Christianity. Fundamental Questions. 1. What is the human condition?
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1. What is the human condition?
God created humankind in God’s own image. God gave humans free will but, through disobedience, humans are separated from God by original sin. This is expressed in the Bible through the story of Adam and Eve and the Fall. God provided a means of salvation through Jesus Christ.
2. Where are we going?
To heaven: eternal union with God
To purgatory: a staging post between this world and heaven
To hell: separation from God
3. How do we get there?
We achieve salvation by:
believing in the presence of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
believing in Jesus Christ as Saviour
living by the teachings of Jesus
participating in the sacraments, as appropriate to the denomination.
Christ had 12 followers (apostles) who carried on his message after his death.
•Peter designated by Jesus as “rock” assumed by early Christians to be the leader and cornerstone of church.
•Tradition claims Peter traveled to Rome and led Christian community there.
•Rise of European nationalism
•Emergence of new intellectual systems and learning in the Renaissance
•Decline of the papacy’s prestige and authority
•Destroyed Christianity’s unified hold on European culture and politics
•Sparked long period of intra-Christian civil war
•Indirectly inspired the creation of modern notions of separation of church-state and the freedom of the individual who conscientiously dissents from the majority
Catholic Counter Reformation
The Pledge of Allegiance stated “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” In 1954, perhaps to separate ourselves from communist countries, Congress added “under God.”
The Pledge of Allegiance has been under some scrutiny in the past decade. Some feel that the phrase “under God” violates students’ rights.
Many feel that mentioning God is a reference back to our country’s founding. America was founded by religious refugees and should be recognized and remembered in our Pledge of Allegiance.
Other people think that the phrase discriminates by creed. “Under God” alienates atheists and suggests that they aren’t patriotic.
A family in Boston challenged the Pledge of Allegiance in court. The case reached the Massachusetts Supreme Court in September of 2013. The Court has not yet reached a decision.
For this reason most Christians stand by keeping God in the Pledge.
However, the Bible also states that everyone should not fight. 2 Timothy 2:24 reads, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all”
If the Pledge were to be changed by the government, according to Romans 13:2, Christians are not supposed to fight back “Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed.”