Tom Cruise: Scientology and Christianity
By Alexander Samuels
Recently, Matt Lauer, host of NBC's "Today," went one-on-one with actor Tom Cruise. During the course of part one of the interview last Friday, Lauer remarked that Cruise's fiancee, Katie Holmes, had indicated that she was willing to . . . embrace Cruise's belief in Scientology. Lauer then asked, "At this stage in your life, could you be with someone who doesn't have an interest [in Scientology]?"
Cruise replied, "You know, Scientology is something that you don't understand. It's like, you could be a Christian and be a Scientologist, okay. Scientology is something—"
Lauer interrupted, "So, it doesn't replace religion."
Cruise answered, "It is a religion. Because it's dealing with the spirit. You are a spiritual being. It gives you tools you can use to apply to your life."
But can you really be a Christian and a Scientologist at the same time? I looked through several Christian apologetic resources and found that it is not possible to believe in both disciplines. Mr. Cruise needs to get his facts straight.
Please allow me to share with you just a few tidbits of information on this subject I found in an article by John Weldon from the Christian Research Institute:
God—Scientology teaches that there are a multitude of Thetans who, collectively with all life, could be said to comprise the Supreme Being. This contradicts Christianity, which teaches there is only one sovereign and perfect Creator God from all eternity—without beginning or end.
Man—Scientology teaches that man is an immortal spirit like the Atman in Hinduism. As in Hinduism, man may be considered a deity of sorts (Thetan) who has forgotten he is divine. The Bible rejects the idea that man is an ignorant god. Man is a creation of God, made in God's image.
Salvation—Scientology teaches that we must progress from personal ignorance and bondage to matter into enlightenment and freedom from the body and universe. At an ultimate cost of tens of thousands of dollars, one is saved by knowledge (Scientology beliefs) through good works (Scientology auditing and practice) to arrive at the highest state of "Operating Thetan." The Bible teaches that salvation is a free gift. One is redeemed from sin on the principle of grace, simply through faith in Christ's atonement.
Death—Scientology teaches reincarnation. Death may be beneficial if the spirit is released from the prison of a body. Christianity teaches that death is a one-time event. Death leads to eternal heaven or eternal hell.
The points above suggest only a few of the differences between Scientology and Christianity I have run across. In his interview with Matt Lauer, Tom Cruise was simply repeating what all Scientologists have been taught to say when trying to encourage people's interest in their "religion." The truth, however, is that Scientology and Christianity are very different and cannot be simultaneously held as beliefs.