Christian Science: Heaven Only "A Divine State of Mind"
by Fred Russell
Who could have dreamed up such an unusual doctrine of heaven? What does this divine state of Mind mean? Where does it say that heaven is such a thing in the Bible?
These might be some of the questions that came to the reader's mind when first reading the above title.
This doctrine that heaven is only a state of Mind is found in a very unusual book that hundreds of thousands of people follow without question around the world. Many have even died because they tried to live out the principles taught in this inspired book.
Worse than this, others have let their children die by not allowing them to receive medical treatment. Yes, the source of this and hundreds of other heretical statements is Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy.
Eddy was the founder of The First Church of Christ, Scientist better known as Christian Science. The following is what she had to say about heaven:
"Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of `the mind of the Lord,' as the Scriptures says" (Science and Health, With Keys to the Scriptures, p. 291)
Notice that the word "Mind" is capitalized. This is done throughout the book Science and Health. All capitalized words in the book actually refer to deity.
This can be shown to be true by reading a portion of page 113 which explains, "1. God is All-in-All. 2. God is good, Good is Mind. 3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter."
So according to Eddy, God is Mind. God is also said to be, "Life, Truth, and Love constitute the triune Person called God, that is, the triply divine Principle, Love" (Ibid, p. 331).
This may sound very strange, but when it is understood that the fundamental teaching of Christian Science is pantheistic, it is possible to see how one might come to such conclusions.
Consider Eddy's statement in Miscellaneous Writings: "My first plank is the platform of Christian Science is as follows: `There is not life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-All. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error'" (p. 21).
Thus God is everything and everything is God. Matter is "mortal error" and has no reality, it is only an illusion, part of the dream of mortal mind (Science and Health, p. 591).
Is it any wonder then, since God is Mind and not a personal creator and matter does not exist but is an illusion, that "heaven is not a locality?" For Christian Science there could be no other conclusion.
In the back of every copy of Science and Health is a glossary. These words are given as an introduction, "In Christian Science we learn that the substitution of the spiritual for the material definition of a Scriptural word often elucidates the meaning of the inspired writer.
"On this account this chapter is added. It contains the metaphysical interpretation of Bible terms, giving their spiritual sense, which is also their original meaning" (p. 579).
The definition of heaven is: "Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of the Soul" (p. 587).
At least on this point, Eddy is consistent with her "first plank in the platform of Christian Science," and denies that heaven has any reality. She contradicts herself in numerous other places, but not this time.
The Bible is plainly against the teaching that matter is mortal error and that heaven is a state of Mind, without location.
When Jesus arose from the grave he had a Body of "flesh and bone" and even ate food (Lk. 24:38-43).
In Acts 1:11 the angle said to the disciples that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
Colossians 2:9 even says; "For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Therefore this "same Jesus" who rose with a body of flesh and bone ascended into heaven and is there now as our mediator bodily. Yes, the Scriptures teach that "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" (I Tim. 2:5).
The point of giving all of these verses is to show that matter does exist and that Jesus is in heaven now bodily. This is a mystery that no one will fully understand until "that day."
Jesus also said to His disciples, "In My Father's house are many mansions: I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, you may be also" (John 14:2-3).
Finally, contrary to Christian Science theology which teaches that heaven is a state of mind, the Bible plainly teaches it has an actual location with tangible properties.
The Apostle John also said, "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea" (Rev. 21:1; cf. vss. 22-26 also).
After the present heavens and earth "pass away with a great noise" and the elements "melt with fervent heat" God will re-create an entirely new heaven and earth "wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Pt. 3:10=13).
There is no reason to spiritualize these verses, thus they should be taken literally.