2Topics to be covered: 1. Bible Teaching on Equality 4. Attitudes to other religions2. Attitudes to women5. Beliefs about forgiveness and reconciliation3. The role of Christian women
3All people are equal in God's sight “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; you are all one in Jesus Christ”.(Galatians 3:28)“God made one from every nation of the world, to live on the face of the earth”.(Acts 17:26)All people are equalin God's sight“Whatever you want people to do to you, you must do to them also”.(Matthew 7:12)“God created man in His own image. He created them male and female.”(Genesis 1:27)“Love one another”(John 13:34)
4The Bible teaches that all people are equal before God..This was a hard lesson for the early Christians, as Jews they had been the ‘chosen ones’, now everyone was ‘chosen’, everyone could have that special relationship with God.“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” (Acts 10:34-5)In this we can see that differences do not matter, essentially we are all the same. In a modern context we might add black or white into the mix.
5Ben, you and me are equal in God’s eyes!! Yay, that is great!!
6People who are racially prejudiced believe that some races are superior to others. RacismRacial discrimination is when someone allows their prejudices to be acted uponHere are 3 examples from the Gospels of how JC demonstrated equality in his teaching:When asked “Who is my neighbour?” JC responded with the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-7). The message is everyone is your neighbour.Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion, even though the Romans were the occupying power and hated by the Jews (Luke 7:1-10)JC befriended Zacchaeus, a tax collector, even though tax collectors were hated by the Jews and were employed by the occupying power (LK 19:1-10)
7When many black people emigrated to the UK from the Caribbean and other places during the 1950s and 60s, many of them were Christians. But when they tried to join local churches they were given a cool welcome. Instead, they formed churches of their own, which expanded rapidly over the years, while UK churches declined.The Christian Church has responded in a number of ways to fight against racial prejudice and discrimination. But it’s record has been far from perfect.In South Africa, from 1950s+, the Dutch Reformed Church was one of the main supporters of Apartheid (the discriminatory policy enforced by the white minority of separate development of the different races) until it disintegrated in the early 1990s.CriticismThese are just 2 examples, there are plenty more.
8Martin Luther KingWhen Martin Luther King Jr was born in 1929, black people in parts of USA were persecuted and suffered from oppression.King became a Baptist minister and in 1955 led a protest when Rosie Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus.Due to the fact that more black people used the buses than white people, the bus company had no choice but to give in.King’s protest was non-violent from start to finish – following the teaching of Jesus
9Father Trevor Huddleston Father Trevor was a white man who grew up in the UK. In 1943, he was sent as a missionary to South Africa where he worked in a very poor area of the country called Soweto.Whilst he was there, apartheid was legalised and he soon saw how black people were being treated.Father TrevorHuddlestonHe began by organising overseas boycotts of SA by companies and sporting teams. He became a leading figure in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Huddleston believed that this is what God wanted him to do because he believed that all people were equal in God’s eyes. He died in 1998, living long enough to see the end of apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s freedom from prison.
10The Role of Women Statistics Women outnumber men 52% to 48% Women earn 10% world incomeWomen earn –1% of property in own nameThe Role of WomenIn 1975 it became illegal to discriminate against a woman in recruitment, promotion and training at work. It also became illegal to sack a women due to pregnancy.The Roman Catholic debate on women priest as not even begun. In 1994, the Pope wrote an apostolic letter stating that women could not become priests – it would be entirely inappropriate and not traditional.Should women be priests?This was a big debate in CofE in the early 90s. The main argument against was tradition and JC did not allow his disciples to be girls.
11Prejudice against women goes back to the Bible Prejudice against women goes back to the Bible. In the OT, men had dominant roles in family and social life. These roles carried over in the early Christian Church.Paul carried on the tradition in his writings. He wanted older women in the community to teach younger women how to behave.Jesus, however, went against the common attitudes of the time towards women. Although he did not have any female disciples, he did have many close friends who were women. It was some of these women who remained more faithful to him than his male disciples when death approached. There is reason to believe strong support during his lifetime, including a financial contribution.The Bible and Women
12Some say that this subservience reflects the order of creation – male then female. Some say men and women have different roles to play.But, everyone should be equal and treated the same.Women benefit from challenge outside of the homeKiddies benefit from both parents raising them.‘Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to enquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.’(1 Corinthians 14:34-5)
13Attitudes To Other Religions There are 3 main approaches to this one:All religions are equal to each other and help people to find God. The Bible is one of many ‘words of God’. All of these holy books are important guides in the spiritual quest. The equality rests on the fact that religious people concentrate a on spiritual reality that they call God.Many Christians believe there is only one way of approaching God: through JC.‘Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’’ (John 14:6)Some Christians believe that there are many different religious paths to God, but only Christianity has the whole truth. Therefore, some Christians believe that good Hindus, Jews etc are in fact ‘anonymous Christians’
14Jesus and Forgiveness! He welcomes him home The parable of the Lost Son (Lk 15:11-32). JC tried to portray the father as God and humans as the son. The father hopes for the son’s return and when that happens he is so pleased he does not question his motives.JC had more to say about forgiveness than anything else!! He told his listeners that God was always ready to forgive anyone who repented his sins and asked to be forgiven.Jesus and Forgiveness!He welcomeshim homeThis has led people to believe that our forgiveness by God is dependent on our willingness to forgive others. Jesus adds:‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins’. (Mt 6:14-5)In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus included the phrase: “Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors”(Mt 6:12)
15Jesus always showed God's forgiveness in his life butat no time was this moreapparent than atthe end of his life.Luke tells us that one of the criminals being crucified with him turned to Jesus for forgiveness (Lk 23:39-43). Jesus forgave him.“Then Peter came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times but seventy times.’”(Matthew 18:21-22)
16The Sacrament of Reconciliation The Roman Catholic Church recognises the importance of God’s forgiveness to all of us. It celebrates 7 sacraments, of which the Sacrament of Reconciliation is one. This isThis service has different names inn different churches. RCs call it Mass, Orthodox call it Divine Liturgy, Free churches call it Breaking of Bread and the Anglican church calls it Eucharist or Holy Communion. Christians drink wine and eat bread to remember the death of Jesus. The bread and wine are symbols of Jesus’ body and blood. Using these symbols Christians remember and re-live Jesus’ death. They remember that this death reconciled them with God.the sacrament at which people confess their sins to a priest and he pronounces an absolution over them. This means that they can know that God has forgiven their sins.The Eucharist