Difference between revisions of "Christianity"

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{{Christianity}}
{{Q|No mommy! No! Anything but that!.|[[You]]|The Church}}
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'''Christianity''' is the world's largest religion, having 2.2 billion followers. It is a [[monotheistic]] religion that professes belief in [[Jesus]] as the Son of [[God]].  Christianity takes its name from [[Jesus Christ]] meaning "Jesus the Savior" and "Jesus the Anointed One".  Followers of Jesus are called Christians, meaning "of Christ" or "belonging to Christ".<ref>[http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=2661&dict=CALD Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary]</ref>
{{Q| Imma Christian dammit! I go to fuucking goddamn motherfuucking shit dick CHURCH!|[[Texan]]|his/her faith}}
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{{Q|And the idiots actually bought it!|[[Jesus]]|Christians}}
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'''Christians''' is the plural form of the word Christian. A Christian is a person who either a) is named Christian, or b) follows a religion called Christianity. Option "b)" is the one this article discusses. Christianity is a monounsaturated religion where the followers believe that a Middle Eastern man, whose Twitter name is lost to history, declared himself a god and that all humans should take his word for it. This involves praying to a cross to save us from a really hot land that exists deep below the Earth; routinely eating bread and wine (grape juice, if you're a minor) that symbolize his body shed for us; finding security in the fact that someone is watching you-always, loves you, and is taking care of you, but will send you to burn in hell for all eternity if you disobey him once; believing that homosexuality between consenting adults is a sin that is on par with all others (yes, including jaywalking) and routinely trying to get rid of the horrible stereotype Catholics have given all the various other types of Christians. Preachers and the pope take a role in trying to take your money to "feed the poor" (or build the church and buy new Prada shoes, even though jesus taught modesty).
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== Main Christian groups ==
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[[Image:Anglican Christ Church.jpg|thumb|left|150px|Anglican Christ Church in Western Australia]]
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'''The three largest self-governing bodies of Christians are:'''
  
==Christians A.K.A the guys with the leaflets==
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* The [[Roman Catholic Church]] (approx. 1.1 billion baptized members) traces its roots back to [[Saint Peter]] whom Catholics believed established the Church and the succession of the [[Pope]]s as the spiritual authority over the Christian body of believers.  
{{Unchristianity}}
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:''This page has been screened by FOX News™ for authenticity and impartiality, and has been given terror-proof protection for her pleasure. While this may be difficult to imagine, there persists a segment of the population who haven't fully embraced the qualities of the greatest State to ever produce the greatest President in world history. Please also note that no other alternative views exist. Long live the Dominion of America.''
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{{Q|Thu Shalt Burn in Hell O Hail Satan!|A page from the bible}}
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{{Q|You're going to hell, you're going to hell, and you're going to hell, too!|Random Catholic|The World}}
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{{Q|There are few pleasures as great as watching Christians being eaten by lions, especially if that Christian is Mark Twain.|Oscar Wilde|Christians}}
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{{Q|How much miracles can a miracle worker work, if a miracle worker could work miracles?|God|Jesus}}
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{{Q|We just put Jesus on the cross so that he would die, like everyone else, we didn't know they would use it as a symbol of their religion. |Romans|the Cross}}
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{{Q|Christianity is such a great time-saver! I used it to paralyze my child with fear and now I no longer need to waste my Fox News time using discipline like normal, intelligent parents do. Thanks Jesus! *thumbs up*|Lazy Christian parent|Christianity}}
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{{Q|In Soviet Russia, Hell goes to you.|Joseph Stalin|Hell}}
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{{Q|I r tell u. Ju5t co5 u r n0t s33 tr1n1ty 1n teh biebl do3z n0t m33n i r n0t kr1stainzz. Teh tr1n1ty r m1st3r33|L337 Priest|The Trinity}}
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'''Christians''' are a primitive creature and veterinarian-recommended type of food for Roman lions. Generally thriving in warm, dark and moist conditions,  Christians never evolved in prehistoric times and thus consist of only basic elements such as carbon and hydrogen. Often Christians believe they are not made of elements, but rather created of thin air.
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Lions in the wild often suffer from a lack of Vitamin ''C'' (Which is short for Christians.) Christians contain essential vitamins and nutrients that allow lions to have a proper diet and remain at the top of the food chain.  
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* The [[Orthodox Church]]es (approx. 300 million baptized members) also trace their roots back to the beginnings of Christianity, but do not believe in the Primacy of the Pope.  Different theological perspectives led to the [[Great Schism]] between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches in A.D. 1054.
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* [[Protestantism]], the largest Communions are the [[Anglican Church|Anglicans]] (approx. 77 million baptized members) and the Lutheran World Federation (approx. 68 million baptized members). Protestantism has its origins in the European [[Reformation]]. It first broke away from the Roman Catholic Church under [[Martin Luther]] when differences over the nature of faith and works in the role of [[Christianity#salvation|salvation]] could not be adequately reconciled with Papal prescriptions as well as other practices that Luther saw in the Catholic Church at that time that he did not agree with. Other preachers and movements then followed Luther's example and also left the Catholic fold.
  
It is said that if Christians ever evolve than the lions will be forced onto the endangered species list. Christians can only evolve by eating fruit from a tree in a Garden. According to a magical talking snake, this fruit contains knowledge.
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== Christian Beliefs ==
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Theologians, over two millennia, have debated a definitive summary of the Christian faith. While its interpretations vary drastically, probably the most commonly accepted statement of faith is the [[Nicene Creed| Nicea-Constantinopolitan Creed]] below:
  
The leader of the Christian insurgency, God, strictly prohibits this as it allows Christians to climb the evolutionary ladder. The worship of God's estranged hippie son Jesus is common among Christians as they often follow in herds. This behavior is not unlike the so called "rack of lamb, of god" who was born to a  woman named the [[Virgin Mary]], who claimed her son was born after she "didn't have sex with a bottle of tomato juice"
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<blockquote>I believe in one God, [[God the Father|the Father Almighty]], Maker of [[heaven]] and [[earth]], and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the [[Holy Spirit]] and the [[Virgin Mary]], and became man. And He was crucified for us under [[Pontius Pilate]], and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the [[Bible|Scriptures]]; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the [[Resurrection]] of the dead, and the life of the world to come.  Amen.</blockquote>
  
Indigenous Christians have only three sources of knowledge: The Bible, [[Fox News]], and [[Emperor Palpatine]] and one more sacred sorce of knowledge yet to be released by these 'mysterious' beings.
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Christians and Christian denominations agree on many points of doctrine and disagree on others. According to an online Harris poll from 2003  99% of all American Christians believe in God, 96% in the [[Resurrection of Jesus Christ|resurrection of Jesus Christ]], 93% in Heaven, 93% in the virgin birth, 92% in the survival of the soul after death, 82% in Hell, 50% in ghosts, 27% in astrology and 21% in reincarnation. <ref>http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=359</ref> Note that the latter two beliefs are in opposition to the religious dogma of most Christian denominations.
  
[[Image:Pits4thelord.jpg|thumb|left|500px|A hot Christian dude from Texas bares his pits of musky power for the Lord in all-American athleticism.]]
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Nonetheless, the Nicea-Constantinopolitan Creed offers a general overall picture of what Christian theology looks like, and serves as a useful outline.
  
==Christian ties to the Sith==
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Other creeds may prove helpful in research. See also: the [[Apostle's Creed]], [[Athanasian Creed]].
Many Humans today have evolved enough to not believe in Christianity. Still Logic is not part of Christian DNA. It is believed that molecules of the force influenced primitive Christians to believe in concepts now disproved by the Jedi Council, the US [[Supreme Court]] (and the [[Even Supremer Court]]), and the United Nations.
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The leader of the Christians [[Pope Benedict XVI]]A.K.A Pope Bendydick controls all Catholics (Most normal Christians find him kinda wack-o) from his base, the [[Vatican City]]. The Pope is infalliable, or he can't be wrong. :-)  
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===God===
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{{main|God}}
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God is a triune being.  Though there is only one Divine nature there are three Divine Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The three Persons are collectively called the [[Trinity]] or the Holy Trinity. Christians are not polytheists because of the oneness of the divine nature (or essence). The doctrine of the Trinity is central to most (but not all) Christian theology.
  
