Why I Left Christian Science: The Personal Testimony of Carolyn Poole

Apr 13, 2009

Article ID: DC605 | By: Carolyn Poole

Christian Science was my whole life. I was a third-generation mem­ber of both a local church and the Mother Church in Boston. As well, I was “class taught” — that is, I received special advanced instruction. I whole­heartedly practiced Christian Science by reading my lesson every day, by not going to doctors or taking medicine when I was sick, and by serving on vari­ous committees. I even served as presi­dent of the Executive Board.

During this time, I did not know my religion was a cult, or that it was not considered Christian. I was convinced Christian Science had the truth — that God is Infinite Mind and all is mental. I believed that Jesus was simply a human being who demonstrated the “Christ Truth,” just as you and I can when we become as spiritually advanced as He was. Jesus was not so unique, I thought; He was simply a Way-Shower.

In 1969 I went (alone) to hear Billy Graham preach in the Anaheim Stadium in California. I was curious about him because he was so famous. I don’t know why I did it, but at the end of the service I went forward and received prayer.

After I sat back down, an evil pres­ence came to me. It told me I would be dead before the night was over. I nearly panicked. I asked God to forgive me for my being there and for my disloyalty to Christian Science. The evil thing left me, and I blamed it all on Billy Graham. After that, I forgot the whole affair.

Since my religion was supposed to be based on the Bible, I tried to read the Bible and understand it, but I found much of it too difficult. Then, in 1975, it occurred to me to form a Bible study group using Christian Science materials. I proposed this to my church, but noth­ing came of it.

By this time I was old enough to be a grandmother, yet I had never been invit­ed to a Bible study. So I was pleasantly surprised when two women, whom I did not know, knocked on my door one day and invited me to a home Bible study with the Christian Women’s Club. I later learned that God had prompted these two women (separately) to go door-to-door in my neighborhood. I was the only one to accept their invitation.

After many months of study, I started seeing verses in my Bible that I had read and yet had never really been aware of. My conception of God and His plan for man started to change. It began to dawn on me that Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, the founder and leader of Christian Science, had taken the place of Jesus for those involved in her religion.

In the Christian Science Church Manual, Mrs. Eddy had said she was the only one to be called Leader. In Matthew 23:10 (NAS), however, Jesus said He was the only one to be called Leader. I was faced with two different individuals — both claiming to be my only leader.

I had been taught that Christian Science was the “Revelation,” that Mrs. Eddy was the “Revelator,” and that we cannot know the Revelation unless we know the Revelator. And, of course, we have to know the Revelation in order to know God. What this ultimately meant was that the only way we could know God was by going through Mrs. Eddy.

Contrary to this, I saw in my Bible study that Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). So, Mrs. Eddy and Jesus both claimed to be the way to God.

One day during our home study, we came to Matthew 16:15 where Jesus asked His disciples who they said He was. The disciples answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” But Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 16). Jesus responded, “This was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven” (v. 17).

After the women in the home Bible study left, those words kept ringing in my mind. It was as though Jesus was asking me personally. “Who do you say I am?” He seemed very stern about it. Poring over Mrs. Eddy’s statements, it became clear that she denied that Jesus is Christ (see, for example, her book entitled Miscellaneous Writings, p. 84). But Jesus said He is Christ. Jesus was asking me in my heart, Do you believe her or Me?

At first, I didn’t know. I cried. I threshed it about in my mind. I came to the decision that if Jesus could do the miracles He did, He certainly should know who He is. I concluded that Jesus must be the Christ.

The Holy Spirit also revealed to me through Scripture that Jesus, far from being just a man (as Christian Science teaches), is, in the Incarnation, God in human flesh. John’s gospel proclaims, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….[and] The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14). In the Incarnation, Jesus was perfect humanity and perfect deity.

After Jesus was crucified for our sins and gloriously resurrected from the dead, “doubting” Thomas put his hand in Jesus’ side and called Him, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). If Thomas had been wrong in his assess­ment of Jesus’ true identity, Jesus cer­tainly would have corrected him. Thus, through my Bible study, I had learned that Jesus is the Christ, and that He is God — something that is denied by Mrs. Eddy.

Another issue I had to grapple with is the Christian Science teaching that man is perfect and sinless. When a per­son dies, Christian Science teaches, only his belief of matter dies. Man is spiritual, and at “death” he goes on doing whatever he was doing, for death is simply an illusion. Moreover, since all is “mind,” hell and heaven are only states of mind.

The Bible, however, repeatedly affirms that all men are sinners. They cannot come to God without a blood atonement. And, according to Scripture, Jesus — the Lamb of God — became the perfect and final blood sacrifice for the atonement of man’s sins (Matt. 20:28).

If man is sinless, like Mrs. Eddy taught, then Jesus suffered on the cross for nothing. In fact, it would appear as if Jesus was too stupid to know why He died. I read in my Bible, however, that when Jesus was eating with the disciples, He took a cup and handed it to them and said, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26:28). I cannot believe that Jesus was either stupid or a liar. He knew what He was saying and He meant it.

