Other Christians believe that the Genesis story is not literally true because: • Its disagrees with scientific theories, life the Big Bang theory and evolution • It is difficult for modern people to believe this story • They think that the Genesis story is a myth – it contains messages, which are true, but it is not an accurate description of what actually happened • Some Christians believe that the world was created exactly like it is written in the Bible in the book of Genesis: • It was created in 6 days • God made it out of nothing • All living things were there from the beginning as separate species • Men and women have a special place in creation • Adam and Eve were the first people (and they disobeyed God) Scientific theories Religion and Science Christian views about people and animals: • Christians believe that hey should protect the environment because: • They were put on the earth as God’s stewards • They have been given the job to care for the planet • They are meant to ‘love your neighbour’ including people in the future • They should not be greedy and wasteful but should think about God and care for the poor. Christians believe: • People are superior to (better than) other animals • People were made in the ‘image of God’ and animals weren’t • People were given ‘the breath of life’ and animals weren’t • Humans have souls and animals don’t • Human life is especially important to God • Some Christians – we can do what we want with animals RELIGION AND SCIENCE: Christian Beliefs about the origins of the world Christians and the environment • Test Yourself: • What do Christians mean when they say that Genesis is a myth? • Why do most Christians believe that humans are superior to other animals? • Which book of the Bible says that humans were made ‘in the image of God’ • What do Christians mean when they say that they are stewards of the earth? • Give three reasons why a Christian should care for the environment. • Name five different ways in which a Christian could care for the planet.
Death and the Afterlife • Christians believe humans have a soul, because they were made in the image of God • The soul does not die, but lives on after the death of the body • Christians do not believe that people are reborn into this world. They believe that we each have one life. • Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead (resurrection).They believe that their souls will be raised back to life like Jesus, to live in heaven with God. Heaven, Hell and Purgatory • Christians used to believe in heave and hell more literally than they do today • Christian art often shows heaven as a place with clouds and angels with wings and harps, but Christians don’t believe that heaven is really a place life this. They believe that heaven is where God rules and they will live for eternity • Some Christians believe that hell is a place of eternal punishment for people who have done wrong and who have rejected God. Other people believe that it is a poetic way of describing eternity without God. • Roman Catholics believe in purgatory for people who have died but are not ready to go straight to heaven. DEATH AND THE AFTERLIFE: Christian Beliefs about the Soul God as Judge • Christians believe: • God will judge them. In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats teaches that God will ask people how much care they have shown for others, and they will be judged by this • But Christians also believe that God is forgiving. They say that when Jesus died he took away the sins of the world so that people could be forgiven for the worn g things they do • Roman Catholics go to confession to help their judgement and lessen the amount of time they have to spend in purgatory. Christian Funerals • Test Yourself: • What do Christians mean by the soul? • Do Christians believe that people can be reborn into this world for another life? • What is ‘resurrection’? • Which parable teaches that God will judge people according to how much care they have shown for others? • What happens at a Christian funeral? • Which Christian beliefs are remembered at a funeral service?
