Please read Learning Module Christianity part 2 and Revel Living Religions chapter 9 Christianity.
Post your answers on the following questions and respond to at least one of your classmates’ posts:
1. Comment on the following proposition: “The differences among Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians nowadays are less doctrinal and moral than they are cultural”.
2.Based on the Burning Times documentary please indulge in your opinions concerning women in the Christian Church, past and present.
3.What is your intake after watching this documentary? Do you believe there is a “feminine side” of God and if yes, why is no longer visible?
here are some to help u
Up to 4th century early followers of Jesus Christ were not organized centrally, had no hierarchical structure of authority and no established worship rituals. They were seen as a radical sect within Judaism that freed itself from conservative Jewish regulations in order to allow more people to come and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ their new Messiah.
Women were converting to Christianity in large numbers. Paul’s statement “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” from Galatians 3:28 was one of the reasons why women had been accepted as equals and valued in early churches.
After Christianity has become the only official religion of the Roman Empire (4th century ) it gained enormous power, more men started to convert to become Christians, taking over the majority in the religious society. Since then, women’s power in Christianity started to decline; hierarchical structure of the church had been established to allowing only the males to have the power to rule the Church.
In the early Church, women with the power to perform miracles were considered to be sacred. However, as time passed by, women who possessed the same power began to be considered as witches, who dealt with demons to obtain the power.
Please watch this documentary that that takes in-depth look at the witch hunts in Europe. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and violence again women in 16th-17th centuries.
Following the video Burning Times please indulge in your opinions concerning women in the Christian Church, past and present. What is your intake after watching this documentary? Do you believe there is a “feminine side” of God and if yes, why is no longer visible?
Who is Jesus Christ? Who is a true follower of Christ? How to understand the meaning of Jesus’ teachings and his crucifixion? What is Christian church? How should churches be organized and who is in charge? What scriptures to read and follow for spiritual life?
The early followers of Jesus Christ that spoke a variety of languages, lived in various places and were not organized centrally struggled with these very questions.There were no canon, no accepted theology, no hierarchical structure of authority, no church buildings and established worship rituals to support their spiritual lives.
The first authoritative collection of Christian scriptures (also known as Christian canon), the creed, and institutional structure of the Christian church emerged only by the end of the fourth century as a result of political vision of the Roman Emperor Constantine and theological unity of the first church leaders in general council of elders in Nicea in 371 CE.
Christian leaders ( also known as church fathers) had varying lists of their favourite scriptures to include in the official canon. The process of selection took over 300 years; the oldest surviving text that approximates the current Christian New Testament was put together in 367 CE by Bishop of Alexandria.
The Council of Nicea ( 371 CE) adopted orthodox ( literally “straight”, “correct”) and catholic ( literally “universal”) position that Jesus’ divine nature was the same as that of God and articulated the Holy Trinity doctrine ( also known as “symbol of faith”). All different variations and interpretations of Jesus’ nature and his teaching that circulated in early communities, such as foe example gnosticism, were declared heretical and blasphemy.
Please click on the link above to read more about the determination of the Christian canon.
When Christianity becamethe official religion of the Roman Empire late in 380 CE, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, the cross became an official symbol of Christianity.
Emperor Constantine was himself baptized in the late fourth century, he and many of his successors vigorously supported the new church:Christendom ( literally the domain of Christ), has been established as an ideal form oftheocratic government, with the one universal (Catholic) church guiding the hand of the Christian emperor, who, in turn has become a protector of the church.
Christian understanding of God is complex. Christian emphasis on God giving his son, or the Son ( who is also God) coming down to earth for the sake of humanity out of love, is an essential difference between Christianity and other monotheistic religions.
The Holy Trinity might not make sense as addition ( 1 1 1=3 gods), but rather as multiplication (1X1X1=1 God).
One of my students suggested to explain the Trinity by using water as an example. Water can take three forms, solid ice ( frozen), liquid water or gas ( vapour). Three different forms but the same substance.
Holy Trinity doctrine – speaks of three equal “persons” within one divine being: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Father is the one who sends the Son to become incarnate in Jesus with the mission to reveal God’s love to the world.
This Son enters human history as Jesus Christ, the Saviour.
The Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, who Jesus promises will be sent after his death, is the power and presence of God, actively guiding the faithful. Thus there are three persons within one divinity.
Jesus is of a perfectly divine nature as well as a perfectly human nature. Jesus is both fully God and fully human, two “natures” in one person.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, the mother of God gave birth to the Son of God (who is, himself, likewise God), who was formed in her by the Spirit of God. Mary did not have sexual relationships with any humans prior to the birth of Jesus. Jesus was innocent of any sin.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, believers are forgiven of sins and reconciled to God.
The Holy Spirit is sent to them by Christ, to bring hope and lead mankind into true knowledge of God and His purposes, and help them grow in holiness.
Christian Trinity belief ( doctrine) is expressed formally in the Nicene Creed ( 325-381), also known as “symbol of faith” .
In its long history, Christianity has shaped and been shaped by many political and cultural contexts.
Despite its ideal of unity, Christianity has always experienced divisions from within, some of which exist to this day.
The three great families in Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox,Protestant) arose from specific circumstances between 11th and 16th centuries and today have distinct and usually competing versions of the religion:
each of them claims to best represent the essence of Christianity;
each of them claims a particular kind of continuity with Christian origin;
all of them share the same basic story, creed, and moral teaching but differ most on questions of organization, theological issues and worship;
all of them share the same Holy Bible, creed, and morality, their differences tend to be found on points of theological emphasis, worship, and forms of organization.
Contemporary Christianity is diverse and complex, yet all great Christian families accept the canon of the New Testament, confess the apostolic creed and affirm the Trinity doctrine and specific forms of church institution.
Three great families in Christianity
Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant
The Holy Bible , creed, morality.
Head of the Church: Jesus Christ
Worship, forms of organization.
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