Christianity Topic 4

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Genisis opinion about the creation of the universe

Day 1: God created the earth and night and day

Day 2: God created the sea and sky

Day 3: God created plant life

Day 4: God created the stars and the sun

Day 5: God created fish and birds

Day 6: God made creatures of different kinds, he made man in his own image and likness

Day 7: All God's work was done so he rested, the 7th day (sunday) is still known as the day of rest and it is a holy day.

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How do humanity abuse the world

  • Aviation fuel- planes
  • Rocket debris
  • Over grazing
  • Deforestation
  • Acid rain
  • Over fishing
  • Whaling
  • Hunting for ivory or fur ect.
  • Poisonous waste sewerage
  • Leaks from nucleur installations
  • Chemicals
  • Gases from burning fossil fuels
  • Lead compounds from car exhausts
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A designer world

Paley came up with the idea of the universe being like a watch. It is a good way to think about it, it suggests a watch is complicated and could not have happened by luck many people believe the universe is like this as it is complicated and we don't know how it came to be I don't believe it could have been luck.

What in the natural world isn't perfect

  • The plates noyt being alligned
  • Genetic faults

There are many conclusions on how the world came to be. it could have been there was a creator or it may have been by luck.

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Interpretations of the Genesis

There are three types of Christians:

  • Creationists- who believe that the Bible is the truth and take it word for word. 
  • Liberal- They believe that the Bible was just a story told before science as people didn't posses the knowledge they do today, but they needed an explanation and Genesis was effective at showing God's power over humanity. It was not meant to be taken literally. They also believe the bible has errors. (Believe in Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection)
  • Traditionalists- They believe that the Bible should not be taken literally word for word eg) "day" they don't think means 24 hours but just sums up a period of time. They will accept science and the Bible. (Will accept Darwin's theory) 

Because of the various interpetations on Genesis and the Bible and it accuracy we can see how religion and science can mix.

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Evolution or not?

Charles Dawin's book "The origin of the species" tells us about birds and other animals adapting to their surroundings and the weaker dying out. This theory shows humans evolving from apes it is a theory called natural selection.

  • Creationist reject the theory as they folllow the bible word for word which tells them humans were unique. They also don't believe God would kill off the weak.
  • Other Christians accept Darwin's theory they believe humanity has evolved to become a seperate species because they posses emotions and knowledge, they think "made in the image of God" means God wants humans to become more like him and connect with him.
  • Some accept the concept of evolution, but point out there is no fossil evidence yet of a direct descent of humans from apes, and mabye humans are a seperate species.
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Humans at the top of creation

Most cristians accept humans are the most important part of God's creation

Genesis 1: 26a,28  "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, let them..... be fruitful and increase in numbers, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

This shows Christians that humanity is distinct and superior to animal life. The Bible stories also show that humans are superior beings as they have a personal relationship with their creator in a way animals cannot.

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How should christian's treat animals

Christians with traditional views believe that animals are for food and work. They argue that animals are inferior to us as they don't posses the same feelings.

Most Christians believe animals can improve our lives as God put them there for us to use, though many feel that whatever we do to them should cause as little pain as possible. Animals are part of God's creation so it is wrong to abuse them.

Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Christians are divided about using animals for sport, luxery items and entertainment, however many agree that they should be used for medical research as it benefits humanity.

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Do animals have rights

Most Christians will say no to this. 

Catholics say no animals do not have rights but humans should care for them as they are part of God's creation.

The Church of England say "The value of animals are secondary to that of humanity, as humans are made in God's image and are the main part of creation"

Some liberal Christians say animals have rights but they're different to that of humans. As animals are part of God's creation and human DNA is similar to animals.

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Care for all God's creation

Christians feel they have a duty of care for all God's creation this duty is called a stewardship. Being responsible for all God's creation means Christians should care for animals. Some Christians will give money and time to animal charities as part of their religious duty.

They also have a stewardship to the enviroment. Everyone shares the same enviromental concerns, but Christians believe they have to care for it more as God gave them a stewardship to the planet. The bible says humanity doesn't own the planet God does. Christians are taught that God gave them the planet and all it's resources for use in their lifetime but it must be returned in the end to it's owner. Christians must return the earth in the same condition as they recieved it. They can use the natural resources as long as it doesn't destroy the enviroment. For example they can cut down trees but must replace them and they can fish but not over fish and the land cannot be poisoned by chemicals.

Psalm 24:1 The world and all that live in it belong to the Lord; the Earth and all who live in it are his.

Genesis 2:15 Then the Lord God placed man in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.

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The Environment

The Bible story about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden tells us God created a perfect enviroment in the beginning and God directed us to care for it. Some Christians believe that if we abuse the enviroment God will throw us out of the planet like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Different Christain denominations have their own teachings about enviromental issues, stewardship is at the heart of them all. Here are some views:

Orthodox Church- "Just as a shepherd will in times of greatest hazard lay down his life for his flock, so human beings may need to forgo parts of their wants and needs in order that the survival of the natural world can be assured. This is a new situation- a new challenge"

Roman Catholic Church- " A way of life thats disregards and damages God's creation, forcces the poor into greater poverty, and threatens the rights of the future generations to a healthy enviroment and to their fair share of the earth's wealth and resources, is contrary to the visions of the Gospel."

Quakers: "We do not own the world, and it's riches are on ours to dispose of at will. Show loving consideration for all the creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reference for life."

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