Nothing — 24 May 2017
Conversation with a Christian Scientist

I received an e-mail from a Christian Scientist after she read an article I had written about Christian Science: http://www.marketfaith.org/non-christian-worldviews/the-gospel-according-to-marilyn-monroe-christian-science. Christian Science (CS) is a religion that claims to be Christian, but which interprets the Bible using the filter of the writings of a woman named Mary Baker Eddy (MBE). Eddy used an approach to interpreting the Bible that considers the entire Bible to be allegory. As such, Christian Scientists believe you can’t simply read and interpret the Bible based on what is in the actual text, you must interpret it based on the allegorical framework that MBE invented.

The initial e-mail I received from this woman was very polite, and basically requested that she be allowed to tell me why the article about her religion is wrong. She obviously did not like some of the things that were written there. Following is the conversation we had over a several week period.

As you read, you will occasionally come across information in brackets [ ]. The information in those are simply explanations that I have inserted after the fact be bring a little more clarity.

4/5/17
I am a Christian Scientist and would love an opportunity to communicate with Freddy Davis about serious errors in his article about C.S. Obviously he isn’t a Christian Scientist and he makes several misinterpretations of the faith and of Mrs. Eddy’s beliefs that need to be corrected. Thank you.

[When I received her e-mail, I responded and gave her the okay to engage.]

4/5/17
I would be glad to interact. What article are you referring to and what problems to you think
you see.

Blessings,
Freddy

4/5/17
Freddy, how nice of you to respond to my request. I am a Christian Scientist and would love to correct some of your misstatements about the faith in your article: http://www.marketfaith.org/non-christian-worldviews/the-gospel-according-to-marilyn-monroe-christian-science/

I am not an official spokesperson for CS and am just reacting to my reading of your article earlier today. I will need to re-read it, give some thought to it and then get back to you in the next few days.

Thanks,
Beth

[A few days later, she sent her reply detailing what she felt were the problems with the article (see next). After receiving that, we began a back and forth conversation. Note: Beth’s initial explanation of her faith is somewhat long and tedious. However, it is very instructive in helping one understand the thinking of CS believers. My response and our subsequent back and forth conversation follows her explanation.]

5/14/17
Freddy, please see the attached, which is my attempt to help you understand better Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual revelations. Thank you for being receptive to views that are sometimes different from your interpretation of Christian Science.

Beth

[Following is the explanation she attached to her e-mail.]

Freddy, thank you for being receptive to my feedback about your Christian Science article. I attended Catholic schools through the 4th grade, grew up Methodist and my favorite cousin was a Baptist preacher, so I’m very familiar with orthodox Christianity and know how different are the teachings of Christian Science. So I admire you for taking on the daunting task of trying to explain the faith. I have been a student of CS since 1974, and to deeply understand Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual revelations is really a lifelong challenge.

Now to your article. I’m going to try and let Mrs. Eddy’s words respond to statements you have made that I perceive to be misstatements and misunderstandings of Christian Science.

Her quotes are in red, mine in black, and your article quotes in green.

Let me begin by saying what I’m sure is obvious to you: In every faith, people who subscribe to the beliefs differ in the depth of their commitment to its principles. Certainly what we know of Marilyn Monroe’s reliance on drugs and alcohol lets us know that she was not an in-depth student of CS. Mrs. Eddy urged Christian Scientists not to turn to any material agent for one’s good. One of her quotes regarding drugs is below.

SH 143:5-8 It is plain that God does not employ drugs or hygiene, nor provide them for human use; else Jesus would have recommended and employed them in his healing. (SH is Mary Baker Eddy’s book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” – Christian Science’s foundational teaching.)

One Christian Scientist actress who I knew well and you don’t list among the well known actors who were Christian Scientists is Jean Stapleton. Jean would be a better example as an in-depth practitioner of the faith than Marilyn.

There has also been a certain amount of controversy surrounding the practice of Christian Science – particularly in regard to their approach to healing. There have been cases where individuals have died because they chose not to seek medical attention for illnesses based on their beliefs regarding healing. There have also been controversies regarding the non-treatment of children for medical problems, which ultimately resulted in their deaths.

There have been so many spiritual healings through Christian Science practice after doctors gave up on helping them. At the same time, we don’t hear much about hospitals and doctors who have been the reason for patient deaths. I know for a fact that two aunts and my dad all three died unnecessarily in hospitals as a result of malpractice. We don’t read about these cases, but those who would condemn CS spiritual healing find and cite cases that make it seem that spiritual healing is a hoax.

It was Quimby’s influence that would ultimately lead to the doctrines of Christian Science – particularly the ideas which seem to have a Far Eastern Thought basis. It is interesting to note that Ms. Eddy never did any significant study of Far Eastern Thought ideas and denied the influence of Hinduism in her faith. In fact, she always maintained a strong commitment to the idea that the Bible was her authority source. That being said, the Far Eastern Thought ideas from Quimby’s system have a very prominent place in the religion.

My. 304:29-2 The first attack upon me was: Mrs. Eddy misinterprets the Scriptures; second, she has stolen the contents of her book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” from one P. P. Quimby (an obscure, uneducated man), and that he is the founder of Christian Science.
[My. is from a letter Ms. Eddy wrote to Mark Twain after he was critical of Christian Science. The “My.” is from a reference called Miscellany.]

Because of her early health problems, Mrs. Eddy explored all of the available health remedies of her time. Quimby’s approach was healing with the human mind. After working with him over a period of time, her revelation was that it isn’t the human brain that heals but the Divine Mind that does so and is the only Mind. What we call mortal mind is really a computer brain that only reflects and can rise no higher than what it has been programmed with.

SH xi:4-8 On the contrary, Christian Science rationally explains that all other pathological methods are the fruits of human faith in matter, — faith in the workings, not of Spirit, but of the fleshly mind which must yield to Science.

Based on this experience, Mary took Quimby’s teachings one step further and claimed that sickness, death, and even our physical bodies do not exist, but are only imagined.

SH 108:19-29 When apparently near the confines of mortal existence, standing already within the shadow of the death-valley, I learned these truths in divine Science: that all real being is in God, the divine Mind, and that Life, Truth, and Love are all-powerful and ever-present; that the opposite of Truth, — called error, sin, sickness, disease, death, — is the false testimony of false material sense, of mind in matter; that this false sense evolves, in belief, a subjective state of mortal mind which this same so-called mind names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit.