Why is there evil in the world? Good and Evil The Devil • The Devil, or Satan, appears in some Bible stories, such as Adam and Eve, in the book of Job, and in the stories of Jesus’ temptations. • Some Christians believe that the Devil was one of God’s angels, who rebelled against him and got sent to hell • Some Christians believe that the Devil is a real power who’s work against God and causes evil and suffering • Others believe the Devil is a symbolic way of describing evil. • Belief in the Devil still leaves questions about why God allows the Devil to live in the world. • Christians believe God is all-powerful (omnipotent), and that God loves everyone. But there is evil in the world – moral evil, when people do things wrong and natural evil, when bad things such as earthquakes happen and cause suffering. • The problem of evil asks why God seems to do nothing to prevent evil and suffering. Christian Responses to Evil Right and Wrong • Christians believe that God wants them to do the right thing. If they do the right thing, God will reward them. They believe that God tells them what is right from wrong through: • their consciences, asking God to show them the right thing to do. (Is the conscience the voice of God or the voice of our parents?) • the Bible, looking for messages or rules in the texts they read, such as the 10 Commandments (Problem of contradiction?) • the example of Jesus, thinking about what Jesus might have done, and looking at his teaching in parables and in the Sermon on the Mount. Key Terms: • OMNIPOTENT • MORAL EVIL • NATURAL EVIL • DEVIL • SUFFERING OF JESUS • JOB • BIBLE • CONSCIENCE • EXAMPLE OF JESUS
Medical Ethics Abortion • Christians attitudes towards abortion vary widely • The Roman Catholic Church teaches that abortion is never right. Human life begins at the • moment the egg is fertilised by the sperm (conception). • They also believe that life is sacred and that abortion is the same as murder. ‘I knew you before you were born.’ • The Church of England stresses that abortion is a very serious matter, but there are times when abortion might be the kindest choice, for example if the mother’s life is at risk or the baby might be handicapped. ‘Love your neighbour’ • Not all Christians agree about fertility treatment. • Roman Catholics are most strongly against it. They say that, if people have no children it must be God’s plan for them, and it is wrong to interfere. Some Fertility Treatments • people are worried about what happens to ‘spare’ embryos. ‘Hannah had no children because the Lord had closed her womb’. • Church of England Christians say that some fertility treatments are right because they bring happiness and it is a loving way to behave towards people who are desperate to have children, ‘love your neighbour.’ They disagree with surrogacy, however, as it can create a confusing situation for children. Euthanasia and Suicide Animals in Medical Research • Christians believe that humans are God’s most important creations, and that humans should have control over other animals • They have ‘stewardship’ over the earth, which means they should take care of it and the animals. • Most Christians think that it acceptable to use animals for our own purposes, including medical research if there is no other way of finding out things doctors need to know. • Other Christians (sometimes Quakers) believe that, as God’s creations, we should treat animals with respect and not use them for food, fur, sport or research. • Test Yourself: • Which Christian Church teaches that abortion can never be right? • In what circumstances might some Christians agree that abortion could be the kindest choice? • What do Christians think of fertility treatment • What sort of fertility treatment might a Christian prefer not to use? • Why do most Christians think euthanasia is wrong? • What is a hospice? • What might Christians believe about testing medicines on animals?
Religion, Peace and Justice Some Christians believe that it can be right to fight in a war. Others believe that it can never be right. RELIGION, PEACE AND JUSTICE: Christian attitudes towards war Violence and Pacifism • Some parts of the Bible tell people to go and fight other tribes or to use violence in revenge ‘An eye for an eye’ • Other parts of the Bible tell people to live in peace with one another and to love our enemies, ‘Love your neighbour.’ • People who believe violence is always wrong are pacifists – they think you should never use violence to deal with problems. • Quakers are pacifists. • Instead of using violence, a pacifist might – • D Demonstrate • A Advertise • M March • S Speeches Treatment of Criminals • There are different reasons for punishing people – deterrent, protection, reform, revenge • Some Christians follow the teaching ‘An eye for an eye’ and say that criminals should be treated harshly, including using the death penalty • Some Christians believe that people who are truly sorry for their crimes should be forgiven ‘love your neighbour’. These Christians say that REFORM is the most important thing. • Elizabeth Fry was a Christian who worked to improve conditions for prisoners. She believed that everyone is made “in the image of God” and she campaigned to allow prisoners privacy and education. Social Injustice Social injustice is when people in society are not given the same rights and privileges as other people. All Christians agree that the weak should be protected and that everyone is important to God. 1) Some Christians believe we should help people who do not have equal rights, through charity work and prayer, but we should not challenge a government as religion and politics do not mix. ‘Give to the emperor what it the emperors, and to God what is God’s’ 2) Other Christians think we should fight against injustice in any way we can, including challenging governments. These Christians might belong to the liberation theology movement, like Oscar Romero. ‘Love your neighbour’ • Test Yourself: • What are the main rules for a Just War? • What is a ‘conscientious objector’? • What is a pacifist? • Name a Christian group, which is committed to pacifism. • What is Elizabeth Fry famous for? • What is ‘Liberation Theology’?
