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Canons of Christianity

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The Canons of Christianity Lori J. Gainer University of Phoenix, Austin Campus World Religious Traditions Dr. Grant Sisk Monday, October 22, 2007 The Canons of Christianity The 20-something year-old new employee bravely asked her new coworker, "Are you a Christian?" She had bee taught to be strong in her faith and to not have fear in asking such questions. The coworker replied, "No, I'm not a Christian. I'm Catholic." To this answer, the young female apostolate had not been prepared with a response. She returned home that evening confused and questioning the understanding she had of Christianity. The word 'Christian' means Christ-like, or having to do with the Christ (Random, 2006). The larger umbrella of Christianity centers on a faith which follows the life, practices, and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who is also called Jesus Christ; meaning Jesus 'The Messiah' or anointed one (Rutgers, 2005). Unlike Judaism, which is segregated only by Orthodox Jews and non-orthodox Jews, Christianity has grown to be segregated into many denominations; all which follow the teachings of Jesus. Some of these denominations include Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and many others. Because Christianity has been divided by denominations which each practice their faith in some differential manner, there has been many occasion for confusion or misconception. ...read more.


The other end of this perception spectrum would be revealed in pantheism; which does not make any distinction between God and the world. Christianity holds a middle ground in maintaining a necessary connection with the Creator. Another large distinction between Christianity and other faith traditions is the concept of the Trinity. While Christianity holds that there is one God, there is the belief that this one God is represented in the triune presence of God the Creator, Jesus the savior who is God in the physical flesh, and God the Holy Spirit represented as God with the human heart. This triune nature of God has been a concept of controversy for many years. There are believers who wholeheartedly believe in the Creator God, yet have difficulty understanding and accepting the Trinity. One scholar best explains this concept through the analogy of a human being. "An individual, being one person, can be the child of their parents, sibling to their siblings, and parent to their own children. In this sense, the individual is parent, sibling and child, being only one person with three identities" (Corkland, 2004). Jesus Jesus was born into the family lineage of the house of David; which is documented in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. ...read more.


Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong writes, "I had to face openly and admit honestly those things about which most Christians are neither knowledgeable nor aware. I had to document the evil that Christians have so frequently tendered to others in the name of our religion, including the way we have justified violence with biblical quotations" (Spong, 2005). Generations have misquoted the Biblical texts to persecute people of specific groups in the name of Christianity and with the Bible being the supporting documentation. In the sermon words of Rev. Kenneth L. Martin, "Any text taken out of context becomes someone's pretext." Conclusion There are numerous religious traditions celebrated and practiced across the globe. Followers of each religious tradition, regardless of how old the tradition is, have specific foundations and guidelines being adhered to. The followers of each faith tradition believe their tradition is 'right' and beneficial. While the sacred texts of a particular faith, such as Judaism or Christianity, can be back-dated for many years, there remains a contention of the validity of these texts in modern comprehension. There exists no person alive today who heard the spoken words of Jesus of Nazareth. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (NRSV, 2006). This is the basis of all faith traditions, and certainly is inclusive of the tradition of Christianity. ...read more.

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