Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the teachings, life, and the gospel that was revealed by Jesus. The beliefs in Christianity are of different types where everyone has his or her own faith placed on some teachings in the bible and other Christian-based materials. Although Christianity has a significant diversity of beliefs on controversial issues, most of the Christians share a common set of doctrines that they hold as essential to their faith and the Christian heritage of beliefs has been given titles including the good news of Jesus Christ, the way and mere Christianity. Christians believe that the Messiah, Jesus was the anointed ruler and savior of humanity and his coming was to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament.
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The core belief is that through the death and the resurrection of Jesus, sinful humans can be reconciled to God and they are therefore offered salvation and the promise of eternal life. Having theological disputes over the nature of Jesus, Christians generally believe that Jesus is God incarnate and the true God and man. Jesus having become fully human in all respects suffered the pain and the temptations of a mortal man and yet he did not sin and as God, he defeated death and rose to life again and his birth was very much different from a normal human birth as he was born through a virgin birth. ( Albright, 1957)
Christians believe that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day and he appeared to his apostles giving them the commission to go preach the gospel and also baptize. The purpose of his death and resurrection is described in various doctrines of atonement and his suffering on the cross was to endure the shame and to show the love he had for the human race. The Christians believe that salvation is a gift by means of the unmerited grace, a gift from a loving heavenly father who sent his Son to be the savior.
They also believe that with faith you can be saved from sin and eternal death and Jesus’ crucifixion was an atoning sacrifice. The operation and the effects of grace are a necessity of the free will to cooperate with God and individuals are completely incapable of self-redemption and also God overcomes the unwilling heart as he has power over the human race and everything he created.
Religious symbols are been swept away from public schools and public places and the administrators are watching these to ensure that they are not taken in unknowingly but the government and the society encourage other minor religions which are not been seen as important in the society. Christianity seems to be receiving more discrimination than any other religion and they are forced to hold prayer stations and still have to explain to the government that they are not offending anyone.
But going through all these problems the Christians have tried to keep their faith from been swept away by other religions such as Islamic and Hinduism.
The negative impacts based on the Christianity includes: it is seen as a tool of exploitation in which every one has to follow all that is written in the bible and other Christian sources in order to be called a Christian; it is also seen as an illusion, a crutch, a source of guilt and pathologies meaning that saying you are a Christian is just but a burden and an obstacle to most of the people in the society who do not believe in such religion and therefore clashes occur between these two opposing groups; it is also seen as the principal enemy of the moral progress in the world- to some extend people hide their immoral acts as they claim to be Christians while when you compare what they do is completely a mess and can not be accepted in the traditional society were culture is taken as the guiding principal to all; man has taken the advantage of exploiting the nature with the claim that they are Christians and end up bring a lot of mess to the people who are innocent and have no reason to suffer that fate; people have gone to an extend of even wanting to be worshipped as the god something that could not be seen in the old times therefore they lack the respect of who they claim to worship and this brings a lot of contradictions in the society where the ancestors had much respect and lastly the paganism and other religions give man power to exploit the nature which is also accepted in the Christian bases having the claim that they are making it better but they are putting it in problems. (Johnson,1979)
The church has no positive influence on social change due to: Platonism- the spiritual sphere is the real world and matter is evil therefore the body is the prison of the soul and therefore religion at times is not concerned about social reform and humanism- which views the physical and the social needs of man as the only important and the institutional church has failed in the regeneration and therefore the social reformation is no longer in existence.
Christianity has both a social and historical impact on society. The greatest religious change in the history of mankind takes place with the philosophers and the historians who disregard the belief in Christianity and try to convince men to admit to having the most powerful moral behavior to be applied in all their lives and also people are abandoning the non-Christian base which is the source of the social development.
When the church is assimilated by culture then it has to share some of its practices to the culture and still, the culture takes some of the Christian values therefore it means that culture is not completely taken away from the society and it still acts as a guide to the people in their actions. Christianity positive impacts include the rise of modern science- it led to the invention of new techniques as the missionaries entered the country they invented things like the use of metals which was not in use in the traditional times as there was no technology on what to do with these metals to be useful but as the missionaries brought in Christianity they saw the need to do away with these traditional practices were mainly wood was used.
The rise in modern technology has been of great help as it has led to change in peoples’ lives where there is the use of money instead of barter exchange which was used in traditional society; there are industries for different manufacturing of items needful in the human life; the people have left most of the traditions like the circumcision in females and belief on the ancestors; and many other things that were practiced traditionally have been left out due to this Christianity.
The concepts conducive to scientific inquiry expressing based on the Christians include the positive attitudes toward the world where people can see the society in which they live as being of help in the activities they undertake and live peacefully with others; they are also aware of the order that is the cause and effects in the environment and it becomes helpful to them and also to the society as a whole; man is also viewed as a superintendent of nature whereby he or she can do what is expected without the supervision from anyone provided one is given the right precautions and it has led to the need to have a positive attitude towards progress, therefore, people can make their environment better as time goes on through making inventions of the things that exist around them and end up making things which did not exist before. ( Albright, 1957)
Christianity has led to the development of education- this has been of great help as when we compare the past time when people were not going to schools then it is much better now than that time as civilization has led to many people being able to communicate that is the children meet from different areas in the schools and through the training they get they are able to make communication easier, unlike a child who never went to school. Also, people are able to get knowledge in schools that when practiced in the society in which they live becomes more advanced in everything including the invention of new techniques, exploitation of the available resources, and development of the existing inventions.
