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Confirmation Class


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Title: Confirmation Class

What Catholics and Others Believe
  • Confirmation Class
  • Moody AFB, GA September 2008

Why should we learn about the faith or religion
of other people?
  • Define Religion
  • Fundamentals of Religion
  • World Religions
  • Protestant Reformation
  • Predominant Christian Religions in the US

  • From the earliest known evidence of human
    religion continues to be a very influential
    aspect of human lives
  • Religion is the universal tool for explaining
    things which we do not understand through the
    context the known physical world
  • Charismatic leaders provided their people with
    gods who would offer help and guidance in the
    difficult process of living their lives

What is religion?
What is Religion?
  • Religion is the belief in a superhuman
    controlling power, especially in a personal God
    or gods entitled to obedience and worship. This
    is a loose definition that encompasses many
    beliefs and traditions
  • Sometimes used interchangeably with faith or
    belief system
  • Religion has taken many forms in various cultures
    and individuals

What is Religion?
  • There are approximately 4,200 religions
  • Although there are countless religions, each
    different from the other, they all serve the same
    purpose they answer
  • Why are we here?
  • What happens when I die?
  • How shall I live my life?

Religion helps us to
  • Transmit our values from one generation to
    another, and influences the way we interact with
    the natural environment
  • See ourselves in light of the universe and gives
    purpose and meaning to life

Fundamentals of Religion
  • Golden Rule All major leaders of religious
    faiths teach Do unto others as you would have
    them do unto you
  • Hope and Comfort All peoples, regardless of
    cast, creed, or nationality, require and often
    seek out some kind of belief system to sustain
    themselves in their daily lives, giving them hope
    and comfort
  • Schism The division of a group into opposing
    sections or parties the separation of a church
    into two churches or the secession of a group
    owing to doctrinal, disciplinary differences

Nonreligious Definitions
  • Agnostic A person who neither believes nor
    disbelieves in God one who believes that there
    is not enough evidence either way
  • Atheist A person who has no belief or faith in
    any god
  • Secular humanist A person believes the
    well-being of humankind should take precedence
    over religious considerations in civil affairs or
    public education
  • Theistic A person who believes in the existence
    of one or more divinities but isnt associated
    with any organized religion

World Religions
Primary Religions of the World
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Christianity

Prevalence of World Religions
Christianity Catholic, Protestant, Eastern
Orthodox, Pentecostal, Anglican, Latter-day
Saints, Evangelical, Jehovahs Witnesses,
Quakers, etc.
Islam Shiite, Sunni, etc.
Other Religions
Nonreligious Agnostic, atheist, secular
humanist (half are theistic but nonreligious)
Timeline of Important Dates
Date Event
1500-1001 BC Moses is given the Ten Commandants on Mount Sinai
1100-500 BC The Veda, scared text of the Hindus, are compiled
800-701 BC Isaiah teaches of the coming of the Messiah
600-501 BC Confucius, Buddha, Zorocaster, Lao Tzu, and the Jewish prophets are at their height
540-468 BC Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, is born
450-401 BC The Torah becomes the moral essence of the Jews
200 BC The Bhagavad-Gita (Hinduism) is written
1 Birth of Jesus of Nazareth, founder of Christianity
30 Probable date of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ
51-100 St Peter, disciple of Jesus, is executed. First four books of the New Testament, the gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, believed written
Note Some dates are estimates or ranges
Timeline of Important Dates
Date Event
570 Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is born
622 Muhammad flees persecution in Mecca and settles in Yathrib (later Media). Marks year one in the Muslim calendar
625 Muhammad begins to dictate the Koran
1054 The split between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church becomes permanent
1200 Islam begins to replace Indian religions
1309 The Roman Catholic papacy is seated in Avignon, France
1539 Only the new Book of Prayer allowed to be used in England
1933 The persecution and extermination of European Jews, known as the Holocaust, by Adolf Hitlers Nazi party begins
1948 The independent Jewish state of Israel comes into existence
1962 Meeting of the second Roman Catholic Vatican Council, at which changes were made in the greater participation in services by lay church members was encouraged
Note Some dates are estimates or ranges
History of Buddhism
  • Based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the
    son of a wealthy landowner born in northern India
    around 560 B.C.
  • In order to achieve spiritual peace, Gautma
    renounced his worldly advantages and became known
    as Buddha, or "the enlightened one
  • He preached his religious views his entire life
    throughout South Asia
  • Gautma eventually married and fathered a son, but
    still had not left his father's palace
  • One day, he told his father that he wished to see
    the world

  • Buddha is not a proper noun, it is a title
  • The Buddha a Buddha
  • Buddhist Tradition
  • Many Buddhas in the past many in the future
  • When the term the Buddha is used today, its
    assumed to mean Buddha Gautama, the Buddha of the
    present era

History of Buddhism
  • While Gautama meditated, he reached the highest
    degree of God-consciousness, nirvana
  • He stayed under a fig tree for 7 days
  • He learned truths which would be imparted to the
    world after his death at age 80
  • Buddhism became a strong force in India before
    Buddha's death
  • The diffusion of Buddhism, however, was limited
    until the Indian emperor Asoka became a convert
    and supported missionary activities

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism
  • Existence of suffering
  • Birth, death, disease, old age, desire
  • Cause of suffering
  • Desire for the pleasures of the senses, which
    seeks satisfaction here and now
  • Craving for happiness and prosperity
  • How to end suffering
  • Give up, get rid of, extinguish this every
    craving, so that no passion and no desire remain
  • End pain by way of the Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism
  1. You must accept the Four Noble Truths and the
    Eightfold Path
  2. You must renounce the pleasures of the senses
    you must harbor no ill will toward anyone and
    harm no living creature
  3. Do not lie do not slander or abuse anyone do
    not indulge in idle talk
  4. Do not destroy any living creature take only
    what is given to you do not commit any unlawful
    sexual act