Through control of [[George W Bush|Darth Bush]] and [[Fox News]], [[Pope Benedict XVI]] has merged Christianity with the dark side of the force, the Sith (see: [[Republicans]]).
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A major theme of the Bible is love.  In the Hebrew [[Old Testament]] the idea is expressed in the Hebrew word ''hessed'', which is variously translated as loyal love, tender mercy, steadfast love, mercy, goodness, etc.  in the [[New Testament]] the same idea is expressed in the Greek word ''agape'', which is variously translated as love, compassion, charity, etc.
  
He has used his position of power to help contribute to [[Republican]] rule through force. This is mostly seen through the US Military Stormtroopers, The Lord's Resistance Army of the [[Galactic Empire]] of Africa.
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The God of the Christians is the creator of all things, is everywhere present, exists in all times, is transcendent, all-knowing (omniscient), just, all-powerful (omnipotent).
  
== Jesus ==
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===Jesus===
Jesus Xavier Christ was also born of "a virgin birth," or nowadays what is called "an affair." He was a very very dark skinned Jewish Carpenter. He also lived alongside Dinosaurs, which is proven by schmience. Jesus died with the dinosaurs, but many people talk to Jesus via telepathy since he was magically reborn like a magic mushroom. -Such believers also believe in monsters, the Easter Bunny, fairies, supply-side economics and Santa Claus.   
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[[Image:Jesus' Baptism.jpg|180px|left|]]
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During the reign of [[Caeser Augustus]] the Son (e.g. the second Person of the Trinity) took flesh from a virgin woman and was incarnate as a man.  He was born in the town of [[Bethlehem]] and was given the name [[Jesus]]. At the age of thirty he was baptized by his cousin, the [[John the Baptist|Prophet John]], and began to preach in the area [[Palestine]]. About three years after his baptism, he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, prompting the Jewish power establishment to plot Jesus death.  Jesus was [[crucified]]. He came back from the dead and was seen by over 500 peopleHe ascended to heaven.  The four [[Gospels]] contain the records of some of what Jesus did and said, but he did much more than those four books relate, as the Apostle John said in his Gospel.
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{{Clear}}
  
Nowadays Jesus is also a reflex. This can be witnessed when your Dad is pissed off and yells, "'''JESUS'''" The origin of this can be traced to Christianity's growth in Spain. The legend states that the Spanish church had a dog named Jesus (pronounced Hey-Zeus). Locals had so much trouble pronouncing the dogs name correctly that they would often bear wittiness to Priests telling the name "JESUS" at them. Today yelling Jesus is widely consider a proper way to respond to claims of the Church.
 
  
== Inkabink, an example of a Christian ==
 
Inkabink (also known is Vicky) is a single mother and is currently member of ChristianForums.com where she socialise
 
shit stuff with other Christian weirdoes because she has no man in her life. Inkabink strongly believes that ''No one has that right (for their desire for a spouse) fulfilled. We have those desires because we are human. As Christians we should focus on seeking the will of God as well as pursue a personal relationship with Him, or Her, if God is a woman, which she most probably is considering males are a 'mutated' form of female due to their Y-chromosome. Ha, ha. You mutants.'' Which is pretty fuucking gay (or neurotic).
 
  
She loves Jesus so much that she has developed a '''Jesus Fetish''', and expresses this by mastuurbating with a crucifix up her vagina. At her local church Inkabink pursues this relationship with [[God]] by sucking the penis of Christian advocate, [[Jerry Falwell]] .  
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===Morality===
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The fundamental principle in Christian moral teaching is love and forgiveness, as expressed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the New Testament. Jesus summarized his teachings in two commandments from the Old Testament:
  
Because of her strong faith and radical feminism, InkaBink has no man in her life because she is fuucking weird. Inkabink frequents around the singles forums where she expresses an unhealthy obsession of [[Twilight]] and has a tattoo of "Edward has licked here" embedded on her vagina. Her obsession for Twilight and New Moon and be found here [[http://www.christianforums.com/t7408517/]]
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"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." ([[Gospel of Matthew|Matthew]] 22:37-39; [[Book of Deuteronomy|Deuteronomy]] 6:5; Leviticus 19:18)
  
'''''"I mastuurbate to that movie!" Inkabink on Twilight, November 2008'''''
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Constant debate has resulted as to how a person should express love for God in their moral behavior. This moral dialogue found expression in the New Testament, where the [[Apostle Paul]] addressed such controversies as [[circumcision]] ([[Epistle to the Romans|Romans]] 2:25-29), eating meat that was sacrificed to [[pagan]] deities (1 Corinthians 8), speculating about myths and genealogies (1 Timothy 1:3-5), and observing ceremonial dates and seasons (Galatians 4:9-11).
  
Inkabink claims she has the heart of warrior but close friends say she has "the vagina so wide as she had sexual intercourse with an elephant" - that dirty whore.
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Regardless of a person's ethical interpretations, adherents commonly point to New Testament passages John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as scriptural depictions of love. The former states that <blockquote>"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."</blockquote> The latter characterizes love, saying <blockquote>"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."</blockquote>
  
== The Bible ==
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Jesus Christ affirmed, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
[[Image:Robertson Strains To Fart For Jesus.jpg|thumb|right|250px|[[Pat Robertson]], host of television's '''The Lions Club''', witnessess the power of the Lord.]]
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The Bible is a rewritten version of the Jewish Torrah. It was rewritten and printed for distribution on a massive scale at ''[[Walmart]]'' and to help spread peace and love on earth.
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The bible is composed of ideas from Paganism, Cavemen, Fox News, Roman dictators, and the US Military.
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In trying to understand the reason for the growth of Christianity in a pagan culture, it has been noted that while love of one's neighbor is not an exclusively Christian virtue, it appears that  the primitive Christian church practiced it much more effectively than any other group.<ref>E.R. Dodds, 1970:136-137</ref>  This is most likely due to the constant mention of hospitality and generosity to one's "neighbors" in the Bible. Jesus was especially passionate about caring for people in need:
  
The bible is best read aloud in selective passages related to Republican politics. This is often done by a lonely man who is not married and has sex with children.  
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Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." (Matthew 19:21) 
  
The bible's pages are also commonly used to roll joints.  
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In addition to sacrificially showing care for those within the community as well as to those without, (cf. Gal. 6:10) the Christians elevated the sanctity of life, opposing abortion, infanticide, child abandonment, suicide, and gladiatorial contests.<ref>Kenneth Scott Latourette, ''A history of Christianity'' p. 244</ref><ref> Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, Paul Copan, The Apologetics Study Bible, 274 </ref>  While the primitive church tolerated the existing and pervasive cultural economic institution of slavery in the [[Roman Empire]], the mandate of equal pay and just treatment (Col. 4:1; Eph. 6:9) greatly ameliorated the treatment of slaves, while  advising them to seek freedom if possible, (1Cor. 7:21) and requiring that the escape slave Onesimus be received back not "as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved". (Philemon 1:6)  The Christian ethos of love also motivated a great expansion in the building of hospitals.<ref>Albert John Ochsner, Meyer Joseph Sturm, ''The organization, construction and management of hospitals'', p. 17</ref><ref>Roderick E. McGrew, ''Encyclopaedia of Medical Care'',  p. 135</ref> By 500 A.D., most large towns in in the Roman Empire had erected them.<ref>George D. Pozgar, ''Legal aspects of health care administration', p. 2</ref>
  
The bible is non-fictional piece of literature written by men who talked to themselves and killed Jews.
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===The Atonement of Jesus on the Cross===
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[[Image:Dalí The Christ of St. John of the Cross.jpg|thumb|The Christ of St. John of the Cross by [[Salvador Dalí]], 1951.]]
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All Christians believe with the New Testament that the death of Jesus, along with His resurrection, is an indispensable proclamation of a crucial event for the reconciliation of lost sinners with God. There are three elements they see to understanding His death on the cross.
  
