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) So Mrs. Eddy and Jesus both claimed to be the way to God.
One day in Bible study I had a real experience with God’s Word. It was my turn to quote words which I knew as a Christian Scientist. I told the group that Jesus had asked His disciples who men said He was. They had answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist; some Elias; and others Jeremias.” But Jesus asked, “Whom say ye I that am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ.” Jesus answered, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father.” (Matthew 16:13-17) After the women left, those words kept ringing in my mind. It was as though Jesus were asking me personally, “Whom say ye that I am?” He seemed very stern about it. It became clear that Mrs. Eddy had said that He is not Christ, and that Jesus said He is Christ. Jesus was asking me did I believe her or Him? At first I didn’t know. I cried. I threshed it about in my mind. I came to the decision that if He could do the miracles He did, He certainly should know who He is. So I believed that Jesus is Christ.
Christian Science says man is perfect and sinless. When he dies, only his belief of matter dies. He is spiritual and he goes on doing whatever he was doing, as death is an illusion. Since all is mind, hell and heaven are only states of mind. The Bible says all men are sinners. (Romans 3:23) They cannot come to God without atonement. (Romans 5:11) This was accomplished by the blood sacrifice of animals in the Old Testament. At the time of the Passover, Jesus, who is called the Lamb, became the perfect and final blood sacrifice for the atonement of man’s sins. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” So death is real, and sinful man has to go before God at the judgment seat. He will be judged for his sins and cast into eternal damnation unless he accepts Jesus as the atonement for his sins. Those who believe on Jesus become the Bride of Jesus and spend eternity in heaven with Him. I realized that, from our human viewpoint, Mrs. Eddy’s reasoning sounded more beautiful and at times more logical than the Bible’s statement of God’s plan for man, but there were many errors in her teachings.
First, she was not qualified to refute the Bible and deny Jesus’ message. She was not of virgin birth. Jesus was. Also, when she died her body stayed in the grave. She didn’t come back. Therefore, she can’t really testify as to what goes on after death because she had not been there when she wrote the book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Jesus had been beyond the grave and had come back, so He knew what is there to report on. Second, she said she based Christian Science on the Bible. The first tenet says, “As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life” (Church Manual, 89th Edition). Yet Christian Science conflicts with the Bible. So if the Bible is right then Christian Science is wrong. But if the Bible is wrong, then Christian Science still is wrong because it allegedly is based on something that is wrong. Third, Mrs. Eddy said that she based her teachings on revelation, reason, and demonstration. Her revelation is Christian Science, which seems to be neither Christian nor scientific. She didn’t demonstrate very much because she didn’t overcome death. As for her reasoning, Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My [God’s] ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” I would not want to gamble my future in eternity on one woman’s reasoning.
The Holy Spirit revealed to me through God’s own Book to man, the Bible, that the Bible says Jesus is God, come in the flesh. John 1:1,14 proclaims, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” Thomas put his hand in Jesus’ side and called Jesus “My Lord and My God.” Jesus agreed with that. Then I read in the Bible that, in the end times, false prophets would deny that Jesus is the Christ and would claim that they are the Christ. I saw that Mrs. Eddy had denied that Jesus is Christ and that she had put herself in His place as being the only Leader and the only way to God. So Mrs. Eddy was a false prophet. All people who cling to the false prophet will end up in the hell Jesus told about where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. All people who believe on Jesus and become born again will end up in heaven with Him where there will be joy, beauty, and no more tears. (Revelation 21:4)
I have chosen Jesus as my Lord and my God. I will confess Him to men. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use this brief testimony to show someone involved in the mind sciences, whether it be Christian Science, Religious Science, Divine Science, Unity, or one of the others, that Jesus is God come in the flesh, and that if we do not believe on Him we will not spend eternity with God, but rather we will be cast into outer darkness. I resigned from the Christian Science church. Now I belong to a group of other ex-Christian Scientists who are also born-again Christians. We have a ministry named “Christian Way.” Our primary goal is to share the salvation message with those in the mind sciences.