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Escaping the Cocoon of Christian Science

Katherine Beim-Esche tells a moving story of meeting the living God after escaping the cult of Christian Science:

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the world reeled in shock and disbelief. I did too—not only at the events themselves but also at the response I saw within my church. Raised a fourth-generation Christian Scientist, I lived within a Christian Science cocoon. In many ways, I acted like a Christian, reading my Bible every day, praying the Lord’s Prayer, and attending church twice a week.

Then everything exploded. Literally. The day after 9/11, hoping for comfort, I sought out the Wednesday night meeting at my Christian Science church. But what I heard left me feeling profoundly uneasy. Some congregants boldly declared that a tragedy like this never could have occurred in God’s perfect world. Others … subtly implied that the victims were to blame. How, I wondered, could they be so cavalier about the suffering we had witnessed? Little did I know that this terrible day would launch me on a journey to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Not to be confused with Scientology, Christian Science was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the late 1800s. Its core teaching is influenced by gnostic, pantheistic, and metaphysical beliefs that portray sin, sickness, and death as illusions.

After 9/11, I could no longer deny the reality of evil. (Then) … by God’s providence, I overheard a coffee-shop conversation on faith. Something in my heart stirred. One of the men in that discussion invited me to his church and gave me a copy of Francis Schaeffer’s book The God Who Is There. Schaeffer said that the spiritual and physical world originated with a Creator God. I didn’t totally understand this, but it filled me with deep hope and a desire to learn more.

I visited Grace and Peace Fellowship, where I came face to face with the living God. In my Christian Science church, sin was never mentioned, but here it was freely confessed. I wept as I heard, for the first time, of God’s deep, sacrificial love for me. I was convicted of my sin and selfishness.

When I met with pastor Aaron Turner and he told me I was a sinner, I actually thanked him. After a lifetime of denying and repressing my very humanity, I was relieved to finally admit my brokenness. Then I met Jesus. Pastor Aaron introduced me to the Jesus of Scripture, who came to earth, took on flesh, and died and rose again to redeem his people and restore all creation. Praise God for untangling my heart and mind from the delusion of self-salvation—and for rescuing me into new life with Christ and his church.

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