…death is an illusion, Mary Baker Eddy passed away December 3, 1910.

Life, God, being everywhere, it must follow that death can be nowhere; because there is no place left for it. Soul, Spirit, is deathless. Matter, sin, and death are not the outcome of Spirit, holiness, and Life. What then are matter, sin, and death? They can be nothing except the results of material consciousness; but material consciousness can have no real existence, because it is not a living — that is to say, a divine and intelligent — reality.

SH 51:12-15 Jesus could give his temporal life into his enemies’ hands; but when his earth-mission was accomplished, his spiritual life, indestructible and eternal, was found forever the same.

SH 486:10-11 In reality man never dies.

Jesus Christ is acknowledged to be the means by which individuals achieve healing

SH xi:9-14 The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation.

Christian Science demands that faith be present in order for physical healing to occur.

SH 14:6-9 To be “present with the Lord” is to have, not mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demonstration and understanding of Life as revealed in Christian Science.

God is understood to be pantheistic. He is seen to be all of existent reality, including the
material world.

SH 129:11-12 Pantheism may be defined as a belief in the intelligence of matter, — a belief which Science overthrows.

SH 110:32-5 No analogy exists between the vague hypotheses of agnosticism, pantheism, theosophy, spiritualism, or millenarianism and the demonstrable truths of Christian Science; and I find the will, or sensuous reason of the human mind, to be opposed to the divine Mind as expressed through divine Science.

SH 27:18-21 He laid the axe of Science at the root of material knowledge, that it might be ready to cut down the false doctrine of pantheism, — that God, or Life, is in or of matter.

SH 150:12-17 Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin, — to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world.

God is Spirit, as Jesus said in John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Everything we see is Spirit. There is no material world in reality. It is the false, subjective state of mortal mind that believes in evil, sin, sickness, death, and limitation. Matter is the manifestation of these beliefs. And as it says in Genesis, man is given dominion over the earth with these false beliefs and their manifestation.

What we perceive as matter is simply an expression of the Divine Mind. God has no personhood and no personality. He is, simply, all that exists, the infinite power source, and the Father-Mother.

SH 114:29-31 Science shows that what is termed matter is but the subjective state of what is termed by the author mortal mind.

Christian Science teaches that Jesus did not really die on the cross. He was also not God in the flesh and, therefore, made no atonement for sin by the shedding of his blood.

SH 334:12-20 This dual personality of the unseen and the seen, the spiritual and material, the eternal Christ and the corporeal Jesus manifest in flesh, continued until the Master’s ascension, when the human, material concept, or (of) Jesus, disappeared, while the spiritual self, or Christ, continues to exist in the eternal order of divine Science, taking away the sins of the world, as the Christ has always done, even before the human Jesus was incarnate to mortal eyes.

Our physical existence is merely an illusion.

SH 573:3-12 The Revelator was on our plane of existence, while yet beholding what the eye cannot see–that which is invisible to the uninspired thought. This testimony of Holy Writ sustains the fact in Science, that the heavens and earth to one human consciousness, that consciousness which God bestows, are spiritual, while to another, the unillumined human mind, the vision is material. This shows unmistakably that what the human mind terms matter and spirit indicates states and stages of consciousness.

SH 116:11-19 A correct view of Christian Science and of its adaptation to healing includes vastly more than is at first seen. Works on metaphysics leave the grand point untouched. They never crown the power of Mind as the Messiah, nor do they carry the day against physical enemies–even to the extinction of all belief in matter, evil, disease, and death–nor insist upon the fact that God is all, therefore that matter is nothing beyond an image in mortal mind.

Christian Science teaches that there is no such thing as sin and death, good and evil. That being the case, there is no objective need for salvation. The things that appear to be bad are merely illusions. Since God is love, sin and sickness are only errors in interpreting the Divine Mind. God’s infinite goodness is recognized as the healing agent, and this is realized in the act of prayer. Salvation occurs when a person realizes that sin, sickness and death are illusions. At the point of true belief, healings result.

SH 45:7-10 Jesus’ deed was for the enlightenment of men and for the salvation of the whole world from sin, sickness, and death.

SH 51:19-21 His consummate example was for the salvation of us all, but only through doing the works which he did and taught others to do.

SH 103:9-11 As in the beginning, however, this liberation does not scientifically show itself in a knowledge of both good and evil, for the latter is unreal.

SH 137:1-7 His students saw this power of Truth heal the sick, cast out evil, raise the dead; but the ultimate of this wonderful work was not spiritually discerned, even by them, until after the crucifixion, when their immaculate Teacher stood before them, the victor over sickness, sin, disease, death, and the grave.

Christian Science teaches that there is no such thing as sin and death, good and evil.

In the Adam and Eve allegory, God told our first parents not to eat of the tree of good and evil (belief in dualism). Sin and death are evil, and therefore unreal, unnatural, have no substance. That’s why Jesus was able to destroy them by knowing that only good is God, Allness, and real. As Mrs. Eddy says, if evil, sin, sickness and death were real and of God, good, then it would be folly to try and destroy them. But Jesus did destroy them, therefore proof that they aren’t of God. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law of God, good, and his demonstrations of the unreality of evil were his proof.

SH 19:31-1 Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life, — even God, good.

SH 42:25-28 This demonstrates that in Christian Science the true man is governed by God — by good, not evil — and is therefore not a mortal but an immortal.

SH 52:19-21 The “man of sorrows” best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good.

SH 72:21-23 God, good, being ever present, it follows in divine logic that evil, the suppositional opposite of good, is never present.

SH 103:9-11 As in the beginning, however, this liberation does not scientifically show itself in a knowledge of both good and evil, for the latter is unreal.

SH 103:20-22 It is the false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful.

SH 114:1-6 Usage classes both evil and good together as mind; therefore, to be understood, the author calls sick and sinful humanity mortal mind, — meaning by this term the flesh opposed to Spirit, the human mind and evil in contradistinction to the divine Mind, or Truth and good.

SH 119:21-24 God is natural good, and is represented only by the idea of goodness; while evil should be regarded as unnatural, because it is opposed to the nature of Spirit, God.

