This week we continued on in a series designed to investigate how "true" the beliefs and promises are for some of the most commonly practiced religions. Last week Pastor Miles took us through the basics of Buddhism showing that the road of Buddhism leads to essential non-existence and utter hopelessness.
This week we looked at Scientology. Pastor Miles clearly pointed out four elements of Scientology that are really Scienfictionology when viewed in light of what God reveals to us in His Word.
Pastor Miles began this weekend's message telling a story of a man who was going to build a person. He went to a brain store to find the perfect brain to build a person. He looked at the brain of a trial attorney, a real estate mogul, and a brain surgeon. Each of those brains cost $1 million. Obviously each one had great intelligence and capabilities.
However, the man soon came upon a brain of a three year old that cost $60 million. The man wondered why such a young brain would cost so much more than those of great prestige and talent. The reason being the potential of the three year olds brain was unlimited.
Elron Hubbard founded scientology. The first meeting of the church of Scientology was held in 1954 in Los Angeles, California. Some of us may be familiar with Scientology because of its presence in Hollywood, practiced by actors such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley.
Scientology puts great emphasis on the human mind. The view of this religion is that human beings are eternal beings that can achieve a divine nature through the cleansing and perfecting of their minds.
The main problem with Scientology is that it worships that which is created instead of the Creator. To think that we can accomplish goodness, that we can find salvation, and that we can clear ourselves of sinful thinking is selfish and false. The truth of the matter is we need God, but Scientology teaches people that they can do it themselves.
Scientology teaches that people are generally good. The only thing limiting the divine nature of human beings is their mind. Therefore, teaching that salvation can be found inside ourselves. Our good immortal spirits have the potential of being controlled by bad memories, instead of a sinful nature. This makes salvation all about self, and what a person can accomplish rather than the act of a supernatural being.
It is clear that these teachings are contrary to Scripture when we look at Ephesians 2:8-10. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Salvation is not of our own doing or something we find inside ourselves. It is a gift of God undeservedly given to us. After all Romans 3:23 states, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We're all sinners in need of salvation from a graceful God.
Who's in Control?
Scientology teaches that traumatic memories from past lives control your spiritual potential and not the Holy Spirit. Apparently people have trillions of traumatic memories, and things such as these are what cause mental illnesses in people. It is disheartening to consider what must be overcome on our own according to Scientology. Based on the teachings of this religion, people must rid themselves of their own painful memories and bad thinking to achieve their spiritual potential.
However, we see in Scripture that is not of the mind that these evil things result. Matthew 15:19 states, for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. Psalm 14:1 states, the fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. Evil proceeds from the heart of man not the mind.
It is our heart that needs cleansing. When we choose to surrender our lives to the control of the Holy Spirit we can find that cleansing and renewal in our lives. Romans 12:1-2 states, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Scientology teaches that a costly mental process of auditing can result in the condition of "Clear" which can bring about spiritual liberation. However, once again the focus is put on what we can do for ourselves, though it will cost us, literally. Instead, repentance brings us spiritual freedom, and it doesn't cost money, just a willing heart. We were bought at a price to gain that spiritual freedom, in that Christ purchased us through shedding His blood on the cross so that we could live freely in Him.
1 Corinthians 6:20 states, for you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. As Christians we now belong to God and can live in liberty in Him, and must be obedient to the call to honor Him as well.
For Scientology the condition of "Clear" is when a person is cleared of traumatic memories and can find spiritual freedom. As Christians we know that it is only God in whom we can find spiritual freedom. Only God can heal our past pain, and can cleanse our hearts and minds.
Scripture tells us what we should fill our thoughts with. Philippians 4:8 states, finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.
2 Corinthians 10:5 reminds us to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. It is easy to get caught up in thinking on our worries, anxieties, and all the problems of life. It is simple to fall into sinful thinking of lust, hate, and so on. However, we see in Romans 8:5-6 for those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
We all can make the choice of what to think on. When we do struggle with our thoughts, it helps to write it down to work through it. But most importantly we must surrender our thoughts to God, and allow His control over our lives completely. Realizing we can't do things on our own, and recognizing our need for God can help us begin to think clearly.