Normal people who necessarily don't like the church who ask "why the fuuck the New Testament said who ever eats this bread (the body of Christ) will have ever-lasting life? Why can't they just say whoever believes in Christ will have ever-lasting life in heaven?"
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# Jesus having the knowledge that His path would lead to his own death, desired and willed that that take place, and persevered in that path though there was opportunity for Him to avoid it. Though there is ample recognition in the New Testament that others desired Him to die, and that the circumstances in which His path took him would bring Him to His end on earth, the mover of all these things was Himself and the will of the Father. "I have power to take my life and I have power to lay down my life. I lay down my life for the sheep."
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# Jesus saw that in His death there would be a way for people to be brought back to the God from whom they were alienated and lost because of their sins. This would involve a substitution of Himself to effect that way. "For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many."  How this would take place was not new to the Jews of His day from their understanding of contemporary everyday practice of substitute payment - as in redemption of the first-born (Pidyon Ha Ben),  or in the understanding of what aggadic stories such as the Binding of [[Isaac]] implied (see [[Midrash]]), but it was not the prevalent view that the Messiah was to be that payment. Though while alive on earth, he had hinted at it in sayings such as "unless a seed falls and dies, it remains alone, but when it dies, it brings forth..", it was only after He had risen from the dead that He explained Scripture (the Old Testament) clearly about the necessity of His death to have taken place. The disciples would henceforth preach, and Peter among them, that the death of Jesus the Messiah and His resurrection was for-planned and for-ordained by God the Father, and foretold in the Scripture (Isaiah 53). And so, "The Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God".
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# It was the belief in Scripture, that in His death a way back to God was made possible for those that were near to God&mdash;the Jews. And a way back to God for those that were far away&mdash;the Gentiles. That is why the New Testament saw in the requirements of God for Israel a fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah. He was the perfect Israel, taken out of Egypt, to redeem Israel. And that is why the New Testament saw in Jesus, a  deepness to the incarnation of the Son of God, deeper than just a Jew of His time of a certain tribe. He was the "Second Adam" to redeem the sons of Adam. This encompassing perspective had further implications.
  
The bible supports numerous peaceful and god-worshiping practices such as:
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Christians of all generations have looked to the perfect Atonement, and the hope for reconciliation, accomplished by Jesus on the cross, to provide the means of understanding the solution to the vexing problems of the mind and of life itself - How can I make reconciliation with my enemies, with even the members of my own family, of race with race and  people with people?; Does His death for the sins of the world include those who only partially understand, for the baby aborted, the feeble minded, and severely retarded?; For those who have never heard of Jesus, never been "enlightened", distant and remote in place and time?;  Does His death for the sins of the world  also include a remedy for the ills that have come as a result of those sins&mdash;certain sicknesses, ills of the mind, body and the soul? Do they "hold" for today?; Does His death make good, turn to the better, show the way, effect the way, of the illnesses that have befallen the world, not only by sin, but simply by the circumstances of life, of degeneration, of compounded dysfunction? How does the fruit of His death bring in somehow the Kingdom "among us"?
  
'''Incest'''
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The death of the Son of God on the cross has provided the solution for sin, and it still holds its sway over the imagination and aspirations for the people of our generation.
Deuteronomy 22:13-18 tells us the wonderful story of how a father can stick his finger into his daughter's vagina to help prove that she is a virgin, repeatedly.
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'''Sexism'''
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===Salvation===
{{Q|Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. |1 Tim 2|The Bible}}
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The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). This is often interpreted to mean that everyone has displeased God and is now separated from him in a kind of alienation and enmity that results from the fundamental conflict between selfish human interests and God's interests (Romans 8:5-8; James 4:4).
  
'''Loving thy Neighbor'''
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However, Jesus offered a solution to this Biblical dilemma in that by repentance of sins and faith in him (Jesus), their sins would be forgiven. He said that "...the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins." ([[Gospel of Mark|Mark]] 2:10) Jesus also said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17, and "Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men" (Mark 2:28)
{{Q|If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the LORD gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars of the sky… Take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death with really good bud, this may  take a while, be patient. |Donteronomy 17:2-7.2|The Bible}}
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'''Not listening to rock music'''
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Jesus Christ taught that "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" ([[Gospel of John|John]] 3:3).  Protestant Evangelical Christianity often use the terms "saved" and "born again" interchangeably.  Other Christians, notably the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church use the phrase ''born again'' as a synonym for [[baptism|baptized]].  "Jesus answered, Amen, amen, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)
{{Q|Thou shalt not listen to any music that contains an electric guitar or contains the use of logical information not presented through the scientific text known as the bible. |Your Parents: 24-7|The Bible}}
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'''Slavery'''
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Christians are expected to continue living by Christ's teachings (John 8:31), as is appropriate for "children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8-10). Some believe that this is necessary in order to stay saved. However, this is a common misconception of the text. It is rather referring to proving that one is a child of God by their "fruit" (things that they do and how they behave). Christians in the Reformed tradition (following the teaching of the 16th century French lawyer [[John Calvin]], as well as the faith outlined in the Belgic and Heidleberg Confessions) say that salvation is irrevocable and that it cannot be lost, if it were genuinely part of one's life to begin withReformed Christians (often called [[Calvinists]]) often point to Romans 8:38-39 as validation of their belief: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39; [[NASB]]). According to Calvinists, the reason it cannot be lost by natural things is because salvation was obtained through a supernatural being, namely Jesus Christ. This does not negate Jesus' human side, only that he was both one-hundred percent God and one-hundred percent man, according to the [[Council of Chalcedon]] (A. D. 451). The Bible also makes it clear that mankind cannot earn their salvation, and that it is a free gift.
{{Q|Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life.  |Leviticus 25:44|The Bible}}
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{{Q|If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.|Exodus 21:20|The Bible}}
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== Resurrection of Jesus Christ ==
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[[Image:Jesus resurrected.jpg|thumb|left|200px|"The Resurrection" by Carl Heinrich Bloch]]
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The [[Resurrection of Jesus Christ|resurrection of Jesus Christ]] is critical to the Christian faith.  The Apostle Paul wrote, "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain" (I Cor:15:14). Traditionally, Christianity has believed in a physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.<ref>http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/crj0056a.txt</ref>
  
'''George Bush and Mike Huckabee'''
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In recent history Gary Habermas is considered the foremost [[Christian apologetics|Christian apologist]] for defending the resurrection of Jesus.<ref>Habermas, Gary, [http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/dialog_rexperience/dialog_rexperiences.htm Experiences of the Risen Jesus: The Foundational Historical Issue in the Early Proclamation of the Resurrection], ''Dialog: A Journal of Theology'', Vol. 45; No. 3 (Fall, 2006), pp. 288-297.</ref><ref>"Wildcat" and Holding, J.P., [http://www.tektonics.org/books/lichabrvw.html Book review of "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus"], 22nd June, 2004 (Tektonics)</ref><ref>Habermas, Gary, [http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/NTeSources/NTArticles/CTR-NT/Habermas-Resurrection1-CTR.pdf Jesus' Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic] ''Criswell Theological Review'' 4.1 (1989) 159-74.</ref><ref>Habermas, Gary, [http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/crj_explainingaway/crj_explainingaway.htm Explaining Away Jesus' Resurrection:
{{Q|Let all men who read the bible be opposed to science and gain great wealth at the expense of others. Support all who love war and wish to kill all who are not white Americans who listen to Country Music and sing weekly at Church. |Republicans: 08!|The Bible}}
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The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories], Christian Research Journal / vol. 23, no. 4, 2001.</ref><ref>Habermas, Gary, [http://www.apologetics.com/default.jsp?bodycontent=/articles/historical_apologetics/habermas-nt.html Why I Believe The New Testament Is Historically Reliable] (Apologetics.com)</ref>
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Other notable defenders of the resurrection include: [[William Lane Craig]],<ref>Craig, William Lane, [http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/menus/historical.html Articles: Historical Jesus]</ref> [[Lee Strobel]], [[Josh McDowell]],<ref>McDowell, Josh, [http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html Evidence for the Resurrection], 1992.</ref> [[Edwin M. Yamauchi]],<ref>Jamauchi, Edwin M., [http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/yama.html Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History?]</ref> [[N.T. Wright]]<ref>Wright, N.T., [http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Early_Traditions.htm Early Traditions and the Origins of Christianity], ''Sewanee Theological Review'' 41.2, 1998.</ref> and [[Michael Horner]].<ref>Horner, Michael, [http://www.michaelhorner.com/articles/resurrection/index.html Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?]</ref>
  
'''The Dark Side of the force'''
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===The Meaning of the Resurrection for Christians===
{{Q|Let all men worship Pope Benedict to defeat the Jedi Rebels and gain infinite control of the universe. |Palpatine 666:1 |The Bible}}
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{{Q|Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon - strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey to the Dark Side will be complete. |Palpatine: 316| The Bible}}
+
The Fact of the Resurrection of Christ is a key element of the preaching of the message about Jesus and an essential of Christian belief. But there are also certain effects that this belief has on the lives of believers.
  
