PSRE revision cards

For ethics year 10 and 11.

  • Created by: Natalie
  • Created on: 16-11-11 17:42

Roles of men and women in Christianity

  • The Bible is usually refered to as the source of Christian ideas on ethical issues, and it does contain passages on how men and women should behave and the work they should do.
  • Evangelical Christians have a very literal view of the bible, and that the instructions are directly from God, and cannot be open to discussion or interpretation.
  • Other Christians hold more liberal views:

-Christianity developed within a patriarchal society that placed men over women, and this was reflected in how the bible was written.

-Liberal Christians do not  believe that the bible was written by God, but by human beings, who were influenced by the culture around them.

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Roles of men and women in christianity

According to the traditional teachings of Christianity, men and women should have different roles.

Men should:

  • Put their duties before those of women, and women should support them in this.
  • Have the final say in family matters.
  • Provide for the family by going out to work.

Women should:

  • Put their husbands first (be inferior)
  • Produce and look after the children.
  • Support and look after their husbands.
  • Care for the house.
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Roles of men and women in christianity

The reasons for this are:

  • Adam was made first and Eve was made specifically to be a companion and a support for him.
  • Eve was the one who was temped to eat the fruit, which had been forbidden by God;she is therefore responsible for the Fall from grace and is morally weaker than Adam.
  • All humanity has inhetied these traits from Adam and Eve.
  • Women are physically different from men; they can bear children and are better looking after younger children because they can breastfeed, etc.
  • Christians who take this view do not say men are better than women, they can say that God values both genders equally but has created them for different purposes.
  • Both genders share responsibility for their childrens spiritual welfare.
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Roles of men and womend in christianity

Equal roles:

  • Many modern christians take a different view.
  • They argue that men and women should have equal oppertunities and responsibilities.
  • If they have a child they have both partuicipated creating it and should both share in their care
  • If both partners want to work there is no reason why they shouldn't.
  • These christians back up their views in the following ways:
  • Modern society is much different from the way it was when the Bible was written.
  • Effective contraceptives, medical advances, the availability of professional childcare etc. All mean that women should not have to be at mercy of their bodies - they don't have to have children if they don't want to and if they do, they don't have to look after them themselves.
  • In biblical times 'wokr' usually meant hard physical labour for which women (especially if pregnant) are less suited than men; however, nowadays 'work' has a much broader meaning and includes many things that women can do as well or better than men.
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Roles of men and women in christianity

Equal roles:

  • These christians do not dispute that men and women are physically different, but believe there should be no difference in the way they are treated.

"Wives ... be submissive to our husbands... Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner" 1 Peter 3:1

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord' But..."Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" Ephesians 5:21

'There is neither... male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ.' Galatians 3:28

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Marriage. Key words -General.

Key words - General:

  • Monogamy: A commited relationship with one other person.
  • Monogamous: A monogamous relationship is the type described above.
  • Divorce: A legal dissolution of a marriage.
  • Dissolution: 'Disolving'
  • Annulment: Recognition that the marriage bond never truly existed.
  • Consummation: The first act of sexual intercourse after the wedding ceremony.
  • Contraception: Methods used to prevent pregnancy.
  • Chastity: Purity, having sesxual relations only with your marriage partner.
  • Celibacy: Abstaining from sex entirely.
  • Heterosexual: Being sexually attracted to the opposite sex.
  • Homosexual: Being sexually attracted to the same sex.
  • Promiscuous: Having many different sexual partners in a short space of time.
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Marriage: Key words - Christian, The meaning of ma

Key words - Christian:

  • Vows: Promises made before God during the wedding ceremony.
  • Sacrament: A part of worship at which God himself is present.

The meaning of marriage:

A marriage cansists of three different bonds between people:

  • An emotional bond; they love each other and wish to express their commitment
  • A legal bond; they have become a single legal entity, with rights and responsibilities as a couple that the law recognises and enforces.
  • A spiritual bond; they have joined as one in the eyes of God, or according th the requirements of their religion as there are rights and responsibilities according to this state according to their religious teachings.
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The meaning of marriage continued

