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RE Revision: Rights and Responsibilities
Bible The Holy Book for Christians.
Church the Community of Christians/ the Christian place of worship.
Conscience Inner feeling of the rightness or wrongness of an action.
Decalogue The Ten Commandments.
The Golden Rule Jesus' teaching to treat others as we would like to be treated.
Democratic processes the way in which citizens can take part in government (through elections)
Human Rights Rights and responsibilities that everyone is entitled to.
Political Party a group which tries to be elected into power on the basis of it's policies (eg. Labour, Conservatives)
Pressure group a group formed to influence government policy
Situation Ethics the idea that Christians should base moral decisions on what is the most loving thing to do in that situation.
Social change the way in which society has changed or is changing.
There are four main ways to make moral decisions as a Christian: The Bible, The Church, Conscience and Situation Ethics.
The Bible why use it?
The bible is not only a book it's a library. It has 66 books which means at least one must address your issue or one like it.
It is a guide for Christian living and shows us the history of Christianity in the Old Testament and the tales of Jesus' life in the New
Testament giving us a well-rounded view.
Parables teach us moral lessons that are crucial in the path to becoming the best Christian you can be.
The Bible is the Christian Holy Book and is the guide on how they should live. The Bible contains God's word, so it should be believed and
The Bible contains the laws of God and Christians are expected to keep these. The Ten Commandments tell us how to live and society uses
these rules as a basis for our laws today.
The Bible is full of Jesus' teachings which to be a good Christian we should follow his teachings `love another as I have loved you'
The Bible is important in decision making as it is still used in Church by Church leaders and contains guidelines from people like St. Paul.
Why not use the Bible?
It's outdated was written over 2000 years ago.
Issues like GE, IVf and abortion did not exist then so it is hard to make a decision regarding these using the Bible the issue is not
The world has changed a lot since this was written and so have people what was wrong then may be different now.
The Church why use it?
The Bible was written a long time ago, so can be seen as outdated.
The Church can interpret the Bible and make it relevant to modern day living for a Christian who isn't sure on how to interpret something
the Bible says.
The Church was given the responsibility to explain and spread the Word of God.
This enables Christians to speak and rely on other Christians creating a sense of community in the parish.
The Pope has been given God's power on Earth to interpret the Bible to teach how to behave.
The Bible can be difficult to understand how can we follow "love your enemies"?
People may get confused how to interpret the teachings.
Christians believe that God continues to speak to them through the Church.
Why not use the Church?
The Church relies on the Bible for it's main source for teaching but the Bible was written over 2000 years ago, so it is seen as outdated.
When the bible was written issues like abortion, IVF, GE, etc. did not exist so it's difficult for the Church to apply teaching to them.
Society has become more secular & less religious so people are less likely to follow the Church's teachings.
The Church cannot deal with modern issues as they cannot change teachings to fit with modern society as it would go against the Word of
Conscience why use it?
People believe that as God made us all our consciences are God speaking to us directly.
Your conscience is always with you a decision may need to be made quickly and you may not have time to consult the Church or the Bible.
St. Thomas and St. Paul said you should use the Bible and the Church to help you make decisions but ultimately your conscience is the
final decision maker.
Your conscience won't allow you to do anything that you can't live with so you feel that it will help you make the right decision.
Some Christians think the conscience is the Holy Spirit leading us to do right.
Some people feel so strongly that they are conscientious objectors people who refuse to go against their conscience.
Why not use it?
Your conscience isn't reliable as it can be mistaken.
You could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol your judgement is hazed.
What is right for you may not be right for everyone you may be able to live with something but someone else may not.
You could have your judgement clouded by personal emotion if you didn't like someone you would be more likely to act wrongly against
You may have a mental illness Peter Sutcliffe killed prostitutes because he thought God was telling him to do it.
You have to account the Bible into things Deifrich Bonheoffer was a Christian pacifist priest who followed his conscience and tried to kill
Hitler even though it was against his religion he said "When face with grave evil it is our duty to rid the world of it."
Situation Ethics why use it?
Jesus was a situationist: He worked and healed on the Sabbath and he helped a woman who has committed adultery.
In the New Testament Jesus stresses the importance of love in decision making.
The Bible is slightly outdated as they don't refer to modern day problems.
Jesus tells us to `love your neighbour'.
Paul Tillich said "Love is the ultimate law."
Several verses in the New Testament which stress the importance of love in decision making.
You must do the most loving thing to do in that situation.
Why not use it?
It may encourage you to break the law.
It may go against the Bible/Ten Commandments eg. Do Not Kill.
Christians believe in the Sanctity of Life.
We might choose to do something due to emotions and it wouldn't be the right thing to do.
People have different opinions of what is loving.
A loving action might have a bad effect eg. Abortion can lead to infertility.
o In 1948 the United Nations drew up the declaration of human rights. This is not a legal document.
o In 1950 the European Convention on Human Rights came into being the convention did have legal status.
o The Human Rights Act has only been part of British law since 1998.
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RE Revision: Rights and Responsibilities
Why are human rights important to Christians?
o Every human being is created by God, in God's image and all of God's creations should be treated with respect. Parable of Sheep and Goats.
o God loves everyone equally so that they should be treated equally.
o The teachings of the Bible are in line with most of the human rights laws.…read more