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Sources of Authority The Bible Teachings of a church and its leaders

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Presentation on theme: "Sources of Authority The Bible Teachings of a church and its leaders"— Presentation transcript:

1 Christian sources of authority and how denominations use them differently

2 Sources of Authority The Bible Teachings of a church and its leaders
The Holy Spirit Conscience

3 How Christians make moral decisions:
When making moral decisions Christians refer to ‘Sources of Authority’ such as the Bible, Church teachings or guidance from the Holy Spirit. Different Churches value these differently. This in turn affects the way they make decisions

4 Baptists Value studying the Bible
Pray for understanding of its contents Value listening to a preacher or minister from their church

5 Roman Catholics Value teachings of their Church leaders (the Pope and his Bishops) Believe that the Church is guided by God Trust that these teachings are the Word of God as expressed through his Church on earth.

6 Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Value guidance from the Holy Spirit Value guidance from other Quakers (Friends) Believe that each person is able to come to their own conclusion about moral issues Would not be likely to refer to the teachings of a Church or its priests and ministers

7 The Bible Christians see the Bible as the ‘Word of God’ made known to mankind You need to be able to paraphrase passages from the Bible and explain how they relate to moral issues The passages come from different parts of the Bible and it is worth showing some awareness of this when referring to them

8 Moral teachings in the Bible come in a variety of forms
Specific rules General instructions on how to behave Principles on which Christians should act There is a move in the Bible from detailed rules in the beginning of the Old Testament to general principles of behaviour in the New Testament

9 The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats; Matthew 25:36-41
One day everyone will be judged by God Those that did things like helping the sick, visiting people in prison and giving food to the hungry will be rewarded Those that have not helped others will go away to eternal punishment

10 Issues not mentioned in the Bible
On issues like contraception, abortion and euthanasia which are not specifically mentioned in the Bible, Christians have to follow general principles such as Agape (Love) or The Sanctity of Life

11 What would Jesus do? In some situations Christians may simply ask themselves this question They would try to answer it on the basis of what they knew of his life, actions and teachings from the Gospels

12 A friend is being racist towards another person in school: WWJD?
·   Jesus cared for all people without regard for who they were or where they came from ·   Jesus often helped people who were in difficulty ·   He spoke out against people being hypocritical ·   He was not scared of standing up for what he believed in, even if it caused him problems ·   He urged people not to cross to the other side of the road if there was a difficult situation to deal with

13 The Letters of St Paul Written to early Christian Churches
They explain the meaning of Jesus’ life and death Give advice on moral issues Advice on how to run a Church

14 St Paul on love: 1 Corinthians 13
At the heart of the Christian religion is love This love is special and lasting, not the temporary love between ordinary people. Our achievements are nothing if we do not have love This love is the love of God

15 The two greatest commandments Mark 12:28-34
"Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: `Love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

16 Love for enemies Matthew 5:43-48
The principle of love knows no limits It should not be limited to friends and family Jesus says that even barbarians love their families More is expected of Christians and they should be open to everyone, even those who have harmed them.

17 Obeying rules and doing the will of God The Ten Commandments; Exodus 20:1-17
1.       Love the one true God 2.       No idolatry 3.       Don’t misuse God’s name 4.       Keep the Sabbath 5.       Honour your father and mother 6.       Do not kill 7.       Do not commit adultery 8.       Do not steal 9.       Do not lie 10.   Do not covet

18 Prayer and conscience Christians believe that they have free will and the ability to choose between right and wrong. The Conscience is the part of a person’s mind that urges them to choose to do good and makes them feel guilty when they choose to do bad. Christians can often work out for themselves whether an action is good or bad. If things are not clear they can pray to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit for guidance. Roman Catholics may also pray to saints to help them.

19 When decisions are difficult…
Christians will also consult other sources such as… The official teachings of their church Priests and ministers or local experts. Different denominations value these sources differently and this affects how they make decisions.

20 Summary so far… The Bible is the Word of God and guides all Christians
All people have a conscience, which urges them to do good and avoid being bad On most simple issues people can work out what is right for themselves Christians may pray to God for guidance when decisions are more difficult Some Christians follow the teachings of their Churches on moral issues

21 Different Christian groups value these sources of authority differently

22 The Roman Catholic Church
Claims that its leaders are guided by the Holy Spirit. For this reason the teachings of the Catholic Church are seen as being ‘the Word of God’ in a similar way to the Bible. The Bible is still seen as the most important source of guidance for how God wants people to behave, but it has been interpreted and explained by the Church over the centuries.

23 This is why the Catholic Church does not place great importance on individual Catholics studying the Bible themselves. More emphasis is placed on people knowing and understanding the teachings of the Church. When making moral decisions, Roman Catholics will tend to follow the teachings of their Church. The Church expects its teachings to be followed.

24 Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) A completely different approach to making moral decisions
Every person has ‘That of God in them’ and is able to know God’s will for himself or herself. This is the only collective belief of the Quakers. Authority does not lie in an organisation and people do not need priests or vicars to tell them how to behave. This belief is reflected in Quaker meetings where there are no set form of words or rituals to be followed.

25 A group of people sit together in silence and allow themselves to be open to inspiration from the Holy Spirit. If one of them feels moved by the spirit they may stand and speak, otherwise the meeting continues in silence. The important principle is that each Friend is his own authority. They make their own decisions on moral issues by studying the Bible, praying, listening to their consciences and discussing with other Friends. Quakers have traditionally cared a great deal about social justice and equality. They have been very active in many social causes like the abolition of slavery and pacifism

26 Baptists Jesus as their Lord and Saviour is the sole and absolute authority on all matters His authority is revealed in the Bible Each church has the liberty under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to interpret and administer his laws The Bible is therefore the most important source of authority for making moral decisions

27 Study the Bible Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit in order to understand it Have faith in Jesus as the Saviour in order to get the grace of the Holy Spirit which helps and guides Give your life to Jesus and become ‘Born Again’. Symbolised by adult baptism

28 Questions What sources of authority might Christian groups refer to in making decisions about moral issues? Explain how different Christian groups might value these sources of authority differently. ‘If Christians want to know how to behave they should just read the Bible’ Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. You must refer to Christianity in your answer.

29 EXTENSION QUESTION: Explain how Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King lived the teachings of Jesus through their work. Refer to the following passages from the Bible in your answer; Matthew 25:27-41 1 Corinthians 13 Mark 12:28-34

30 You should should include the following things in your essay
Introduction; the essay is about how beliefs affect actions. More specifically that it is about how Chritian belief in Jesus’ life and teachings and how that affects how particular Chrstians have lived their lives. A summary of the main achievements of Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. An explanation of the meaning of each of the three passages from the Bible with specific examples from the lives of Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. Matthew 25:27-36 1 Corinthians 13 Mark 12:28-34 Conclusion

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