In case of the education, people are able to go up to university level and gain a higher knowledge from what they had achieved in the base. Christianity has led to a much influence in arts meaning that people can use the knowledge in Christianity and improve their artworks as in the lives of many of the people in the bible did t work and even not so the missionaries invented the techniques for dealing with art and this has encouraged people very much in their daily activities as they practice them to achieve what they need. Christianity has brought about social change in that people are now able to live with others, not from the same tribe, clan, and nation without problems of conflicting in resources, and even they end up learning each other’s language.
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This has also led to the intermarriages between different groups of people which were a problem before in the traditional era when culture ruled all groups of people. There is also a revolution in which people have left their practices and adopted new ones that can be helpful to them as the civilization is far beyond the old mode of living. This revolution leads to change in the living style of many people who had lived their cultural ways of life before. Christianity has led to many changes in society as a whole as people are able to get what they require in the shortest time possible keeping in mind that the infrastructure has been developed and people can move from one place to another. (Alexander, 2002)
Technology has also helped the people in making their society a better place than it was before through learning new ideas from the education they get or learning from others’ ideas who are better developed than them. It has led to a new sense of human life as they see their lives been equal in all ways as God created a man on His own image so the divisions that arise in the society can be solved if people are ready to keep peace and accept no one can live without making mistakes as we are human and our deeds are almost similar.
Christianity history is inseparable from the history of culture and society, the Christian beliefs, principles, and ideas have collared the thoughts and the feelings of man. The traditions and practices have left an incredible impress not only on the developments of the pure religion interest but virtually the total endeavor of man and the indirect and the unconscious influence in Christianity has exercised secular matters including the social, intellectual and the institutional affords that strike the proof of dynamic forces generated by faith. Christianity has brought changes to the customs of different people in society. (Borgmann, 2003)
In the traditional setting, the women were treated differently from men but with the emergence of Christianity they are now treated with love and care and also adorned in much the same manner as men in that they are able to occupy a place of honor within the family and in the socio-political life unlike in the old times were women were not given any honor but were seen just as people without great importance rather than undertaking the daily activities in the family but with Christianity then equality can be viewed in a way as women can be allowed to do things they were not allowed before.
But with all these positive impacts the Christian religion has suffered periods of persecution and critical divisions within its own ranks which has been due to the war and the strife and has assumed forms of astonishing variety and also confronted by revolutionary changes in human and social outlooks.
The idea of missionaries and others bringing religion to new areas was to allow people to read the bible and other important texts as before they entered these places people never knew the languages and therefore nothing could be communicated in any of those areas. In the dark ages, people faced a lot of problems even though they never knew this is because those times everybody relied on his or her own culture and to convince someone it was a hard task to them but the missionaries tried all that they could do as without proper communication then it meant nothing could succeed so the first had to learn the native language of the people they came across and then be able to pass their information as some people never allowed strangers in their areas.
Depending on the approach the missionaries were accepted in some societies but in others, it took time due to the depth they were in their traditions, so to mix the tradition with Christianity was a matter of strain to many of the missionaries. If the society had negative attitudes towards these missionaries then all the claims were placed on them like slavery which to some extends paved the way when the missionaries entered the country. As some came with good news then others took the advantage of mistreating the indigenous people to the extend of taking what they had and used them for their own gains leaving them to suffer. This led some of the tribes to defend the entry of the missionaries into their society as no one could convince them they had good news.
It was also seen as been intolerance in that what was preached to the people was against the beliefs and the traditions of the people therefore those who never accepted their teachings saw it has been teaching to do away with what they believed from the beginning and also leading to the change in the way of their living which was not easy to accept. It was seen to cause crusades where by as in the country there were many religions and all need their faith to be respected but there was the view that Christianity is blamed of holding crusades against other religions like the Muslims. This has led to the problem of fights in some areas where people have no belief in Christianity. (Borgmann, 2003)
Christianity has led to many divisions in society as in a family if a person is not a Christian then the feeling of been rejected appears and not even so but some people show it to what they call unbelievers. To reduce this problem the Christians have to take everyone has been important so that as they preach it to them it will be easier to be believed.
Christianity should not be viewed only in the negative part but also in the positive as some people think of it. Christianity as can be seen has played an important part in the lives of many people where the traditions have stopped to be more dominating in many societies with the same impact of allowing people to have the freedom to undertake some activities like intermarriage which was not accepted in the traditional settings. It has also opened many people to know their rights through going to schools and attaining knowledge which acts as a mirror to many of the tradition-bound people.
The negative effects of Christianity that have led people to feel that it not necessary are how the people who claim to be Christians behave, it is a bad attitude that when the leaders are accused of having committed bad acts like adultery, and when they go to preach they are against it. This becomes an obstacle to many people and they see their traditions been far well than Christianity and therefore it is better not to claim you are a Christian if your actions are against that claim. A Christian should show the right way to be followed by all in order to be useful in society and help others.
Albright (1957): From the stone age to Christianity: monotheism and historical process, 2nd edition.
Alexander, T. Desmond; Brian S. Rosner, D.A. Carson, Graeme Goldsworty, (2002): New dictionary of biblical theology. Intervarsity Press.
Borgmann, Albert. (2003). Power failure: Christianity in the culture of technology, from long-standing commentators of the technological scene.
Johnson, P. (1979). A history of Christianity; New York.