'''Homosexuality'''
+
1. It is because Jesus rose from the dead, that believers now can resort to a living Savior to help and deliver them from sin and from situations overwhelming for them by their own powers.
{{Q|Thou shalt not tickle the chocolate starfish. Unless you're over 45 and a priest with Scouts experience. |Epilogue 1:1|The Bible}}
+
  
==Christians do not believe in==
+
2. The New Testament sees in the resurrection of Christ a certain vindication of what apparently to the world and to all beings was a failure and an overcoming of Him by His crucifixion. He was "declared to be the Son of God"  by His resurrection. This brings believers in Him to a strong confidence in the determined power of God to both vindicate in their own lives and to bring His reign upon earth.  
*Racial or gender equality (Nice Christians of the [[KKK]] type burn crosses on your lawn and burn your church down if you're not white like Jesus.  Wait a moment! Jesus wasn't white.  He was a dark-skinned Jewish Israeli.  If you're not white the nice white Christians hate you anyway.)
+
** Correction: FOX News idiots believe Martin Luther King Jr. was a good Christian, would turned conservative have he had lived and only "race industry liberals" classify people into "races" being the social construct it is. They said Hitler was a socialist, Himmler was a pagan and Jews are innocent "god's chosen people".
+
*Socialism or Liberalism and compares it with "godless" Communism.
+
*Medicine/Psychiatry (Psychiatrists are '''''atheist liars''''', there is no such thing as mental illness, it is demonic spirits) 
+
*[[Evolution]] (it's just a theory!)
+
*Gravity (it's just a theory that a Christian scientist came up with).
+
*Any and all education except [[Intelligent Design]] (this is using the term 'education' very loosely.)
+
*Common sense, clocks, chairs, trash cans, stickers, body parts, books, anything wood besides crosses, pussy (cats), pencils, the moon, mushrooms, sea shells, and purple hats.
+
*Doing whatever you feel like.  (like an animal =0)
+
*Being a zombie that never does anything but swear and joke about sex.
+
*Any (product of) science unless it directly benefits them. (Cars, phones, computers, air conditioners, etc.)
+
*Agreeing to disagree.
+
*Pacifism (it's probably of the devil). Christians went to war with Iraq and left the country more violent than before. No problem!They were Christians and [[George Bush]] is a Christian so there.
+
*Respecting the fact that their children have their own brains.  Christian Children must be educated to see things the way their parents, their teachers, their preachers see things.  Christian Cnildren need chastisement if they resist instruction.
+
*[[Liberals]], [[Democrats]] and free-thinkers.
+
*Seeing the world from someone else's point of view.
+
*Being worthwhile members of society.
+
*Altruism (god will reward them for every single good deed they do, it is impossible for a christian to truly do something selflessly).
+
* Anything that is proven by science (big bang, evolution, gravity, oxygen, reproduction, homosexuals, richard dawkins)
+
* Flying spaghetti monster, he tastes good.
+
* Italian food, because pizza is the devil!
+
* Science (esp. the "evils" of Creationism).
+
* Anything that makes sense, excluding this article
+
* Christianity (I'm not joking. Read a history book on the 30-year war).
+
* Other religions (because they believe "are wrong" and Ann Coulter once said "Jews need to be perfected").
+
* But according to Mel Gibson, his Anglican wife can't come to heaven with him and Old Order Catholics knew Jews killed christ.
+
* However, Mormons with Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists agree on one thing: The Pope is antichrist, Satan incarnata and a false prophet who hates Protestants anyways.
+
  
==Popular Custom Blends==
+
3. The coming of Jesus back to life means to the believer that, indeed, their sins are totally forgiven. This is because believers know that His death was as a payment for sins - a "wage of death" for our sins that He received in our stead. If He remained dead, believers would know that the wage had not been fully paid. His resurrection, carries with it our knowledge that our sin with its attendant death has been totally and finally paid for.  
Besides the Christians put into various blends of ''Purina Lion Chow'', there is ''[[Catholic|Catholic Lion Chow]]'', ''[[Baptists|Southern Baptist Lion Chow]]'' (tastes like [[chicken]]!) and for those lions that are picky eaters, ''[[Mormons|Mormon Lion Chow]]''. Today, as in ancient times, wild dogs, bears, and wolves are loosed on Christians. Research by veternarians has borne out the theory that supplementing wild [[Why?:Be a carnivore?|carnivore]]'s diet with Christians is essential to good health and [[longevity]]. Some ingredients include: Christians are required to chop their dick off at birth and this aplies for everyone since there is no such thing as women in Islamity so all the Christian women you sen were born men. Women are not born christians because under christianaity women are evil.
+
  
There are also a number of less popular blends, composed of [[sin]]ful Christians generally available, also called the [[Left Behind]]. All Christians are incredibly stupid, easily argued with and can be killed by lions or with first grade logic. Therefore Dr. Spock is the Christian's natural enemy.
+
4. It is a now living Savior that Christians know can go before them, can closely lead them through life - as He did when He was on earth. This makes following Him practical and real.  
  
"They make great torches!" -Nero
+
5. The New Testament reveals that it is the Risen Christ who received from the Father the Holy Spirit and He, through Himself ascended to the Father, has given the Holy Spirit to us. This gives the believer in Christ both the knowledge and the power to live a godly life, and live a life that can be an intimately and personally directed one.
  
==In Sports And Entertainment==
+
6. The resurrected Christ was no mere reassembling of the molecules and particles of the Body that had been crucified. It was, indeed, a physical body, but one that was fully under the Spirit's control, guidance, and empowerment. It was a "spiritual body". Christians know that likewise, they will one day be granted the nature of a spiritual body, and full of health. They therefore are full of hope and consolations, and consider that even now in this life, there is an overcoming through Him, a restoration, and that tears, even now, are wiped away.
[[Image:Lioncar.png|right|thumb|250px|First boat race between [[Narnian]] Lions and Christians. Lions realized they couldn't row, so decided to ignore the ''"boat"'' part.]]
+
Many [[Pagans]] and [[Atheist]]s enjoy watching lions eat, so much so that they began crowding into zoos. For this reason, the [[Roman Empire]] built structures known as ''"Colosseums"'' to accommodate the throngs of lion-enthusiasts. Weekends, invented by ''Julius Goober Prolapse'' in 12 AD, would fill these architectural behemoths to capacity with [[blood]]-thirsty [[citizens]]. After the chance encounter of an [[elephant]] and an unknown Christian in 17 AD, it was discovered that the [[beast]]s enjoyed stomping them to [[death]] with very little encouragement. This day marked the beginning of a whole new level of extreme sport.
+
  
In modern times this has [[evolved]] into a highly successful [[commercial]] venture, especially after becoming syndicated with [[sports]] and [[news]] networks in the [[liberal media conspiracy]]. The most popular show featuring lions eating Christians is the <s>[[700 Club]]</s> Lions Club.
+
== Evangelism ==
 +
In what is called the [[Great Commission]], Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to preach the Gospel (literally "good news") and make disciples.
 +
:'''Great Commission'''
 +
:''But the eleven disciples proceeded to [[Galilee]], to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in [[heaven]] and on [[earth]]." Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the [[#God the Father|Father]] and the [[#God the Son|Son]] and the [[#God the Holy Spirit|Holy Spirit]], teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."'' --[[Gospel of Matthew|Matthew]] 28:16-20 [[New American Standard Bible|NASB]]
  
Such rivalry between Lions and Christians arose in 2005, when [[Narnia]]n Lions decided they too wanted their own [[Messiah]]. After many casualties in both sides (due to bad digestions and being eaten, respectively), differences are now often settled in the [[Oxbridge|Oxbridge annual boat race]].
+
[[Image:Gleyre The Departure of the Apostles.jpg|thumb|240px|The Departure of the Apostles by [[Charles Gleyre]].]]
 +
<br>
  
Note: For a completely accurate version of the notorious Christians-vs-Lions story, see ''[[Are You Hungry Enough To Eat A Barbary Lion?]]''.
+
==History of the name "Christian"==
 +
The early Christian faith was sometimes called ''That Way'', (Acts 19:1,9,23; 24:22) and the church its adherents were also called ''Nazarenes'', (Acts 24:5) evidently after the city of [[Nazareth]] where Jesus lived. Probably close to A.D 50 the [[Acts of the Apostles|Book of Acts]] (Acts:11:26) records that "the disciples were called Christians first in [[Antioch]]." The title ''Christian'' is also used in Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16, and likely is referred to in James 2:7, "Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?"
  