The Eightfold Path of Buddhism
  1. Earn your livelihood in a way that will harm no
  2. You must resolve and strive to prevent any evil
    qualities from arising in you and to abandon any
    evil qualities that you may possess. Strive to
    acquire good qualities and encourage those you do
    possess to grow, increase, and be perfected
  3. Be observant, strenuous, alert, contemplative,
    and free of desire and of sorrow
  4. When you have abandoned all sensuous pleasures,
    all evil qualities, both joy and sorrow, you must
    then enter the four degrees of meditation, which
    are produced by concentration

Buddhist Precepts
  • Kill no living thing
  • Do not steal
  • Do not commit adultery
  • Tell no lies
  • Do not drink intoxicants or take drugs
  • Other precepts apply only to monks and nuns
  • Eat moderately and only at the appointed time
  • Avoid that which excites the senses
  • Do not wear adornments
  • Do not sleep in luxurious beds
  • Accept no silver or gold

History of Hinduism
  • Hinduism is the oldest and most complex of all
    religious systems
  • No specific founder or theology
  • Originated in the religious practices of Aryan
    tribes who moved to India from central Asia more
    than 3,000 years ago
  • The Aryans attacked the Harappan people who lived
    in modern day India around 1500 BC
  • Eventually, through adaptation to the religious
    beliefs of the other, both groups developed
    similar religious belief systems, founded on the
    polytheism (many gods) of the Aryans

Hindu Deities
  • Hindus do believe in a supreme being who has
    unlimited forms
  • Vishnu and Lakshmi have the full powers of a god
  • Brahm and Saravati have only partial godlike

Central Beliefs
  • Law of Karma
  • All actions produce effects in the future
  • A concept that is linked to karma is that of
    dharma, ones duty of station in this life
  • Outlined in Bhagavad-Gita, a major text within
    the Hindu tradition
  • Reincarnation
  • Hindus accept the doctrine of transmigration and
    rebirth, and believe that precious acts are the
    factors that determine the condition into which a
    being is reborn in one form or another - people
    are born over and over again into a state of

Central Beliefs
  • Spiritual Goal (moksha)
  • The spiritual goal for Hindus is for the
    individual souls release from the bonds of
    transmigration to get out of the endless cycle
    of reincarnation
  • Bad karma hampers the spiritual goal
  • Attachment to worldly goods is another obsession
    that prevents people form reaching salvation and
    eternal peace
  • Avatar
  • An incarnation of a deity in either human or
    animal form to carry out a particular purpose.
    Vishnu is known as the protector, the binding
    force that holds the universe together. His job
    is to restore dharma or moral order

Central BeliefsThe Caste System
  • Hindus have a caste system, encompassing a vast
    range of occupations, rules, and traditions
  • The Laws of Manu provide the text that explains
    all the complexities of this system
  • Examples of different castes
  • Brahmins priests
  • Kshatriyas soldiers, king-warrior class
  • Vaishyas merchants, farmers, Sutras laborers,
  • Harijahns "untouchables - those thought to be
    descended from the Harappan aboriginal
    people-extremely poor and discriminated against

Central BeliefsThe Caste System
  • The higher a person's caste, the more that
    person is blessed with the benefits and luxuries
    life has to offer
  • The caste system was outlawed in 1948, it is
    still important to the Hindu people of India
  • Charity towards others doesnt exist
  • Hinduism has branched and now encompasses a wide
    variety of religious beliefs and religious
  • Primary religion of the region around India.
    Portions of Hindu beliefs have found their way
    across oceans to other countries and have been
    influential in the foundations of other religions

Calendar of Religious Festivals
  • Mahashivaratri celebrates the new moon night of
    every month, honoring the image of Shiva
  • Saravati Puja honors the goddess Sarasvati who is
    the patron of the arts and learning
  • Holi celebrates the grain harvest in India and
    also recalls the pranks Krishna played as a young
  • Rama Naumi celebrates the birthday of the god
  • On Rata Yatra a huge image of the god Visnu is
    placed on an enormous chariot and pulled through
    the streets

Calendar of Religious Festivals
  • The Raksha Bandhan is a ceremony of tying a raki
    (a thread or band, made of silk or decorated
    with flowers)
  • Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Kirshna and
    his delivery from the demon kansa
  • Navaratri honors the most important female deity,
    Durga, consort of Shiva
  • Divali the most widely celebrated festival
    celebrates the return from exile of Rams and Sita

Hindu Terms
  • Brama - The creator god
  • Dharma - The teachings of virtue and principle
  • Karma - The culminating value of all of one's
    life actions, good and bad, which together
    determine one's next rebirth and death
  • Maya - The power that produces the phenomena of
    physical existence
  • Yoga - The Hindu path of union with the divine.
    Any sort of exercise (physical, mental or
    spiritual) which promotes one's journey to union
    with Brahma

Origins and Development
  • God made the Jews his chosen people - He
    promised Abraham that his descendants his son
    Isaac and grandsons Jacob and Esau would become
    a great nation
  • Abraham followed Gods instructions in his
    search for the promised land, and after many
    years of wandering around ended up in a place
    called Canaan
  • When the famine came, Abraham's son Jacob took
    his family to the land of Egypt

The Lord said to Abram "Go forth from the land
of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to
a land that I will show you. "I will make of you
a great nation, and I will bless you I will make
your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you and curse those
who curse you. All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you. (Genesis 121-3)
Origins and Development
  • They settled in and Jacob fathered many sons and
    the family prospered
  • The descendants of Jacobs sons would later
    become the twelve tribes of Israel
  • Judah
  • Levi
  • Naphtali
  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Zebulun
  • Asher
  • Benjamin
  • Dan
  • Gad
  • Issachar
  • Joseph

