We’ve been looking at the difference between Christianity and other major religions – particularly their teaching about how to get to heaven. Today we look at Scientology.

Scientology is a relatively new religion. It was founded by Lafayette Ronald Hubbard in the 20th century. Scientology has often come to the forefront of Western attention through celebrity converts, such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

Essentially, Scientology teaches in cryptic and quasi-scientific language that there are different stages through which you progress toward total self-determination. The basic concept is that of survival and Scientology claims to be the religion that teaches you how to survive.

However one thing that Scientology does not believe you need to survive or escape from is hell. This is because they deny hell’s existence: ‘…hell is a total myth, an invention just to make people very unhappy and is a vicious lie.’ Whereas Jesus teaches that there is a hell: ‘But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him’ (Luke 12:5). Hell is real and you should fear going there.

Also, when it comes to the problem of sin, Scientology teaches that there is no absolute good and absolute evil. Whereas Christianity teaches quite plainly that there is righteousness and unrighteousness.

And if you don’t believe in evil, it is not surprising that Scientology denies the doctrine of repentance: ‘It is despicable and utterly beneath contempt to tell a man he must repent, that he is evil.’ If you can’t be evil then repentance is unnecessary. But the Bible teaches that repentance is crucial if you are to be saved. Peter preached to the Jews: ‘Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus’ (Acts 3:19-20). Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins.

What do you believe? Do you side with Scientology and believe that there is no sin and no need of repentance? Or do you recognise the wrong that you have done and cry out to Jesus for forgiveness?

Joel Radford.