Christian Scientists follow the Bible and teachings of Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) as expressed in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Most American Christian Scientists are members of The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts (the “Mother Church” ) as well as branch churches. To promulgate its teachings, the Church maintains Christian Science “Reading Rooms” in most major communities.
Christian Scientists believe that God is divine mind and that matter is only a false sense of substance. The Christian Scientist strives to see his or her true sense as spiritual. Accordingly, disease is a result of the delusions of the carnal mind. Prayer and spiritual understanding can thus overcome disease. Because of these beliefs, Christian Scientists do not believe in scientific medicine, but have their own highly trained “practitioners” who treat illnesses through spiritual means. As a result, Christian Scientists are sometimes at odds with the law. They have been the subject of many controversial court cases, often related to their refusal to provide conventional medical treatment for their children. Another ongoing controversy involves health insurance reimbursement for “spiritual” health care.
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