Origins and Development
  • The new pharaoh of Egypt become worried that
    Jacobs family (12 tribes) might become mightier
    than the Egyptians
  • The pharaoh was treating the Israelites as
    slaves, but, this wasnt enough so he come up
    with an idea on how to restrict their
  • Kill every newborn male child at birth

Origins and DevelopmentMoses
  • A couple conceived and had son. When the mother
    saw the boy was fit, she decided to hide him from
    his inevitable death
  • Moses mother made an basket from reeds, put
    Moses in it, and laid it by the riverbank
  • Daughter of Pharaoh found and raised the child
  • When Moses was fully grown he saw an Egyptian
    slave master beating an Israelite. Moses killed
    the slave master, so he had to flee from Egypt

Origins and DevelopmentMoses
  • Angel appears to Moses from a fire out of a bush
  • A voice came from the bush and told Moses that he
    had been chosen to deliver the people from the
    Egyptians and take them to another land
  • God commanded Moses to return to Pharaoh, telling
    Moses what he had to do
  • Pharaoh refused the demands from Moses
  • As punishment, God sent nine plagues to the
    Egyptians Water to Blood, Frogs, Gnats, Flies,
    Livestock Diseased, Boils, Thunder and Hail,
    Locusts, and Darkness

Origins and DevelopmentMoses
  • None of these had any effect so God sent the
    final plague
  • In one night the firstborn of every Egyptian
    family would die
  • God had warned Moses and told him that all
    Israelite families should smear lambs blood on
    their doorposts to their sons would not be killed
    on that night.
  • This final plague worked and Pharaoh let the
    Israelites go, but the Pharaoh had second
  • Pharaoh sent his army after the Israelites. When
    they caught up with them, God parted the Red Sea
    so the Israelites could get safely across. Once
    they were on the other side and army gave
    pursuit, God mad the Red Sea close in on them

Origins and DevelopmentThe Ten Commandments
  • Moses was the leader of a large number of people
    on the move
  • God told Moses to go up to the top of the
    mountain for a meeting
  • God revealed to him the Ten Commandments, which
    were written on two tablets of stone (Exodus
    202-17 Deuteronomy 56-21)
  • While Moses was gone, the Israelites become
    impatient they made an image of a golden calf
    and proclaimed it to be their god

Origins and DevelopmentThe Ten Commandments
  • When Moses returned to the camp, he became very
    angry and threw down the stone tablets God had
    inscribed His law upon, breaking them into many
    pieces (Exodus 321-19)
  • God commanded Moses to write down the law and
    gave it to the Levites, who carried it in the
    Ark of the Covenant
  • Moses brother Joshua was appointed by God to
    succeed as the leader of the Israelites

Origins and DevelopmentLeaders of the Israelites
  • The Israelites were ruled by a series of kings
    Saul, David, and Davids son, Solomon
  • After Solomons death, the kingdom of Israel
    split in two and form Judah and Israel
  • In 63 BC the Romans conquered the land and gave
    it a new name Palestine
  • Three years later, the Jews revolted against
    Rome, but were defeated. In 70 AD, the Roman
    army destroyed Jerusalem Jews were forced out
    of the area and settled in Mediterranean
    countries and in other areas in southwest Asia

Judaism Basic Beliefs
  • Judaism is a monotheistic religion which believes
    that the world was created by a single,
    all-knowing divinity
  • All things within that world were designed to
    have meaning and purpose as part of a divine
  • God's will for human behavior was revealed to
    Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai
  • Essential backbone of the religion is the Torah,
    which is comprised of the first five books of
    the Bible, which are attributed to Moses

The Torah
  • The Torah, also known at the Pentateuch, is a
    series of narratives and laws that chronicle, in
    historical order, the beginning of the world all
    the way through to the death of Moses
  • The study of the Torah is considered an act or
    worship for the Jews (read religiously each
  • Jewish Sabbath starts at dusk on Fridays and ends
    at dusk on Saturdays
  • The Talmud is a reference to the interpretations
    of the Torah
  • Supreme sourcebook of law as it takes the rules
    listed in the Torah and describes how to apply
    them to different circumstances

  • The synagogue is the center of Jewish community
    life, which has three traditional functions
  • House of Prayer where services are held on
    Sabbaths and festival days
  • House of Assembly where Jewish people can meet
    for any purpose
  • House of Study where the Torah and Talmud are

  • A rabbi (the word means teacher) has no more
    authority to perform rituals than any other
    member of the Jewish community. A synagogue can
    exist and operate without one
  • Any knowledgeable Jew can lead a religious
    service. However, rabbis are the spiritual
    leaders of the Jewish community

Rituals and Customs
  • Mezuzah Most Jews have a mezuzah on every
    doorpost in the home (excluding the bathroom)
    to remind everyone to deep Gods laws
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah A ceremony held when a Jewish
    boy or girl is thirteen and is therefore
    considered only enough to take responsibility
    for self. In Jewish religious terms the child
    is considered an adult
  • Yarmulkes (skull caps) They serve as physical
    symbols that demonstrate the wearers submission
    to God

Religious Festivals Holy Holidays
  • Rosh Hashanah - Jewish New Year. It ushers in a
    10-day period of self-examination and penitence
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) - 10 days after
    Rosh Hashanah. Yom Kippur is the most solemn
    Jewish religious holiday. Jews seek
    purification by the forgiveness of others and
    through sincere repentance of their own sins
  • Pesach (Passover) - Falls in March or April
    (weeklong). Passover celebrates Gods
    deliverance of the Israelites from captivity in
    Egypt. Jewish people eat unleavened bread in
    commemoration of the quickly made unleavened
    bread the Israelites had to subsist on during
    their escape from Egypt