SH 130:26-32 If thought is startled at the strong claim of Science for the supremacy of God, or Truth, and doubts the supremacy of good, ought we not, contrariwise, to be astounded at the vigorous claims of evil and doubt them, and no longer think it natural to love sin and unnatural to forsake it, — no longer imagine evil to be everpresent and good absent?

SH 71:2 Evil (only, to 2nd .) Evil has no reality.

SH 91:29-31 The third erroneous postulate is, that mind is both evil and good; whereas the real Mind cannot be evil nor the medium of evil, for Mind is God.

SH 92:26-27 The foundation of evil is laid on a belief in something besides God.

SH 119:21-24 God is natural good, and is represented only by the idea of goodness; while evil should be regarded as unnatural, because it is opposed to the nature of Spirit, God.

SH 93:15-17 Good does not create a mind susceptible of causing evil, for evil is the opposing error and not the truth of creation.

SH 103:17 (only) Evil is a suppositional lie.

What is the most fundamental reality? (Ultimate reality)
The most fundamental reality is God, which is an impersonal and infinite power source. God is understood to be all of extant reality, including the material world. God is all and all is God.

What is the nature of our material reality? (Material reality)
Matter is acknowledged to contain no life, hence it has no real existence. Therefore, material reality is understood to be an illusion. What we perceive as matter is simply an interpretation of Divine Mind.

7. What is the meaning of human history? (History)
History is an illusion since all of material reality is an illusion.

SH 114:29-31 Science shows that what is termed matter is but the subjective state of what is termed by the author mortal mind.

Mary Baker Eddy claimed that the Bible was her final authority, but also claimed that her revelations were better and higher than the Bible. To clarify further, the Bible can only be correctly interpreted by understanding the principles taught in Science and Health – which is recognized as the voice of truth to this age.

SH 110:13-14 In following these leadings of scientific revelation, the Bible was my only textbook.

SH 131:10-11 The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power.

SH 319:21-23 The divine Science taught in the original language of the Bible came through inspiration, and needs inspiration to be understood.

SH 497:3-4 1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.

Evidence for the Authority
The only evidence for the validity of Christian Science is the assertion and anecdotal testimonial evidence of Mary Baker Eddy and her followers. There is no objective evidence to back up Christian Science’s beliefs. Additionally, there is no attempt by Christian Science believers to prove that their interpretations of the process of healing is, in actual fact, what happens. They simply assert it as truth.

SH viii:12-15 The question, What is Truth, is answered by demonstration, — by healing both disease and sin; and this demonstration shows that Christian healing confers the most health and makes the best men.

SH x:4-6 Various books on mental healing have since been issued, most of them incorrect in theory and filled with plagiarisms from Science and Health.

SH x:7-9 They regard the human mind as a healing agent, whereas this mind is not a factor in the Principle of Christian Science.

Conclusion
Christian Science is a strange combination of Theism and Far Eastern Thought. There is no reason why these were put together in this combination except that Mary Baker Eddy thought up the system and developed it into a religious group that attracted some followers.

It is your conclusion that Christian Science is a combination of Theism and Far Eastern Thought, although Mrs. Eddy made clear that the Bible was her only authority.

Pan. 7:8-12 Does not the theism or belief, that after God, Spirit, had created all things spiritually, a material creation took place, and God, the preserver of man, declared that man should die, lose the character and sovereignty of Jehovah, and hint the gods of paganism?
[“Pan.” is Ms. Eddy’s book called “Christian Science vs. Pantheism.]

Pan. 6:11-14 Mosaic theism introduces evil, first, in the form of a talking serpent, contradicting the word of God and thereby obtaining social prestige, a large following, and changing the order and harmony of God’s creation.

Pan. 6:14-16 But the higher criticism is not satisfied with this theism, and asks, If God is infinite good, what and where is evil?

By the way, Christian Science didn’t attract “some” followers, but millions of followers early in the practice, most of whom experienced a Christian Science healing when they had unsuccessfully tried every material approach to healing, many whose case had been given up as hopeless by doctors. Today we’re living in such a material age, inundated with TV ads for drugs with dangerous side effects. Membership in the church has been diminished by all the powers that are threatened by Christian Science–medical science, the drug industry, orthodox Christianity, etc. It’s a wonder anyone has remained believers in Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual revelations that declare matter to be unreal. What do you mean? Are you saying this table isn’t real? It is spirit. All is spirit. I personally think of matter as the clothing on substantive reality of Spirit. Am I my clothing? No. It is what seems to be me, but my substance and reality is spiritual.

In terms of worldview, Christian Science is a hybrid. The belief system maintains that the Bible is its ultimate authority, yet the principles of pantheism are used to interpret what the Bible says. These two approaches are inherently contradictory and, because of the internal contradictions which result, invalidate the belief system on its face.

SH 129:11-12 Pantheism may be defined as a belief in the intelligence of matter, — a belief which Science overthrows.

In general terms, Christian Science adherents tend to be good, moral people. That being said, their conception of morality can be skewed because of their belief that the material world is not real – as evidenced by the lives of some of the prominent believers listed at the beginning of this article, and by some of the controversies which have occurred because of certain members refusal to seek medical help for illnesses. But the morality of the believers in this faith is not the main issue at hand. Based on the evidence we have seen, the teachings of Christian Science simply do not represent the truth about the structure of reality.

SH 13:29-32 The world of error is ignorant of the world of Truth, — blind to the reality of man’s existence, — for the world of sensation is not cognizant of life in Soul, not in body.

SH 73:26-29 It is a grave mistake to suppose that matter is any part of the reality of intelligent existence, or that Spirit and matter, intelligence and non-intelligence, can commune together.

SH 91:9-13 It is difficult for the sinner to accept divine Science, because Science exposes his nothingness; but the sooner error is reduced to its native nothingness, the sooner man’s great reality will appear and his genuine being will be understood.

SH 130:9-14 It is unwise to doubt if reality is in perfect harmony with God, divine Principle, — if Science, when understood and demonstrated, will destroy all discord, — since you admit that God is omnipotent; for from this premise it follows that good and its sweet concords have all-power.

