Christianity

The fundamental belief for Christians is in God, the Creator of the world, who is revealed to people through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Christians believe in God as Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

For Christians, the Bible is the revelation of God’s relationship to humanity. It shows the inability of people to keep this ‘covenant’ with God, despite being given laws, teachings and prophets. The result of their disobedience was ‘sin’ (wrong doing) which separated them from God. The New Testament shows how God came in the person of Jesus Christ, to restore this broken relationship. Jesus was rejected and killed. Christians believe that His suffering and death, as a willing sacrifice, followed by his resurrection from the dead, destroyed the hold of death on the human race and brought about the possibility of a restored relationship with God.

The New Testament is of particular importance to Christians; it consists of 27 books and includes descriptions of the life and teaching of Jesus and the writings of some of the first Christians. These books provide Christians with authoritative guidance for their lives. The lives of some Christians, since the events of the Bible, are also regarded by many as exemplary.

Historically, there have been a variety of interpretations of the core beliefs of the Christian faith, so that there are now many different denominations and traditions. These include the Church of England, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Free Churches which include the Evangelical, Pentecostal, Afro-Caribbean, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker, Salvation Army and United Reformed Churches. Christians come from a wide range of races, nationalities and cultures.

Worship and practice varies considerably among Christians. However, most Christians meet regularly with others, often in a Church. Most churches include a service in which bread and wine are shared together. This has been an important tradition ever since Jesus ate with his disciples, saying of the bread, ‘This is my body’ and of the wine, ‘This is my blood’. In such churches the practice of Baptism is the normal prelude to membership.