Religious Festivals Holy Holidays
  • Savout (Pentecost) - Takes place even weeks after
    Passover, and was originally an agricultural
    festival that marked the beginning of the wheat
    harvest. Additionally, this holiday commemorates
    the anniversary of Moses receiving the Low of
    God on Mount Sinai
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) - An autumn
    festival that also celebrate the end of the
    harvest. Jews are required to spend some time
    in mediation

Three Branches of Judaism
  • Orthodox - Traditionalists who observe most of
    the traditional dietary and ceremonial laws of
  • Conservative - Do not hold to the importance of
    a Jewish political state, but put more emphasis
    on the historic and religious aspects of
    Judaism, doctrinally somewhere between Orthodox
    and Reform
  • Reform - The liberal wing of Judaism, culture and
    race oriented with little consensus on doctrinal
    or religious belief

Why dont Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah?
Jesus is Not Accepted as the Messiah
  • Jesus did not fulfill the Messianic Prophecies
  • The Messiah will build a Third Temple (Ezekiel
  • The Messiah will gather all Jews back to the Land
    of Israel (Isaiah 435-6)
  • The Messiah will usher in an era of world peace,
    and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and
    disease ("Nation shall not lift up sword against
    nation, neither shall man learn war anymore."
    (Isaiah 24))

Source Aish HaTorah website - a non-profit
network of Jewish educational centers
Jesus is Not Accepted as the Messiah
  • They believe the Messiah prophecy can only exist
    in Israel when the land is inhabited by a
    majority of world Jews
  • They believe the Messiah will be born of human
    parents and possess normal physical attributes
    like other people
  • They believe the Messiah must be descended on his
    father's side from King David (see Genesis 4910,
    Isaiah 111, Jeremiah 235, 3317 Ezekiel
  • If Christians believe that Jesus was the product
    of a virgin birth, he had no father

Source Aish HaTorah website - a non-profit
network of Jewish educational centers
Jesus is Not Accepted as the Messiah
  • The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full
    Torah observance - and anyone coming to change
    the Torah is immediately identified as a false
    prophet. (Deut. 131-4)
  • Jews believe that throughout the New Testament,
    Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its
    commandments are no longer applicable (e.g., John
    914 records that Jesus made a paste in violation
    of Shabbat, which caused the Pharisees to say,
    "He does not observe Shabbat!)
  • Jews believe many Biblical verses have been
    mistranslated by Christians
  • Jews dont deny the miracles of Jesus but claim
    they do not prove anything

Source Aish HaTorah website - a non-profit
network of Jewish educational centers
Muslim vs. Islam
  • Islam is the religion of Muslim - a person who
    practices Islam is called a Muslim
  • Islam is an Arabic word for surrender
  • Surrender is a fundamental underpinning of the
  • A believer surrenders to the will of Allah, which
    is Arabic for God

History of Islam
  • Islam centers around one person, Muhammad
  • Born around 570 A.D. and was raised by his
    extended family after the death of his parents
  • As he grew, he became dissatisfied with
    polytheism and came to believe in one God, Allah.
    He began to have religious visions around age
    40. During these visions, Muhammad would receive
    "messages" or "revelations" from Allah
  • Muhammads visions are now recorded in the Koran
    (he received visions and messages until his
    death in 632 A.D.)

The Koran and Hadith
  • The Koran
  • Primary source of every Muslims faith and
  • Wisdom, beliefs, worship, and law
  • Position Life is a test and that everyone will
    be rewarded or punished for their actions in the
    life after this one
  • The Hadith
  • Collection of saying attributed to the prophet
    and members of the early Muslim community
  • It deals with the moral, social, commercial, and
    personal aspects of life and the theological
    aspects of death and final destiny

Expansion of Islam
  • The major achievements of Muhammad were the
    founding of a state and a religion he and his
    followers moved to Medina which means "City of
    the Prophet
  • Muhammad created a federation of Arab tribes, and
    made the religion of Islam the basis of Arab
  • Muhammad realized he must return to Mecca, and he
    did, conquering the city

Expansion of Islam
  • Islam expanded throughout a large part of the
    world from Spain to Central Asia to India,
    Turkey, Africa, Indonesia, Malaya, and China
  • There was no only an Islamic religious
    institution but also Islamic law, state, and
    other government institutions - the Muslim state
    is by definition religious

Expansion of Islam
  • When Muhammad died, he left no document
    appointing a successor
  • Eventually, a power struggle developed as
    different groups of Muslims believed their method
    of establishing a successor were the best
  • The largest argument was over whether the
    successor should be elected or chosen through
  • Sunnis comprise of 90 of all Muslims
  • Shiites about 10 of all Muslims

Expansion of Islam
  • Nationalism in the Arab world since the rise of
    Israel as a political power has kept Islam strong
  • It is a rapidly spreading religion because of its
    cultural and political appeal

Central Beliefs
  • Islam is a monotheistic religion (one god)
  • Allah is the sole god
  • The creator, sustainer, and restorer of the world
  • The overall purpose of humanity is to serve Allah
  • To worship him alone, and to construct a moral

Central BeliefsFive Pillars of Islam
  • Profession of Faith
  • There is no God, but God Muhammad is the prophet
    of God
  • Sometimes a variation is used There is no God,
    but God and Muhammad is his prophet
  • Prayer. A Muslim must pray five times a day
    facing Mecca before sunrise, just after noon,
    later in the afternoon, immediately before
    sunset, after dark
  • Almsgiving. Each Muslim must pay a zakat to the
    state government

Central BeliefsFive Pillars of Islam
  • Fasting
  • A Muslim must fast for the month of Ramadan
    Fasting begins at daybreak and ends at sunset
  • During the fasting day eating, drinking, smoking,
    and sexual intercourse are forbidden
  • This develops self-control, devotion to God, and
    identity with the needy
  • Pilgrimage (Hajj) A Muslim must make a
    pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his or her
    lifetime provided they are physically and
    financially able

