Christian beliefs about equality
'As I have loved you, so you must love one another.'
'All human being are born free and equal in dignity and rights' (UN Declaration)
'you are all one in Christ Jesus'
'from one man he made every nation of men'
Christian attitudes towards racism
Jesus's parable of the good samaritan, answered question 'who is my neighbour' - i.e. EVERYONE
'when an alien lives with in your land, do not ill-treat him' - even in antiquated Leviticus!
however Catholic Church guilty of racism, in crusades, in Spanish invading indigenous South Americans
Dutch Reformed Church supported apartheid (now expressed sin) --> justification came from story of Noah (not credited by most Christians)
slavery perpetuated in deep South: Jim Crow laws; MLK jr. figure of inspiration in this 'i have a dream'
Christian attitudes towards gender
'Women should remain silent in Churches'
'the head of the woman is man' -only Paul's opinions
BUT jesus had great respect towards women 'why are you bothering this woman?'
He first appeared to a woman after his resurrection, 'he appeared first to Mary Magdalene'
however women in early church had greater role: 'Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea' 'Priscilla & Aquila'
Attitudes to religion
some religions don't encourage converts, because they believe people still serving God however
Christian is PROSELYTISING religion - belief religion is ONE TRUE religion, duty to go out and convert
'I am the way and the truth and the life' --- way through Jesus
Missionary work: now condemned for the aggressive way it was pursued, more about helping, but RCC catechism states still 'obligation and also sacred right to evangelise all men'
Evangelism & ecumenism
spreading of good news - 'make disciples of all nations'
e.g. MIssion for Seafarers (part of C of E) supports sailors of whatever faith, also provides teaching about Christianity
some Christians believe evangelising is misinterpretation of Jesus - people should folow own faith & own God, especially as God would not be willing to punish devoted follower but of non-Christian religion
inter-faith dialogue has increased: working together for common aims e.g. Taizé - small WW2 community, working between Christianity and Judaism, now Protestants & Catholics(considering Troubles)
Forgiveness & reconciliation
'Love your enemies'
'If any one is without sin, let him be the first to cast the stone' (judge and ye will be judged)
Jesus also capable of anger (see temple)
Jesus' greatest commandment: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul'
'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us'
Jesus gave to male disciples the power to forgive sins: 'if you forgive anyone his sins; they are forgiven'