Knowledge can increase compassion and kindness (Christianity, part 2)

Christianity part 2. You might remember the articles I wrote about our Universal Human Rights, which I wrote mainly for this reason: These days violence, intolerance, racism, discrimination seems to increase again. More and more people need to flee their homes and/or their countries, in the hope to find safety and peace elsewhere on our big Dreampack. When even leaders have forgotten our Universal Human Rights, I feel it’s time and very important to remind us all again of our Universal Human Rights.

In my opinion, it is not only the responsibility of leaders (political, financial, corporate, etc.) to educate themselves, but also our responsibility too…you and me, as neighbors living on our globe together. The saying “knowledge is power” can be used in a good way. Educating yourself about the views of your neighbor, will lead to more understanding, tolerance and even though you might not agree with other views, I strongly believe this will increase compassion and kindness towards each other.

John Astria of Mensensamenleving.me writes/creates highly educational articles and he gave me permission to translate a couple of them. Thank you again, dear John! Find out HERE (click), why I think you should visit this Beautiful Soul.

The original article in Dutch “Het Christendom”  you can find HERE (click).
I decided to divide the article in two different posts. Part one you can find HERE (click)

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Christianity (part 2)

The Doctrine

While the believing Jew is still awaiting the Messiah, He has already arrived for the Christian in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The (many) dogmas of Jewish law such as the purity rules and the circumcision have not been adopted. The Christian doctrine does not differ significantly from the Jewish doctrine when it comes to main principles.

There is less emphasis on reward and punishment (especially in the Reformatory directions where ‘Solely out of grace’ applies) and there is more attention for Resurrection than in Judaism.

Salvation is fundamentally accessible for all people and nations and must be proclaimed to the end of the earth.

Rules of Life

Just like in Judaism, the Ten Commandments from the basic rules, but there is a greater emphasis on the principle ‘Love God and your neighbor like yourself’. The ‘Eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ is not most important. Active charity is valued higher. The Sermon on the Mount of Jesus with the twelve Beatitudes (Blessed is that…) places the ideal on a higher level.

Currents/directions.

From the beginning, Christians knew certain movements. For example, even then, the difference of opinion existed whether or not Christians originated from the heathens should comply with Jewish law. When the group formed itself as a church, all sorts of new issues arose (Gnostics, Cathars, Arians were once major minority groups within Christianity, but these names now only have a historical meaning).

The schism of the Church in 1051 in a Western Catholic and an Eastern Orthodox part was more political than doctrinal of nature. The same applies to the separation of the Anglican church in 1538 (a consequence of a marriage issue of the already married King Henry VIII).

The situation surrounding the Reformation was very different, which was in the first instance a reaction to the wrongs in the Roman Catholic Church, but which also meant a clear break with the mother church (rejection of a number of sacraments as confession and priesthood, rejection of the one-man management).

The ecumenical movement tries to bring the churches and groups closer together again.

The national and non-Roman Catholic church churches have united in the World Council of Churches since 1948.

Ceremonies and Calendar

Easter, the central celebration of Christendom, the resurrection of the Lord. Since Jesus was crucified on the eve of the Jewish Passover (Pesach), both celebrations are historically connected.
– Pentecost is 40 days after Easter and the commemoration of the first public performance of the disciples (and thus in some respects the beginning of the Christian church).
Christmas (in the western churches) and Epiphany = ‘Three Kings’ (in the Orthodox churches) both remember the symbolic announcement of the birth (to the shepherds and the wise men from the east respectively).
Ascension, the last appearance of the Lord.
All Saints Day (1 Nov.) A celebration that is celebrated in many churches (not in the protestant churches).
Reformation day (31 October) in a number of Protestant churches.

In the worship of Orthodox and Catholic churches, the emphasis is often on the Eucharist (last supper celebration, formerly called ‘the Mass’). In the Protestant churches the emphasis is on the word ‘service’ and an evening meal is the exception rather than the rule.

Some texts from the New Testament.

  • When He saw all those people He went up the mountain. When He was seated, His disciples came to Him. He began to speak and started teaching them in his doctrine: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for to them belongs the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will possess the land. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed is the merciful, for they will find mercy. Blessed be the pure in heart, for they shall see God “(from the Gospel according to Matheus).
  • Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name.
    Thy Kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
  • Is God just only a God of the Jews and not of the heathens? No, also of the heathens, for there is only one! God who will answer for both the Jews and the non-Jews by faith. Does this mean that I use my faith to put the (Jewish) law out of action? On the contrary, I let the law come into its own “(Paul’s letter to the Romans).

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Sharing is allowed, if referenced to John and his website: mensenensamenleving.me
The other articles I translated in this series “Knowledge can increase compassion and kindness” you can find HERE , HERE and HERE (click).

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4 Responses

  1. We Baha’is recognize that Jesus the Christ sacrificed His physical life for the redress of the sins of humanity, and further, that as mankind forgets the Sacrifice of the Messiah, that God, in His love for His creatures, sends a Messenger to renew our Faith. Baha’u’llah came for just that purpose: To renew our Faith and to unite mankind. This is a testimony to the Truth of Christ, and in no way negates His Teachings.

Love to connect with my neighbors on our globe :-)

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