Basic Summary of the Worldview
Christianity is recognized as the largest religion globally. It has almost 2 billion professed followers. In the western culture, Christianity has been dominant for centuries. Moreover, it is the principal religion in America and Europe. The holy doctrines and scriptures form the foundation for Christian beliefs. The religion originated from the Jewish Sadducees and Paul, whose teachings originated from Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus Christ is “The Son of God” or “Savior”, and His birthday is on December 25. Mary, who was a virgin, is the mother of Jesus, whose conception was immaculate. Mary is to as the “Queen of Heaven.”
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Jesus was born during a census in Bethlehem, in a stable that was surrounded by animals. After His birth, three wise men visited him and brought different gifts. Jesus started preaching at the age of thirty years, and this began with a miracle at the Cana of Galilee, where he turned water into wine. After three years, he was crucified together with two sinners. His crucifixion acted as the atonement for sinners. Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and rose on the third day. Jesus went up to heaven physically, and he sits on the God’s right hand. Jesus will descend on the Earth in glory to judge people. His kingdom will last forever.
Christians believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. Christians believe in and recite the Holy Creed. The headquarters for the Catholic Church is the Vatican, where the overall ruler of Christians (Pope) stays. Christians commemorate the Easter in memory of their salvation, when Jesus was crucified. Moreover, Christians consider the Bible to be the Holy Scripture. Christianity is divided into Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism. The Protestants do not believe in the authority of the Pope, deny the majority of the beliefs and traditions, and emphasize more on the Bible. The Protestants include the Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and Lutherans.
Flaws in the Belief System
Throughout Christianity, there have been numerous criticisms in regard to Christians, the Church, and Christianity. Explicitly, some of the criticisms are founded on the Catholic doctrines, dogmas, and scripture elucidation.
The Second Coming
In the New Testament, there are several verses, which talk about Jesus’ prophecy about the Second Coming. According to these verses, this would happen within one century after the death of Jesus. It is likely Jesus is implying to the followers that this would take place before the end of that generation. Preterists assert that Jesus was not referring to his return. On the contrary, he refers to how His might was demonstrated, particularly the Jerusalem’s temple destruction1.
According to the Catholic faith, baptism is a necessary ritual. In the 13th century, the term ‘limbo’ was used by theologians in reference to the destiny of unbaptized infants. Although they lacked God’s vision, they never suffered since they did not know about their deprivation. In addition, they glorify in perfect, everlasting happiness. According to the Code of Canon Law (1983), children who died prior to their intended baptism could be buried by the church. The International Theological Commission reviewed the limbo concept in 2007. The commission concluded that the hope of the unbaptized infants enjoying the glory in heaven was uncertain. The Catholic Catechism states that one is saved through the sacrament of baptism. However, God is not limited to the sacraments he instituted to His people. Having hope in God’s mercy cannot be compared to the certainty obtained through the sacraments. However, this hope is extremely significant, as was the case with the thief crucified with Jesus. The Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Church argue against the limbo concept.
Porphyry and Celsus were the first people to object the incarnation. Celsus found it hard to come to terms with the human God, who grew up with the Jewish God. He marvels why God came down to the Earth so as to reform humanity2. Could God, who lived in Jerusalem for a limited period, benefit all human races globally? How about those who died before He was? Lewis’ trilemma holds that Jesus was the exceptional moral teacher in Jerusalem. However, he refuses to accept his divinity. Moreover, Christianity has for luring people to accept it, through instilling the fear of hell and eternal glory’s happiness. The contemporary Christian doctrine asserts the importance of faith in Christ, failure to which one will perish in eternal Hell’s fire.
Plan for Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a Christian Believer
The Bible is the basis of Christian faith. Every practice and ritual in the Catholic Church is founded on the Biblical teachings. When planning to share Jesus Christ gospel with Christian believers, using the Bible to elaborate the teachings would be vital. Some concepts such as the Immaculate Conception, the resurrection of Jesus, the ascension, coronation of Mary, hope in eternal life, confession of sins, and celebration of the Holy Eucharist are a bit hard to comprehend. However, their foundation is in the Bible3. It is, therefore, necessary to share these verses with Christians to emphasize their faith.
The catholic doctrines and catechism are essential for a Christian believer. These doctrines are followed by all Christian believers. For instance, during the Holy Mass, baptism, and burial rituals, a similar pattern is followed globally. Being a Catholic Christian means total commitment, and the believer should be ready to commit to the faith. In case one has sinned, he should not receive the Holy Communion before confessing. Moreover, a Christian should be informed of the Catholic Catechism before receiving the sacraments. If one abandons the faith and goes astray, there is a set guideline for returning to the church4.
The Catholic Church allows various vocations. A person may decide to be married but should have a church wedding, live a celibate life (priest or nun), or lead a lay life. It is mandatory that a Catholic believer adheres to the doctrines of the church. For instance, a believer is supposed to fast during the Lenten season, and avoid meat on Fridays. In case one fails to attend the Holy Mass for no reason, he should confess. Other doctrines include giving arms, visiting the sick, burying the dead, and receiving the Holy Communion during Mass.
Sometimes, Catholics Christians face direct criticism from Protestants. Mostly, the criticism is centered on the Catholics worshipping the crucifix, rosary, saints, and sculptures of Mary and Saints. In order to answer such questions appropriately, the Catholic should be aware about the source of their faith. As mentioned earlier, the Bible contains answers to the majority of these questions. It is crucial to quote the Bible verses while answering the questions.
Chong, Kelly. “What it means to be Christian: The role of religion in the construction of ethnic identity and boundary among second-generation Korean Americans.” Sociology of Religion 59, no. 3 (1998): 259-286.
Hackney Charles, and Sanders Saul.“Religiosity and mental health: A Meta–Analysis of recent studies.”Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion42, no. 1 (2003): 43-55.
Moreland, Jek, and Craig Laban.Philosophical foundations for a Christian worldview.London: IVP Academic, 2003.
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Vrijhof, Paul, andWaardenburgJoel.Official and Popular Religion: analysis of a theme for religious studies. New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1979.
- Jek Moreland and Craig Laban, Philosophical foundations for a Christian worldview (London: IVP Academic, 2003), 78- 92.
- Paul Vrijhof and Waardenburg Joel, Official and Popular Religion: analysis of a theme for religious studies (New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1979), 45- 93.
- Charles Hackney and Sanders Saul, “Religiosity and mental health: A Meta–Analysis of recent studies,”Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42, no. 1 (2003): 43-55.
- Kelly Chong, “What it means to be Christian: The role of religion in the construction of ethnic identity and boundary among second-generation Korean Americans,” Sociology of Religion 59, no. 3 (1998): 259-286.