Christianity vs. Scientology: What’s the Difference?

Christianity and Scientology are two distinct systems of faith with differing beliefs, practices, and historical backgrounds.

Christianity, founded on Jesus Christ’s teachings, emphasizes salvation through faith and focuses on love and forgiveness. It has the Bible as its sacred text.

Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard, teaches self-discovery and spiritual growth through practices like auditing and has texts like Dianetics.

Keep reading to see charts that compare the beliefs, founders, practices, and history of Christianity and Scientology.

Church of Scientology
How do Christianity’s and Scientology’s beliefs compare? See below

Comparing Christianity and Scientology: At a Glance

“Christianity” derives from the Greek word “Christos,” meaning “anointed one,” referring to Jesus Christ.

“Scientology” combines “scio,” a Latin word meaning “knowing,” and the Greek word “logos,” meaning “study of.”

It essentially means the study of knowledge or truth, reflecting the religion’s focus on self-understanding.

SizeApproximately 2.3 billion adherentsEstimated to be a few hundred thousand members
Date Startedc. 1st Century AD1954
FounderJesus ChristL. Ron Hubbard
Key BeliefsBelief in one God, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, salvation through faith in Christ, the Holy TrinityThetans (spiritual beings) inhabit human bodies, auditing (counseling) to clear negative influences, achieving a state of “Clear”
Key PracticesWorship, prayer, reading the Bible, baptism, communionAuditing, study of Hubbard’s works, participating in church services
DivisionsRoman Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern OrthodoxyChurch of Scientology, Independent Scientologists
Central LocationNo central location, major centers in Rome (Catholicism), Constantinople (Eastern Orthodoxy)Church of Scientology International, Los Angeles, CA
Sacred TextsThe BibleDianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, other works by L. Ron Hubbard

What is a Thetan in Scientology?

A “Thetan” is the term for the immortal, spiritual part of an individual. Thetans are believed to have lived through multiple lifetimes and are considered the true self of a person, separate from the body and mind.

Jesus Christ and L. Rob Hubbard Side by Side

The name “Jesus” means “God saves” in Hebrew. The title, “Christ,” is Greek for “Anointed One.” In Hebrew, “Christ” is “Messiah.” The name L. Ron Hubbard has no specific religious meaning.

AspectJesus ChristL. Ron Hubbard
LifetimeApprox. 4 BC – 30/33 ADMarch 13, 1911 – January 24, 1986
HomeBorn in Bethlehem; raised in Nazareth, IsraelBorn in Nebraska, USA; lived in various places in the USA and abroad
FamilyBorn to Mary and Joseph; siblings mentioned in the BibleBorn to Harry Ross Hubbard and Ledora May; married three times and had seven children
MessageSalvation, love, forgiveness, and the Kingdom of God through faith in HimDianetics and Scientology principles for spiritual improvement and self-discovery
Sacred TextThe New Testament of the BibleDianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health; other Scientology texts

Dianetics introduces the concept of “auditing,” a form of counseling to clear the mind of negative experiences. The book lays out the principles of the practice and forms the basis for Scientology beliefs.

What is auditing in Scientology?

Auditing in Scientology is a process where an auditor helps an individual recall past traumas and negative experiences.

The goal is to clear these experiences from the person’s mind, reducing their influence on current behavior and emotions.

Christian Bible
What is being “clear” mean in Scientology? See below

Christian and Scientology Beliefs: Similarities and Differences

Christianity teaches the belief in monotheism, asserting that there is one God who exists in three persons. Because of this, God is commonly called a “Trinity,” comprised of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God or godsOne God, existing as the Holy TrinityNo deity worship, belief in an immortal spirit called Thetan within each person
The UniverseCreated by God; Earth is a temporary residence for humansNot a primary focus, but considered a physical realm for Thetans to experience
Ultimate realityGod’s eternal kingdom; union with God through salvationThe state of being “Clear,” free from past traumas and negative influences
Human beingsCreated in God’s image; male and female, body, soul/spiritThetans, immortal spirits, inhabiting human bodies
The problem with the worldSin, separation from GodEngrams, negative mental images, from past traumas
The solution to the problemFaith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and receiving God’s graceAuditing, clearing engrams to achieve the state of Clear and higher spiritual states
The afterlifeHeaven or hell based on faith and relationship with GodReincarnation, Thetans move to new bodies after death

What does being “clear” mean in Scientology?

Being “Clear” means that a person has successfully addressed and eliminated the negative influences of past traumas and experiences through auditing by removing engrams.

As a result, the individual is considered to be free from the reactive mind’s influence and can operate at their full potential.

The Bible and Dianetics: Side-by-Side Comparison

AspectThe BibleDianetics
Author(s)Multiple authorsL. Ron Hubbard
Date of PublicationMultiple books written between 1400 BC and 90 AD1950
Language of Original TextHebrew, Aramaic, and GreekEnglish
PurposeSacred text containing law, poetry, parables, history, moral guidelines, and moreSelf-help book outlining the theory and practice of Dianetics
OverviewCollection of texts including historical narratives, poetry, prophecies, and lettersPresents a methodology to address and resolve mental and emotional problems
Main TeachingsTeaches about God’s relationship with humanity, salvation, morality, and the life and teachings of Jesus ChristIntroduces concepts such as the reactive mind, engrams, and auditing
InfluenceCentral text of Christianity, widely regarded as the Word of GodFoundation of Scientology, regarded as the definitive text on Dianetics
Notable Quotes“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)“The source of aberration has been discovered to be a hitherto unsuspected sub-mind which, complete with its own recordings, underlies what Man understood to be his ‘conscious mind’.” (Dianetics)
ImpactShaped the moral and spiritual values of Western civilization, inspired countless works of art, music, and literaturePaved the way for the establishment of the Church of Scientology and influenced the development of auditing techniques
Christian cross
When did Jesus Christ rise from the dead? See below

10 of the Most Important Events in Christianity and Scientology

Knowing Christian and Scientology history is essential when comparing these faiths because it provides insight into the beliefs, practices, and events that have shaped these religions.

Birth of Jesus Christ (approx. 4-6 BC)Publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard (1950)
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (approx. 30-33 AD)Founding of the Church of Scientology (1954)
Resurrection of Jesus Christ (approx. 30-33 AD)Release of the E-meter, a device used in auditing (1954)
Paul’s missionary journeys (approx. 44-58 AD)Opening of the first Church of Scientology in Los Angeles, California (1954)
Council of Jerusalem (approx. 50 AD)Founding of the Sea Organization, an elite group within Scientology (1967)
Council of Nicaea (325 AD)Launching of Operation Snow White, an attempt to expunge negative records about Scientology (1973)
Conversion of Constantine (312 AD)Conviction of 11 Scientologists, including Hubbard’s wife, for crimes related to Operation Snow White (1979)
Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity (1054)Death of L. Ron Hubbard and David Miscavige taking over leadership (1986)
Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation (1517)Opening of the Church of Scientology Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida (2013)
Second Vatican Council (1962-1965)Launch of Scientology Network, a TV channel promoting the religion (2018)

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

Related Questions

error: This content is copyrighted.