Scientology is a religious movement based on a system of beliefs, practices and rituals created in 1952 by science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. It was later characterized as an “applied religious philosophy” by the Church of Scientology in 1953. Scientology has become fairly successful, especially in Hollywood where it has attracted many actors and performers.
Although Scientology presents itself as a harmless philosophy that even a Christian can embrace, here are a few of its main points that don’t line up with what the Bible teaches:
1. Scientology teaches that a person is an immortal spiritual being (termed a “thetan”) who possesses a mind and a body, accompanied by a lesser “genetic entity.” According to God’s Word, however, man was created in God’s image as a three part being—spirit, soul and body (Genesis 1:26-31; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
2. Scientology teaches that the “thetan” has lived through many past lives and stored memories which can cause problems in the present day. But Scripture says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
3. Scientology teaches a person is basically good, but is “aberrated” by the memories of past traumas. God’s Word reveals man was originally created good, but through willful sin has become totally depraved and in need of salvation (Genesis 1:26-31, 3; Romans 3:23, 4:5-8, 5:12; Luke 1:77-78; John 3:5-7, 16-18; Acts 4:10-12; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1-22).
4. Scientology further holds that a man’s spiritual salvation depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of “brotherhood with the universe.” In contrast, the Bible says God saved us by His grace when we believed…not as a reward for the good things we’ve done, so no one can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9).
5. The goal in Scientology is arrive at the state of “Full Operating Thetan” through “training and auditing” sessions. God’s way is that at salvation we are put in spiritual right-standing with Him, and we begin to be conformed into the image of Jesus as we cleanse ourselves and renew our minds by His Word (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 8:28-39, 12:1-2; Ephesians 5:25-27).
6. According to teachings intended for more “senior-level” Scientologists, L. Ron Hubbard claimed that Christ had never existed as most popularly portrayed, but had been implanted in collective memory by an extraterrestrial tyrant 75 million years ago (“Electropsychometric Scouting: Battle of the Universes,” Hubbard College Lectures, 1954).
7. Though Scientology claims to be accepting of all faiths, its filing with the IRS for recognition of exemption under section 501(c)(3) as a church states “…as a practical matter Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths. As Scientologists, they are required to look only to Scientology Scriptures for the answers to the fundamental questions of their existence and to seek enlightenment only from Scientology.”