  • It is important to be aware if different bonds as it is entirely possible to go through a ceremony that is binding in a religious sense but not recognised by the law, or a legal ceremony that does not fulfil religious requirements; either of these have implications fro ending a marriage.
  • A civil marriage is one which is conducted by the law, without religious elements involved in it.
  • A  religious  ceremony does not necessarily meet the legal requirements for a marriage in this country.
  • Members of religious minorities in Britian may have to go through a civil as well as religious ceremony if they want their union to have legal as well as spiritual status.
  • Christian churches and priests/ministers/vicars are 'automatically' liscences to perform legal wedding ceremonies, so a Christian couple who are married according to the rules of their faith will not need to go through a civil ceremony as well in order to going the recognition of the law.
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Marriage for Christians

  • Marriage is the joining together of a man and a woman so they become one in the eyes of God.
  • Christians believe that marriage should be for life.
  • A Christian marriage ceremony reflects Christian beliefs about marriage:
    • That marriage is something God intended
    • Men and women get married of their own free will.
    • The christian belief that monogamy is the right way to live.
    • A permanent marriage is the best setting for having children.
  • There are three main purposes for marriage in Christianity:
    • To help and support each other throughout life.
    • To enjoy sexual closeness and bonding.
    • To raise children
  • Marriage also symbolises the union between Christ and the Church. The ceremony begins with this announcement.
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Marriage for Christians

  • Customs vary acording to different churches and cultural backgrounds but all christian services include:
    • A priest, vicar or minister who performs the ceremony in the eyes of God.
    • The bride and groom make vows before the congregation.
    • The vows include a promise to love, comfort, honour, help and remain faitful to one another.
    • The bride and groom declare that they are free and willing to marry.
    • Rings are exchanged and the marriage is blessed; the ring as a perfect circle is the sign of eternity and the perfection of God.
    • For legal reasons, two witnesses have to sign the marriage register as well as the bride and groom.
  • Other wedding customs may include:
    • The bride we arig white as a symbol of her virginity.
    • In the traditional wedding service, the bride promises to obey her husband; some couples choose this service.
    • Money may be pinned to the clothes of the bride.
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Marriage for christians

  • Other wedding customs may include, continued:
    • Confetti or rice may be thrown . All of these things symbolise fertility and prosperity for the couple, as do the flowers carried by the bride and her bridesmaids.
    • In eastern Orthodox service the bride and grom may wear crowns to symbolise their identification with Adam and Eve.
  • Marriage is one of the sacraments - this means a service in which God is actually present.
  • For many christians a 'marriage' must take place between a man and a woman, although their are priests/ministers willing to bless the union of a homosexual couple.
  • Remember marriage is a legal contract as well as a spiritual bond:
    • Homosexual couples cannot be married even if a church is willing to perform the ceremony.
    • This is because the law does not recognise the term 'married' as applying to such a relationship
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Mariage for christians

  • Remember  marriage is a legal contract as well as a spiritual bond, continued:
    • However, homosexual couples can now form a 'civil partnership', which carries the same legal rights and responsibilities a marriage does.
    • If they are believers they may choose to get this partnership blesses as well.
  • In  eastern Orthodox and sometimes in Catholic  and Anglican wedding services, the bride and the groo take holy communion together as part fot eh service. The other people at the service do not partake. This is not only a sacrament in its own right but it represents the couple, joined together as one, starting their new lives together with God's blessing.
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The Vows

The vows are:-

'...To have and to hold

from this day forward;

for better, for worse,

for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish,

 till death do us part'

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Civil Partnerships and Christianity.


  • Catholics regard the marriage ceremony as a sacrament.
  • A marriage therefore cannot be dissolved; a couple who have been through a true wedding ceremony have become 'one flesh' and cannot be separated.
  • People that have been through a ceremony that does not fit the requirements of a catholic ceremony are not married in the eyes of the catholic church (although they may of course be legally married).
  • This is true of alternative Christian ceremonies as well as civil services.
  • Couples who are having a sexual relationship without having been through a Catholic wedding ceremony are commiting adultery in the eyes of the Catholic Church.
  • This is true regardless of the sexuality of the couple.
  • It should be remembered that the Catholic church teaches that homosexuality is a 'call to celibacy' - a messaqge from God that you should not engage in a sexual relationship. This means that, in the catholic view, same sex relationships should be platonic, and therefore civil partnerships are regarded as unnecessary.
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Civil partnerships and christianity


