No religion has exerted so much influence and power in the entire Western culture and Christianity. The impact extends across all areas of human life. Christianity is still visibly present in the public cultural life. Think of Christian education, Christian radio, Christian politicians and Christian holidays. And every village and every city does have a church, parish or congregation.
View of Jesus
Buddhists invoke Buddha. Communists invoke Marx. Christians invoke Jesus of Nazareth. Netherlands has the most Christian churches and groups split off from the world. A large number of people registered at the registry as 'Roman Catholic', 'Dutch Reformed' or 'Christian'. They are all members of a Christian church.
Jesus of Nazareth was written much over the centuries and in our times films and musicals are devoted to him. Certain trends look forward to his return to earth. Other groups believe he is already among the people. Some view Jesus as a tragic victim, others as a divine victory. It sometimes seems that people make an image that matches their needs. It is clear that Jesus was a historical figure. In the New Testament the four evangelists tell about the life of Jesus who He was and what He did.
The message of Jesus
The essence of Christianity is the worship of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the unique revelation of God for the salvation of the people. The Evangelist Mark summarizes the message of Jesus as follows: The Jews believed that God's Messiah (Christ) would come to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. This refers to a "rich" in which freedom, peace and justice reigns. Jesus came with the Kingdom of God a lot closer witness many miracles He performed. To enter the Kingdom of God is a radical change of lifestyle is necessary (rebirth). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus unfolded his revolutionary program how the kingdom of God will look like and how you can go inside.
Jesus and the Law
Jesus dared the scribes say that he had come to fulfill the law of Moses. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the intent of the law out. Jesus replaced the thousands of regulations of the law principles. He wanted no absolute obedience to the law, but to do 'more than usual'. The Torah (Jewish law) teaches retaliation: "an eye for eye, tooth for tooth" as Jesus says, "Resist not evil, but who gives you a blow on the right cheek, turn to him the other far. Jewish law says 'love thy neighbor', but Jesus wants more: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
The beatitudes refer to the kingdom of God and the people who will be part. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will enter God's Kingdom. This actually means that we can finally achieve a state we realize deeply, I know nothing, it's all a joke, everything I thought I knew. Then there may be room for God's Kingdom to come to a surrender with an open, receptive heart. Then we can enter God's Kingdom.
Rules to live
After Jesus' death, the early Christians expected the kingdom of God would come, and that the final verdict would be pronounced. The second coming of Christ did not come. The rules of Jesus, the reason Christians were living a more permanent nature.
Keep these rules:
- The ten Commandments; thou shalt not worship idols, but worship Me and love above all else; ye the Name of the Lord, not misuse your God; ye the Lord's Day; honor your father and your mother; you shall not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bear false witness your neighbor; thou shalt not covet chastity; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor listens.
- The golden rule, what you do not want done to do that the other does not.
- The Great Commandment, love God above all and your neighbor as yourself.
The Christian faith has three main streams:
- Catholicism, divided into a western Christianity (Rome as center) and Eastern Christianity (Eastern and Southeastern Europe).
- Protestantism emerged from the Reformation of the 16 e century Lutheranism and Calvinism.
- Sect / modern spiritual movements, mostly revival movements arose in the 19 e century in England and the US
Despite differences in teachings there is a few things that the churches brings together and keeps them together. Their common ground is the confession. In the church's tradition to do that at any given time youth confession. They come out openly to their faith in Jesus Christ. One of the oldest forms of confession-do we find in the Bible, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God "(acts 8:37)
Almost all Christian churches accept the renowned Apostles' Creed (Creed). Key points from the Creeds are belief in:
- One God, creator of heaven and earth.
- The Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
- The Bible as a source of revelation and authority.
- One general Christian church.
- Life after death (resurrection).
- A new heaven and earth.
The history of the Christian church in a nutshell
Christianity is originally a Jewish sect who accepted Jesus of Nazareth as the long-predicted and promised Messiah or Christ. have followers united and experienced his presence after death. Some of them have him "resurrected" seen. They were at Pentecost the Spirit. That was the beginning of the development of Christianity. Rome was the power center of Christendom. The Bishop of Rome - the successor of the apostle Peter - the legal representative of Christ was on earth. The bishop himself acquired the title of Pope and received the supreme leadership in the church.
The faith spread throughout Europe, but the greater was the church, were the greater the differences over the course of the Christian church. The patriarch of Constantinople came into conflict with the pope. He wanted to set its own course by proposing to include married priests. In 1054 separated the Eastern Orthodox Church himself.
The second major schism (schism) formed in 1517 and has major implications for Western and Northern Europe. Luther and Calvin opposed the abuses and corruption in the church. The Reformation led to Protestantism, which various religious movements.
In the 18 th and 19 th century in America different religious groups emphasize different religious accents.
- Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists. They proclaim the imminent return of Christ and the establishment of its millenary (millennialism).
- Pentecostal groups. They place great emphasis on faith healing, speaking in tongues and the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit in all forms of worship.
- Spiritualists. They are trying to show the reality of life after death, especially by seeking contact with the dead.
- The Salvation Army. They put all the emphasis on mutual love and service, especially for people on the fringes of society.
- The Quakers. They are strong for nonviolence.
Early 20 th century, emerged in an international movement with the aim to eliminate the divisions between the churches. A process of rapprochement was initiated and this eventually led to the founding of the WCC in Amsterdam (1948). The World focuses on all matters concerned, dialogue with world religions, faith and ministry affairs, anti-Semitism, refugee assistance.
Working together, the United Protestant Church
Ook in Nederland is er meer en meer sprake van toenadering tussen kerken. Hervormden en gereformeerden werken beide samen om één kerk te worden, het Samen op Weg-Proces. Ze houden steeds vaker gemeenschappelijke diensten, erkennen elkanders doop en vieren samen het avondmaal.
In the Netherlands there is more and more talk of rapprochement between the churches. Reformed and Reformed both work together to become one church, Samen op Weg-Process. They keep increasingly common services, recognize each other's baptism and celebrate the sacrament.
In the Netherlands also fundamentalist groups such as the EO and various Pentecostal groups active. They believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and take the story literally as the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Christ. They go against all that is evil, communism, drugs, abortion, equal rights for women and gay men, sex before marriage.
The church year is considered the spiritual rhythm of the church and includes the holiday season, the Advent and Lent. Under church year is defined as the annual commemoration and renewal of the life of Jesus. The annual cycle is organized around the Christmas and Easter celebrations.