Overland Monthly / OV376 - Is Christian Science Scriptural?
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OV376 Is Christian Science Scriptural?
By C. T. Russell Pastor New York, Washington and Cleveland Temples and the Brooklyn and London Tabernacles \
(This is the second and final article on Christian Science, written by the famous author of "Studies in the Scriptures." The other appeared in last month’s issue.) "There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain."—#Re 21:4.
IN MY ARTICLE of last month having, I believe, fairly stated the facts and claims of Christian Science, and having pointed out the unreasonableness and inconsistency of some of its statements, I now proceed to inquire whether its teachings are Scriptural.
This is the question of special interest to us. The others are merely incidental. I hold, and will endeavor to show, that Christian Science is in conflict with the Holy Scriptures.
The Bible distinctly avers that God created man perfect—in His own likeness, morally, intellectually. It declares that Adam’s disobedience was sin, punishable, not with eternal torment, but with death.—#Ro 5:12; 6:23; #1Co 15:21,22; #Ge 2:17; 3:17-19; #Eze 18:4,20..Christian Science denies these facts, declaring that there is no death and that whoever dies merely commits "mortal error." It is surely against Christian Science, but confirmatory of the Bible teaching that for more than six thousand years mankind have been dying! Even "Mother Eddy," who was expected not to commit "mortal error," finally succumbed to it. What answer can our Christian Science friends make to this?
We know of none, except that they might claim that the unreasonableness of their position is no greater than the unreasonableness of any of the other sects and creeds.
Logic never seems to be taken into consideration in religious matters; the more illogical a statement the more commendable the acceptance of it.
If all disease is error, if death is the greatest of errors, and if the escaping of "mortal error"—death—brings the reward of everlasting life, how do our Christian Science friends expect to get everlasting life, when at the last moment of their trial they make failure? For those of them who are at all logical, this must be another very perplexing problem. The Bible declares that whoever fails in one point is guilty of all the Law. (#Jas 2:10.)
Surely he who commits "mortal error" has failed in attaining the desideratum of Christian Science more than in all the other failures of his life in combating all other things! If "mortal error" thus takes hold at the dying moment, what hope would there be for such a person as respects everlasting life, if only to overcomers will be granted that life and if none of them overcome, but all succumb to "mortal error?" The corollary of the argument would be hopeless death for all mankind. In this conclusion, the Bible agrees. "The wages of sin is death;" sin brings death, "mortal error."—#Eze 18:4; #Ge 2:17; #Ro 6:23.
OV377 What the Scriptures Say.
The Bible logically and beautifully points out God’s compassion for our race, and His provision in Christ for our recovery out of this death condition by a resurrection from the dead. The Bible logically shows that the Divine sentence of death (not torment) must be met either by humanity or by a Redeemer, and informs us that for this purpose Christ left His Heavenly glory, that He might redeem Adam and his race from sin and its death penalty. So the Apostle writes by inspiration: "As by a man (Adam) came death, by a man also (Jesus) comes the resurrection of the dead. For as all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive." (#1Co 15:21,22.) What is this but a declaration that the sin leading to "mortal error" is atoned for by Divine favor, to the intent that all sinners may be rescued from "mortal error"—from death?
The Bible is so much more reasonable and beautiful that, we believe, Christian Scientists, seeing its teachings with clear vision, will gladly exchange an inferior for a superior. Why should they bind themselves too closely to "Mother Eddy," who, according to her own theory, failed in the highest degree in committing "mortal error"—and hopelessly? Would they not rather take the older and still better teaching of God’s Word, and realize that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was the Divine recognition of His perfect sacrifice and a guarantee that His death had accomplished the designed purpose of providing a way for the removal of "mortal error" —death—from all?
Those who accept Jesus’ death and resurrection as the satisfaction for sin provided by God, and who believe the Bible teaching that the actual resurrection is to occur after the Second Advent of Jesus, may by faith speak of themselves as already risen with Him. But those who deny that there is any death must of necessity deny that Jesus died, and hence would be, whether intentionally or otherwise, denying the Ransom-Price—the Redemption Price—given for the sins of the whole world.
Cannot our Christian Science friends accept the Redeemer and His work, and by faith look forward to the Restitution, which St. Peter declares will follow our Lord’s Second Advent? (#Ac 3:19-21.) It will be for all mankind, and will last a thousand years, dealing with "every man in his own order"—bringing them back from the tomb and from all their weaknesses, which are the blemishes of sin—back to the perfect image and likeness of God, as originally represented in Father Adam.
Healing the Sick Not a Sin.
Christian Science healers necessarily acknowledge that there is sickness when they speak of healing; for how could any one be healed who is not diseased? We have already conceded that sickness, sorrow and pain would not be proper for any who are God’s people; and that the prevalence of these conditions attests the fact that God is dealing with the world as criminals under death sentence. The question arises, Is not the Church an exception to the world in this matter? We answer that those who believe in Jesus’ redemptive work and who fully consecrate their lives, are counted as separate and distinct from the world. (#Joh 17:16.) Nevertheless, to the surprise of some, it is not the Divine Plan that those received by God as sons should be released from sickness, imperfection or death.
Take the case of Jesus. "Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners," the Son of God by a full outward attestation (#Mt 3:17; #Joh 1:14), He was weary, He hungered, He agonized in the Garden, He died on the Cross. Nor were these errors; rather they were the very things for which He came into the world, as He Himself declared; and without Jesus’ suffering as our Redeemer, Adam and his race could never be recovered, according to the Divine arrangement.