Religious Studies

Notes for Section 1 - Rights and Responsibilities.

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Authority of the Bible

Why do Christians use the Bible to make moral decisions?

  • All Chrisitans agree that the Bible tells Christians what God wants them to do. 
  • It contains God's teachings on how Christians should behave. For example 10 Commandments.
  • It includes the teachings of Jesus on how people should live their lives.
  • It also includes the teachings of St Peter and St Paul who give advice on how Christians should live their lives.

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Christians and the Authority of the Bible

What are the differences amongst Christians about the authority of the Bible?

·         It is the only authority for some Roman Catholic’s. These people believe that the Bible is God’s words and so therefore contains the truth about Christianity. These people would only use the Bible.

  • The Bible needs interpretation from Church Leaders. Some believe the Church has to tell its followers what the Bible means. These people do not believe that the Bible is God’s words and think that God speaks through the people of the Church.
  • The Bible is just a guide to making decisions. Humans wrote the Bible therefore is just a guide. These Christians would just use their conscience to tell them whether to follow the Bible or not.
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Why does the Church have authority?

     Why does the Church have authority?

 ·         Christians believe that the Church is the way that Jesus works in the world today. Therefore the Church has the same authority that Jesus Christ does.

·         Most believe that God speaks through the Church.

·         That God guides the Church so it must be able to make decisions on moral issues.

·         If people decided for themselves what the right thing to do was then the whole world would be in chaos. The guidance of the Church ensures that a person does the right thing. 

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The role of Conscience and Situation Ethics

When should a Christian follow their conscience?

  • Roman Catholic's say that Christians should use their conscience as the final part of decision making and as long as you know the teachings of God.
  • If a Christians conscience tells them not to obey the Church's teaching then some believe he should obey his conscience. For example the Church says that you should listen to God's voice, however if this is telling you too kill all doctors then a Christian should obey his conscience and know that this is wrong.

Why should Christians follow their conscience?

  • It is the same as the voice of God.
  • The Church says that Christians should follow the voice of God and their own conscience. 
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Christians and Situation Ethics

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