==Lawsuits==
+
==Early Church Community and Commitment: The Biblical Period==
Animal rights activists are suing Purina, makers of ''Lion Chow'', for including a non-Christian ingredient, the [[DaVincii Code]], in shipments bound overseas in an effort to cut costs. It turns out that lions will eat and tolerate ''some'' DaVincii Code, but proves fatal when eaten in a [[den]]. [[Lawyers]] on both sides call each other filthy names on a regular basis, just to keep in practice.
+
  
Rival ''Gaines'', of Gaines Burger dog food fame, was indirectly involved with Christian consumption lawsuits when they introduced ''Shark Chow'', made of only the finest cuts of litagator. The resulting shortage of [[legal]] professionals caused the ''Great Litigation Shortage'' in 1986.
+
The Bible records that that at least initially, the church was a single organic community, in which
  
==The consumption of Jesus==
+
:they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. {43} And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. {44} And all that believed were together, and had all things common; {45} And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. {46} And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."(Acts 2:42-47; 4:32)
Like oil and water, logic and Christianity do not mix.
+
  
We are talking about a bunch of creatures who loved the remains of a dead hippie who was also the greatest gamer to ever exist. They found his remains on a field shortly after his death.
+
This community was soon "scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles" due to determined persecution, which resulted in the dispersed disciples going "every where preaching the word." (Acts 8:1,4)
  
They saw nothing wrong with Jesus, as he was delicious. After he was eaten they discovered grapes and wheat. They then decided he could be constantly reborn in the form of crackers and wine. (See also "truthiness.")  
+
Other evidence indicates believers had their own houses and goods. (Acts 10:6; 16:14,15,40; 21:8; 1Cor. 11:22; 1Tim. 6:17; Philemon)
  
There are 3 reasons why "he" creates amd we believed him all those centuries ago:
 
  
1) They were too primitive to use opposable thumbs and pick knowledge fruit (Aka apples, mushrooms or tomatoes) from trees.
+
==Early Church Community and Commitment: the Post Biblical Period==
2) Life was depressing without a leader of the flock. Jesus was a beautifully presented Rack of Lamb that was found in the wild of Israel and easily consumed by Christian nomads.
+
3) He created us in his image, not from a monkey or an ape.
+
4) Castrating and consuming the penis of Michael Ellwood
+
  
== Videos of typical Christians==
+
'''Justin martyr  100 A.D. - 165 A.D.  From the "First Apology" (Defense)
 +
'''
  
<youtube>LACyLTsH4ac</youtube>
+
<blockquote>
 +
But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to genoito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion. (Chapt. LXV - administration of the sacraments)</blockquote>  
  
==Recalls==
+
<blockquote>
Makers of Lion Chow were forced to recall the '''''[[George Dubya Bush|Dubya]]''''' blend. There seems to be no rational explanation for the fact that the lions simply refuse to eat it.
+
And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist = the Thanksgiving], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone... (Chapt. LXVl - of the Eucharist)
 +
</blockquote>
  
==See also==
+
<blockquote>
*[[Christianity]]
+
And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead...(Chapt.LXVll - weekly worship of the Christians)
*[[shit]]
+
</blockquote>
*[[Opinion]]
+
*[[Pope Benedict]]
+
*[[Virgin Mary]]
+
*[[Reasons not to be a devout Christian]]
+
*[[Reasons to become an atheist]]
+
*[[Masochristian]]
+
*[[Are you a heretic]]
+
  
== External links ==
+
'''Tertullian (A.D. 160 -220), Early ecclesiatical leader and writer, in his ''Apology'' (response to pagan charges) in describing the early church community  (197 A.D.): '''
*[http://www.burningcross.net/crusades/christian-missionary-atrocities.html] -  Christian accomplishments.
+
*[http://www.orcmagazine.com/Google_Your_Race/Christians.html] - Google generated profile of "Christians".
+
*[http://www.rchurch.com] - Find a lion church in the united states.
+
*[http://www.churchtag.com] - Join prayer groups, view the bible, and search churches.
+
*[http://cgi.4chan.org/f/src/sillychristians.swf]-Emannuel!
+
  
{{Race}}
+
:We are a body knit together by one faith, one discipline and one hope. We meet together as a congregation, uniting together to offer prayer to God. We pray for the emperors and all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for peace and for the delay of the final end. We read our holy scriptures to nourish our faith, hope, steadfastness and good habits. We hear exhortations and rebukes. We take such judging very seriously – as befits those who believe they are in the sight of God – especially seriously when anyone sins so grievously we have to cut them off from our prayer, our congregation and all sacred things. Our elders preside over us, obtaining that honor not by money, but by their established character. There is no buying and selling in the things of God. Though we have a fund, but not because people can buy religion. Once a month, anyone who wants to makes a small donation – but only he who is able and willing; there is no compulsion. It is not spent on feasts, but to support and bury poor people, to provide for orphans, the elderly old persons, victims of shipwreck and those in prison for their faith.<ref>Defense by Tertullian (39), Trans. Rev. S. Thelwall. Modernized, abridged and introduced by Stephen Tomkins. Edited and prepared for the web by Dan Graves.</ref>
[[Category:Christianity]]
+
[[Category:People in Hell]]
+
[[Category:Things that make Baby Jesus cry]]
+
  
[[ar:مسيحية]]
+
'''Pliny the Younger, the Roman governor of Pontus & Bithynia  (northern Turkey) from A.D. 111-113, reporting to emperor Trajan of Christians, whom such pagan rulers found intolerable:'''
[[da:Kristendom]]
+
 
[[de:Christentum]]
+
:...in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.
[[el:Χριστιανισμός]]
+
 
[[es:Cristianismo]]
+
:... Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.
[[fi:Kristinusko]]
+
 
[[fr:Christianisme]]
+
:They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food.<ref>Pliny the Younger Letters, 10.96 </ref>
[[he:נצרות]]
+
 
[[it:Cristianesimo]]
+
==Also See==
[[ja:キリスト教]]
+
[[Image:Orthodox churches icon artwork.jpg|thumb|Orthodox Church's icon artwork.]]
[[ko:기독교]]
+
'''Denominations or branches of Christianity'''
[[nl:Christendom]]
+
*[[Roman Catholic Church]]
[[no:Kristendom]]
+
*[[Orthodox Church]]
[[pt:Cristianismo]]
+
*[[Protestantism|Protestant]]
[[ru:Христианство]]
+
**[[Amish]]
[[sv:Kristendom]]
+
**[[Baptist]]
[[th:ศาสนาโอตาคุ]]
+
**[[Church of England]] or ''Anglican Church''
[[zh:耶家餅舖]]
+
**[[Episcopal Church in the United States of America]] (or ''Episcopal Church'' or ''Episcopalians'') (Non-UK branch of the Anglican Church)
 +
**[[Evangelical Christianity]]
 +
**[[Fundamentalism]]
 +
**[[Liberal Christianity]]
 +
**[[Lutheran]]
 +
**[[Mennonite]]
 +
**[[Methodist]]
 +
**[[Pentecostal]]
 +
**[[Plymouth Brethren]]
 +
**[[Presbyterian]]
 +
**[[Seventh-day Adventist]]
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''Disputed'''
 +
*[[Christian Science]]
 +
 
 +
'''Other articles'''
 +
*[[Aramaic Church]]
 +
*[[Cathedral]]
 +
*[[Catholicism]]
 +
*[[Christian apologetics]] (Defense of Christianity)
 +
*[[Christianity and Science]]
 +
*[[Church]]
 +
*[[Conservative Christianity]]
 +
*[[Eucharist]]
 +
*[[Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America (Syro-Chaldean)]]
 +
*[[Gospel reading in the Church: the Turgama]]
 +
*[[Inspiration of Holy Scripture: An Eastern Christian and Jewish Perspective]]
 +
*[[Jesus Christ]]
 +
*[[Judaism]]
 +
*[[Messiah]]
 +
*[[New Testament understanding through the Jewish perspective]]
 +
*[[Passover Seder]]
 +
*[[Persecution of Christians]]
 +
*[[Red-letter Christian]]
 +
*[[Sign of the Cross]]
 +
*[[Essay: The Way of Salvation]]
 +
 