SH 205:15-21 Befogged in error (the error of believing that matter can be intelligent for good or evil), we can catch clear glimpses of God only as the mists disperse, or as they melt into such thinness that we perceive the divine image in some word or deed which indicates the true idea, — the supremacy and reality of good, the nothingness and unreality of evil.

SH 207:27 (only) The spiritual reality is the scientific fact in all things.

SH 213:1-3 Whoever contradicts this mortal mind supposition of reality is called a deceiver, or is said to be deceived.

SH 293:10-12 In reality and in Science, both strata, mortal mind and mortal body, are false representatives of man.

SH 309:27-29 It is a self-evident error to suppose that there can be such a reality as organic animal or vegetable life, when such so-called life always ends in death.

SH 311:17-19 This state of error is the mortal dream of life and substance as existent in matter, and is directly opposite to the immortal reality of being.

SH 322:3-7 When understanding changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis, we shall gain the reality of Life, the control of Soul over sense, and we shall perceive Christianity, or Truth, in its divine Principle.

SH 347:12-13 Critics should consider that the so-called mortal man is not the reality of man.

SH 352:8-11 To Jesus, not materiality, but spirituality, was the reality of man’s existence, while to the rabbis the spiritual was the intangible and uncertain, if not the unreal.

SH 353:31-32 Mortal beliefs can neither demonstrate Christianity nor apprehend the reality of Life.

SH 409:20-23 The real man is spiritual and immortal, but the mortal and imperfect so-called “children of men” are counterfeits from the beginning, to be laid aside for the pure reality.

SH 469:13-17 The The exterminator of error is the great truth that God, good, is the only Mind, and that the supposititious opposite of infinite Mind — called devil or evil — is not Mind, is not Truth, but error, without intelligence or reality.

SH 472:30-3 We learn in Christian Science that all inharmony of mortal mind or body is illusion, possessing neither reality nor identity though seeming to be real and identical.

Freddy, thank you for giving me an opportunity to share with you Mrs. Eddy’s statements that hopefully will give you a different perspective of Christian Science. If you are interested in exploring spiritual Truth further, go to jsh.christianscience.com and scroll down to Concord. There will be a search bar for any idea for which you would like more clarification.

Beth

4/14/17
Beth,

I will not try to respond quite the way you have, but will simply list below my responses to the points that I feel need a response.
1. The use of Marilyn Monroe’s name was not meant to suggest that she was a faithful adherent of CS (Christian Science). It was simply a means of introducing the topic in the headline. As you saw, the actual details of the explanation came in the body of the article itself.

2. The point about deaths from people not seeking medical attention was simply an observation about how CS beliefs get expressed in life, and not an argument as to why CS beliefs are not true. The reasons they are not true lie in the later explanations. The comparison with the number of people who die in hospitals is totally irrelevant to the truth or falsity of CS beliefs. (BTW: Jehovah’s Witnesses have a belief about not using blood transfusions that I note in a different article that expresses their teachings, which also has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of the beliefs themselves.)

3. I don’t see any problem or conflict between my description of Quimby’s influence and what you have written. She (Mary Baker Eddy) would not have even thought of that approach to religious beliefs had she not been influenced by him.

4. MBE’s (Mary Baker Eddy) teachings about “matter” and the distinction between that and the effects of “spirit” related to matters such as the divine mind, truth, life, sin, sickness, disease, and death have no basis in Scripture. MBE appropriated these beliefs from other places. They are not biblical ideas.

5. MBE’s definition of Pantheism is incorrect and does not reflect what it really is: Thus her denial that her teachings reflect pantheistic thought is simply in error.

6. The distinction between spirit and matter in MBE’s teachings would make for good Gnosticism, but do not reflect biblical teachings. Perceptions of mind and matter are not mere differences in states and stages of consciousness.

7. MBE’s understanding of God as Spirit is simply in error. God is, indeed, spirit, but he is not impersonal spirit. We can know him in an objectively real personal relationship because he is a person (and we were created in his image). In that respect, the CS teaching is, indeed, much closer to Pantheism.

8. The CS teaching about sin and salvation is completely contrary to what is taught in the Bible.

9. The biblical teaching about salvation has nothing to do with enlightenment. That is not a biblical point of view. The biblical teaching is that sin is an individual’s deliberate rebellion against God that, according to his revelation, must be judged – and is judged – by separation from him. But God, because of his great love for mankind, provided a substitutionary sacrifice to take care of the sin problem, as he, himself, incarnated as a man, lived a life that qualified him to be the sacrifice, died in our place, then rose from the dead.

10. The story of Adam and Eve is not an allegory.

11. MBE’s concept of dualism has no basis in biblical teaching. She made it up herself. Like I said before, that would make good Gnosticism, but is not a Christian teaching.

12. Evil, sin, sickness and death are objectively real.

13. Matter is objectively real.

14. MBE’s interpretation of the central fact of the Bible as “the superiority of spiritual over physical power” is not a biblical teaching. If she divined that from her reading of Scripture, her interpretation is completely wrong. The Bible teaches no such thing.

15. MBE might have stated that the Bible was her only authority, yet her massive misinterpretation of the Bible, along with the interjection of pantheistic and monistic beliefs, betray that assertion.

16. The biblical teaching concerning the nature of human beings is that we are a soul housed in a material body. While the material universe has been corrupted by the entrance of sin into the world, matter, itself, is not sinful. We are the kind of being we are because God created us to be this kind of being – and he declared it “good” at the creation. What has become corrupt because of sin will ultimately be restored to its original state – which is both uncorrupted and material.

Beth, I deeply appreciate your desire to share something that you have found meaningful to you. However, the fact that you believe it does not make it true. MBE’s approach to understanding the Bible completely ignores the actual teaching of the text, and allegorizes it in a way that allowed her to make it say anything she wanted it to say – and it is simply not correct.

As you consider the things I have shared with you, it is my deep hope that you will consider what I have said and look a little more deeply into the actual text of Scripture. There is no way that a person could ever come up with MBE’s interpretation of the text without completely setting aside what is actually written, and reinterpret it based on an entirely different set of interpretive principles. The principles she has chosen are not based on the biblical text, contrary to her assertions, but on a pantheistic/monistic understanding of reality. Please let me know anytime I can be of service to you.

Blessings,
Freddy

4/14/17
Freddy, I so appreciate your sharing your beliefs with me. It’s kind of you to take the time and trouble. I’m not qualified to go further with you about all this.