  • Marriage is not a sacrament for most protestant churches.
  • Because of this ceremonies that were not conducted within the chudrch itself are more likely to be regarded as 'real' and acceptable to create a marriage.
  • Since promiscuity is generally frowned upon and commiting relationships are seen as leading to a better life, any form of marriage, as long as it is taken seriously, is a good thing.
  • The Church of England has sanctioned 'blessing' homosexual partnerships for some time, so is likely to welcome the civil partnership option that allows homosexual couples to commit fully to one another.
  • However, a full wedding for homosexual couples is not currently permitted in the Church of England, so couples who wish to be married in the eyes of God and the law are still unable to do so.
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The end of a marriage

  • Although ending a marriage is extremely common in western society, it is important to note that both civil and christian marriage services contain the presumption that marriage is a commitment for life.
  • Ending the marriage means severing the bonds between the partners:
    • An emotional bond is severed by the end of love.
    • A legal bond is severed by going through the legal process that results in the record of the end of a marriage.
    • The spiritual bond is the one that, arguably, cannot be severed.
  • Remember it is possible for people to be legally separated but still married in the eyes of their church or faith community.
  • The way marriages  are 'supposed ' to end is the death of one of the parties.
  • There are two  other ways to bring this about:
    • Divorce:  The legal dissolution of the marriage contract, resulting in a record that the parties were once married but are not any longer.
    • Annulment: The ruling that a legal marriage bond was never created in the first place
  • This distinction is vital for understanding th Christian attitudes to the end of a marriage.
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Ending a Christian marriage.

All Christians agree ideally agree that marriage is for life, but they have different points of view on whether it can be dissolved or not:

Roman Catholics:

  • Marriage is a sacrament and cannot be undone.
  • Partners may choose to live separatley but the church will not recognise a divorce.
  • Legally divorced catholic couples are still regarded as married by the church:
    • If they remarry while their previous partner is still living they regarded as living in a state of sin and may not take communion or go to confession.
  • In ccertain circumstances a marriage may be annuled, although this is not easy and requires special consent from the Pope. Legal grounds for annulment include:
    • Being forced into the marriage.
    • Non-consummation (provided intercourse has been attempted and proved impossible.
    • Not being in your right mind.
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Ending a Christian marriage

Roman Catholics, continued:

  • If the law granted an annulment on these grounds the church would probably recognise it; however they are seldom granted legaly these days.

Other Christians:

  • Most other denominations such as the Church of England believe that divorce may sometimes be allowed.
  • If the couple sincerely believe that their problems are insoluble and if other options have been exhausted, the church may recognise divorce as being the best option.
  • If either partner wishes to  remarry in church it is up to the vicar or minister to decide if they are taking marriage seriously enough.
  • Christian churches often offer marriage guidance councilling to help prevent couples divorcing.
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What the Bible says about divorce.

"It has been said, 'anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' But I tell you anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery." Matthew Protestant point of view

"Therefore what God has joined together, let no-one seperate" Matthew

"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." Mark Catholic point of view

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When a marriage is brought to an end the possibility of remarriage to another person is created.

Catholics - Sacrament:

  • If the marriage was annulled by the catholic church then the marriage never happened in the first place and you are free to marry.
  • A catholic can get a legal divorce but will still be regarded as married byy the church; the spiritual bond (sacrament)  has not been broken. This means they cannot get married in the spiritual sense (the church will not perform the ceremony, or not recognise it as binding)
  • If you remarry, you will be commiting adultery and could be excommunicated.

Protestants - Covenant:

  • If the protestant's church recognises divorce as a possibility then they may seek the right to remarry in the spiritual  sense, with a church service.
  • Liberal protestants believe that it is important to show love and forgiveness and give people a second chance.
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Sexual relationships for christians.

  • Many christians believe that sex should only take place within a marriage.  This is because:
    • The 'body is a temple' of the holy spirit and should be treated with respect.
    • Sex has a purpose, designed by God - to create children and to strengthen the bond between married couples. This purpose should not be misused.
    • Sex was meant to be very special, and casual sex denies this.
  • Other christians believe that these views are old fashioned and disagree with them because;
    • The main message of christianity is to love one anothe, so if a relationship is committed a loving marriage is unnecessary.
    • Sex is a pleasureable thing, and as is such a gift from God.
  • Most christians would agree that casual sex with someone that you have just met is wrong.
  • Catholics believe that a celibate lifestyle is one that is especially pleasing to God; catholic priests are required to be celibate
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Sexual relationships for christians

  • Celibacy is a positive thing because sexual relationships are intense and may distract people from their relationship with God; priests monks and nuns should not have any relationship that is more important than the one they have with God.