  • Jihad in Arabic means fighting or striving
  • Calls upon believers to devote themselves to
    combating the enemies of their religion
  • This duty requires that if the situation
    warrants, men are required to go to war to defend
    or spread Islam. If they are killed, they are
    guaranteed eternal life in Paradise
  • The term has been used to describe a holy war
  • Historically, the term was applied in wars both
    between various Muslim sects and non-Muslim ones

What do Muslims believe about Jesus?
What do Muslims believe about Jesus?
  • Muslims believe that Jesus was the son of Mary -
    they consider him one of the greatest of Gods
    messengers to mankind
  • There is no mention of Joseph the carpenter - the
    Koran describes that Mary retreated from her
    people and gave birth to Jesus underneath a
    remote date palm tree
  • In the Koran it reminds us that Adam, the first
    human being, was born with neither a human mother
    nor a human father. Therefore, Jesus miraculous
    birth affords him no higher standing or presumed
    partnership with God
  • Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified

Source Aish HaTorah website - a non-profit
network of Jewish educational centers
History of Christianity
  • In Palestine at the time of Jesus, the political
    situation of the Jews was chaotic
  • The main source of this conflict was the rivalry
    between the Sadducees and the Pharisees
  • Sadducees Priestly sect made up of aristocratic
    families and merchants, the wealthy elements of
    the population who clung to birthright and social
    and economic position
  • Pharisees Rivals of Sadducees who claimed to be
    the authority on piety and learning

History of Christianity
  • Jesus was born Jewish in the Roman province of
  • The anointed one
  • Early Years
  • Jesus was born in a stable to a Jewish couple,
    Mary and Joseph of Nazareth, in Galilee. They
    had traveled to Bethlehem, near Jerusalem,
    because of a Roman census
  • It wasnt until he was about 30 years old that he
    emerged as a teacher himself. It was then that
    he left his life with his parents in Nazareth and
    began 3 years of traveling throughout Judea

The Teachings of Jesus
  • Following his baptism, Jesus began to preach,
    teach, and perform miracles throughout Judea, and
    as he did so, he recruited many disciples
    including a core group of 12 who are referred to
    as the apostles
  • Jesus preached to Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles)
  • He was considered charismatic with great moral
  • He spoke in the form of parables of the coming of
    the kingdom of God
  • He was a healer He was a miracle worker

The Crucifixion
  • As his fame and reputation grew, so did the
    resentment of the authorities
  • The most important celebration for Jews at that
    time was the Passover meal on the first evening
    of the festival
  • Supporters of Jesus had made arrangements for him
    and his followers to hold their celebration in an
    upper room that they had prepared
  • At that meal, now called The Last Supper, Jesus
    had his 12 disciples around him

The Crucifixion
  • Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples, and
    offered him 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus
  • Jesus was seized, arrested, and brought to trial
    before Pontus Pilate, a Roman governor
  • On examination, Pilate couldnt find sufficient
    evidence against Jesus, but the large,
    demonstrative crowd demanded his execution

The Resurrection
  • Jesus was hanged on a cross to die
  • One of Jesus followers requested and received
    from the Roman governor permission to bury him
    (Good Friday)
  • On the day after the Sabbath, women followers of
    Jesus went to prepare his body
  • They discovered that the stone had been rolled
    away from the entrance to the cave
  • An angel them appeared and told them Jesus was
    alive, that he had risen from the dead
  • Jesus revealed himself first to Mary Magdalene
    later, at Pentecost, a Jewish festival sever
    weeks after Passover

The Spread of ChristianityPeter and Paul
  • Peter (Saul)
  • A fisherman called to be a disciple of Jesus at
    the beginning of his ministry
  • A man of strong emotions - rash, hasty, capable
    of anger, and often gentle, but firm
  • Emerged immediately after the death of Jesus as
    the leader of the earliest church
  • Dominated the community for nearly 15 years
    following the Resurrection

The Spread of Christianity Peter and Paul
  • Paul (original name Saul of Tarsus)
  • More than anyone else it was Paul who helped
    Christianity grow from a small sect within
    Judaism to a world religion
  • Paul had a strict Jewish upbringing and had
    become a member of the Pharisees
  • Paul initially was an oppressor of the members
    of the newly found church
  • Three years after his conversion, Paul went to
    Jerusalem to meet Peter and James, Jesus
  • His letters, which were collected for general
    circulation, have become a standard reference
    for Christian teaching

History of ChristianityThree Major Branches
  • Christianity eventually divided into 3 major
  • Roman Catholic
  • Eastern Orthodox
  • Protestantism

History of ChristianityThree Major Branches
Roman Catholic
  • The successor of the church established in Rome
    soon after Christ's death
  • It traces its spiritual history to the early
    disciples of Jesus
  • The Pope, or spiritual leader, traces his
    office's lineage back to St. Peter, the first
    Pope, one of Jesus' disciples

History of ChristianityThree Major Branches
Eastern Orthodox
  • During the 4th century, the Roman Catholic church
    split and this branch was formed
  • The split was primarily a political one due to
    the division of the Roman Empire into western and
    eastern components - churches became officially
    separate in 1054
  • Orthodox churches are largely national, each
    associated with a particular country (e.g.,
    Russia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ukraine,
    and Armenia)

History of ChristianityThree Major Branches
Eastern Orthodox
  • The international organization of the Orthodox
    churches is one of self-governing branches
  • The churches hold the same dogmas and faiths,
    although the principle of authority with
    freedom prevails
  • Each church is independent in internal
    organization and follows its own particular
  • Each Orthodox Church is lead by a synod of
    bishops - president of the synod is know as the
    Patriarch, Archbishop, or Metropolitan
  • There is no one person who leads or speaks for
    the church

