Ask A Religious Scientist: The difference between Christian Science and Religious Science

What do you want to know about Religious Science? Revs. Joe and Toni Niemiec, New Thought ministers, are ready to answer your questions. Fill out the form below or submit your question online.

Ad_House_SPO_ask-a-religion-scientist_091013Q. What’s the difference between between Christian Science and Religious Science?

A. On the surface, Christian Science and Religious Science beliefs may seem close; however there are some basic differences between the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science) and Ernest Holmes (Religious Science). Christian Science is based solely on the Bible. Ernest Holmes studied many teachings and felt there was a truth which runs through all; Religious Science reflects this belief.

Christian Science evolved from Mary Baker Eddy’s own healing of an “incurable” illness through the study and application of the teachings of Jesus. Her fundamental belief is that man is created in the image and likeness of God; therefore man cannot be sick or in any way less than perfect, for God is no less than perfect. Mary Baker Eddy felt she was teaching the “true” Christianity.

Ernest Holmes believed there are many paths to the truth and they are all correct for the adherents. Throughout his writings you will find references to Eastern texts such as the Tao as well as to the Bible. He never espoused his teaching to be the only truth, but rather that truth can be found in all of the spiritual texts.

While Mary Baker Eddy saw life as an illusion, we see it as a manifestation of God in form, so God may know itself at this level of consciousness. We have the ability to create the life we wish to live through the use of the mind. Religious Scientists do not believe in heaven or hell as places or destinies but rather as experiences in the here and now, and evil is not an entity but rather an action of an individual.

In Christian Science services, there are readings from Mary Baker Eddy’s writing and from the Bible done each week, the same all over the world. Her teaching was not to be interpreted, but rather followed. While we focus on science of mind, each center is unique in its presentation and use of other materials on Sunday mornings as well as in classes, workshops and retreats.

In summary the primary differences are:

  • Christian Science sees itself as the “true Christian teaching” whereas Religious Science is open to recognizing there are numerous paths to the Ultimate.
  • Christian Science teaches a prescribed “way” of healing and living; Religious Science teaches that there is no limitation to the goodness available to anyone at any time, but rather offers tools to being open to being an active participant in the abundant flow of life, knowing there is no “one way.”


About Joe Niemiec

The Rev. Joe Niemiec Jr. began his spiritual quest in 1986 when he walked out of a Houston jail and was struck by the realization that his life was in shambles.

He began his quest for ‘getting back on track’ with 12 step programs, followed by learning and practicing meditation with a local Redding, California, teacher.

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About Toni Niemiec

Walking the spiritual path has been part of the Rev. Toni Niemiec's life as long as she can remember. She said as a child she was not raised in a “traditional” religion.

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