Sex and Sin:

  • Sex is also seen as related to the 'original sin' of Adam and Eve.
    • After Adam and Eve had eaten to fruit and gained knowledge of good and evil, they realised they were naked and were ashamed of it.
    • This can be interpreted as becoming aware of the gender difference between them and so, by implication, of sex.
  • Giving in to the sexual urge outside of a christian marriage is therefore a sin.
  • The other concept christians apply to sex is chastity;  this means 'purity', and is a virtue.
  • Fidelity  is also important - staying faithful to your marriage partner sexually.
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Sexual relationships for christians

Sex and Sin, continued:

  • All christians should aim to be chaste which involves:
    • 'Saving yourself' for your marriage.
    • Not having sex with anyone other than your marriage partner.
    • Not allowing sex or sexual desires to take over aspects of your life or control your decisions.

Homosexual Relationships

  • Liberal Protestant Christians accept that same sex couples can be in a loving relationship.
  • The Catholic and protestant Evangelical churches condemn homosexuality outright as a sin.
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Sexual relationships for christians

Homosexual relationships, continued:

  • Most protestant churches make a distinction between 'active' homosexuals, who engage in relationships with same sex partners, and those who have homosexual 'urges' but remain celibate. They would argue that:
    • Acting on homosexual urges is a sin in the eyes of God.
    • Homosexuality is a 'call' from God to live a celibate lifestyle.
    • Celibate homosexuals are not sinning, because they are responsible for how they feel.

Sex outside of marriage:

  • Sex outside of marriage can refer to two situatons:
    • Sex with a partner before you have been through a marriage ceremony with them - pre-marital sex.
    • Sex with someone different to whom you are married - Extra-marital sex.
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Sexual relationships for christians

Sex outside of marriage, continued:

  • Adultery is specifically forbidden to christians in the Ten Commandments; however exactly what is means is over to interpretation:
    • Nowadays the word 'adultery' is refered to extra-marital sex, or people having an affair.
    • Traditionally adultery simply meant sex with someone you are not married to catholics hold this view.
  • Protestant churches may allow their priests, vicars or ministers to marry.
  • The catholic church insists on celibacy for their clergy.
  • The Orthodox church allows its priests to marry, but bishops must not be married.

Sex as a pleasure:

  • Many people regard christianity as being especially 'joyless' about sex; there is a perception that the christian church has never been concerned about sex as a pleasure because it views it as a sin.
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Sexual relationships for christians

Sex as a pleasure, continued:

  • Some christians undoubtedly hold this view , believeing that celibacy is the best view.
  • Other believe that sex within marriage is good and natural and morried couples should not abstain from it.
  • The Song of Solomon in the Bible is an entire book devoted to the pleasureable nature of sex and many christians view it  as one of God's gifts to humanity (thus abusing sex is abusing a gift from God)

Sex can be seen purely for procreation (having children) or also unitive (brings couples closer together)

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Sexual relations for christians

 What the Bible says about sexual relationships:

' Do you not know that your body is a temple to the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have recieved from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.' Corinthians

' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already commited adultery with her in his heart.' Matthew.

' Do not have sexual relations with a man as one would with a woman; that is detestable.' Leviticus.

'You shall not commit adultery' One of the ten Commandments.

'Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth - for your love is more delightful than wine.' Song of Solomon.

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  • Contraceptin literally means 'against conception'.
  • It is used to describe the methods that can be used to prevent a child being concieved during sex.
    • Condoms
    • IUD
    • Diaphragm
    • The Pill
    • Rhythm method.
  • Methods of contraception can be separated into:
    • Abortive: Where a fertilised egg is prevented from implanting into the womb.
    • Barrier: When the sperm and egg are prevented from meeting at all.
    • Natural: Where artificial aids are not used at all
  • Which method is used can have an effect on peoples attitudes to whether or not it acceptable.
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Contraception and Christianity


  • The catholic church teaches that sex is the means God uses to create new human lives. NATURAL LAW.
  • Since every act of sexual intercourse has a potential to give life, interfering with that is interfering with Gods right to create new life.
  • Abortive methods of contraception as seen as equivalent to killing a child, since it is alive in God's eyes from conception.
  • Barrier methods interfere with the main purpose of intercourse.
  • Catholics may only use 'natural methods' such as making love when the woman is at her least fertile. But this is notoriously unreliable.
  • Even some natural methods are unnacceptable - e.g. the withdrawl method is frowned upon as the old testament condemns allowing semen to 'fall upon the ground'
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Catholics, continued:

  • This is one of the Catholic church's less popular stances even with believers
  • The Bible doesn't mention contraception because reliable contraceptions was not available at the time it was written.
  • However there are Bible passages that people use to discuss contraception, including that marriage was ordained by God for the procreation of children.

