by Don Ingwerson (originally posted October 2010)
In a recent blog quoting Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy was quoted as repeatedly denying the existence of sin and evil. I say good for her. However, lets place that statement in the context of her life’s work and practice:
She taught that sin and evil do not originate in God, good. They are not ultimate realities of God’s creation but instead are to be overcome as Jesus taught and illustrated. Evil results from the belief that man is separated from God and that life and substance are in matter, therefore limited and temporal. Instead, life and substance are seen as in Spirit, God, therefore unlimited and eternal.
The question then arises that when Christian Science states sin is unreal, isn’t it denying the need for our redemption from sin – a need that is at the heart of Christianity? By no means. Mrs. Eddy explicitly states that the propitiation of mortals from sin is the very purpose of Christian Science, as it is with all Christianity. Indeed, she uses the term “sin” and its derivatives more than thirteen hundred times in her published works. She writes, for example, “Sin is the image of the beast to be effaced by the sweat of agony.” And any careful student of her writings knows how much she has to say about redemption, salvation, atonement, sacrifice, grace, forgiveness, and repentance.
There is, however, a difference between Christian Scientists and most other Christians on one important aspect of this subject. Christian Science teaches that forgiveness of sin requires the forsaking of sin, and this kind of radical redemption can’t come about through accepting sin as a grim necessity of man’s nature. It insists that sin is neither God-created not God-permitted, and is therefore no part of the man made in God’s image and revealed through Christ.
Link to blog “I have no sin…”