 +
==Further reading==
 +
===Encyclopedias===
 +
*  Bodensieck, Julius, ed. ''The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church,'' (3 vol 1965), ECLS perspective
 +
* Brauer, Jerald C. ''The Westminster Dictionary of Church History'' (1971), 880pp
 +
* [http://newadvent.org/cathen/index.html ''The Catholic Encyyclopedia'' (1907-1913)], old but highly detailed and online
 +
** '' New Catholic Encyclopedia'', edited by the Catholic University of America, 17 vol. 1967-1979.
 +
*Cross, F. L., and E. A. Livingstone, eds. ''The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church''  (3rd ed. 1997), 1840pp; [http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Dictionary-Christian-Church/dp/0192802909/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b excerpt and text search]; online at [[OUP]]
 +
* Elwell, Walter A., ed. ''Evangelical Dictionary of Theology‎'' (2001) 1312 pages; articles by over 200 Evangelical or Fundamentalist scholars
 +
*Hastings, Adrian et al. eds. ''The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought'' (2000) 808pp; 600 articles by 260 Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox scholars; [http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0198600240/ref=sib_dp_pt/105-4292297-2766841#reader-link excerpt and text search]; online at [[OUP]]
 +
*''New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge'' (1911), ), major sources of older scholarly articles; mainline Protestant perspective 
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc01.toc.html Vol. 1: Aachen - Basilians]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc02.toc.html Vol. 2: Basilica - Chambers]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc03.toc.html Vol. 3: Chamier - Draendorf]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc04.toc.html Vol. 4: Draeseke - Goa]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc05.toc.html Vol. 5: Goar - Innocent]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc06.toc.html Vol. 6: Innocents - Liudger]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc07.toc.html Vol. 7: Liutprand - Moralities]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc08.toc.html Vol. 8: Morality - Petersen]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc09.toc.html Vol. 9: Petri - Reuchlin]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc10.toc.html Vol. 10: Reutsch - Son]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc11.toc.html Vol. 11: Son of Man - Tremellius]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc12.toc.html Vol. 12: Trench - Zwingli]
 +
**[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc13.toc.html Vol. 13: Index]
 +
 
 +
===Histories===
 +
*Briggs, J. H. Y., Robert D. Linder, and David F. Wright. ''Introduction to the History of Christianity: First Century to the Present Day'' (2006) [http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-History-Christianity-Century-Present/dp/0800638123/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200823548&sr=8-4 excerpt and text search]  
 +
*Gonzalez, Justo L. '' A History of Christian Thought: Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Council of Chalcedon'' (2nd ed. 1987); [http://www.amazon.com/History-Christian-Thought-Beginnings-Chalcedon/dp/0687171822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200823941&sr=8-1 excerpt and text search vol 1]; ''A History of Christian Thought: Volume 2: From Augustine to the Eve of the Reformation'' (2nd ed. 1987) [http://www.amazon.com/History-Christian-Thought-Augustine-Reformation/dp/0687171830/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200823941&sr=8-3 excerpt and text search vol 2]; ''A History of Christian Thought: Volume 3: From the Protestant Reformation to the Twentieth Century'' (1987) [http://www.amazon.com/History-Christian-Thought-Protestant-Reformation/dp/0687171849/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200808706&sr=8-12 excerpt and text search vol 3]
 +
*Horsley, Richard A. ''Christian Origins: A People's History Of Christianity, Vol. 1'' (2006), 318pp [http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Origins-Peoples-History-Christianity/dp/080063411X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200886474&sr=1-2 excerpt and text search]
 +
*Latourette, Kenneth Scott. ''A History of Christianity'' (2 vol 1975) [http://www.amazon.com/History-Christianity-Beginnings-1500-Revised/dp/0060649526/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200823548&sr=8-1 excerpt and text search vol 1, to 1500], by leading Baptist scholar
 +
*Latourette, Kenneth Scott. ''A history of the expansion of Christianity'' (7 vol 1939-1970), monumental history of missionary work worldwide
 +
*MacCulloch, Diarmaid. ''The Reformation'' (2005), influential recent survey [http://www.amazon.com/Reformation-Diarmaid-MacCulloch/dp/014303538X/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200808706&sr=8-2 excerpt and text search]
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*McGonigle, Thomas D.,  and James F. Quigley. ''A history of the Christian Tradition: From Its Jewish Orgins to the Reformation'' (1988); ''A History of the Christian Tradition, Vol. II: From the Reformation to the Present'' (1996) [http://www.amazon.com/History-Christian-Tradition-Vol-Reformation/dp/0809136481/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200808706&sr=8-15 excerpt and text search vol 2]
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*Pelikan, Jaroslav. ''Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine'' (5 vol 1975-91) [http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Tradition-Development-Doctrine-Medieval/dp/0226653757/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201083460&sr=8-1 excerpt and text search v. 3, 600 AD -1300]]; [http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Tradition-Development-Reformation-1300-1700/dp/0226653773/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201083460&sr=8-4 excerpt and text search vol 4, 1300-1700]; [http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Tradition-History-Development-Doctrine/dp/0226653803/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201083460&sr=8-3 excerpt and text search vol 5, 1700-present] This is the standard history of Christian doctrine.
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*Ward, Keith. ''Christianity: A Beginner's Guide'' (2008), 195pp
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===United States===
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* Ahlstrom,  Sydney E. ''A religious history of the American people‎'' (1979) 1192 pages; classic history from broad perspective [http://books.google.com/books?id=5kFF6a1viGcC&dq=inauthor:ahlstrom&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=30&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES excerpt and text search]
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* Balmer, Randall. ''Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism'' (2nd ed.  2004), 655pp [http://www.questia.com/library/book/encyclopedia-of-evangelicalism-by-randall-balmer.jsp ''Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism''  online edition]
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* Lippy,  Charles H. and Peter W. Williams, eds. ''Encyclopedia of the American religious experience: studies of traditions and movements'' (3 vol 1988) 1872 pages; standard reference work; long essays by scholars
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* Noll, Mark A. '' A history of Christianity in the United States and Canada‎'' (1992), by leading Evangelical historian [http://books.google.com/books?id=VGF3wbzzy9QC&dq=intitle:christianity+inauthor:noll&lr=&as_drrb_is=q&as_minm_is=0&as_miny_is=&as_maxm_is=0&as_maxy_is=&num=30&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES excerpt and text search]
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* Queen, Edward L. et al, eds. Encyclopedia of American Religious History'' (3rd ed. 2 vol. 2009) 1200pp
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* Reid, Daniel G. et al. eds., ''Dictionary of Christianity in America'' (199)
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*  Wooley,  Davis C. ed. '' Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists‎'' (5 vol 1958-19820; 2565 pages
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==References==
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{{reflist|2}}
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==External Links==
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*[http://www.aim.org/wls/category/christians/ What Liberals Say - Category: Christians], [[Accuracy In Media]]
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[[Category:Christianity| ]]
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[[Category:Worldviews]]

Revision as of 10:57, 9 February 2010

Jesus5.jpg
Christianity

Foundations
Jesus Christ
The Gospel

Bible
Old Testament
New Testament
Ten Commandments

Christian Theology
Trinity: Father,
Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit
Nicene Creed
Creation
Defense of Christianity
Salvation

History and Traditions
Roman Catholic Church
Arianism
Orthodox Church
Crusades
Protestant Reformation
Counter Reformation
Protestantism
Missions
Great Awakening
Social Gospel
Mainline
Liberal Christians
Evangelical Christians
Fundamentalism

Important Figures
Saint Paul
Saint Athanasius
Saint Augustine
Thomas Aquinas
Martin Luther
John Calvin
Jonathan Edwards
John Wesley
Pope

Christianity is the world's largest religion, having 2.2 billion followers. It is a monotheistic religion that professes belief in Jesus as the Son of God. Christianity takes its name from Jesus Christ meaning "Jesus the Savior" and "Jesus the Anointed One". Followers of Jesus are called Christians, meaning "of Christ" or "belonging to Christ".[1]

Main Christian groups

Anglican Christ Church in Western Australia

The three largest self-governing bodies of Christians are:

  • The Roman Catholic Church (approx. 1.1 billion baptized members) traces its roots back to Saint Peter whom Catholics believed established the Church and the succession of the Popes as the spiritual authority over the Christian body of believers.
  • The Orthodox Churches (approx. 300 million baptized members) also trace their roots back to the beginnings of Christianity, but do not believe in the Primacy of the Pope. Different theological perspectives led to the Great Schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches in A.D. 1054.
  • Protestantism, the largest Communions are the Anglicans (approx. 77 million baptized members) and the Lutheran World Federation (approx. 68 million baptized members). Protestantism has its origins in the European Reformation. It first broke away from the Roman Catholic Church under Martin Luther when differences over the nature of faith and works in the role of salvation could not be adequately reconciled with Papal prescriptions as well as other practices that Luther saw in the Catholic Church at that time that he did not agree with. Other preachers and movements then followed Luther's example and also left the Catholic fold.