Other Christians:

  • Most other christian churches teach that contraception is acceptable.
    • Most christians however are more likely to use barrier methods rather than abortive methods.
  • Contraception is potentially acceptable because of FREE WILL  - A gift from God to the human race; it means that people should be free to make their own decisions.
  • This includes choosing whether to have children and how many they want.
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Other christians, continued:

  • People may not have enough money to support a large family.
  • Also, the world is over populated and people are starving; it is therefore the responsible thing to limit the size of your family.
  • These christians may also argue that God gave people the intelligence to learn how to use contraception, so refusing to do so devalues this intelligence.
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What the bible says about contraception.

'Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it' Genesis.

'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.' Jeremiah.

'Judah, therefore, said Onan to his son: Go to your brothers wife and marry her, so you may raise children for your brother. Onan knew the children wouldn't be his, so when he went to his brothers wife, he spilled his seed upon the ground. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.' Genesis

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Religion and Equality, Key works

Key words, General:

  • Prejudice - Thinking badly of someone you dont know, without any real reason to do so, e.g. because of their colour, gender or age.
  • Discrimination - Acting differently with an individual than you would do with anyone else, because of your prejudice
  • Racism - Prejudice based on race
  • Sexism - Prejudice based on gender.
  • Ageism - Prejudice based on age
  • Equal oppertunities - Attempting to ensure that everyone has the same chances regardless of age, gender, race, etc.

Key words, Christian :

  • Evangelism - The belief that it is right to actively seek people to convert to your faith.
  • Evangelist - A person who believes in/practices evangelism.
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Religion and Equality, Key words

  • Ecumenism - The belief that it is right to encourage different faiths to work together , without requiring anyone to convert.
  • Ecumenist - A person who believes in/practices Ecumenism.
  • Apartheid - A legal system, practiced in South Africa until recently, keeping different races apart.
  • Ministry - The priesthood. Joining the ministry means becoming a priest, vicar or pastor of the church you belong to.
  • Ordination - The ceremony of making someone a priest.
  • Sacrament - A ceremony at which God is believed to be present
  • Confession - One of the Catholic sacraments, b y which you can achieve forgiveness for your sins.
  • Forgiveness - Accepting that someone has done wrong, and not holding it against them.
  • Reconcilliation - Making things up after a split or disagreement; bringing people back together.
  • Redemption - Being brought back to God by repenting your sins.
  • Repentance - Being genuinely sorry and remorseful for the sins you have committed.
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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about E

What the Bible says about Equality:

"Then Peter began to speak; 'I now realise how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.'" Acts 10:34

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, Male nor Female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" Galatians 3:28

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" Genesis 1:27

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Religion and Equality, Christian beliefs about Equ

Christian beliefs about Equality:

  • Christians believe that God loves all humans unconditionally.
  • They believe that people should try to show the same love to each other, and be concerned for other people's welfare, whoever they may be.
  • Other reasons people should be regarded as equal are:
    • All human beings are 'made in the IMAGE OF GOD'
    • All human beings have a soul given by God
    • Jesus welcomed people from all backgrounds or groups; he healed social outcasts, worked with tax collectors and the Romans who were despised, and used a Good Samaritan in one of his parables to illustrate good qualities even though the Jews viewed the Samaritans as little more than animals.
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Religion and Equality, Racism


  • There are active Christian Churches all over the world.
  • Christian artwork reflects this diversity - Jesus is usually show as being the same race as the artist producing the picture (so you see Chinese Jesus in China, Asian Jesus in India, etc)
  • Christianity teaches that racism can never be justified.
  • Jesus' famous commandment 'Love thy neighbour as thyself' refers to the whole human race as neighbours who should be treated equally.
  • Some famous activists against racism have been commited Christians:
    • Trevor Huddleston: Campaigned in South Africa to end apartheid
    • Desmond Tutu: Campaigned against apartheid; Nobel Prize winner
    • Martin Luther King: Campaigned for civil rights in America; he was assasinated as a result of his work, but his campaign was ultimately successful.