History of ChristianityThree Major Branches
  • Split from Roman Catholicism during the
    Reformation, a 16th and 17th century series of
    church reforms in doctrine and practice
  • Reformation challenged the authority of the Pope,
    and became popular in Scandinavia, England, and
    the Netherlands
  • Protestantism eventually divided into many
    denominations which arose in response to disputes
    over doctrine, theology, or religious practice
  • Some of the large denominations today are
    Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists

Holy Writings of ChristianityBible
  • Two segments Old Testament and the New
  • The Old Testament is also known as the Hebrew
  • The first complete Bible in English appeared in
    the late 14th century
  • Some of the early Christian thinkers leaned
    toward the view that there was no need to have an
    Old Testament
  • The New Testament has evolved, it took several
    centuries for religious leaders to come to
    agreement on what information world be include

ChristianityRituals and Customs
  • Prayer
  • It is prayer that forms the backbone of the
    Christian religious life
  • Many people consider it the purest form of
    religious expression. It expresses the desire
    to enter into a personal and constant intimate
    relationship with God
  • Baptism
  • Baptism marks the beginning of life as a
  • It is the total annulment of the sins of the
    persons past, from which an innocent person
  • At the baptism, the person becomes a member of
    the church and is incorporated into the body of
    Jesus Christ

ChristianityRituals and Customs
  • Confirmation
  • Confirmation usually takes place in adolescence
    or in adulthood (Catholicism, Anglicanism and
    Lutheranism) confirmation is generally preceded
    by instruction in the catechism
  • Marriage
  • Christians regard marriage as a serious step to
    take and a commitment as marriage vows are made
    before God
  • Death
  • Christians believe that death is not the end of
    life because Jesus taught and promised eternal
    life for all believers
  • At the funeral service, the body of the dead
    person is commemorated and comfort is offered to
    the bereave

Basic Beliefs of Christianity
  • The central figure in Christianity is Jesus
  • During his lifetime, Jesus performed many
    miracles and spoke to many people about his
    father in heaven
  • He was arrested for claiming to be God's son and
    was hung on the cross by the Romans at age 33
  • Christians believe the suffering and death upon
    the cross which this sinless man endured paid for
    the sins of all mankind, and because of Jesus'
    actions, salvation can be achieved by anyone who
    believes in him
  • Following his death, Christians believe that he
    rose from the grave (celebrated at Easter) and
    returned to the earth, appearing to his followers

Basic Beliefs of ChristianityThe Nicene Creed
  • We believe in one God,
  • the Father, the Almighty, Maker of heaven and
    earth, of all things seen and unseen.
  • We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
  • the only son of God, eternally begotten of the
    Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God
    from true God, begotten, not made, One in Being
    with the Father Through him all things were made.
    For us men and for our salvation He came down
    from heaven by the power of the holy spirit He
    was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
  • For our sake He was crucified under Pontius
  • He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third
    day, He rose again in fulfillment of the
    Scriptures He ascended into heaven and is seated
    at the right hand of the Father. He will come
    again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
    and His kingdom will have no end.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the
    Giver of Life,
  • who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With
    the Father and the Son He is worshiped and
    glorified. He has spoken through the prophets.
    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic
    Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the
    forgiveness of sins. We look for the
    resurrection of the dead, and the life of the
    world to come. Amen.  

Christian Terms
  • Bible - The sacred text which records the lives
    of major figures in Christianity, including
    Jesus. Contains Old and New Testaments
  • Christianity - The belief in Jesus Christ as
    Savior of the world
  • Christmas - Celebration of the birth of Jesus
    held on Dec 25th
  • Cross - Roman method of execution which took the
    life of Jesus. Now a symbol of Jesus' suffering
    and resurrection
  • Easter - The celebration of Jesus' triumphant
    return to life after dying on the cross

Christian Terms
  • Jesus - The central figure of Christianity,
    believed to be true God, who saved mankind from
    the torture of hell by dying on the cross to
    grant them salvation
  • Lent - The remembrance of the period of time
    leading up to and including Christ's death on the
  • Mary - Jesus' mother, who conceived him by the
    intervention of the Holy Spirit
  • Pope - The spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic
  • Roman Catholicism - The original Christian
    religion which descended from the original
    Christians in Rome at the time of Christ

  • Series of military campaigns of a religious
    character waged by Christian Europe against
    external and internal opponents
  • Mainly against Muslims (initial Arab conquest of
  • Crusaders took vows and were granted an
    indulgence for past sins
  • The Crusades had the goal of recapturing
    Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule
    and were launched in response to a call from the
    Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Empire for help
    against the expansion of the Muslim Seljuk Turks
    into Anatolia

Religions in the USA
Religions in the USA
  • Christian 76
  • Protestant 52
  • Roman Catholic 24
  • 65 million in the US 1.5 billion worldwide
  • Jewish 1
  • Muslim 1
  • Other 10
  • None 10

Largest Denominations in US
Denomination 1990 Est.Adult Pop. 2001 Est.Adult Pop. 2004 Est.Total Pop. Est. of U.S. Pop.,2001 Change1990 - 2001
Catholic 46,004,000 50,873,000 71,796,719 24.5 11
Baptist 33,964,000 33,830,000 47,744,049 16.3 0
Methodist/Wesleyan 14,174,000 14,150,000 19,969,799 6.8 0
Lutheran 9,110,000 9,580,000 13,520,189 4.6 5
Presbyterian 4,985,000 5,596,000 7,897,597 2.7 12
Pentecostal/Charismatic 3,191,000 4,407,000 6,219,569 2.1 38
Episcopalian/Anglican 3,042,000 3,451,000 4,870,373 1.7 13
Judaism 3,137,000 2,831,000 3,995,371 1.3 -10
Latter-day Saints/Mormon 2,487,000 2,697,000 3,806,258 1.3 8
Churches of Christ 1,769,000 2,593,000 3,659,483 1.2 47
Congregational/United Church of Christ 599,000 1,378,000 1,944,762 0.7
Jehovah's Witnesses 1,381,000 1,331,000 1,878,431 0.6 -4
Assemblies of God 660,000 1,106,000 1,560,890 0.5 68
Ref American Religious Identification Survey
(ARIS) 2001
What is a Catholic?
History of Catholicism
  • Christianity become an accepted religious path
    when Constantine emerged as the political power
    of the Roman Empire
  • As Christianity spread throughout the empire
    theological interpretations began to differ in
    the East and West. In 1054, the divide between
    Rome and the Eastern churches became permanent
  • Sweeping changes were made at the Second Vatican
    Council (21st Ecumenical Council)
  • Mass in native language (liturgy was in Latin)