Christian Beliefs

Theologians, over two millennia, have debated a definitive summary of the Christian faith. While its interpretations vary drastically, probably the most commonly accepted statement of faith is the Nicea-Constantinopolitan Creed below:

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose Kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Christians and Christian denominations agree on many points of doctrine and disagree on others. According to an online Harris poll from 2003 99% of all American Christians believe in God, 96% in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 93% in Heaven, 93% in the virgin birth, 92% in the survival of the soul after death, 82% in Hell, 50% in ghosts, 27% in astrology and 21% in reincarnation. [2] Note that the latter two beliefs are in opposition to the religious dogma of most Christian denominations.

Nonetheless, the Nicea-Constantinopolitan Creed offers a general overall picture of what Christian theology looks like, and serves as a useful outline.

Other creeds may prove helpful in research. See also: the Apostle's Creed, Athanasian Creed.

God

For a more detailed treatment, see God.
God is a triune being. Though there is only one Divine nature there are three Divine Persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three Persons are collectively called the Trinity or the Holy Trinity. Christians are not polytheists because of the oneness of the divine nature (or essence). The doctrine of the Trinity is central to most (but not all) Christian theology.

A major theme of the Bible is love. In the Hebrew Old Testament the idea is expressed in the Hebrew word hessed, which is variously translated as loyal love, tender mercy, steadfast love, mercy, goodness, etc. in the New Testament the same idea is expressed in the Greek word agape, which is variously translated as love, compassion, charity, etc.

The God of the Christians is the creator of all things, is everywhere present, exists in all times, is transcendent, all-knowing (omniscient), just, all-powerful (omnipotent).

Jesus

Jesus' Baptism.jpg

During the reign of Caeser Augustus the Son (e.g. the second Person of the Trinity) took flesh from a virgin woman and was incarnate as a man. He was born in the town of Bethlehem and was given the name Jesus. At the age of thirty he was baptized by his cousin, the Prophet John, and began to preach in the area Palestine. About three years after his baptism, he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead, prompting the Jewish power establishment to plot Jesus death. Jesus was crucified. He came back from the dead and was seen by over 500 people. He ascended to heaven. The four Gospels contain the records of some of what Jesus did and said, but he did much more than those four books relate, as the Apostle John said in his Gospel.


Morality

The fundamental principle in Christian moral teaching is love and forgiveness, as expressed by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the New Testament. Jesus summarized his teachings in two commandments from the Old Testament:

"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 22:37-39; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18)

Constant debate has resulted as to how a person should express love for God in their moral behavior. This moral dialogue found expression in the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul addressed such controversies as circumcision (Romans 2:25-29), eating meat that was sacrificed to pagan deities (1 Corinthians 8), speculating about myths and genealogies (1 Timothy 1:3-5), and observing ceremonial dates and seasons (Galatians 4:9-11).

Regardless of a person's ethical interpretations, adherents commonly point to New Testament passages John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as scriptural depictions of love. The former states that
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
The latter characterizes love, saying
"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Jesus Christ affirmed, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)

In trying to understand the reason for the growth of Christianity in a pagan culture, it has been noted that while love of one's neighbor is not an exclusively Christian virtue, it appears that the primitive Christian church practiced it much more effectively than any other group.[3] This is most likely due to the constant mention of hospitality and generosity to one's "neighbors" in the Bible. Jesus was especially passionate about caring for people in need:

Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." (Matthew 19:21)

In addition to sacrificially showing care for those within the community as well as to those without, (cf. Gal. 6:10) the Christians elevated the sanctity of life, opposing abortion, infanticide, child abandonment, suicide, and gladiatorial contests.[4][5] While the primitive church tolerated the existing and pervasive cultural economic institution of slavery in the Roman Empire, the mandate of equal pay and just treatment (Col. 4:1; Eph. 6:9) greatly ameliorated the treatment of slaves, while advising them to seek freedom if possible, (1Cor. 7:21) and requiring that the escape slave Onesimus be received back not "as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved". (Philemon 1:6) The Christian ethos of love also motivated a great expansion in the building of hospitals.[6][7] By 500 A.D., most large towns in in the Roman Empire had erected them.[8]

The Atonement of Jesus on the Cross

The Christ of St. John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, 1951.

All Christians believe with the New Testament that the death of Jesus, along with His resurrection, is an indispensable proclamation of a crucial event for the reconciliation of lost sinners with God. There are three elements they see to understanding His death on the cross.

  1. Jesus having the knowledge that His path would lead to his own death, desired and willed that that take place, and persevered in that path though there was opportunity for Him to avoid it. Though there is ample recognition in the New Testament that others desired Him to die, and that the circumstances in which His path took him would bring Him to His end on earth, the mover of all these things was Himself and the will of the Father. "I have power to take my life and I have power to lay down my life. I lay down my life for the sheep."
  2. Jesus saw that in His death there would be a way for people to be brought back to the God from whom they were alienated and lost because of their sins. This would involve a substitution of Himself to effect that way. "For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many." How this would take place was not new to the Jews of His day from their understanding of contemporary everyday practice of substitute payment - as in redemption of the first-born (Pidyon Ha Ben), or in the understanding of what aggadic stories such as the Binding of Isaac implied (see Midrash), but it was not the prevalent view that the Messiah was to be that payment. Though while alive on earth, he had hinted at it in sayings such as "unless a seed falls and dies, it remains alone, but when it dies, it brings forth..", it was only after He had risen from the dead that He explained Scripture (the Old Testament) clearly about the necessity of His death to have taken place. The disciples would henceforth preach, and Peter among them, that the death of Jesus the Messiah and His resurrection was for-planned and for-ordained by God the Father, and foretold in the Scripture (Isaiah 53). And so, "The Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God".
  3. It was the belief in Scripture, that in His death a way back to God was made possible for those that were near to God—the Jews. And a way back to God for those that were far away—the Gentiles. That is why the New Testament saw in the requirements of God for Israel a fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah. He was the perfect Israel, taken out of Egypt, to redeem Israel. And that is why the New Testament saw in Jesus, a deepness to the incarnation of the Son of God, deeper than just a Jew of His time of a certain tribe. He was the "Second Adam" to redeem the sons of Adam. This encompassing perspective had further implications.

Christians of all generations have looked to the perfect Atonement, and the hope for reconciliation, accomplished by Jesus on the cross, to provide the means of understanding the solution to the vexing problems of the mind and of life itself - How can I make reconciliation with my enemies, with even the members of my own family, of race with race and people with people?; Does His death for the sins of the world include those who only partially understand, for the baby aborted, the feeble minded, and severely retarded?; For those who have never heard of Jesus, never been "enlightened", distant and remote in place and time?; Does His death for the sins of the world also include a remedy for the ills that have come as a result of those sins—certain sicknesses, ills of the mind, body and the soul? Do they "hold" for today?; Does His death make good, turn to the better, show the way, effect the way, of the illnesses that have befallen the world, not only by sin, but simply by the circumstances of life, of degeneration, of compounded dysfunction? How does the fruit of His death bring in somehow the Kingdom "among us"?

The death of the Son of God on the cross has provided the solution for sin, and it still holds its sway over the imagination and aspirations for the people of our generation.

Salvation

The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). This is often interpreted to mean that everyone has displeased God and is now separated from him in a kind of alienation and enmity that results from the fundamental conflict between selfish human interests and God's interests (Romans 8:5-8; James 4:4).

However, Jesus offered a solution to this Biblical dilemma in that by repentance of sins and faith in him (Jesus), their sins would be forgiven. He said that "...the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins." (Mark 2:10) Jesus also said, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Mark 2:17, and "Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men" (Mark 2:28)

Jesus Christ taught that "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Protestant Evangelical Christianity often use the terms "saved" and "born again" interchangeably. Other Christians, notably the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church use the phrase born again as a synonym for baptized. "Jesus answered, Amen, amen, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)

Christians are expected to continue living by Christ's teachings (John 8:31), as is appropriate for "children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8-10). Some believe that this is necessary in order to stay saved. However, this is a common misconception of the text. It is rather referring to proving that one is a child of God by their "fruit" (things that they do and how they behave). Christians in the Reformed tradition (following the teaching of the 16th century French lawyer John Calvin, as well as the faith outlined in the Belgic and Heidleberg Confessions) say that salvation is irrevocable and that it cannot be lost, if it were genuinely part of one's life to begin with. Reformed Christians (often called Calvinists) often point to Romans 8:38-39 as validation of their belief: "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39; NASB). According to Calvinists, the reason it cannot be lost by natural things is because salvation was obtained through a supernatural being, namely Jesus Christ. This does not negate Jesus' human side, only that he was both one-hundred percent God and one-hundred percent man, according to the Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451). The Bible also makes it clear that mankind cannot earn their salvation, and that it is a free gift.