I’ve forwarded your reply below to the church’s Committee on Publication, which is set up to explain Christian Science to those not understanding Mrs. Eddy’s revelations and teachings. If they see a reason to go further with what you and I have exchanged, they will be in touch with you in response to what you have said below.

Again, thank you for your interest and sincerity.

Beth

4/14/17
Beth,

I did not reply to you because of an interest in CS. I replied because you took the initiative to contact me about my article. My reply was simply to share with you how the teachings of CS do not reflect biblical teachings. While you may not be qualified to evaluate what I have shared with you, I am qualified. The truth about reality does not lie in MBE’s philosophy, but in God’s revelation in the Bible. Your best response would be to try to understand what the Bible really teaches, because that is where you will not only find the truth about the structure of reality, but eternal salvation, as well.

Blessings,
Freddy

4/14/17
Freddy,

I trust that God speaks to each of us in a language we best understand. I grew up with your literal interpretation of the Bible and acceptance of Christian orthodoxy that Catholic bishops decided on in the 4th century. It never felt right to me. In fact it sounded like hocus pocus to me.

I passionately prayed to God to give me understanding, and soon after that he led me to a Christian Science teacher. What I learned about the spiritual interpretation of the Bible and of Mrs. Eddy’s revelations were the deeper Truth I hungered for. For example, Jesus said clearly in the Gospel of John that God is Spirit, as Mrs. Eddy says, not a person. Jesus never referred to God as a who. His first line of the Lord’s Prayer is “Our Father which art in Heaven.” It feels to be a deeper spiritual Truth to me that God is a what, a Principle of Love and Life, as the Bible says, not a person. Indeed, we are the who of God, his expression as persons. I know this sounds like heresy to you. My dad was a member of the Church of Christ that believes no one can get to Heaven unless they are a member of that church. There are so many different beliefs about the Bible and its teachings. As long as each of us are at peace with what God has revealed to us, that’s the best we can hope for on this plane of existence.

Beth

4/14/17
I’m sorry, Beth, but what you are saying is simply not true. It is impossible for contradictory beliefs to be true, and the teachings of CS and the Bible are of that magnitude. You are simply wrong about what the Bible teaches about God. Jesus always referred to God as a “who.” It doesn’t get much more personal than Jesus referring to God as “Father” (when he prayed that prayer, he meant it literally). And Jesus, in Mk. 14:36 actually calls him “Abba,” which is even the less formal address meaning “Daddy.” We are also admonished to be intimate in that way in Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6.

The choice you make about what religion you want to follow is completely your choice. I cannot make decisions for you, nor do I want that responsibility. That said, I do not mind expressing to you what the Bible actually teaches in the hope that you might take another look. God absolutely is personal and you can know him in an objectively real personal relationship.

As for your unfortunate experience growing up, I am so sorry. But there is a problem with your argument. There are a lot of people who grow up in situations where they are taught inaccurate or incomplete beliefs about God. And there are plenty of churches besides the Church of Christ that believe they are the only true church. Wrong teachings do not become right just because someone believes it. There is a way reality is actually structured and it is not structured in any other way. No amount of belief by an individual changes that.

Here, though, is the bottom line: God is an objectively real person and he has revealed himself and his ways. The revelation of that is the in the Bible. But the Bible is not our salvation – it only points us to the personal relationship we are able to have with God – person to person. No amount of wrong teaching can change that. What is necessary is not to reject God’s revelation, but to come to know him. Don’t follow the teachings of some “church” (whatever one that might be), but learn to properly interpret the Bible.

CS teaching is simply wrong. It begins with a philosophical base that is founded in Far Eastern philosophy, and uses that to interpret the Bible using an allegorical methodology. It is simply not true. It is my prayer that one day you will come to personally know the personal God who loves you.

Blessings,
Freddy

4/14/17
Freddy, where we agree is that our personal relationship with God is what is most important. I think of Him as Love and refer to Him as Father as an endearing way to speak to Him. I have a very intimate relationship with God and am so grateful for the many, many blessings He has given me in my life. I could never list them all.

That being said, it’s the positive, enlightened philosophy of Christian Science that has brought me intimately to God and in fact has saved my life. I’m grateful to Mrs. Eddy for that.

I wish you all the best. God will continue to lead us both.

4/15/17
Freddy, the difficulty with communicating spiritual truths is that we only have material concepts with which to communicate. Both Jesus and Mrs. Eddy referred to God as Father and used the pronoun “he.” But that doesn’t mean God is a person. Jesus said God is Spirit and that we must worship him spiritually. Likewise with heaven that we have been taught in orthodox Christianity is a place we go to after passing on. Jesus said over and over that heaven is not a place but is harmony within each of us. But we are limited in communication about spiritual reality and are forced to use material language, our only language. That has caused much confusion and misunderstanding.

I’ve never ever heard that Mrs. Eddy was influenced by a Far Eastern philosophy, which you seem to believe. She deeply studied the Bible for Truth over a good part of her life and cited it as her only authority. Her revelations were from God and the result was her discovery of Christian Science, original Christianity as taught and practiced by Jesus.

Amen.

4/14/17
Beth,

It is not nearly as difficult to communicate spiritual truths as you are making it out to be. Of course, when you look at the Bible through an allegorical lens, it can probably seem that way, but that is not reality.

When you say God is not a person, it seems that you don’t grasp the full significance of that. All that means is that God is personal. Personhood and spirit are not in opposition to one another. God is a person, in fact he is the original person. The only reason human beings are persons is because we were created in his image. It is that personhood characteristic that provides us with the characteristics of personhood, and which allows us to interact with God in a personal relationship. As I said before, we ourselves are also spirit in our essential personhood. It is just that our personhood exists in a material housing. That does not limit our ability to communicate with God, as our communication with him is person to Person (spirit to Spirit). As such, our worship of God is spiritual – only in a very different way from what CS teaches. The fact that we must use human language to communicate with other humans on earth says nothing about the communication we are able to have with God.

I must say, also, that your understanding of heaven as taught in biblical Christianity is also flawed.

