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Origin And Practices Of Christianity

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Christianity has been recorded to have begun during and after the death of Jesus Christ. Sources have, however, outlined that the Christian beliefs began way before the birth of Christ through prophets and the laws provided to Moses for the Israelites in the Old Testament books. The first gathering documented as a church was began by the apostle Paul together with the followers of Jesus Christ a few days after the death and resurrection of Christ. The first congregants were the Jews who then spread Christianity to various parts of the world. Christianity became an officially recognized religion in Rome as a result of the conversion of their leader. Misunderstandings within the roman Christians who did not agree with the leadership of the Pope gave rise to splitter churches which gave rise to the orthodox and protestant. These paper discusses the origin, growth and beliefs that Christianity holds.

Early Christianity was seen to borrow greatly from the Jewish community. Since Jesus Christ was from Jewish community, the culture was then idolized where practices about it was then identified with the Christian religion. The culture that included circumcision was a bone of contention that required that the believers, whether or not they were Jewish, were asked to undergo the ritual which was imposed by leaders of the time. The apostle Paul who is credited to spreading the gospel helped to discourage the physical adherence to discriminative rituals and instead focused more on preaching and service to the needy and doing good.

Christianity growth encountered great opposition from the political and religious sects. The political leaders were opposed to the growth because they saw the Christians were not in support of their political regime and only praised Jesus Christ. The religious leaders on the other hand blamed the Christians of coming up with other ways of worship and not following the initial rules of Moses and rites that they followed strictly. The religious leaders were not for the idea that their beliefs were to be shared with non-Jews who they considered unclean. The teachings of Jesus Christ showed that He was to unify all who believed and that He did not introduce new rules but was implementing the old rules of Moses. The early Christians strong beliefs in God and Jesus Christ led to their persecution since they were adamant to worship the idol gods that most political leaders had made.

The conversion of Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire to Christianity gave a big boost to its growth. The ban on practicing Christianity was lifted and those who were responsible for the spread did not have to do it in secret. The succeeding emperors followed suit where they later declared Christianity as the state religion. The bishop and pope were seen to head the Roman church at the time and it was known as the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was characterized by the belief in the Virgin Mary, Saints, sacraments and only the clergy were entitled to read and interpret the scriptures.

Congregants who were not content with how the Catholic Church was being run raised concerns which led to its division to various sections. The other major reason that contributed to splitter groups within the church was the collapse of the roman empire where both the eastern and western empires was seen to pick up different aspects of Christianity giving rise to the orthodox grouping. Martin Luther was in the forefront of raising concerns and misplaced priorities by the Catholic Church led to the emergence of the protestant splitter group of the church. Each of the splitter groups picked different values from the original catholic but also came up with different forms of worship and different structures in their leadership. The church was then seen to exist in three major sects that are the Roman Catholic, the protestant and the orthodox churches.

Crusades were one of the ways that Christianity was spread. Crusades were the public proclamation of the beliefs in God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The sessions gave the non-believers a chance to hear what Christians believed in and those who were content with the teachings were converted to Christians. Communal worship and dining were common and this helped in their growth since they shared different gifts that include songs and the teachings. Crusades at the time were also used to fight against other religions with a bid to increase their popularity and dominance over a particular region.

Christianity was also seen to spread by way of missions. The Roman empires found out the pope who was leading the church was gaining resources thorough different forms of collections and funding. The collections seemed to create more power by the church and the authorities saw it as a threat. The funds by the churches was used in the spread of the gospel to different areas in the world by incorporating aid. Each splitter group of the initial church was seen to pick different areas for the purpose of dominance. The different ways that the dominance by incorporating other fields which included education and medical care that other parts of the world was in need and in the process they introduced their beliefs.

Slavery was another way that Christianity grew. The ancient traditions were opposed to people of the same culture subjecting those of their culture to work for them. There was need to engage weaker nations in war where they picked property and took those who were defeated as slaves. The slaves were required to do as the masters did which forced them to adopt Christianity when the masters were Christians. The contrary was also true where when Christians were taken as slaves and their masters were exposed to the Christian beliefs.

The industrial and economic revolutions were a great economic force to reckon with and promoted the growth of Christianity. The people involved in the economic trades were seen to be of a higher economic stature. Some of the religious reformations were slowly welcomed as trade where different people traded for what they did not have. The religious beliefs were then incorporated through education and forms of currencies where those they interacted with wished to learn their languages that would ease the communication barrier. Those with trade skills and economic knowledge like agriculture were at a greater advantage to possess land and build schools and churches which the new communities adopted gladly.