Transcendent Father Judge Nature of God Attributes of God Perfect Spirit Omnibenevolent Omnipresent Creator Merciful Immanent Just Reasons for Belief in God Forgiving • The Bible is a really good way for Christians to find out about God. • The Old Testament has 39 books outlining the history of the Jewish people and prophesising the coming of the Messiah • The New Testament has 27 books including the 4 Gospels which outline the life of Jesus and the Book of Acts which outline the early Christian church. • Some Christians have a literal interpretation of the Bible: they believe that it is 100% true as it is written • Some other Christians read it in a symbolic way: they believe there are elements that are true but it is not 100% literally true as it is written. Instead it is simplified to help people understand the text. • These Christians believe that the parables are stories that are fictional but with real moral messages within them. Omnipotent Eternal Omniscient The Trinity So, what is the Trinity? The Trinity, in Christianity, is the existence of one God in three forms, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit Liquid Father H2o God Steam Ice Son Sprit Authority of the Bible Jesus and Holy Spirit Jesus is seen as being God incarnate: both human and divine at the same time He became human to take away the sins of mankind in order to allow atonement with God His death is not a normal death as he rose again from the dead and ascended into Heaven The Holy Spirit was sent the Disciples and is now celebrated as Pentecost. The Holy Spirit gives strength, faith, understanding and helps to spread love in the world
The Family Human Relationships Roles of Men and Women • Traditional Viewpoint: • Women’s role was to stay at home and raise the children within the Christian faith. She was in charge of running the home and should submit to her husband as head of the family. • Men’s role was to go out to work to earn money to care for the family. He was head of the family and it was his duty to provide for them. • Modern Viewpoint • Men and women are equal. They can have the same jobs, earn the same money and look after the children equally. There is evidence in the Bible of JC treating women equally e.g. He treated a Samaritan women as an equal, his female followers stayed with him when he was on the cross and he preached in the court of women in the Jerusalem Temple. The Marriage Ceremony I, ________, take you, ____ To be my husband To have and to hold From this day forward For better, for worse For richer, for poorer In sickness and in health To love and to cherish Till death us do part According to God’s holy law In the presence of God I make this vow. Divorce 4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.“ (Matt 19:4-6) • Roman Catholics do no allow divorce as only God can separate two people. Divorced people cannot remarry in the Church. • Church of England allows divorce but remarriage within the church is at the vicar’s discretion. • Non-conformist churches allow divorce as they accept that sometimes marriages do break down and cannot be fixed. Contraception Not all Christians think the same thing about contraception. Roman Catholics say that sex is only for having babies, so any method of contraception which does not allow the possibility of conception is not allowed. They do allow the rhythm method because this allows the possibility of conception. Other Christians say that sex is also to bring a man and wife closer together so contraception is allowed provided it doesn’t harm a developing foetus, like the morning after pill.
Nature of Belief The word ‘worship’ means ‘worthiness’. Public and Private Worship Many Christians set aside a time each day when they read their Bible and pray quietly. Some Christians refer to this as their ‘Quiet Time’. • The Lord’s prayer (Our Father - RC) is the most important of all Christian prayers. This is because it is the only one that Jesus actually taught his own disciples to use. Most Christians belong to a local Church and attend services in their place of worship on Sundays. Church services mostly fall into one of two categories 1)This is a service that follows the same structure each week, with formal readings from the Bible with prayers and responses. 2) This is a service that does not have a set structure. These services are likely to be centred on Bible reading and modern hymns.. What do you find in most Church services? Our Father in Heaven Hallowed be your name Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one. Matt 6.9-13 The Lord’s Prayer Church Services • There are many different kinds of services of Church service. For the majority of Churches, the most important service is Holy Communion – also known as Eucharist (Anglican) and Mass (RC) and the Lord’s Supper (Non-Conformist). • There are two Christian groups that do not celebrate the Eucharist: (1) Salvation Army (2) The Quakers Fasting Music and Art Unlike many other religions, there are no rules about what a believer may / not eat. One incident in the life of Peter (Acts 10:9-16) suggests that they were allowed to eat all kinds of meat as the animals were given by God to ‘enjoy’. A few people may give up some luxury during Lent, but this is not real fasting. • Music • This has always played an important part in most act of Christian worship. Vocal music going back to C15th, and sung by a choir, plays an important part in services in larger churches. • Hymns have long been one of the most important forms of music in the western world. • Art • Many Christian Churches are richly decorated with art in various forms • Stained glass windows • Statues • Icons • These are used to illustrate Bible stories and different symbols that Christians might find useful in worship. • Statues of the Virgin Mary are very common in RC Churches. • Icons are characteristic of Orthodox Churches.