The Dutch Reformed church of South Africa supported apartheid and the segregation of black and white people, teaching that God was a 'Great Divider' who had seperated races in the same way he had separated species.

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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about R

What the Bible says about Race:

"Then Peter began to speak. 'I now know how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right'" Acts 10:34-35

"My brothers, as believers in our glorius Lord Jesus Christ, do not show favoritism" James 2:1

"When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien livng with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt" Leviticus 19:33-34

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determied the times he set for them and the exact places where they should live" Acts 17:26

"There is Jew nor Gentile... for you are all one in Christ Jesus" Galations 3:28

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Religion and Equality, Roles of Women

The role of women:

  • Most Christians believe that men and women were created to be partners for one another, with different but complimentary skills and abilities. In general terms:
    • Men are physically stronger then women
    • Women can beocme pregnant and breastfeed
    • Men have better hand-eye coordination
    • Women are better at 'multi tasking'
    • Men have a better sense of direction
    • Women have a better endurance of pain.
  • Some Christians believe that men and women were made different to play different roles in life
    • Men should do the physical work and provide for the family
    • Women shold remain at home and care for their husbands and children
    • Women have a duty to bear children
    • Both parties are responsible for bring up the children to be good Christians
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Religion and Equality, The role of women

    • Both have the responsibility  for their own spiritual welfare
    • Neither is better than the other; both have equal responsibility, but in different areas.
  • Other Chrisians have a view that this no longer holds a place in modern society, and that both men and women should share duties and responsibilities equally.
  • Most Christians agree that everyone should use the talents that God has given him or her to the best of their ability
  • The Plymouth Brethren is one Christian group where the gender roles are very specific and clearly defined - women are expected to marry and have children, and to be submissive to their husbands as instructed in the Bible. Men are the providers and are in charge of the spiritual wellbeing of the whole family.
  • Quakers have always allowed women to preach and 'witness' their faith and were the firsrt chrch to do so. Quakers have always been active campaigners for womens rights.
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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about M

What the Bible says about Men and Women:

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect asthe weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life" 1 Peter 3:7

"However, each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must resspect her husband" Ephesians 5:33

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you would to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the cjurch and gave himself up for Her"  Ephesians 5:21

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Religion and Equality, Women in the ministry

Women in the Ministry:

  • The Roman  Catholic church only allows men to become priests. This is because:
    • Christ and his apostles were all men
    • The priest during mass represents Christ himself
    • St Paul said that women should remain silent in church.
  • Nowadays most Protestant churches allow women to be ordained as priests. This is because:
    • Christ allowed women to be active among his followers
    • Those who remained faithfull at his trial and execution were all women, and a woman was first to see him resurrected.
    • God has no gender
    • The injunction to women to remain silent in church does not apply to modern society where men and women are equal.
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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about w

What the Bible says about Women in Ministry:

"Male and Female he created them and blessed them, in the day when they were created." Genesis1:27

"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, buut should be in submission as the law says. If they want to inquire about something , they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church" 1 Corinthians 14:34

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one decieved; it was the woman who was decieved and because a sinner" 1 Timothy 2:11-12

"And the twelve were with him, and also certain women... which ministered unto him of their substance" Luke 8:3

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" Galatians 3:28

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Religion and Equality, Christianity and other reli

Christianity and other religions:

  • Christianity is an Evangelical religion - Christians believe that it is important to share their beliefs with others, and try to persuade them to become Christians.
  • Strictly Evangelical Christians believe:
    • Only Christianity has the truth about God
    • Non-christians should be encouraged to convert
    • It is their duty to spread the word of God and Jesus
    • There would be no point in the death and resurrection of Jesus if there was lots of other ways to achieve salvation.
  • Other Christians belong to the Ecumenical movement. they believe that:
    • Everyone who is genuinely trying to follow God through the message of Jesus is on the right path.
    • hristian denominations therefore have far more in common than they do in differences
    • Christians should meet, and talk and worship together and celebrate the fact that they all believe in Jesus
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Religion and Equality, Christianity and other reli

    • A few Christiians may take the view that a just and loving God will recognise sincere belief  and right intention whether it is in a christian or not; however this does ignore specific statements to the contrary in the Bible.
  • An opposite view of evangelim would be religious plurallsm. Pluralists take the view that all religions are essentially different ways of doing the same thing.
  • Another course taken by religious groups such as the Amish is Isolationism. Isolationists keep themselves apart from the wider world to avoid their faith being changed or corrupted.