I also read in Hebrews 9:27 that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” So death is real, and sinful men will one day appear before God at the judgment seat and be judged for sins and cast into eternal damnation (hell) — unless they trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 16:31).

I hated the thought of anyone going to hell. As a Christian Scientist, I didn’t think it could possibly be true. But as disturbing as I felt it was, I now realized that Jesus Himself had taught it. I also realized that if it were true, it would be even more disturbing if Jesus didn’t warn people about eternal damnation. Though I had had trouble believing that a good God could allow such a condi­tion to exist, I also realized that I didn’t make the rules and God didn’t ask me my opinion. As God said in Isaiah, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isa. 55:8).

I came to see more and more clearly that Christian Science flatly contradict­ed what Jesus said about the state of our existence after we pass on from this life. Up until now, I had always read past Jesus’ words about hell, thinking that He was speaking in a parable, and that Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual interpretation explained it all. It suddenly occurred to me, as chills ran up and down my spine, that maybe the Bible actually meant what it said.

From a human viewpoint, some of Mrs. Eddy’s ideas may sound appealing (e.g., there is no sin, no death, no judgment day, and no hell). But a study of Scripture shows that her teachings are permeated with error. The more I stud­ied, the more I found this to be true.

I had been believing in Mrs. Eddy to guide me for my eternal life, and I came to see that she didn’t know any more (really) than I did. She was only another mortal. Moreover, when she died, her body stayed in the grave. She didn’t come back. Therefore, she can’t really testify as to what goes on after death because she had never been there when she wrote her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Jesus had been to the grave and back; He resurrected from the dead. To me, that gives Him a lot more credibility than Mrs. Eddy.

Mrs. Eddy had said that she based her teachings on revelation, reason, and demonstration. Her “revelation” was Christian Science, which I discovered to be neither Christian nor scientific. She didn’t “demonstrate” very much because she didn’t overcome death (like Jesus did). As for “reason,” Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my (God’s) ways high­er than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” I would not want to gamble my future in eternity on one woman’s reasoning.

I read in the Bible that in the end times false prophets and false Christs would arise (Matt. 24:23-28). Mrs. Eddy had denied that Jesus is the Christ and put herself in His place as being the only Leader and the only way to God. So, I concluded, Mrs. Eddy was a false prophet.

I resigned from the Christian Science church. As a result of my Bible study, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and my God. He is the only way to salvation. (And let me emphasize, He did not come to show the way; rather, He is the way.) I will confess Him and Him alone as Lord and Savior.

There is so much more to say. But I pray that the Holy Spirit will use this brief testimony to show people involved in the Mind Sciences — whether it be Christian Science, Religious Science, Divine Science, Unity, or one of the others — that Jesus is truly God come in the flesh, and that He died for us on the cross. If we do not believe in Him, we will not spend eternity with God; rather, we will be cast into outer dark­ness (2 Pet. 2:17; Jude 1:13).

I now belong to a group of ex-­Christian Scientists who are all born again Christians. We have a ministry called “Christian Way.” Our primary goal is to share the salvation message with those in the Mind Sciences. If we can help you, please don’t hesitate to write.

Carolyn Poole may be contacted by writing to Christian Way, P.O. Box 1675, Lancaster, CA 93539.

SOURCE: https://www.equip.org/article/why-i-left-christian-science-the-personal-testimony-of-carolyn-poole/

Why I Left the Jehovah’s Witnesses by Jean Eason

Why I Left the Jehovah’s Witnesses

A personal testimony by a person born into the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

A Personal Testimony by Jean Eason

Jean Eason

I was a third generation Jehovah’s Witness (JW). When I recall the days of my youth, it seems that what I heard most often was how wrong the “religionists” were in comparison to the JWs who were right about everything.

As a JW, I was concerned with works — not only doing such things as preaching from house to house, but with the things I must not do, such as celebrate holidays and birthdays. Every word written by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) was considered “truth” that must be followed to the letter, whether it was rejecting a blood transfusion, refraining from voting, or refusing to serve in the military. To do otherwise was considered sinning against Jehovah, resulting in the possibility of losing the hope of eternal life.

Developing Doubts

I was married and had three children before I began having serious doubts about the WBTS being God’s only channel of communication. These doubts began to emerge when I had to make some very important decisions that simply went against the grain of my personality. I have in mind decisions like signing papers to let a baby die rather than take blood. You see, I had an RH factor blood condition, and in those days they transfused the baby at birth should a problem occur. I refused the procedure. Fortunately, I was spared — but I was ready and willing to let my child die! Why? Because I was convinced that the WBTS had the “truth” and should I do differently, I would lose the hope of eternal life, and so would my child, should death occur.

I developed further doubts when the WBTS got “new light” (additions or changes to what had been previously taught). On one occasion, the “new light” revealed that if you see a JW sinning and do not report the person, then you are guilty of that sin yourself. Shortly after this “new light” came, a sister in our congregation took blood when she hemorrhaged at childbirth. My options were either to report her or have the sin fall on me. Both options bothered me. But, you see, when you have no personal relationship with Jesus, you follow people blindly, trusting them to be in God’s will. Like a good JW, I reported her, and she had to appear before a disciplinary committee of elders.

