[GCSE] Ethics - Christianity and EqualityWatch
Prejudice: Judging someone without knowing them
Discrimination: Treating someone differently because they are different in some way.
Racism: Treating someone differently because of their skin colour nationality.
Ageism: Treating someone differently because of their age.
Homophobia: Treating someone differently because they are homosexual.
Justice: Everyone having the same rights and treatment.
Religious Pluralism: Different religions living together in society without conflict; implying that all religions are a path to God.
Multi-ethnic Society: Different races and cultures living together in one society.
Inclusivist View: The Christians views that other religions have partial truth and therefore other religious groups can go to heaven.
Exclusivist View: The Christian view that only Christians are guaranteed a place in heaven.
Repent: To regret having done the wrong thing and subsequently making a change so that mistake is not repeated.
Penitience: Feeling sorry for wrongdoing and making amends for it through positive action.
Christians believe in..
- Value and equality of all people
- All humans are created in God’s image, meaning everyone has worth.
- Celebrating individuality and diversity
Bible teaching to support this…
- “Love your neighbour as yourself”
- “As believers in Jesus Christ, do not show favoritism.
- “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ”
The Christian faith has many denominations - a group within the religion which has a different interpretation of certain aspect of the faith and its teachings. For example, Catholics are opposed to euthanasia whereas other Christian denominations may take a more relaxed approach, such as Methodists.
Christians believing that dialogue between various denominations and promoting unity in Christianity is called Ecumenism.
The Role of Men and Women in a Family
Christianity teaches about the belief in the equality of all people. However, some Christians believe that men were designed to have leadership and should provide, whereas women should have a more caring/nurturing role. In contrast, other Christians believe that males and females have equal duties.
And of course, since the Bible is such a straightforward and watertight collection of books; it supports both views.
The book of Ephesians says that: “Wives should submit to their husbands as to the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife…” - Pretty clear what’s meant here.
Jesus says that: “love your neighbor as yourself” - implying equality for all.
The Role of Men and Women in a Church
Some Christians may feel they have been called by God to become a monk or a nun. Others may become leaders in a specific Church, such as becoming a vicar in the Church of England, being male or female does not matter for this position.
In a Catholic Church, only men may become priests and bishops. Women are not allowed to become priests because: -
- God came to Earth as a male, not a female.
-All of Jesus’ disciples were male.
-Catholics believe that Jesus chose Peter to be head of the Church
For that reason, the Pope is always male.
Priests and bishops must remain celibate (no sex, no marriage) as they are committed to their work in God’s name forever. Women can take some role in a Catholic Church by becoming Ministers of Holy Communion (breaking bread and all that important stuff).
Church of England
Men and women can become vicars, but the bishops and Archbishop is always male. This is controversial because people argue why they shouldn’t be allowed to progress further. Vicars spend time preparing for holy communion, marriage etc. They also have private prayer every day. Priests and vicars may also visit sick people in their homes as a spiritual leader in their community.
Jesus’ Treatment of Women
Jesus challenged many cultural stereotypes in how he treated women since in Biblical times, women were treated as second-class citizens but Jesus gave them respect. For example, he spoke to a Samaritan woman when he met her, surprising his disciples.
The Role of Women in the Bible
Women in the Bible are seen to fulfil a number of roles beyond the traditional ones of mother and wife. For example, in Judges, Deborah is spoken of as a prophetess (spoken to God) and a leader. In acts, Priscilla is a woman that is involved in teaching. These examples can be used to argue in favour of women’s rights in the Church.
Christian Attitudes Towards Racism
All denominations in the Church are opposed to racism - an attitude which is seen in their actions against it.
The Church of England
- Teaches God loves all people
- Speaks out against racism through its Board for Social Responsibility
- Committee for Minority and Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC)
CMEAC does many things, including: -
- Encouraging and enabling minority and ethnic groups to take leadership positions within the Church.
- Works with organisations to support race awareness
- Creates and maintains links with other faiths and cultures.
The Catholic Church
Spoke out against racism as early as 1537 during the slave trade, recognizing all people must be equal and unified as we are all God’s people.
Martin Luther King
A world-famous individual, known for his civil rights work which he died for - a Christian man.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Christians believe that: -
- God is merciful
- God forgives sins and remembers them no more
- Forgives only those who truly repent.
- Jesus died as a substitute for all Christians.
Catholics can attend a confession to receive God’s forgiveness. This is where a priest will hear a person’s confession of their sins in a small cubicle divided in two. These priests act on behalf of God.
Christian Attitudes Towards Other Religions
- Exclusivists believe the only way to God is through Jesus Christ.
- Many Christians are evangelical (spread Christianity) and so some spend their lives as missionaries, encouraging others to become Christians
- Inclusivists believe that there are many paths to God and so are less likely to attempt to convert people.
- Most Christians will agree that people should choose for themselves when it comes to faith and it is their responsibility to just make you aware of Christianity.