  • The evangelistic nature nature of Christianity encourages many churches and individual Christians to engage in missionary work.
  • The point in missionary work is that everyone deserves the opertunity to hear the word of Christ.
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Religion and Equality, Missionaries, Internal divi

  • Missionary work can take a variety of forms:
    • 'Witnessing': Talking to people in the street or going door to door to discuss matters of faith in the hope of winning converts.
    • Building and running hospitals and schools in the developing world.
    • Providing homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug abuse clinics for the poor and vunerable in your own country.

Internal divisions:

  • It is a sad fact that there are many divisions within Christianity, as between it and other faiths.
  • Although they are all Christians, some churches take the view that they are the true Christianity and everyone else is in the wrong.
  • Others are active in the Ecumenical movement trying to bring churches together - the World Council of Churches is one organisation.
  • Sometimes these divisions have lead to violence - as in Northern Ireland
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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about R

What the Bible says about Relations and other Religions:

"Jesus answered: 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the father except through me.'" John 14:6

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" Galatians 3:28

"Jesus drew near and said to them 'I have been given all authority in Heaven and on Earth. Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples." Matthew 28:18-19

"The disciples went and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and proved that their preaching was true."  Mark 16:20


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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about r

"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus has told them to go. When they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.'" Matthew 28:16-20

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Religon and Equality, Forgiveness and reconcilliat

 Forgiveness and reconcilliation:

  • A centrat teaching of Christ is that of forgiveness, even of enemies and those who hurt you unjustly. Christians are taught that they must not remember grudges and resenments for years, or seek revenge for injury, but should aim to imitate the forgiveness of God.
  • The Lords Prayer, taught to His disciples by Jesus, uses the words "forgive us for our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"
  • Some places of christian worship stress the need to spread peace and forgive wrongdoingand injury. Coventry Cathedral was destroyed by bombing during WW2, and visitors to its rebuilt precincts are encouraged to pray and work especially for peace and reconcilliation. Taize, an Ecumenical centre in France open to all denominations, also encourages people, many of them young visitors, to pray together for peace.
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Religion and Equality, Forgiveness and reconilliat

  • In the Roman Catholic church, if a person wants forgiveness for something they have done wrong, they may go to the Sacrament of Reconcilliation where they confess their sin to God through a priest and recieve God's forgiveness through a prayer of absolution (This means that they can know that God has forgiven their sins). Many christians denominations believe that Holy communion/ the Mass/Holy Eucharist/ the Lord's supper is also a powerful sign of the unity the believers gathered round "the table of the Lord" sharing his Body and Blood (in the form of bread and wine) and becoming one with him and each other. Many Communion services use a form of words which expresses this unity, such as "though we are many, we are one body, because we all share in one bread"
  • Despite the sometimes violent hatred and suspicions between different Christian denominations in centuries past, the doctrinal disagreements which still exist today, many Christians believe that they should forget their differences and work together as much as possible.
  • Forgiveness is an important concept in Christianity. Jesus mentions it at many points throught the New Testament.
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Religion and Equality, Forgiveness and reconciliat

  • To forgive means not holding grudges or dragging up old arguements and differences
  • Chrisitans believe any sinner who truly repents their sins can be forgiven by God.
  • Because Christ asked from the Cross, for God to forgive those who were crucifying him, Christians believe this sets an example of forgiveness that they should try to follow.
  • The death and resurrection of Christ are also believed to redeem all of our sins, as long as we accept the sacrafice of Jesus, we can be forgiven.
  • Roman Catholics regularly ask for forgiveness for their sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also called confession. The worshipper confesses their sins to a priest, who acts as an intermediary to give them God's forgiveness.
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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about f

What the Bible sys about Forgiveness and Reconcilliation:

"But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, give him your cloak also." Matthew 5:38-39

"But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven" Matthew 5:43

"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins" Matthew 6:14-15

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day and seven times back to you and says 'I repent' forgive him" Luke 17:3-4

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Religion and Equality, What the Bible says about f

"When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals. One on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said 'Father forgive them, they don't know what they are doing.'" Luke 23:33

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these notes are really helpful, thanks for making the notes Natalie

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