Religion and Human Relationships: CHRISTIANITY.

- the roles of man and women in a Christian family.

- marriage and marriage ceremonies

- divorce

- sexual relationships and contraception

  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 13-06-11 10:58

Religion and Human Relationships: KEYWORDS

Adultery: A married person having a sexual relationship with someone to whom they are not married.

Annulment: A marriage terminated by the church because it was not valid.

Civil Partnership: Legal recognition of a same-sex relationship

Commitment: A bond between a couple.

Divorce: The legal ending of a marriage.

Pre-marital Sex: Having a sexual relationship before marriage.

Promiscuity: Having many sexual partners without commitment.

Re-Marriage: Marrying again after divorce, annulment or widowhood.

Sacrament: A special action which brings Christians closer to God.

Vows: Sacred promises a couple make at their marriage.

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Roles of Men and Women in a Christian Family

- Some Christians believe men are superior to women because the second story of Genesis says God created Adam first and then created Eve from his rib bone.

- Some Christians say that women are the weaker sex because Eve led Adam astray in the garden of Eden.

Traditional Ideas: Man is head of a Christian family, wife would make a vow to obey husband. Wife has a duty to provide a loving home for her husband and children. Husband has a duty to provide for his wife and children by earning money. Man sets rules and leads a good example of a Christian. :Supported by scriptures.

Alternative Ideas: Men and women are equal. "There is neither...male or female...for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Roles in a family are interchangeable. Some women work to provide & some men share child-care & household duties.

Traditional Ideas on Church Family: Women should be silent in church. Jesus chose 12 ment to be his disiples. Roman catholics do not allow women priests. 


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Roles of Men and Women in a Christian Family: CONT

Other Ideas on Church Family: Liberal Protestants look at Jesus' treatment of women for guidance. Jesus permitted them to be his followers and showed them respect. Christians believe that because the risen Christ chose to reveal himself to women first on Easter morning that it was clear that he held women in higher regard. Men and women can have an equal role in Church leadership. Anglican Church ordained its first women priests in 1994.


- Traditional Views of men being more important in a christian family. Specific roles to men & women. Ideas supported by scriptures.

- Alternative Views of men and women being equal. Roles in a Christian family can change.

- Traditional Ideas on Church Family: Men are more important. Women should be silent in church. Roman catholics - no women priests.

- Other Ideas on Church Family: Women are just as important. Women priests allowed. Key date: 1994. Liberal Protestants. Jesus treatment of women.

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Marriage and Marriage Ceremonies

- Both a civil and religious commitment. Ceremony is civil because it is publicly witnessed & marriage register is signed. A holy relationship because it is done infront of God.

- The purpose of a marriage: to help and support each other in good and bad times, to enjoy a sexual relationship, to have children an bring them up in a Christian family.

What happens in a Christian Ceremony: A simple event that only requires a priest, a ring and two people to witness the ceremony in a church. The couple makes promised to each other (vows). It is a promise made in front of God.

How the Ceremony Reflects Teachings: In a Church; promises made infront of God, priest asks reasons why marriage cannot go ahead; shows that its legally binding, priest asks if they want to marry each other; shows neither are forced to marry, priest mentions children; shows that children are part of the commitment, vows made in front of God; shows sacred importance, prayers and Bible readings; shows the importance of love and religion in a marriage AND the ring; shows that marriage is never ending and is for life.

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Marriage and Marriage Ceremonies: CONTINUED

Civil Partnerships: Christanity teaches that sexual relationships only belong within a marriage. Many christians do not accept civil partnerships. Passages in Bible that condemn same-sex relationships. Catholic rejects same-sex relationships. In 2008, a Vatican official stated that 'Homosexuality is a disordered behaviour'. Pope told catholics that homosexuality was a greater problem in the future than climate change. Some christians accept civil partnerships as another form of loving relationship. Some priests will hold blessing ceremony, some will not


- Marriage Ceremony needs priest, ring & witness. Vows are made.

- Teachings are reflected because marrage takes place In a church, asked reasons why marrage cannot go ahead, asked if they want to marry, children are mentioned, vows are made, prayers and bible readings are read and a ring (symbolic).

- Many christians do not accept civil partnerships, Catholics reject it. Some Christians accept civil partnerships as another form of love.

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- Vows should never be broken. Marriage is holy. Debate whether divorce is right or wrong.

Roman Catholic beliefs: Divorce is wrong. They understand not all marriages work & will give a couple all the assistance to can to help resolve differences. Catholic church permits a couple to live apart but they cannot re-marry or have another sexual relationship because this would be adultery. An annulment can be granted if one of the couple was underaged, forced to marry against their will or unaware of what they were doing due to diminished responsibility. Can also be granted if marriage is not consummated.

Church of England: Priest will help try to resolve a couples differences however if unable to, they accept that divorce may be the kindest thing to do. Most loving thing to do; cannot trap people in a loveless marriage. Some say marriage ends when love dies. Others point out that Jesus did allow divorce for unfaithfulness. Some say that Jesus lived a long time ago and so teachings are dated.

- Only the Orthodox Church will grant a religious divorce, otherwise, a divorce is dealt with though the courts.

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- 1996 Family Law Act: Permits divorce through adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertation, two years' separation with consent or five years' separation without consent.

Re-Marriage: Roman Catholics do not accept re-marriage. Other Christians accept it because Jesus also taught forgiveness. Not all Christians permit a second marriage in a Church because promises have already been broken once. Vicars can choose to refuse to carry out a re-marriage ceremony.


- Roman Catholics believe divorce is wrong. Only annulment can fully separate them.

- Church of England believe that if marriage cannot be saved, divorce is best.

- Roman Catholics do not accept re-marriage, some christians do because of forgiveness. Vicars can choose to not re-marry a couple.

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Sexual Relationships and Contraception

- Sex is a gift from God that should be enjoyed. An act of love and to have Children. Christians believe that casual sexual encounters are wrong.

Beliefs on Sex: Bible passages that teach that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Adultery- in the 10 commandments.  Roman Catholics believe that a person should remain a virgin until they are married and have no other sexual partner during their marriage. Some Christians are prepared to accept pre-marital sex as a part of a loving relationship if couple are committed to each other and plan to marry. Jesus taught that love is what matters most.

Different Views: What matters most is the quality of a relationship. Marriage is the correct place for a sexual relationship. Pre-marital sex is accepted if marriage is to follow. Adultery is not accepted because it causes suffering. Breaks marriage vows

Contraception Views: Roman Catholics reject artificial birth control - contraception forbidden. Natural methods of birth control such as the rhythm method. Some Christians accept that couples may want to limit family size because of financial reasons or womans health. Ensure that all children are loved, wanted and provided for. Some christians do not approve of sterilisation accept for medical reasons. 

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Sexual Relationships and Contraception: CONTINUED.


- Roman Catholics believe that until after marriage, a person should remain a virgin. Pre-marital sex sometimes allowed. Bible passages teach that sex outside of marriage is wrong. Love is what matters most; Jesus.

- Quality of relationship is what matter. Adultery is never accepted.

- Roman Catholics; no to birth control. Use natural methods (rhythm method). Some christians understand use of contraception & so allow it. Some do not approve of sterilisation.

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