The Bible- Different Views
Literalism- this is the view that the Bible is the absolute truth, without any inaccuracies and is THE word of GOD.
Fundamentalism- this view is very similar to the Literalism view where they believe that the Bible is all true and that it is the Word of God.
Conservative- this is the view that the broad story of the Bible is true however there are some discrepencies in there. They believe that the Bible is more about MORAL teaching rather than it being the absolute word of God.
Liberal- this is the view that many of the stories in the Bible are not true and are not the words of God. They do not believe that God could perform miriclaes but they believe he was a GREAT TEACHER. They believe that there are many inaccuracies in the Bible.
Oneness of God and the Trinity
God is...Omnipresent (everywhere). Omnipotent (all powerful) Omiscient (all knowing) and Transcendent (a superior being).
The Trinity consist of the Father (God), The Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit.
They are all one.
Incarnation- Jesus is the incarnate (human form) of God.
Crucificixion- This is when Jesus was nailed to the cross as capital punishment under Pontius Pilate.
Resurrection- 3 days after Jesus died and was buried He rose again.
Ascension- 40 days after His resurrection Jesus ascended to heaven to be seated at the right hand side of the Father.
Judgement Day and the World to come- Jesus will one day return to judge all human beings living or dead. God's kingdom will continue forever. (Parousia).
Liturgical- this worship is very structured and follows a regular pattern so that the members of the congregation become familiar with the service. It is often very elaborate and colourful and many rituals are carried out. This is a public way of worshipping and often the prayers are often repeated. However there is also time for private prayer.
Non- Liturgical- this worship is very free with very little structure. There are no set rituals and this type of worship is very spontaneous. In some churches this types of worship is very lively with singing, dancing, clapping etc. Or it can be very quiet and reflective.
Use of the Bible
Use of the Bible in Private Worship
Christians can use the Bible at home to study inorder to develop and strengthen their knowledge of their faith. Some Christians also turn to the Bible in times of distress and pain; looking for comfort and guidance. The Bible is the fundamental source of all Christian teachings and is often their first port of call if things go wrong. Some Christians read the Bible everyday. Christians believe that private worship is very important and they have a strong belief in spending time with the family as it is the fundamental unit in society. The sabbath day should be spent with family to strengthen family bond. Christians should not work 24/7 as they believe that one cannot have a fully human life if they do not have rest too.
Use of the Bible in Public Worship
The Bible is often used in Church services for readings that are relevant at the time. There are 2 types of public service EUCHARISTIC and WORD. In the eucharistic serives they tend to focus on the ritual of Holy Communion. In Word services this ritual does not occur and they use a piece of Biblical Text and study it deeply in gain from it. They try and recognise its relevance to those present and their own lives. Christianity is a community religion and therefore all Christians should participate in Public Worship to become apart of the community.
Role of a Priest of Minister
Ministers- Someone who is authorized by a Church to perform clergy functions such as teaching beliefs, performing services such as weddings and funerals and providing spiritual guidance to the community.
In Protestant Churches minister generally refers to someone who is a member of the ordanined clergy who leads the congregation.
Some people view ministers as part of the congregation whereas others see them as a church leader.
Plan and conduct public worship, teach spiritual/ theological subjects, preech, preside over sacrements
conduct marriage, funeral and memorial services (Sacraments)
confirming young people provide leadership,
supervise prayer and discussion groups participate in the ordination of other clergy
Train leaders provide personal support
Visit the sick and the elderly
Keep records as required by the civial church law.
establish new local churches.
Priests are very similar to ministers BUT preist control their own finances. ( Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
The Eucharist is a sacrament in all Christian Churches. It is symbolises the BODY and the BLOOD of Christ. It represents the NEW COVENANT between God and the Church.
It stems from the Old Covenant where the salvation was from slavery, a pascal lamb of the sacrifical object and the nation was Hebrews.
The Eucharist is the salvation of sin, Christ is the sacraficial object and the it is for all nations. Some Churches do not celebrate Holy Communion because they do not believe in sacraments.
All Christians agree with the above but they differ with how the service is carried out.
Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine are transubstanination this is when they become the body and the blood of Christ.
Protestant Churches do not agree with the Roman Catholics as they believe that Chirst was sacrificed once and that He cannot be sacrified again because he is in glory. They believe that the bread and wine are symbolic of Christ and the Last Supper.
Christians Prayer as a way of communicating with God. There are 5 types of prayer.
