What is the Soul?
- Everyone has one
- It's what makes us unique
- Invisible and lives on forever
- Have a soul = death is not the end
- No soul = nothing beyond earthly life
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Christians Beliefs About the Soul?
- Common ideas:
- non-physical part of human
- part of human that lives on after body dies
- spiritual aspect that makes every person unique
- part of human that allows us to relate to Go
- Everyone has a soul separate from physical body, which lives on after body dies, making humans distinct from other creatures
- "God created man in his own image" - humans have divine spark
- "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" - this is the soul so only humans have a soul
- Immorality of the soul:
- Jesus conquered death when he was resurrected and ascended to Heaven
- Jesus suggests Abraham, Moses and Elijah live on in a spiritual realm
- something non-material and immortal about human mind
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What is the Relationship Between the Body and the
- Body houses soul - body dies & soul reunited with God
- "I believe... in the resurrection of the body" - physical/spiritual
- God raised Jesus from the dead - this will happen to Christians too
- Soul & body conflict - body wants to fulfill desires and pleasures but soul wants to please God
- St. Paul - let the spirit guide them, soul more important than physical body
- Not believe in reincarnation - only 1 life on Earth
- "Day of Judgement" - resurrection of body, God judges everyone on faith and actions on Earth
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What is Death?
- Death is the end of life
- Medical - when the brain ceases to function
- Religious - when the soul leaves the body
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What is the Christian Idea About Life After Death?
- Death is not the end (life after death) but cannot explain what death is like
- Immortal soul continues eternal life in Heaven, Hell or Purgatory (Catholics)
- Reunited with loved ones in ideal situation
- Jesus promised a place for all who believed in him
- Where the soul is sent depends on God's judgement on the "Day of Judgement"
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What do Christians Believe About Judgement?
- "He shall come again to judge the living and the dead"
- Time of Judgement coincide with the Parousia
- Judgement is to take place at the end of time
- Until then kept in waiting area (Purgatory)
- Roman Catholics believe Purgatory is where souls of the dead go when they are not ready for Heaven
- "The Sheep and the Goats" - how God will judge humans - separated into 2 groups:
- those who have followed Jesus in good lives will be rewarded (sheep)
- those who have sinned will be damned to Hell eternally without God
- Direct connection between actions in life and destination of afterlife
- "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" - only God makes these decisions
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What do Christians Believe About Heaven?
- Those who have followed God while on Earth will go to Heaven
- A place free from suffering spending eternity with God
- Sinners who repent can go to Heaven
- "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain" - place with no evil or suffering
- Prepare themselves by making the world a better place like God intended
- The Parable of the Sower, the Parable of the Seed Growing Secretly and the Parable of the Mustard Seed - appearance of God's Kingdom depends on response to His word
- Correct response - not only Kingdom made but individual rewarded with entry to it and eternal life
- Heaven is a reward for those who follow God's ways
- To bring the Kingdom to Earth there needs to be a change in human values
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What do Christians Believe About Hell?
- People who did not accept God's word would be sent to Hell for eternal punishment
- People who have chosen not to accept the Gospel cannot reach Heaven
- People who have not encountered Christianity can reach Heaven
- Bible unclear
- The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus - diseased, poor man rewarded & rich man punished
- Some believe strongly in Hell for those who have commited terrible crimes
- Others say God's saving power extends to everyone, whatever their sins
- Biblical descriptions of Hell are symbolic to help people understand the concept
- Different interpretation - the body and soul both no longer exist (annihilation)
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What do Christians Believe About Salvation and Red
- Controversial topic
- Beliefs about salvation and eternall life closely linked to beliefs about Jesus
- Jesus provided perfect example of how to live
- Through death he resolved the problem of sin and human failure
- He conquers death through the resurrection, showing God's power over death
- He brought man and God back together (atonement)
- Roman Catholics - lead better lives by confessing sins to a Priest for forgiveness (Sacrament of Reconciliation)
- Jesus accepted as personal saviour and his example followed can shar ewternal life and salvation as reward
- This is known as redemption
- Salvation = everyone
- Redemption = personal
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What is a Funeral?
- A ceremony marking the end of a person's life
- Series of rituals known as rites
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What Happens During a Christian Funeral?
- Several rites depending on denomination and person
- Christian minister visit dying person as they may wish to confess sins
- Roman Catholics may receive the Anointing of the Sick, a sacrament, anointed with Oil of Unction, consecrated by Bishop each year
- During ceremony there are a number of key features:
- Bible reading: often refers to afterlife "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies"
- deceased - entrusted in God's care
- bereaved - keep safe and have strength to carry on in lives
- Eulogy: speech given remembering life of the deceased
- Hymns: suggested by deceased or family
- Eucharist: Roman Catholics - reminds those present of death and resurrection of Jesus and brings hope of eternal life
- The committal: committed to earth with words "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of resurrection to eternal life"
- cremated or buried - prayers often said graveside
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How do Funeral Rites Aim to Support the Bereaved?
- Acknowledgement the deceased person is no longer part of this world but is with God - providing closure so can move on in lives
- Family and friends draw comfort from each other and remember the person lost
- Celebrate life of the deceased
- Express feelings and emotions for deceased and share with others who knew the person
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