Hierarchy in Catholicism
  • Priests
  • A priest runs the parish and is a liturgical
    leader and a pastor
  • Bishops
  • A group of parishes in a region are called a
    diocese and are presided over by a bishop
  • Bishops are priests nominated by other bishops
    and appointed to their office by the Pope
  • Pope
  • The Pope leads the bishops and is the ultimate
    authority in the Roman Catholic Church
  • The College of Cardinals elects a new Pope when
    the one in office dies

The Virgin Mary
  • The Virgin Mary is revered as the mother of God
    and holds a unique devotional position in the
    Catholic Church
  • Jesus Christ, who had no natural father, was
    conceived by Mary through the power of the Holy

Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with
thee. Blessed are thou among women, And blessed
is the fruit of they womb, Jesus. Holy Mary,
mother of God. Pray for us sinners Now and at the
hour of our death. Amen
  • Prayers to the Virgin Mary include the Ave Maria
    Prayer, which praise God and asks for

Precepts of the Catholic Church
  • You shall attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of
  • You shall confess your sins at least once a year
  • You shall humbly receive the Lord Jesus in Holy
    Communion at least during the Easter season
  • You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting
    and abstinence
  • The faithful have the obligation of supporting
    the Church

The Seven Sacraments
  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Holy Orders
  • Matrimony
  • Reconciliation
  • Anointing of the Sick

Views on Controversial Topics
  • Catholic Church believes that other Christian
    communities are not churches
  • The Catholic Church opposes unrestricted abortion
  • The church allows abortion only if it is
    necessary to preserve the mothers life
  • The church approves of birth control only if it
    is accomplished by natural means
  • Life can be taken in cases of self-defense and a
    just war

What was the Christian Reformation?
Reformation Begins
  • The Reformation was started Martin Luther in
  • The Reformation sought to "reform" Christianity
    by returning it to original beliefs based solely
    on reference to the Bible, eliminating later
    additions which accumulated in tradition
  • The causes of the Reformation cannot be located
    in any one event or in any one aspect of medieval

Reformation Begins
  • Martin Luther was a German Roman Catholic
    priest. He posted his The Ninety-Five Theses on
    the Power of Indulgences for debate on the door
    of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, on
    31 Oct 1517
  • Luther used these theses to display his
    displeasure with the Church's sale of
  • At the time, indulgences were being sold, and
    thus the penance for sin becoming a commercial
    transaction instead of a genuine change of heart
  • He insisted that the Pope had no authority over
    purgatory and that only the scripture was

Luthers Key Points
  • People are saved through faith alone rather than
    through works
  • Only source of religious authority is the
  • In the Catholic church the Scriptures must be
    understood in relation to Catholic tradition,
    something which has been rejected by Protestant

John Calvin
  • John Calvin was the leading French Protestant
    reformer and the most important
    second-generation figure of the Reformation
  • He was highly educated to further improve his
    studies of the Scripture
  • In the mid-1560s, he wrote Institutes of the
    Christian Religion, which became the single most
    important statement of Protestant belief

Protestant Reformation
  • Contrary to popular perception, the name does not
    stem directly from the idea of people
    "protesting" various doctrines and actions of the
    Catholic Church
  • Early on in the Reformation, those dissenters
    were referred to in Germany as Evangelicals (and
    this is the term still in use today)

Protestant Reformation
  • Reformation challenged the authority of the Pope,
    and became popular in Scandinavia, England, and
    the Netherlands
  • Protestantism increased the importance of the
    laity. In most denominations they exercise more
    control over the hiring and firing, if necessary,
    of their pastor
  • While there are more Protestants than Catholics
    in the USA, Catholicism is the single largest
  • Protestantism eventually divided into many
    denominations which arose in response to disputes
  • Some of the large denominations today are
    Lutherans, Methodists and Baptists

Reformation Denominations
Branch Denominations Leaders
Lutheran Lutheran Martin LutherPhilip Melanchthon
Reformed Tradition Reformed Church (Calvinist) Presbyterian Puritan Congregational United Church of Christ Baptist Ulrich Zingli John Calvin John Knox
Anglican Church of England Episcopal Methodist Henry VIIIElizabeth I
Anabapist Swiss Brethren Mennonites Amish Hutterites QuakersMoravian Brethren Conrad GrebelFelix ManzMenno SimonsJacob HuterGeorge FoxCount Zinzendorf
Does Protestant mean Protesting?
  • Protestant does not stem directly from the idea
    of people "protesting" various doctrines and
    actions of the Catholic Church
  • Early on in the Reformation, those dissenters
    were referred to in Germany as Evangelicals