Of course MBE was influenced by Far Eastern philosophy. That is what we were talking about earlier – the pantheism/monism that is the very foundation of her ideas. As I said before, the Bible was not her authority source. She used Pantheism as the lens through which she interpreted the Bible. So, while she read the Bible and commented on the text of the Bible, the beliefs she used as an interpretive filter was not a biblical lens. Her ultimate authority source was that pantheistic lens. It is exactly the same problem the Jehovah’s Witnesses have as they say their authority source is the Bible, but use the teachings of the Watchtower Society as the interpretive lens. The end result is a message that takes the text out of context and interprets it in ways that are not consistent with what is actually written there.

I’m sorry, but MBE’s “revelations” were not from God, and Jesus certainly never taught anything near what CS teaches. You are simply in error. I hope this makes things a little clearer for you.

Blessings,
Freddy

[Apparently, Beth first came across my article because a friend of her’s sent it to her. They, obviously, communicated back and forth a bit about it before Beth contacted me. When she did contact me, the string between her and her friend was included in her e-mail. As it helps to understand the entirety of the conversation, that is also included here.]

4/14/17
Freddy, this is from the friend who sent me your article. See below.

To: Kymberly from Beth
Subject: Fwd: Christian Scientists according to this website

Just for clarification: This was my original response to what that man wrote on his website, not what you wrote. I think you already know that, but just don’t want it to create confusion because there are typos. (I just looked at my last sentence which has a typo and it says “Still, if you someone is going to write an article about this, at least get the key point right… smh.” This was referring to the website author obviously not you.)

From: Kymberly to Beth
Subject: Fwd: Christian Scientists according to this website
Date: April 14, 2017

I wrote this about a week ago on the 5th and it was in my draft folder. I never sent it because I felt unqualified, but these words and thoughts belong to Mrs. Eddy.

Good night dear friend.

(Following is what Kimberly wrote concerning my article.)

He (Freddy) wrote: “ God is understood to be pantheistic.”

Mary Baker Eddy published an entire book on this subject entitled Christian Science Versus Pantheism in 1898, based on a sermon she gave in June 1898 and it is the fundamental point that needs to be repudiated in my opinion.

The subject: Not Pantheism, but Christian Science. A few highlights:
On page 4 “Christian Science Not Pantheism. At this period of enlightenment, a declaration from the pulpit that Christian Science is Pantheism is anomalous to those who know whereof they speak – who know that Christian Science is science, and therefore is neither hypothetical nor dogmatical, but demonstrable, and looms above the mists of pantheism higher than Mt. Arafat above the deluge.”

On page 11, “The hypothesis of mind in matter, or more than on Mind, lapses into evil dominating Good, matter governing Mind and makes sin, disease and death inevitable, despite of Mind, or by the consent of Mind!”

On page 12, “Scientific Christianity Means One God. Christianity as taught and demonstrated in the first century by our great Master, virtually annulled the so-called laws of matter, idolatry, pantheism and polytheism.”

On page 18 “The Science of Christianity is strictly monotheism; – it has ONE GOD.”

But Beth, there is so much bad information out there about CS, and it is no wonder people are completely turned-off. Still, if someone is going to write an article about this, at least get the key point right… smh.

On Apr 5, 2017, Beth wrote:
I sent an email asking to communicate with the writer and I now have an email from him.

On Apr 5, 2017, Kymberly wrote:
I know!, especially the part about CS being pantheism.

On Apr 5, 2017, Beth wrote:
Thank you for this article. Obviously the writer isn’t a Christian Scientist and he so misinterprets a lot of what CS is and what MBE believed. It’s impossible for an outsider to understand CS.

On Apr 5, 2017 Kymberly wrote:
Hi Beth, I don’t have a book that lists the names of Christian Scientists, but just remember names being mentioned randomly in books. However I did find this list online that might be helpful. XO

The Gospel According to Marilyn Monroe – Christian Science

[My response to the information Kimberly sent to Beth to send to me.]
4/15/17

Beth,

I appreciate your continued attempts to justify the teachings of CS, but the teachings simply do not reflect reality, and they absolutely don’t reflect the teachings of the Bible. Your friend made some very great errors in her assessment that make her conclusions simply wrong. Let me share with you what she gets wrong.

1. I never said CS is pantheistic. It is a hybrid belief that incorporates pantheistic ideas as a filter for biblical interpretation. It is this filter that makes MBE’s interpretations wrong.

2. As I already explained to you, MBE’s definition of Pantheism is wrong, thus all of her objections to being lumped into that category are meaningless. She set up a straw man and knocked it down. The problem is, you simply take her assertions at face value. If you really want to do an accurate analysis of her teachings as compared to pantheistic beliefs, you have to first understand pantheistic beliefs. There is none of that in her writings (every dispute of my explanation has been nothing but a quote from her based on an inaccurate definition) and none of your arguments deal with that comparison.

3. CS is not science. Science is a specific methodology that uses observation and experimentation to discover things about the material universe. To be demonstrated as true, the experiments must be repeatable. There is nothing like that in CS. Beyond that, science is a discipline that is only applicable to matters associated with natural laws (laws of the natural universe). MBE tries to apply this to spiritual reality and it simply cannot be done. It is much the same problem social scientists run into, only more-so. Attempts to do this are not based on science but on the philosophy of the person doing the experiments.

4. The comments about Jesus’ annulment of the “so-called laws of matter” is double-talk. This is simply not true. And interpretation of Jesus’ life and words that comes to MBE’s conclusions are not based on an analysis of the text, but are an interpretation using a hermeneutical filter that is totally contrary to the biblical literature. It is simply not true.

The Bible is not a monolithic work. It is 66 separate writings written over a period of about 1500 years, by about 40 different authors who came from different cultures and different eras, and different occupations. The writing are also comprised of many different genres of literature. You can’t just take one interpretive model and apply it to every writing the same. You have to interpret poetry as poetry, apocalypse as apocalypse, narrative as narrative, and so on. There are even some allegorical sections. But MBE interprets everything as allegory. It is just not an accurate approach to biblical interpretation – plain and simple.

Hope this helps.
Blessings,
Freddy

4/15/17
Freddy, we seem to speaking different languages. It would help me to understand you better if you responded to the three questions below:

1. What is your definition of pantheism? Webster says it is “The doctrine that all laws, forces, manifestations, etc. of the universe are God.” Mrs. Eddy is saying the same thing when she defines pantheism as, “SH 27:18-21 He (Jesus) laid the axe of Science at the root of material knowledge, that it might be ready to cut down the false doctrine of pantheism, – that God, or Life, is in or of matter.”

