Explain the beliefs Christians hold about their responsibilities for those at the beginning and end of their lives.

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Charlotte Wilkinson

Religious Education Coursework


Explain the beliefs Christians hold about their responsibilities for those at the beginning and end of their lives.

The Christian belief for life itself is that life begins at conception. They believe that human life begins at conception, because every sperm and every egg are full-fledged signs of human life, complete with all the characteristics of normal cellular activity, and have all 46 human chromosomes. The conditions considered ideal according to Christians is that a child should be brought in to a family where their parents are married and are able to provide a stable, loving and supportive environment. It is expected of the parents to uphold Christian values and teach the child right from wrong.  It is the duty of the Mother not to drink, smoke, or take drugs of any description under any circumstances during her pregnancy. There should be no risks taken what so ever and the woman is expected to have ante- natal care by her doctor during pregnancy.

 The Christian attitude if the woman has a miscarriage is that the child should still have a funeral, as its life had already begun. If a child is born with a disability, such as Downs Syndrome, the child should still be accepted with love and should be treated no differently according to Christians. The Christian belief is that life is a gift from God, as each person is born with the image of God and therefore life is precious, and has to be treated with respect, dignity and gratitude. Because life is a gift, it should be nurtured.

 Jesus’ attitude to children was important and the basis of Christian beliefs about the beginning of life. When the disciples rebuked the children Jesus said ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ He also said; "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all."

 Christians believe that we should celebrate the birth of a new child. A new child is baptised shortly after they are born to cleanse away original sin and to be welcomed in to the Christian church. It is an old fashioned belief, that it is the cleansing of original sin, but it is considered by Christians, that the child will not get in to heaven unless they are baptised. The sign of the cross, at the start of the ceremony marks the baby as a new Christian. They are blessed with the oil of catechumens to free the child from evil and give them the strength to fight sin. The baptism with water is a sign of rebirth and the Paschal candle is a sign or the sharing of new life of the resurrection and also the faith to the child is passed on like the candle.

 Christians also have beliefs about the end of life. They believe that if a person is seriously ill then they should be given the Sacrament of the Sick by a priest. There are benefits to the sick person being anointed as it provides spiritual healing and preparation for the after life as well as offering them forgiveness for their sins. They should also be offered this sacrament to prepare them for reception in to the Kingdom of God. It is also considered important to pray fro the sick and those recently dead; ‘Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they soul rest in peace...’ Christians who are sick are often taken on Pilgrimages to places such as Lourdes.

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 Christians believe that one day God will raise all the people who have ever lived and judge them. Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God and that he died for the sins of all people. They believe that if Jesus had not died then all people would go to Hell. The Christian beliefs about Hell are that Hell is traditionally viewed as a place of intense, eternal torment. The Church has taught that inmates of Hell are trapped there for eternity without any hope of release. The church teaches that many would be punished there for all eternity, ...

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