This, along with other “new light,” caused me to start thinking about where and how they get their new light. I inherited a WBTS library from one of my relatives, and I began reading the older publications. I learned they had changed their interpretations of Scripture many times. I took note that the modern literature quoted often from the older publications. Now I was able to pick up the very book they quoted from — and guess what? I discovered that they often misquoted their own writings, or else took them out of context or misapplied them! After two years of research I realized I was following a supposedly infallible organization that was based upon the constantly changing opinions of men.

Experiencing the Holy Spirit

I stopped attending all JW meetings and activities, and I entered into a state of spiritual loneliness. Where could I go? I had been taught that all other religions were false. Where could I find real truth?

After a great deal of searching, I decided to try out a Christian church. My husband and I attended for a while, but we did not come to know the true person of Christ. I remained convinced that churches were of the devil. After all, I reasoned to myself, churches believe in the concepts of the Trinity, Hell fire, and the soul leaving the body at death. I didn’t believe any of those doctrines.

While I was trying desperately to sort out all these doctrines, the WBTS got “new light.” They issued a new edict that said if any JW attended a Christian church, they would be disfellowshipped. Not knowing whether I was following Satan or Jesus, I submitted to the elders when I was called to a disciplinary meeting. I agreed to stop attending church. I was just not yet ready to be disfellowshipped for something I was not sure of.

Fifteen years later, my Catholic sister-in-law shared that she was “born again.” I’d never heard of a born again Catholic! But I knew something had happened to her because I saw change in her life. She began giving up bad habits such as smoking. She was aglow with something — I didn’t know what. She spoke of prayer meetings in the Catholic Church, and she challenged me to attend one of the meetings.

I went out of curiosity. Right away, I realized this was not a typical Catholic meeting. The speaker shared the love of Jesus in such a way that I’d never heard before. It was obvious that his focus was on the personage of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I needed that message! When he finished, he asked that we stand, join hands, and sing the Lord’s Prayer.

When we did so, something very unexpected happened. Suddenly, I felt God’s liquid love pour over me from the top of my head to the tip of my toes! Without knowing what had happened, I instantly realized I had been searching for the “truth” in all the wrong places.

In John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except by Me.” Yes, Jesus is The Truth, and He “was there all the time!” No wonder a song was written by that title. The song, “He Touched Me,” came to mind. Now, I understood that also. I felt such a joy in my heart. I just wanted to rejoice, but I restrained myself, thinking people would notice a strange look on my face.

When we left, my friend said, “How did you like it?” I just started laughing. I couldn’t restrain the joy any longer!

She said, “Something happened to you, didn’t it?”

I replied, “Yes. I can’t explain it, but I feel as though I’ve been cleansed from head to toe!” I realize now that I was touched by the power of the Holy Spirit. God knew I could never find the “truth” by searching through definitions of words. I had my Watchtower blinders on. I couldn’t believe the simple gospel — I had to experience it!

Now, I understood why Paul had to be knocked from his horse to become a believer — some of us are just like that! I thought for sure my new-found joy would be gone the next morning, but it wasn’t. I woke up anxious to read the Bible and pray! As I read through the book of John, I wondered when the word, Jesus, was added to so many pages. I had never before noticed how the Scriptures focus on Him.

Making a Dangerous Promise

I got on my knees, and in the privacy of my living room, I asked Jesus to come into my life. I promised I would do anything He asked of me. Well, don’t pray that prayer if you’re not willing to be obedient. I had no idea what He had in store for me.

My husband liked the change in me, so he was willing to visit prayer meetings and, finally, even church. We were subsequently visited by two JW elders who told us we were going to be disfellowshipped. Think of that — disfellowshipped after 15 years of non-attendance! We were okay as non-attenders, until we started attending a Christian church!

My husband decided to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The next year was spent in deprogramming ourselves. We had to learn everything over. Meanwhile, we were completely ostracized by family and friends.

Then the Lord put it in my heart to write a book about my spiritual pilgrimage. After it was published, I was invited to appear on national television along with three other former JWs. Soon, all of us began receiving a ton of mail! I had not expected to go into ministry any more than I had expected to write a book — but here I was, living out the promise: “I’ll do anything!” Before I knew it, I was sharing my research and my newly learned orthodox views with hundreds of JWs and Christians who needed to help loved ones in the JWs. I became a Christian discipler over night, and discovered that my JW discipling skills came in handy.

I feel so very privileged to be called of the Lord to share Jesus with JWs who have been deceived into believing in a false Jesus whom they identify as the archangel Michael.

My husband and I continue ministering to those ensnared in the cults. We also feel a call to educate Christians about the dangers of the cults. Additionally, Christians need in-depth instruction as to why they believe what they believe. Keep in mind that Christians convert unbelievers whereas the cults convert Christians.

SOURCE: https://christinprophecy.org/articles/why-i-left-the-jehovahs-witnesses/ 

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Psalm 91


 Psa 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
 
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

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