2. To your way of thinking, reality is our material universe. How do you therefore interpret Jesus’ teachings when he said, John 4/24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” And John 4/23: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” And John 6:63: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profieth nothing.”

3. And since reality and correct interpretation of the Bible is material and literal for you, how do you interpret Luke 17:20/21: “The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

4/15/17
Beth,

Indeed, we are speaking different conceptual languages. That is exactly what I have been explaining to you in all of my replies. I have actually answered all three of your questions already in my previous comments, but I will try again using your questions as the vehicle.

1. The common way people express the idea of Pantheism is to use the phrase: God is everything and everything is God. That is not wrong if one understands what is meant by the word “God” in that definition. In Eastern Pantheism, God is not understood to be personal, so is unable to communicate in human language and has no will or even consciousness. In that sense, MBE’s teachings do not completely converge with Pantheism. However, she does take one part of Pantheistic belief and hybridize it with certain Theistic concepts to create her teachings. MBE’s teaching is that “God is all.” That idea is pantheistic. It corresponds exactly with certain Hindu teachings. She tries to get around that by claiming her teachings are not Pantheism. Well, it is a hybridized form of Pantheism that is utterly contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Her actual teachings do not go away just because she denies they are pantheistic. Her definition is wrong, and her straw man argument to defend her position is simply not valid. Pantheistic concepts are at the very core of CS beliefs.

2. You totally misunderstand. Reality consists of BOTH the material universe and transcendent spiritual reality. The original reality was the transcendent universe, and material reality did not come into existence until God created it. But once he did, it was (and is) objectively real. And, he created human beings as spiritual beings housed in physical bodies who live in the material universe. This allows the material and the spiritual to interact in a personal, relational way. Your dichotomy does not reflect a biblical worldview in any respect.

3. Part of the answer to this question lies in my answer to #2 above. The other part of the answer lies in the last post I sent to you about the nature of biblical interpretation. You are trying to interpret the passage in Luke using the CS allegorical approach, and I am telling you that the very framework you are using is not legitimate. (This is the place where we are speaking different conceptual languages.) Since you ignore the objective reality of the material universe, spiritualize concepts that must interact with material reality, and ignore the type of literature and the intent of the author in your interpretation, you end up way out in left field with an interpretation of the passage that has nothing to do with what is actually written there. In these verses, the reference is to a human being’s interaction with God in an objectively real personal relationship. Since the human essence is spirit, God is Spirit, and he indwells the body of believers by means of his Holy Spirit, the Kingdom of God (the reign of God in the lives of individuals) is within us. This does not in any respect negate the objective reality of material reality or its intentional place in God’s created order. It is, however, completely contrary to your CS interpretation.

Hope this helps you understand a little more fully.

Blessings,
Freddy

[At this point, Beth contacted the Christian Science home office to see if she could get some information that would counter my arguments. Her interaction with that office was included in the e-mails sent to me. As it is helpful in understanding the flow of this conversation, these are also included below.]

From: “McCurties, Elise” <mccurtiese@csps.com>
To: luminousfilms@sbcglobal.net
Cc: Don Ingwerson <CaliforniaS@compub.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:34 AM
Subject: Resources for Discussing Christian Science with the Public

Dear Beth,

Rich Evans is transitioning into his new job on the Board of Directors, so I’m responding on his behalf with regards to your question about resources that help explain Christian Science to the public.

Here is a link to the Pamphlet “What Makes Christian Science Christian.” I hope you find it helpful.

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to write. You can also contact your state Committee on Publication, Don Ingwerson, who would be happy to help answer your questions. His contact information is: CaliforniaS@compub.org

All the best,
Elise McCurties
Manager’s Council Member, Project Manager Lead
Committee on Publication Office
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
(617) 450-2624

On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Beth wrote:
I would love to read the pamphlet, but I don’t want to pay $24 a month to do so. Can you send it to me without a subscription to JSH online?

Thanks,
Beth

From: “McCurties, Elise”
Date: April 28, 2017 at 6:53:05 AM PDT
Subject: Re: Resources for Discussing Christian Science with the Public

Hi Beth,
Hopefully these links will get you behind the paywall. Please let me know if they don’t work.

Part 1: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/gf9dp4w128?s=t
Part 2: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/jdlnsn4hn4?s=t
Part 3: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/heph2ayzh4?s=t
Part 4: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/egd6ysqq5c?s=t
Part 5: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/egd6ysqqaw?s=t
Part 6: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/dgx3lmnzao?s=t
Part 7: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/egd6ysqxk0?s=t

Best,
Elise McCurties
Manager’s Council Member, Project Manager Lead
Committee on Publication Office
The First Church of Christ, Scientist
(617) 450-2624

[Beginning at this point, we are back to the conversation between myself and Beth.]

4/28/17
Freddy, these links below address some of your erroneous beliefs about Christian Science. You may be interested in reading them. They are short and to the point. [See the links above. They are also included in my response below.]

Beth

5/4/17
Beth,

Sorry it has taken a while for me to respond to your last e-mail. It has been a pretty busy time for me. I have read the various articles and here is my response to them.

Part 1: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/gf9dp4w128?s=t
The term “cult” has more than one meaning. The one that is focused on in this article is probably the most common usage, but in a technical sense, a cult (of any religion) is a group that holds to doctrines that veer off of the orthodox teachings of the religion. In that sense, CS is a cult as it ignores the true meaning of the biblical text and uses an allegorical hermeneutic that totally distorts the true teaching.

Contrary to the assertions of the article, biblical Christians who object to the teachings of CS are not misrepresenting its teachings. I don’t think anything I have said is a misrepresentation at all. This article clearly states that CS does not object to an honest expression of theological differences, then turns around and says anyone who points out those kinds of differences hold false teachings. It is disingenuous and there is no way to get around that meaning from the article.

There is nothing in this article that demonstrates the truth of CS teachings. It is nothing more than a complaint against anyone who would disagree.

