World Religions Info
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Overview of Christianity

Christianity is the study of god and his “son” Jesus.  Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus. Christian’s life is devoted to goodness and mercy.  Jesus taught Judaic law that was mixed with a gentle humane call to ethical purity.    

Christianity came from various forms of Judaism.  Christianity began in a small Roman Province of Judea.  Judea was the home of many Jewish people.  The Jewish people of this town were "hard core” if you will, they went by every rule and never broke any rules of the Jewish religion.  Some Jewish people decided to follow Christian leaders; the goal of this was to restore the earth god had given to us.  

Jesus had a vision or idea of how all Christian people should be. There were two things: 1) acts of random kindness (ark). 2) devoted to other humans.  The apostle’s creed was made for new Christians.  The apostle’s creed is as follows:

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.  And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. AMEN.”(http://www.creeds.net/ancient/apostles.htm)

This explains the whole Christian religion and reminds its followers of what they are here fro and why they believe in god.

Christians use a book called the bible.  There are two sections of the bible.  First is the old testament which is also known as the “torah” which is the Jewish scripture.  This is about time before Jesus and is about all of god’s makings and adventures.  There are 39 books in the Old Testament, and there are 27 in the New Testament.  In all there are 66 books of the bible. 

Not that you have to or if you don’t doesn’t mean that you are a Christian but the actual way to become a Christian is to be baptized into the church.  Christians think of it as the water you are baptized in will rid you of any sins you may have committed.  Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.


Christians take communion to remember the bread at the last supper and the blood of Jesus or the blood of the lamb.  You go up to your pastor or pope and take a piece of bread, once it is chewed up you take a sip of wine to wash it down and then take your seat.  Christians take communion to remember Jesus Christ.  Not all christians beleive in the same thing there are catholics and protastants with very different beleifs.  

History Of Christianity

Christianity began in the Roman Empire.  It began in a roman province of Judaea and was under the power of Augustus.  Judaea was made up of a mostly Jewish population.   Jesus taught Judaic law in a town called Nazareth. 

To the Romans thought Jesus’ teaching represented a challenge to authorities and was a worry to the Jewish community.  The Romans got so fed up with Jesus’ coming into their country and trying to take over a religion that had been set for years earlier.  The Romans had such a problem with this that they persecuted him.  There chose of persecution was crusification.  Crusification is when the government makes you carry your cross across town so everyone in the town knows what is happening to them.  After they get to the place this event will take place they nailed his hands to the cross.  After breaking his knees so he couldn’t hold himself up them placed a rose thorn crown on him.  Jesus chose to be crucified to take his life for everyone else’s life on earth.

Emperor Constantine had a major impact on Christianity some time or another.  Constantine helped convert people to Christianity during many different civil war way, way, way back when.  In the 4th century in the Roman Empire the church became the center of civic affairs.  It would seem like the church would be the last thing to be the center of in the Roman Empire after all the problems Rome had with it before. 

The crusade of 1095 was one of the greatest crusades in the history of Christianity.  Why may this be the greatest crusade in the history of Christianity? The reason was that they wanted to “separate” if you will different parts of Europe.  That was a long term goal; the short or immediate goal of the crusade was to send urban settlers and try to capture the holy land of the Muslims or Islamic people.

At the end of the middle ages Christianity had broken off into many, many different forms of religions like: catholic, protestant, evangelical, Covenant, and many, many, many more! In conclusion Christianity is a religion with one god, one reason, and one belief.  Even if you don’t believe in god he believes in everything that has ever happened.  All this stuff I just wrote about he made happen, the good the bad the mad that sad, he made it.  Without everything that happened in the history of Christianity I would not be here today teaching people about the history of Christianity.

Major Divisions of Christianity

Catholic- Catholics teach the message of Jesus through his teachings. They believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one thing. Catholics believe that most sins can fall into the Seven Deadly Sins.

Protestant- Protestants believe that they are living because of God's forgiving grace. They believe that a form of evil is suffering. They also believe in angels and devils.

10 Common Misconceptions

1. You get to heaven based on how good you are on earth. The bible says that no one is good enough to get into heaven just because of how good they are on earth, but that Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins is the reason we get into heaven. 

2. Once you become a Christian, it doesn’t matter if you sin. Even when you become a Christian and your sins are forgiven, it still matters if you sin.

3. The New Testament of the bible was written long after the events took place and legends were put in. The New Testament was written by witnesses of Jesus’ life and by interviewers of the witnesses. A lot of the books were written within 25 years of the death of Jesus Christ.

4. The bible has been changed and is not true to the original. The bible has not been altered in a way that makes it not true. Over the years, the bible was not told orally, where the message could easily get distorted. It was passed down through writing.

5. You can’t trust the bible because of all the stories of God’s miracles. If God exists, miracles are possible. If he could make the entire universe, he could definitely accomplish the other miracles in the bible.

6. The bible condones slavery. Slavery was common practice in that time, but that does not mean God condoned it. The bible talks about many common activities that were wrong in God’s eyes. Also, much of what was called “slavery” in the Old Testament was not forced by race, it was voluntary servitude.

7. The bible demeans women. The bible increases the status of women, especially compared to other religions. Jesus treated women with mercy and respect, and women have gained many cultural benefits from Christianity.

8. You can pick and choose what moral commands you like in the bible and you will follow. If you do this, you are creating your own version of God, and that is idolatry. The Second Commandment states that you cannot create an idol.

9. Everything in the bible is literal. In the bible, there is a lot of symbolism and metaphors, so not the entire bible is meant literally.

10. Christians are not supposed to judge other people. This is an example of taking the bible out of context. It is taken from Matthew 7:1, where it says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Then, in verse 5 it states, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Jesus is telling us that we must not judge hypocritically.

Key Terms

God- God is the supreme being that Christians believe crated the whole universe in 6 days and then rested on the 7th day.

Christ- The son of god that was born in Bethlehem and was crucified on the cross for our sins.

Judea- Christianity began in the province of Judea about 2000 years ago with Jesus Christ and his disciples.

Crucifixion- The sacrifice that Jesus Christ made when he died on the cross for our sins.

Apostles- The 12 original disciples told by Jesus to spread the gospel. Some of the Apostles were Simon Peter, James, John, and Andrew.

Sin- A serious offence to a law of the Bible that isn’t moral and is something that God doesn’t approve of.

New Testament- The newer part of the Bible written soon after Jesus Christ’s death. It was added onto the Old Testament to make the Christian Bible.

Old Testament- The first of the two parts in the Bible composed of laws and prophecies. Was written before Jesus’ death

Sacrifice- The surrender of something of value. Jesus Christ sacrificed his own life when he was crucified.

Bible- The Bible is the sacred text of Christianity, composed of the New Testament and the Old Testament.


Christianity Symbols:

The Cross

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Crosses are important to many Christians because Jesus was crucified on a cross. Christian tradition says that Jesus was the Son of God who came to Earth to redeem humanity’s sins through death on a cross.


Trinity

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To Christians, the Trinity is the belief that God can be 3 persons at once. This involves the unity of 3 divine persons. They believe that there is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


 


Spread of Christianity

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Distribution of Christianity

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To learn more go to...

Christian churches:

Heritage Netherland Reformed Church:  http://hnrc.org/

Westveiw Christian Reformed Church: www.westviewcrc.org

White Hills Bible Church:  (616) 949-9020 

First Evangelical Covenant Church:  http://firstcovgr.org/

Calvary Christian Fellowship:  (616) 842-3040