|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
| Holmes and modern Science of Mind adherents do not believe that biblical Christianity
reflects the true teachings of Jesus, even though “it is a historical fact that Jesus Christ lived and taught what the New Testament says He taught.
Ernest Holmes was rather frank with his opinion of other religions, even his own. “I didn’t like any of the religions I was acquainted with and so I made up one that I did like.”<refname="ftn1">Science of Mind, February 1979, p. 40. </ref> In one of his last statements before his death, he reflected, “I learned that you must develop faith and confidence in your own interpretation of God, man and the universe.”<refname="ftn3">Fenwick Holmes, Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1970), p. 95, emphasis added. </ref> Nevertheless, Holmes and Religious Science both claim to be Christian. Holmes declared that Religious Science [RS] “incorporates the precepts of Jesus.”<refname="ftn3">Ernest Holmes, Sermon by the Sea (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1967), p. 12 </ref> “Science of Mind is one of the most significant spiritual experiments since the time of Jesus, I believe.... it is Christianity oriented, fundamentally following the teachings of Jesus.”<refname="ftn4">Ernest Holmes (compiled and edited by Willis Kinnear), The Spiritual Universe and You (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1971), p. 9, emphasis added. </ref> Despite this, RS claims to have no message “for those who believe that religion is a fixed deposit of revelation, handed down to men in final and complete form.”<refname="ftn5">Science of Mind, January 1980, p. 21. </ref> Holmes and modern Science of Mind adherents do not believe that biblical Christianity reflects the true teachings of Jesus, even though “it is a historical fact that Jesus Christ lived and taught what the New Testament says He taught.”<refname="ftn6">Norman Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament (Baker, 1977), p. 11. </ref> While they wished to have the benefits of claiming to be followers of Jesus’ true teachings, Holmes and his followers deny Jesus’ teachings, because their worldview demands it. Holmes and modern Religious Science writers only rarely assault Christian doctrines openly or directly; they undermine them indirectly. Thus, the “old theology” represents “a superstitious approach to Truth,”<refname="ftn7">Science of Mind, January 1980, p. 21. </ref> or “dogmatism and superstition”8<refname="ftn8"> Ibid., p. 99. </ref> or “unreasonable” ideas that tarnish light and truth.9<refname="ftn9">Science of Mind, February 1979, p. 41. </ref> In a Science of Mind article, H. G. Hill argues in a similar manner. “Now the churches that are shackled and bound by archaic items, offend the modern intellectual and critical minds of up-to-date men. The error is fundamentally one of conceiving of Truth as fixed, static, incapable of change or progress.”<refname="ftn10">Science of Mind, April 1979, p. 36. </ref> Holmes was particularly sensitive about the Christian teaching of eternal punishment and declared that “any religion that casts a shadow across the final deliverance of everyman’s soul was born out of chaos.”11<refname="ftn11">Armor, p. 98. </ref> Holmes emphasized, “I do not believe in hell, the devil, damnation, or in any future state of punishment; or any other of the fantastic ideas which have been conceived in the minds of those who are either morbid, or who have felt the need of a future state of damnation to which to consign the immortal souls of those who have not agreed with their absurd doctrines. God does not punish people.”12<refname="ftn12">Holmes, “What I Believe,” Science of Mind, January 1965; also published in tract form. </ref> It is clear from the Gospels, however, that Jesus taught a belief in a literal, personal Satan and a literal place of future eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46; Luke 4:1-13). Holmes declares that “God does not punish people,” but Jesus said of unbelievers, “These will go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46; cf. Col. 2:9). God the Father declares, “I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity” (Isa. 13:11). God also says, “I will punish the men who are stagnant in spirit, who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil” (Zeph. 1:12). If Holmes was the man whose “remarkable mind probed the farthest reaches of the universe and existence,”13<refname="ftn13"> Science of Mind, January 1979, p. 8. ?ref>we might at least expect that mind to have an accurate knowledge of the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. But no. Religious Science opposes conservative Christianity,14<refname="ftn14">Science of Mind, June 1979, p. 38.</ref> and its claim to be Christian cannot be substantiated. The Bible In RS, the Bible is not held in particularly high regard. Due to its metaphysical premises, Religious Science abandons conventional rules of biblical interpretation, which support its literal interpretation. A person who believed the Bible literally, according to Holmes, had to <refname="ftn15">For example, F. Holmes, Ernest Holmes, p. 296. </ref>be healed of his spiritual ignorance.15 Even though accepted rules of interpretation are universal and well established (see, for example, McQuilkin’s Understanding and Applying the Bible: An Introduction to Hermeneutics or Berkhof’s Principles of Biblical Interpretation), RS ignores these rules and transforms the Bible into a Science of Mind text. For example, Science of Mind magazine contains “The Daily Guide to Richer Living,” which quotes the Scriptures and comments on them. But the comments have little or nothing to do with the accepted meanings of the Bible. Rather, they are figuratively reinterpreted into rejecting what they actually teach. At best the Bible is only a guide for RS. As Holmes states, “Probably God is love—this we believe—but we do not know it just because the Bible says so.”16<refname="ftn16">Ibid., p. 293. (Then how do we know it?) In The Wonder of Man, Joseph Krimsky, M.D., states that “the presence of myth, miracle and legend in our Bible”17<refname="ftn17">Joseph Krimsky, The Wonder of Man—A Doctor’s Soliloquy (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1972), p. 110. </ref> should not concern us because the truth of RS will shine through regardless. Not unexpectedly, Science of Mind often uses the “Aramaic interpretation” of the Bible as proposed by Rocco A. Errico, a student of George Lamsa.18<refname="ftn18">Joseph Krimsky, The Wonder of Man—A Doctor’s Soliloquy (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1972), p. 110. </ref> Although they claim scholarship, Errico’s or Lamsa’s use of biblical data is biased and without justification. RS only employs this Aramaic misuse of the Bible because it supports their own beliefs.