Part 2: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/jdlnsn4hn4?s=t
I have not said that SH is a second Bible. In fact, my characterization is exactly what this article says it is: a hermeneutic filter. It conceives of the Bible as a book of allegories, and tells people how to interpret the Bible using that set of presuppositions. The fact is, however, that kind of filter causes people to misinterpret the Bible. The Bible is not a single book, but a library of 66 different books with many different kinds of literature. You have to interpret each one based on the kind of literature it is. You can’t interpret narrative or epistle or apocalypse using an allegorical filter. If you try, you end up with a wrong interpretation – as MBE did. A perfect illustration of this kind of misinterpretation is in the article itself in the discussion of 1 John 1:8-9.

Part 3: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/heph2ayzh4?s=t
This article gets it entirely wrong. The very statement that “Christian Science does break sharply with the old anthropomorphic view of God as a changeable being who loves, hates, and inflicts terrible suffering on His creatures” is a total mischaracterization of the orthodox approach to biblical interpretation. That is not, in any respect, what evangelical Christians believe about God. MBE totally missed the true characterization of God: that he is a person. The biblical concept of personhood is, indeed, spiritual, but it is also personal in a way that CS doesn’t grasp. The very idea of saying that Christians have an anthropomorphic view of God gets it completely backward. That assumes that we characterize God based on human traits. It is exactly the opposite. God is the original person, and human beings are persons because we have been created in his image. We get our personhood characteristics from him, not the other way around. The impersonal approach to understanding God that CS uses is simply false.

Part 4: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/egd6ysqq5c?s=t
The biblical teaching is that Jesus is God. As the second person of the Trinity, Christ incarnated himself in order to become the sacrificial offering for the purpose of atoning for the sin of mankind. The CS teaching totally misses the fallenness of man and the means by which God fixed the sin problem. This is the very core of the biblical teaching, and CS totally misses it. I understand that CS acknowledges the literal life, death, and resurrection of Christ, but what is missed is the purpose of it all – and when you change the purpose, you entirely miss God’s salvation. MBE simply created a theology which has no relationship to the actual teachings of the Bible.

Part 5: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/egd6ysqqaw?s=t
The problem with the arguments in this article is that while MBE uses the words sin, redemption, salvation, repentance, atonement, sacrifice, grace, forgiveness, the putting off of the “old man” and the putting on of the “new,” she defines those concepts in ways that are contrary to the actual meaning as expressed in the biblical text. Here we are back to the concept that SH is a hermeneutical filter that requires the interpretation of words and concepts contrary to what the text actually means. It is simply a false hermeneutic. The redefinition of all of these words has created a false theology (which is the very definition of a cult). The examples in the article of sin and atonement are perfect examples of this of this kind of redefinition, and simply do not reflect what the Bible actually teaches about these topics.

Part 6: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/dgx3lmnzao?s=t
My comments on the previous article apply to this one, as well. The redefinition of words creates a false theology.

Part 7: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/shared/view/egd6ysqxk0?s=t
This last article really has no significance as it relates to the truth or falsity of CS doctrine.

Beth, there is really nothing in these articles that is different from what you have already said, and there is nothing in my replies that I have not already said to you. MBE’s hermeneutic is simply false. It does not provide a methodology for biblical interpretation that corresponds with the text itself. Rather, she created an entirely new hermeneutic which does not correspond in any way with what the Bible actually teaches.

I recognize how difficult it is for a person to shift worldview paradigms, but if you really want to understand what the Bible teaches, and to truly understand who God is and how you can know him in a personal relationship, you are going to have to make the effort to do that. It is my prayer that you will at least be honest enough to truly make an effort to study the Bible using the kind of hermeneutic that will lead you to the true meaning of the biblical text.

Blessings,
Freddy

5/5/17
Freddy, I’ve read your rebuttals, and I think you have a simplistic, literal view of what Jesus taught and demonstrated. By the way, Jesus said multiple times that he was not God. You ignore this and so many other statements he made about the spiritual nature of God and man. But let’s call it a draw. We are never going to agree.

Thanks for the exchanges. They’ve been interesting.

Beth

5/5/17
Beth,

You really don’t understand hermeneutical principles at all, do you? It doesn’t matter what kind of literature it is, you have to interpret it based on what it is. You can’t just arbitrarily interpret narrative, poetry, apocalypse, parable, epistle, history, etc., as if it is something else – which is exactly what MBE has done. Your comment that I have a “simplistic, literal view” is simply ludicrous – and quite frankly, an insult.

As far as Jesus saying he was not God – it is exactly the opposite. He actually did claim to be God – on multiple occasions. (See John 5:18, John 8:58, John 10:30-33, Mark 14:61-62, and we could go on and on). I understand that you would take these verses and allegorize them to make them have a different meaning, but it doesn’t change the fact that Jesus actually did understand that he was God incarnate. MBE’s misinterpretation of this is profound.

Perhaps we will never agree, but there is no such thing as a draw. Reality exists in some objectively real way, and it is not the way MBE tried to spin it. “Calling it a draw” does not change the fact that someone is right and someone is wrong. MBE’s beliefs simply do not correspond with reality.

Beth, here is the main problem: I really do understand the beliefs of CS, so am able to grasp and explain the differences between what you and I believe. You, obviously, do not know or understand the foundational beliefs of biblical theology – which is why you have had to get your “experts” to feed you talking points. If you are really interested in having these kinds of discussions with people who know what they are talking about, it would behoove you to learn what we truly believe. I don’t mean this as an insult, but as a challenge for you.

In fact, it is my deepest desire that you would make the effort to do that so that you could learn the real truth about what God has done to provide for you the possibility of eternal life, and that you would step into it. It is not enough to be passionate and sincere about what you believe – it is possible to be sincerely wrong. God has provided a way for us to have our sin problem resolved, but we must personally decide to step into it. I pray that one day you will grasp that.

Blessings,
Freddy

At this point, Beth retired from the conversation. That is, actually, a fairly typical response when people finally realize that they are not able to continue with intelligent counter arguments. This kind of an ending always pains me in some ways, but at the same time I realize that these people must make their own decisions about how they will respond to God. It is always my prayer that my comments to them will begin to create cracks in their false beliefs, and that at some point God will use that, along with the witness of other believers, to break down their false understanding. Hopefully, Beth will one day come to a true encounter with Christ.

© 2017 Freddy Davis

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