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The next way that Christianity was spread through colonialism. Colonisation was exercised in different parts of the world with an example being the African continent. The colonisers were in quest for exploration of minerals and other resources which included human labour. Each colonialist regime looked to control the biggest area of jurisdiction. The colonialists introduced various activities that included farming and mining. Education was introduced to curb the communication difficulty that existed which helped them work with their subjects with ease. The education systems was seen to incorporate the religious practices that the colonisers believed. The people who needed to reap the benefits and education privileges from the colonisers were forced to go through their religious practices thereby promoting the growth of Christianity. Those communities that were earlier opposed to colonialism later picked the Christian practices and incorporated them in their cultural beliefs after colonialism ended.

Although Christianity was seen to undergo different phases and division in the course of time, the Christians have all acknowledged and followed specific activities and beliefs. There is one official book of reference in all sects of the Christians, the Scriptures or Bible. All teachings by Christians are referenced from the Scriptures but vary in the wording and interpretation. There are Christians who are seen to give emphasis to the Old Testament and question the New Testament teaching. The modern day Christians have however been seen to give more focus on the new testament section of the Bible which was described as an overview and a renewal of all the old rules as laid out by Moses and the prophets.

The next believe that Christians have upheld is that of monotheism. This is a believe in the existence of one God who is described as a supernatural phenomenal. God is manifested in three distinct ways which are God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The manifestation in the three forms is also known as the trinity. The trinity is described to perform different tasks which are all intertwined. The early Christians believed in the presence of God the father until the manifestation of the Son after His works on earth and the Holy Spirit after the Death and resurrection of the Son. The Christian virtues are based on the practices of Jesus Christ and the observation of the practices is aided by the Holy Spirit.

Christians believe in salvation and redemption. Salvation means that second chances are offered to the sinners who have agreed that they have wronged and are ready to change for the best. The catholic and protestant perform different practices with regard to what is considered wrongful. A general believe is that Jesus was sent and died on behalf of all sinners and therefore no condemnation for the sinners should happen. The redemption concept is different from the ancient Christians who believed that when one committed an offence, they were to be punished according to the severity with some resulting to death.

Christians believe and practice communal worship. Communal worship refers to the congregation of the believers at a central place with the purpose of hearing the teachings of the Scriptures. There are varying days during when the worship happens as well as procedures to follow in the worship ceremony but the major teachings are deemed similar. The communal worship are characterized by praise, songs and events which include the Holy Communion. The practices done together are seen as a manifestation of unity as was displayed during the last supper shared by Jesus Christ in the Scriptures.

Christians have upheld baptism. Baptism is conducted by the use of water which can be done by immersion in water or by use of the little water on the forehead. The ritual is conducted in two main steps where the first is performed when the Christian is very young. When baptism is done in the young age, it is called infant baptism. When performed to older Christians, it is considered as a sign of purification to welcome the baptized congregant officially in the church. Jesus Christ’s baptism by the John the Baptist signified the start of Jesus’ mission while on earth.

Prayers is another important component that the Christians believe in. prayers are the means of communication that Christians use to make requests and thank God for the good deeds. The prayers are conducted in various forms which include hymns, songs, actual prayers and recitals of written words from the Scriptures. Prayers are conducted by different people who include the ordinary Christians as well as the clergy. Most Christians have accepted that they can make their needs known directly to God. Other Christians have a belief in the presentation of their needs through interceding by others who are the clergy, the saints and Jesus Christ.

Most Christians share the belief of death and resurrection. The mortal bodies are expected to experience death which is associated to the end of work on earth. There is the belief that there will be resurrection of the soul when judgment will happen. The judgment will mean everlasting joy for the believers and torment for the sinners. Some Christians believe in conducting sacraments before the event of death like the catholic members. Other Christians regard that when one dies, then they cannot be redeemed. The occurrence of death is considered as an act from God but other Christians regard it as an act from the evil one. The catholic faction also believe that the faithful Christians become saints upon their death.

In conclusion, Christianity has been traced back to many years before the birth of Jesus Christ and has undergone different transformation over the years. The existence and practices of Christians have been recorded in the Old Testament scriptures and in prophesies made. Early Christianity was characterized by strict adherence to the laws of Moses and the failure led to grave punishment that included death. The ideologies were revamped with the birth of Jesus who in His work and teachings encouraged and gladly welcomed those of other cultures to Christianity. New Testament teachings reduced the condemnation for sinners since they are given a chance to redeem themselves and get saved. Christianity has experienced growth over the centuries since they have had the opportunity to incorporate it into their individual cultures without getting rid of it. Modern Christianity has promoted reading of the scriptures by the Christians which has led to better understanding of the values that promote peaceful coexistence as opposed to during the colonial and slavery regimes when the religion was taken to be deceitful.

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Origin And Practices Of Christianity. (2022, February 24). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 7, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/origin-and-practices-of-christianity/
“Origin And Practices Of Christianity.” Edubirdie, 24 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/origin-and-practices-of-christianity/
Origin And Practices Of Christianity. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/origin-and-practices-of-christianity/> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2022].
Origin And Practices Of Christianity [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 24 [cited 2022 Oct 7]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/origin-and-practices-of-christianity/
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