Sunday, January 26, 2014

Are You a Christian Scientist or a Scientologist?

In the 1990s, I was a young adult, recently out of the FOC; yet, I didn't have a lot of ways of successfully relating to the world or explaining why I had some very odd attitudes, beliefs, and practices. Why hadn't I ever been to see a doctor? Was a Christian Scientist or a Scientologist? Well, neither.

I hadn't - at that time - even heard of such religions. I barely understood the difference between Judaism and Christianity. I learned not to share my differences with most people because it just led to questions I either couldn't answer, or didn't really want to talk about.

I don't really think about those other religions much - except that they share some practices with the FOC such as shunning ex-members and discouraging medical interventions. Christian Science actually has more in common with the Oregon City branch of the FOC than I would've imagined. Not only are they faith healers, who believe in the Bible - they also do not have ministers, but base their religion off the legacy of their leader's words (in the case of Christian Science, the published work of their leader). Like the FOC, many practitioners, children and adults, have died from medically-preventable ailments. Christian Scientists practice faith healing through consultations (in person or over the phone, where the practitioner / provider argues the illness out of the patient / parishioner. It is the only faith healing practice that qualifies for billing through medical insurance.

Scientology, on the other hand, is not based on the Christian religion. It was started by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer, and was made famous by Tom Cruise. Scientologists believe people are immortal in that the essence of us lives on in nature. I haven't delved too much into researching their beliefs, but from skimming their website, they believe in striving to be the best they can be, spiritual enlightenment, etc. While many may believe that Scientologists practice faith healing; but, according to their website, they do take prescribed medicine and seek medical care with the exception of psychiatric medicine, which they believe to by harmful and sometimes deadly.

While I am no longer a faith healer, I do appreciate the basic belief. I believe in prayer with medicine - that God can heal and God can (and does) use medical doctors and medicine to help us heal. And, while I do not agree with most of the Scientology movement, I do appreciate the idea that psychiatric medicines are overprescribed and often not the best path.


4 comments:

  1. Faith healing is something that has been of great interest to me lately actually!
    Interesting post.

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  2. I don't know much about Christianity but I believe God is one..We just seek him through different ways..

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  3. Oh gosh, who knows? It's a very open ended discussion! Does our planet exist? Are we real?

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  4. Interesting post. Christian Science is a form of Christian healing, but it's not actually faith healing, and they actually base their religion off of Jesus's ministry, and use the works of Mary Baker Eddy as a guide. God is the healer in Christian Science and a form of prayer is actually the mode of practice. Arguments are often used to teach the patient or to aid the practitioner's prayer. It's practice hasn't been perfect, but it's helped many. Best wishes on your spiritual journey!!!

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