1. Petition- this is when Christians ask God for something
2. Thanksgiving- this is when they thank God for something He has done.
3. Adoration- this is when they praise God for all that He has done.
4. Healing- this is when they pray for the ill or suffering to ask God to end the suffering.
5. Confession- this is when they confess their sins to God to maintain a close and intimate relationship with God.
The Lord's Prayer is a very important prayer to Christians because it is the prayer that Jesus taught to the Disciples and it is seen as the perfect prayer as it has everything in at that a prayer should have (petition/ adoration). Jesus said that prayers should not be too long and the Lord's Prayer is the perfect length.
Advent and Christmas
Advent is the period of time before Christmas where Christians prepare for the birth of Jesus. It begins on the nearest Sunday to the 30th of November.
Some Churches have advent wreaths with 5 candles 1 for every Sunday and 1 for Christmas Day.
There are often Nativity Plays and Services in preperation for Jesus' Birth.
On Christmas Eve there is a midnight mass to welcome Jesus into the world.
Gifts are given and recieved to celebrate Jesus' birth and often families join together and have a special meal.
Christmas Day celebrates the INCARNATION as God is brought into humanity as Jesus.
This is a very important week in the Christian Calender.
Palm Sunday remembers the day when Jesus entered Jerusalum on a Donkey to a crowd that were cheering him. This crowd was the same crowd that a few days later were cheering for his excecution. This story is often told to teach people about being unfaithful and hypocritical to their faith.
Ash Wednesday when a service held to make a cross on Christians foreheads as a sign that they are repentent of their sins. The ashes come from the palm crosses from the previous year that are burnt.
Maunday Thursday- remembers the Last Supper where Jesus was betrayed by Judas and the washing of the feet.
Good Friday- remembers Jesus crucifixion and the suffering he endured under Pontis Pilate.
In many Christian's eyes this is the most important festival.
Easter Sunday remembers the resurrection of Christ 3 days after he died. Mary Magdalene visited his tomb only to find it empty.
Jesus promised the Disciples that the Holy Spirit would come down to Earth and would also be with them.
40 days after Jesus' resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand side of the father.
50 days after his resurrection the Holy Spirit came to the Disciples and changed them from being frightened of preechings teachings into being proactive and confident in delivering the word of God to the people.
In the Roman Catholic Church Infant Baptism is recognised as a sacrament. During infant Baptism the baby is blessed as Holy Water is poured on the babies head 3 times to represent the trinity. The parents and Godparents make promises on behalf of the baby promising to bring the child up as a Christian.
In some Churches there is Chrismation. This is when chrism oil is placed on a childs forehead 3 times (trinity) to welcome them into the Church. This symbolies that the the child has been chosen by God.
Some Churches they do not see Baptism as a sacrament so they hold dedication ceremonies in which they dedicate the baby's name and life to following the religion.
All of the above are ways of welcoming infants into the Church.
As Christians get older they can become CONFIMRED. This is where they make the decision themselves to dedicate their lives to the Church. The Chrism oil is used here and they remake the promises that their parents and Godparents made on their behalf. This is a very important sacrament as it is the concious decision to follow the religion.
In Baptist and Pentecostal Churches they do not believe in infant baptism as they believe that the person should be old enough and mature enough to make their own decisions before being welcomed into the Church.
Therefore they carry out BELIEVER'S BAPTISM where the person is totally immersed into a baptism pool 3 times (trinity). It is the same as infant baptism only the person is aware of their decision.
Marriage is very important to Christians as they believe that the family unit is fundamental in society. Marriage is a contract between God and the loving couple and the couples love is supposed to symbolise the love God has for humanity.
During a Marriage Service- Vows are made in the presence of God
Prayers are said.
Hymns are sung.
Rings are exchanged to show never-ending love.
A register is signed to make the marriage legal.
Marriage is not something that should be taken lightly it is a life long commitment upon which a family is built. Christians do not believe in sex before marriage and they believe that a married couple should have children.
Funerals are not seen as a sacrament as it does not have affect on life.
During a funeral- The coffin is met at the door my the priest
The coffin is followed by immediate family.
Prayers are said and Hymns are sung.
There is a Eulogy to celebrate the persons life.
The Coffin is blessed with Holy Water.
Commited to Burial or Cremation.
After death Christians believe that the person goes to heaven if they have repented all their sins, purgatory if they still need to repent sins or hell if they have carried out grave sins.
Sermon on the Mount
1.You shall not worship any other god but God
2. You shall not make a graven image.
3. You shall not take the name of God in vain.
4. You shall not break the Sabbath.
5. You shall not dishonor your parents.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not commit perjury.
10. You shall not covet.
Sermon on the Mount
This was also when the LORD'S PRAYER was taught.
And Jesus said things such as "turn the other cheek"
THE GOLDEN RULE
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.
2 Greatest Commandments
1. To love God totally with heart, mind and soul.
2. To love ones neighbour as one loves oneself.