Poverty and Wealth Rich / Poor Divide • These are countries, like Western Europe, USA and Australia • 25% of the world’s population lives in the rich, developed world. • These countries, however, consume 80% of the world’s resources – energy, food etc • These are countries such as India, Africa and South America • These countries contain 75% of the world’s population, but live off just 20% of the world’s resources Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) • JC encouraged the rich to share their wealth with the poor secretly (Matt 6.1-4) • If they did this, he said, God would reward them openly for their generosity. • People were not to spend their lives accumulating wealth, since it is ‘treasure in heaven’ that matters (Matt 6.19-24) • Paul had much to say about wealth and its dangers. Writing to Timothy, a young Church leader, he said: “The love of money is the root of all evil” 1 Timothy 6.10 The Bible and the Poor TheProphets of the OT were upset about the massive gap between the rich and poor of ancient Israel. The strongest message came from Amos in 700 BCE – he attacked the unwillingness of the rich to use their wealth to feed the poor. His argument was based on the fact that God would not care for those who did not care for others – you were of no use to God if you did not care for your fellow human beings Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those who hunger now, for you will be satisfied” Luke 6:20-21 Jesus taught this message to his disciples. He told rich people that their wealth stood between them and God. Only those who shared their wealth with others could gain entry to the Kingdom of God. (Matt 25:31-46) Money! Helping the Needy: Charity • All Christians are encouraged to give money to the church to which they belong. • In the OT, Jews were expected to give a tithe to God. This was 10% of their income each year. Some Christians continue this practice today. In giving money to the Church, they are not only supporting their local church, but also helping various charities. • Other Christians may not give a tithe, but they do give a certain amount each week or month that they place in an envelope. This regular giving is very important because it enables their church or charity to plan its expenditure. Moral and Immoral Jobs • Christianity does not lay down hard and fast rules about the occupations that its members must follow. At the same time, many Christians spend their lives in caring professions, such as medicine, teaching, social work etc This gives them the opportunity to express their concern and care for others through the work they do. They also see this as an important way of expressing their Christian faith. So too do others who have gone overseas as missionaries.
Religion and Equality Are we equal? Is the Church Racist? Here are 3 examples from the Gospels of how JC demonstrated equality in his teaching: When asked “Who is my neighbour?” JC responded with the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-7). The message is everyone is your neighbour. Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion, even though the Romans were the occupying power and hated by the Jews (Luke 7:1-10) JC befriended Zacchaeus, a tax collector, even though tax collectors were hated by the Jews and were employed by the occupying power (LK 19:1-10) • When Martin Luther King Jr was born in 1929, black people in parts of USA were persecuted and suffered from oppression. • King became a Baptist minister and in 1955 led a protest when Rosie Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus • Due to the fact that more black people used the buses than white people, the bus company had no choice but to give in. The Christian Church has responded in a number of ways to fight against racial prejudice and discrimination. But it’s record has been far from perfect. When many black people emigrated to the UK from the Caribbean and other places during the 1950s and 60s, many of them were Christians. But when they tried to join local churches they were given a cool welcome. Instead, they formed churches of their own, which expanded rapidly over the years, while UK churches declined. Martin Luther King Jr Women! In 1975 it became illegal to discriminate against a woman in recruitment, promotion and training at work. It also became illegal to sack a women due to pregnancy. Statistics Women outnumber men 52% to 48% Women earn 10% world income Women earn –1% of property in own name Should women be priests? This was a big debate in CofE in the early 90s. The main argument against was tradition and JC did not allow his disciples to be girls. The Roman Catholic debate on women priest as not even begun. In 1994, the Pope wrote an apostolic letter stating that women could not become priests – it would be entirely inappropriate and not traditional. Attitudes to Other Religions Christians believe that you should forgive people who truly repent of their sins. This gives them an opportunity at atonement with God. Everyone will be judged by God for their deeds in this human life.
GCSE RS Modules • p
Exam Technique You must include evidence in your answers