What Does Religious Science Teach About Man, Sin and the Fall and The Afterlife?

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
Ernest Holmes came to believe that everyone was part of God through his study of Eastern and occult philosophy.

What Does Religious Science Teach About Man, Sin and the Fall and The Afterlife?


Holmes came to believe that everyone was part of God through his study of Eastern and
occult philosophy. When Science of Mind followers read the Bible today, they apply to all
people what it says about believers only. And since they see Jesus simply as a man who
evolved to higher consciousness, or “the Christ consciousness,” as anyone may, what Jesus
(or other biblical writers) said of himself refers to everyone. For example, Bible statements
like the following are applied to every one:

      I and my Father are one. We have the mind of Christ. 
      We know that we dwell in him, and he in us because he has given us his    Spirit. 
      Beloved, now we are the sons of God... and because we are sons God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts. 
      He is the image and glory of God. 
      Do you not know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Thus, when a person speaks, God speaks:

      God is what I am; God may not be what I appear to be, but what I really am must be God or I wouldn’t be..[1]
      His mind IS the mind of God.[2]
      You are the ALL Conquering Son of God.[3]
      God is, God is what I am; God may not be what I appear to be, but what I really am must be God, or I wouldn’t be.[4]

The Scripture, however, takes a dim view of those who exalt themselves in such a manner:

      But you said in your heart... I will make myself like the Most High....  Nevertheless, you will be thrust down to hell (Isa. 14:13-15). 
      Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said “I am a god,” I sit in the seat of God.... Yet you are a man and not God.... You will die the death of those who are slain (Ezek. 28:1-2, 10). 

Sin and the Fall

Ernest Holmes rejected the moral nature of sin:

      Ernest was definitely against it, even as a word... [He said] “I have always taught there is no sin but ignorance, following the belief of Emerson.”[5]
      This enables us to understand the meaning of evil and sin, which are experiences fabricated by misconception or the reverse use of the law.[6]
      Ignorance is the only sin there is. It creates hell, devils, limitation and sickness.[7]
      There is no sin but a mistake and no punishment but a consequence.[8]
      God does not punish sin. As we correct our mistakes, we forgive our own sins.[9]

According to The Science of Mind, original sin, or the Fall, was only symbolic. Events and characters in the Fall are interpreted as symbols of some particular Religious Science belief. Thus death and sin never begin with the disobedience of Adam and Eve, even though Romans 5:12, 19 state that they do.[10]The Fall, as in Mormon theology, merely represents a spiritual advancement. “The story of the Fall in the Old Testament is a symbolic presentation of the evolution of Man, and his spiritual awakening. Taken literally, this story
would be ridiculous.”[11]

The Afterlife

Religious Science rejects many other key biblical beliefs. For instance, it teaches that angels are merely thoughts and that demons do not exist, or that they exist only as “false beliefs.” Further, there is no bodily resurrection, and heaven and hell do not exist. “There is no resurrection life.” “There are no evil spirits.” “The Angels are your own protective thoughts.n the realm of absolute Truth.” “Man makes his own heaven or his own hell right here and now.” [12] Even in light of Jesus’ clear and consistent teaching that not all would be saved (Matt. 7:13; 23:33; 25:46), Holmes declared: “But I am sure that full and complete salvation will come alike to all. Heaven and hell are states of consciousness in which we now live according to our own state of understanding.”[13] “Even the lowest and most hopeless savage will sometime attain to Christ consciousness.”[14]

In denying hell, Science of Mind uses the writings of Rocco Errico and his “Aramaic”
argumentation. In Science of Mind magazine Errico claims, “Is it a place of unending
separation from the Presence of God? Certainly not, for these fiery concepts of hell and punishment came from certain misunderstood passages of the Bible and from the
interpretations of some of the early church fathers such as Tertullian and Augustine. Hell is not a place where God tortures his ‘disobedient’ children forever and ever, nor was such a meaning ever intended by the original [Aramaic] language of the Bible.”[15]

Holmes worked hard to remove people’s fear of death and hell. “We need not fear either God or the devil. There is no devil, and God is Love.”[16] In the case of a woman who feared God and was concerned about hell he stated, “It took work to remove the woman’s fear and belief in hell and damnation.”[17] In contrast, Jesus said, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will
forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luke 12:4-5).

As in other New Thought religions, Holmes denied death. For him, “we must meet the fear of death by an interior awareness that there is no death.”[18] Being a part of God, everyone is
destined to return to God. “In the long run nothing can harm the soul. In the long run it is bound to… return to its source…. We can hasten this completion by conscious choice and cooperation with the law.”[19]Further, although he eventually denied belief in classical reincarnation theory, he affirmed various “incarnations” on higher planes, and in general chose to believe whatever he wanted:[20]

      Ernest believed that as Divine Beings we take our complete identity with us to the next incarnation, for he did believe in incarnation. He believed that we move from one plane of experience in living to another, maintaining our individuality, but never with the necessity of having to be reborn as a human.[21]
      Our place hereafter will be what we have made it.... We confidently expect to meet friends who are on the other side, and to know and be known.... But I cannot base my hopes of immortality on the revelation of anyone but myself.[22]


  1. Fenwick Holmes, Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1970), pp. 286-287.
  2. Ibid., p. 23.
  3. Questions and Answers on The Science of Mind, p. 14.
  4. Fenwicke Holmes, Ernest Holmes, pp. 286-287.
  5. Fenwicke Holmes, Ernest Holmes, p. 294.
  6. Ibid., p. 284.
  7. Ernest Holmes, Keys to Wisdom (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1977), p. 10
  8. Reginald C. Armor, Ernest Holmes, the Man (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1977), p. 98.
  9. Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1939), p. 633.
  10. Ernest Holmes and Alberta Smith, Questions and Answers on The Science of Mind (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1953), pp. 8-9, emphasis added, p. 49.
  11. The Science of Mind, p. 591.
  12. Holmes and Smith, pp. 150, 76, 69, 14 respectively.
  13. “What I Believe,” Science of Mind, January 1965.
  14. Holmes and Smith, p. 152.
  15. Science of Mind, July 1979, p. 51.
  16. The Science of Mind, p. 383.
  17. Fenwick Holmes, Ernest Holmes, p. 91.
  18. Holmes, Gateway to Life, p. 25.
  19. Holmes and Smith, p. 52.
  20. Fenwick Holmes, p. 179.
  21. Armor, p. 42; see Holmes, The Science of Mind, pp. 384-388.
  22. The Science of Mind, pp. 384-388.

Leave a Comment