Differences between Catholics and Conservative
Catholic vs. Conservative Protestant
Theological Belief Roman Catholic Church Conservative Protestants
Ecumenical action The Church views the fragmentation of Christianity into thousands of faith groups to be a sin Some view Catholics as non-Christian. Thus they are to be treated as other lost souls Others view Catholics as brothers in Christ and engage in  joint projects on social matters
Eucharist A sacrifice. Christ's body and blood are physically present and are consumed by believers Memorial meal. Christ's body and blood are present symbolically only
Forgiveness of sin Achieved through repentance, church ritual, with the involvement of a priest Achieved through prayer to God directly without any human intercessor
Hell More than a physical place, hell is a state of being involving "the pain, frustration, and emptiness of life without God A real physical place of unbearable torture which lasts for all eternity with no hope of mercy, relief or cessation
Homosexuality, nature of A homosexual orientation is generally unchosen and thus is not, in itself, sinful - it is a disordered state All homosexual behavior is sinful They generally downplay the concept of sexual orientation, and concentrate on homosexual behavior which they consider to be a major sin. They view homosexuality as chosen, unnatural, abnormal changeable
Catholic vs. Conservative Protestant
Theological Belief Roman Catholic Church Conservative Protestants
Non-Christian religions Have some value for the truth that they contain. However, some rituals can inhibit salvation Some consider them worthless, dangerous, and demon-led
Prayer To God. Also may ask Mary or a saint to intercede on their behalf Prayer is addressed to God, not to saints
Purgatory A state of being in which souls are cleansed by purifying punishments before they can enter heaven Does not exist
Saints Saints form a major part of the religion. People can pray to saints and ask them to intercede Saints do not form a major part of the religion. One prays to God, not to saints
Salvation, achieving Dependent on faith, and church sacraments Dependent on faith only
Salvation, losing It is lost when a responsible person commits a mortal sin. It can be regained through repentance and church sacrament Usually, once a person is saved, they cannot lose their salvation. Some denominations teach that one can lose one's salvation
Catholic vs. Conservative Protestant
Theological Belief Roman Catholic Church Conservative Protestants
Authority within the church Vested in the hierarchy of the church Within the believer (soul freedom), the congregation and the denomination
Baptism Sacrament which regenerates and justifies Sacrament later in life after trusting Jesus as Lord and savior
Baptism, timing  Usually done in infancy Usually done later in life after person is born again
Bible, content The church includes the same 66 books in the Bible as do Protestants. But it also adds the books of the Apocrypha Most accept only the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. Most conservative Anglicans also include the Apocrypha
Church, structure Hierarchical Usually democratic, except among some new religious movements
Clergy, selection of Appointed all male almost all unmarried Elected mostly male single or married
Whats a Lutheran?
  • Martin Luther criticized what he saw as
    immorality and corruption in the Roman Catholic
    Church, he was excommunicated by the Pope
  • Lutheranism went its separate way, which
    essentially broke up the organizational unity of
    Western Christendom
  • Martin Luthers teaching spread through Germany
    and Scandinavia and, in the 18th century, to
    America, then to the rest of the word
  • Lutheranism is a state religion of many north
    European countries
  • Lutherans, like most Protestants, base their
    teachings not on churchly authority but on the
    divinely inspired Bible

Catholic Church Responds
  • Catholic Church responded with the Council of
    Trent, which is considered one of the Church's
    most important councils.
  • The Council clarified many disputed beliefs and
    addressed the problem of lax morals among the
    clergy and lay people
  • The Council issued condemnations on what it
    defined as Protestant heresies and defined
    Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and
    Tradition, Original Sin, Sacraments, the
    Eucharist in Holy Mass and the veneration of

Central Beliefs
  • Lutherans believe that all human beings are
    sinners, and because of original sin, are in
    bondage to the power of Satan
  • One is saved by faith alone
  • Worship is firmly based on the teachings of the
  • One could read the Bible by oneself, that is
    without any scholarship, and be assured of a
    right interpretation
  • Lutheranism is based on scripture alone while
    Catholicism is based on scripture, Papal decrees,
    and Church history

Central Beliefs
  • Lutherans reject purgatory, praying to the
    saints, and praying to Mary
  • Lutheran churches are governed locally, not from
    a church hierarchy
  • In America, the churches are linked together for
    common purposes and formed groups
  • Luther conducted worship not in Latin, unlike
    Catholicism, but in the language of the people to
    enhance the delivery and acceptance of the
  • Luther reduced the established seven sacraments
    to two baptism and the Lords Supper

Whats a Anglican?
  • The Anglican Church was created in the 16th
    century by King Henry VIII who wished to get an
    annulment from his first wife, the aging
    Catherine of Aragon
  • Pope Clement VII refused to grant the annulment
  • King Henry VIII took over the English church,
    broke with Rome, and created the Anglican Church
  • The Church of England spread throughout the
    British Empire
  • The Church is headed spiritually by the
    Archbishop of Canterbury, which as about 80
    million adherents, making it the second largest
    Christian body in the Western world

  • 3 million in the US 80 million worldwide
  • Episcopal is applied to those churches
    historically based within Anglicanism including
    those still in communion with the Church of
  • They prize traditional worship and structure and
    operate autonomously
  • They have few firm rules and great latitude in
    the interpretation of doctrine
  • Ordains women to the priesthood in 1988, it
    elected the first Anglican woman bishop
  • They consider the Bible to be divinely inspired,
    and hold the Eucharist to be the central act of
    Christian worship
  • They recognize the Nicene Apostles Creeds

Catholic vs. Episcopalian
Roman Catholics Episcopalians
The Pope is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church Each Diocese/Bishop is autonomous - no one is the leader
RCs take the marriage promise "Till death do we part Those who remarry may not receive Communion in the RC. The only alternative to divorce is annulment Divorce is a sin divorced may receive communion
Reconciliation is encouraged required at least once a year (e.g., Lent) Encouraged to go to Confession
Only celibate men may be priests Any man or woman (with approval and training) may be priests
Abortion is sin, cuts you off from God until you confess this sin and seek forgiveness from God through formal confession Pro/con abortion beliefs are all over the board in the EC. Pro-life folks and pro-choice folks may attend the same parish and both go up and kneel for communion at the altar rail together.
Catholic vs. Episcopalian
Roman Catholics Episcopalians
Strong emphasis on devotions to Mary Stronger