Resurrection of Jesus Christ

"The Resurrection" by Carl Heinrich Bloch

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is critical to the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul wrote, "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain" (I Cor:15:14). Traditionally, Christianity has believed in a physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.[9]

In recent history Gary Habermas is considered the foremost Christian apologist for defending the resurrection of Jesus.[10][11][12][13][14] Other notable defenders of the resurrection include: William Lane Craig,[15] Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell,[16] Edwin M. Yamauchi,[17] N.T. Wright[18] and Michael Horner.[19]

The Meaning of the Resurrection for Christians

The Fact of the Resurrection of Christ is a key element of the preaching of the message about Jesus and an essential of Christian belief. But there are also certain effects that this belief has on the lives of believers.

1. It is because Jesus rose from the dead, that believers now can resort to a living Savior to help and deliver them from sin and from situations overwhelming for them by their own powers.

2. The New Testament sees in the resurrection of Christ a certain vindication of what apparently to the world and to all beings was a failure and an overcoming of Him by His crucifixion. He was "declared to be the Son of God" by His resurrection. This brings believers in Him to a strong confidence in the determined power of God to both vindicate in their own lives and to bring His reign upon earth.

3. The coming of Jesus back to life means to the believer that, indeed, their sins are totally forgiven. This is because believers know that His death was as a payment for sins - a "wage of death" for our sins that He received in our stead. If He remained dead, believers would know that the wage had not been fully paid. His resurrection, carries with it our knowledge that our sin with its attendant death has been totally and finally paid for.

4. It is a now living Savior that Christians know can go before them, can closely lead them through life - as He did when He was on earth. This makes following Him practical and real.

5. The New Testament reveals that it is the Risen Christ who received from the Father the Holy Spirit and He, through Himself ascended to the Father, has given the Holy Spirit to us. This gives the believer in Christ both the knowledge and the power to live a godly life, and live a life that can be an intimately and personally directed one.

6. The resurrected Christ was no mere reassembling of the molecules and particles of the Body that had been crucified. It was, indeed, a physical body, but one that was fully under the Spirit's control, guidance, and empowerment. It was a "spiritual body". Christians know that likewise, they will one day be granted the nature of a spiritual body, and full of health. They therefore are full of hope and consolations, and consider that even now in this life, there is an overcoming through Him, a restoration, and that tears, even now, are wiped away.

Evangelism

In what is called the Great Commission, Jesus sent his disciples out into the world to preach the Gospel (literally "good news") and make disciples.

Great Commission
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." --Matthew 28:16-20 NASB
The Departure of the Apostles by Charles Gleyre.


History of the name "Christian"

The early Christian faith was sometimes called That Way, (Acts 19:1,9,23; 24:22) and the church its adherents were also called Nazarenes, (Acts 24:5) evidently after the city of Nazareth where Jesus lived. Probably close to A.D 50 the Book of Acts (Acts:11:26) records that "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." The title Christian is also used in Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16, and likely is referred to in James 2:7, "Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?"

Early Church Community and Commitment: The Biblical Period

The Bible records that that at least initially, the church was a single organic community, in which

they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. {43} And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. {44} And all that believed were together, and had all things common; {45} And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. {46} And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common."(Acts 2:42-47; 4:32)

This community was soon "scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles" due to determined persecution, which resulted in the dispersed disciples going "every where preaching the word." (Acts 8:1,4)

Other evidence indicates believers had their own houses and goods. (Acts 10:6; 16:14,15,40; 21:8; 1Cor. 11:22; 1Tim. 6:17; Philemon)


Early Church Community and Commitment: the Post Biblical Period

Justin martyr 100 A.D. - 165 A.D. From the "First Apology" (Defense)

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to genoito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion. (Chapt. LXV - administration of the sacraments)

And this food is called among us Eukaristia [the Eucharist = the Thanksgiving], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone... (Chapt. LXVl - of the Eucharist)

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead...(Chapt.LXVll - weekly worship of the Christians)

Tertullian (A.D. 160 -220), Early ecclesiatical leader and writer, in his Apology (response to pagan charges) in describing the early church community (197 A.D.):

We are a body knit together by one faith, one discipline and one hope. We meet together as a congregation, uniting together to offer prayer to God. We pray for the emperors and all in authority, for the welfare of the world, for peace and for the delay of the final end. We read our holy scriptures to nourish our faith, hope, steadfastness and good habits. We hear exhortations and rebukes. We take such judging very seriously – as befits those who believe they are in the sight of God – especially seriously when anyone sins so grievously we have to cut them off from our prayer, our congregation and all sacred things. Our elders preside over us, obtaining that honor not by money, but by their established character. There is no buying and selling in the things of God. Though we have a fund, but not because people can buy religion. Once a month, anyone who wants to makes a small donation – but only he who is able and willing; there is no compulsion. It is not spent on feasts, but to support and bury poor people, to provide for orphans, the elderly old persons, victims of shipwreck and those in prison for their faith.[20]

Pliny the Younger, the Roman governor of Pontus & Bithynia (northern Turkey) from A.D. 111-113, reporting to emperor Trajan of Christians, whom such pagan rulers found intolerable:

...in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed. For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.
... Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.
They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food.[21]

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Denominations or branches of Christianity


Disputed

Other articles

Further reading

Encyclopedias

Histories

United States

  • Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A religious history of the American people‎ (1979) 1192 pages; classic history from broad perspective excerpt and text search
  • Balmer, Randall. Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism (2nd ed. 2004), 655pp Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism online edition
  • Lippy, Charles H. and Peter W. Williams, eds. Encyclopedia of the American religious experience: studies of traditions and movements (3 vol 1988) 1872 pages; standard reference work; long essays by scholars
  • Noll, Mark A. A history of Christianity in the United States and Canada‎ (1992), by leading Evangelical historian excerpt and text search
  • Queen, Edward L. et al, eds. Encyclopedia of American Religious History (3rd ed. 2 vol. 2009) 1200pp
  • Reid, Daniel G. et al. eds., Dictionary of Christianity in America (199)
  • Wooley, Davis C. ed. Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists‎ (5 vol 1958-19820; 2565 pages

References

  1. Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
  2. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=359
  3. E.R. Dodds, 1970:136-137
  4. Kenneth Scott Latourette, A history of Christianity p. 244
  5. Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, Paul Copan, The Apologetics Study Bible, 274
  6. Albert John Ochsner, Meyer Joseph Sturm, The organization, construction and management of hospitals, p. 17
  7. Roderick E. McGrew, Encyclopaedia of Medical Care, p. 135
  8. George D. Pozgar, Legal aspects of health care administration', p. 2
  9. http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/crj0056a.txt
  10. Habermas, Gary, Experiences of the Risen Jesus: The Foundational Historical Issue in the Early Proclamation of the Resurrection, Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Vol. 45; No. 3 (Fall, 2006), pp. 288-297.
  11. "Wildcat" and Holding, J.P., Book review of "The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus", 22nd June, 2004 (Tektonics)
  12. Habermas, Gary, Jesus' Resurrection and Contemporary Criticism: An Apologetic Criswell Theological Review 4.1 (1989) 159-74.
  13. Habermas, Gary, [http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/crj_explainingaway/crj_explainingaway.htm Explaining Away Jesus' Resurrection: The Recent Revival of Hallucination Theories], Christian Research Journal / vol. 23, no. 4, 2001.
  14. Habermas, Gary, Why I Believe The New Testament Is Historically Reliable (Apologetics.com)
  15. Craig, William Lane, Articles: Historical Jesus
  16. McDowell, Josh, Evidence for the Resurrection, 1992.
  17. Jamauchi, Edwin M., Easter: Myth, Hallucination, or History?
  18. Wright, N.T., Early Traditions and the Origins of Christianity, Sewanee Theological Review 41.2, 1998.
  19. Horner, Michael, Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?
  20. Defense by Tertullian (39), Trans. Rev. S. Thelwall. Modernized, abridged and introduced by Stephen Tomkins. Edited and prepared for the web by Dan Graves.
  21. Pliny the Younger Letters, 10.96

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