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WHO ARE THE CHRISTANS?

Christianity was thrust into existence with the birth of Jesus Christ. He preached a message that was simple for all to understand and was composed of three parts. First he proclaimed the kingdom of God. Here God is King and the Kingdom is present in the acknowledgment of Godís presence in life, suffering, and society, all necessary to reshape oneís existence. Secondly, he declared God to be the father and is to be regarded as Father by his forgiveness, compassion, care, and salvation. Finally, he established a system of radical moral behavior as evidenced by the statements to turn the other cheek if struck, leaving the dead to bury their own, the first will be last, and the exalted will be humbled. From this people change their behavior and conflict enters. But this conflict allows the Kingdom of God to enter human existence.

Jesusí message may best be summed up in Mark 1:15 when he said, ďThe time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe in the Gospel.Ē Also, the Sermon on the Mount stands at the heart of his message. It is found in Matthew 5:3-12 and the Lordís Prayer said in all Christian Services is written in Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus also reduced the number of Ten Commandments from ten to two, stating the essence of his teaching as unconditional love (Matthew 22:37-40).

Jesusí scripture was Old Testament and meant to fulfill. The difference was that he addressed God as the Father. Faith is indispensable for admission to the kingdom of heaven; it is the prerequisite of salvation and is salvation itself. Jesus preaches faith not knowledge. The meaning is tied up in parables and paradoxes that the believer sees but the non-believer does not. He attempts to show us who God is, what He is like, who we are as humans, and what becoming fully human is like. Christ fulfills Godís promise of shalom, people loving God and their neighbors, in harmony with both each other and creation. According to Isaiah, the wolf will live in peace with the lamb. Through healing, feeding, associating with the people Jesus represented the image of God of love and justice as shown by the Patriarchs.

The end of the world will bring about the Kingdom of Heaven and a threat of the destruction of the world. In Heaven all worldly existence, from family, law, to culture, loose their meaning. Man must choose to accept God and rejoice in the kingdom of heaven or reject God and suffer in Hell. Jesus said, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Godís love creates love within us. Those who do not love are rejected. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. By believing in God man may become truly free.

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OTHER PHILOSOPHICAL SITES

THE SINS OF RELIGION

FREE OR IN CHAINS

GOD ON TRIAL

THE SKEPTICS OF RELIGION

THE ETHICS OF GOD

HOW WE KNOW WHAT WE KNOW

RELIGIOUS SURVEY

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION

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