what is church Christianity? on this article, we bring you a detailed study of the Christian religion starting from the history of Christianity.
Origin of Christianity
Christianity is characterized as a religion based on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What makes presence is that the disciples of Christ are incorporated by baptism into the visible community for the purpose of salvation. We present a summary of the history of Christianity and its main qualities for study purposes.
What do we understand by Christianity?
Characteristics of Christians or doctrine of Christianity. Christianity is the religion founded by Jesus Christ and that emerged from Judaism, which leads to the political-religious world being scrutinized so that the beginnings of Christianity can be found. In this way, Jesus Christ is considered the Redeemer and Master within the doctrine, witnessing the death and resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem governed by Pontius Pilate.
When did Christianity arise?
Within Hellenic times independence was enjoyed by the people of the Jews, finding themselves under the Seleucid rulers. The contact that the Romans had with the Jews began in the year 63 a. C. and the year 6 of the current era, where Judea became one of the provinces that were under the command of the Roman governor, but that did not prevent unrest among the Jews.
In the midst of confusion and conflict with Judea, he began to preach Jesus of Nazareth to the point of growing up in Galilee, which was the center of the Zealot military. A very simple message through Jesus made the Jews look in a different direction from traditional religion. Within the message, Jesus highlighted loving God and neighbor, despite the adversities that were found.
As a consequence, conservative religious leaders began to judge Jesus’ sermons, changing the traditional Jewish religion, and making Jesus a potential revolutionary by turning the people against the Roman authorities in Palestine. For that reason, Jesus Christ is accused as a person who caused problems in various areas and was handed over to the Roman authorities.
However, after Pontius Pilate ordered his crucifixion, not only was the problem resolved, but the few faithful he had begun to spread the news that Jesus had defeated death and had ascended to heaven. Therefore, Christianity began as a religious movement within Judaism, and many Roman authorities for several decades considered it in the same way.
The history of the Christians
Several studies affirm that Peter, one of the disciples of Christ, was in charge of founding the Christian Church in Rome and this makes him the most important character in the world of Christians. But the one who transformed Christianity from a Jewish sect into a broader religious movement was Paul of Tarsus, a Jewish man of Roman nationality who had a great influence on Hellenistic Greek culture.
Paul believed that the message of Christ had to be preached not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. He is credited with founding Christian communities throughout Asia Minor and the Aegean coasts. In addition to that, he supported the universal foundation to create a diffusion in the ideas of Christ, in order to teach that Jesus with his death could expiate the sins of humanity and obtain personal salvation with a new beginning.
Although the center of Christianity began in Jerusalem, the destruction by the Romans for 70 years made it possible for the Christian Churches to obtain considerable independence. In this way, it was obtained that in a period of 100 years the Churches were founded in several cities in the east and part of the west of the empire so that the first Christians came from the ranks of the Hellenized Jews and the population of the east with the Greek language.
The 3rd and 4th centuries saw an expansion of Latin-speaking Christianity, resulting in the New Testament appearing after the year 200 not only in Greek but also in Latin. Various groups of early Christians would gather inside private homes to share a communal meal and celebrate their meeting through Jesus’ sacrifice, as well as enhance the Lord’s Supper celebration that was held for the last time.
At first, the Romans did not pay much attention to the Christians, considering them as one more sect of Judaism, so the first Christian communities had a flexible organization. But with the weight of time, the attitude towards the people of God began to change to the point of initiating threats in relation to order or morality in the inhabitants, which led them to live a life full of fear in their population.
When the Romans realized that the Christian people did not bow down to other gods and did not attend pagan festivities, the persecution began to increase little by little. But actually during the reign of Nero by destroying a large part of Rome he began to blame the Christians for the fire and this led to thousands of believers undergoing heinous deaths in Rome which turned the Christians killed into martyrs for sake of his faith.
Branches of Christianity
Christianity is subdivided into different branches which can be gathered into four different groups, which are described below:
- Catholic Church.
- Orthodox churches.
- Evangelical or Protestant churches.
1. Catholic Church
It is the religion of the Christians, a branch of Christianity as it is formed by the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe has a center in the Vatican, and recognizes the Pope as the highest authority. It has an average of 1,214 million faithful as it is a doctrine that focuses on the worship of Jesus, the worship of the Virgin Mary, and different saints.
Its sacred book is the Bible and through the word of God it transmits its teachings about the Gospel of Christ, in addition, its greatest symbol is Catholicism as it symbolizes the cross on which Jesus Christ died. A doctrine that believes in the preparation of the faithful so that their soul is saved, but that after death they go up to Heaven where they will enjoy eternal rest.
2. Orthodox churches
Orthodox Christians broke away from the Catholic Church in the 11th century but kept the seven sacraments to maintain apostolic succession. Therefore, it is constituted in a community of independent churches, where each one is autocephalous, which means that it is governed by its own bishop. Each one of them shares the same faith, the same principles of organization, politics, and the same liturgical tradition.
The difference is found in the language used in worship because they do not accept the successor of Peter and without the presence of a Pope, unity begins to weaken. They consider Mary as an important figure and allow married men to be priests. They have created several churches, and within the main ones they meet in different groups:
- Ancient Eastern Churches: they separated from the Catholics during the 5th century and within them are the Assyrian, Jacobite, Malankara Church of India, Coptic Church of Egypt, Ethiopian and Armenian.
- The four ancient Patriarchates – These separated from the Catholic Church in the 11th century and include the Church of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
- Churches of the Patriarchates subdivision: ordered from highest to lowest in relation to the number of faithful, the Patriarchates of Moscow, Romania, Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria, among others.
- Churches in unity with Rome: within them are Malanker Catholics, Copts, Armenians, and Chaldeans, among others.
3. Evangelical or Protestant churches
Evangelical Christians separated from the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century, a rupture that has several doctrinal differences in practices an example of them is the churches that accept the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. In addition, the fathers of Protestantism are the theologian’s Martin Luther and John Calvin, having different ways of following God.
They reject at all costs the authority of the Pope, opposition to the sale of indulgences, purgatory, the sacrifice of the mass, and intercession for the dead, among others. Therefore, they only recognize Christ as the leader of the Church and also good works are the result of the fruit of faith in Jesus.
4. The Anglicans
It is considered as the religion that is practiced in England and its origin was thanks to Henry VIII, who accepts that Anglican clerics marry and Anglican bishops have the same rank by sharing the leadership of the Church, so the bishops are senior pastors with the help from clergy and laity. They also accept the Holy Trinity and reject the cult of images.
A church that is in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury accepts the Bible but has greater freedom in interpreting the nature and extent of the inspiration given differently.
The beliefs of Christianity
The Christian faith is based on the absolute belief that Jehovah is the only true God and that Jesus Christ is his son who came into the world to save humanity from all its sins. So Pentecostal Christians follow Christ and follow each of the teachings taught. But even though there are several beliefs that base on faith, the Bible teaches the following aspects:
The Divine Trinity
God is three persons in one by being God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, an event that is confirmed at the time of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist by speaking of the Spirit of God descending like a dove, Luke 3:22. Making it clear that God is the only one who wishes to have an intimate relationship with his creation, Genesis 1, as well as that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, Matthew 1: 18-25.
Jesus the Prophesied Messiah
With Jesus, each of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah has been fulfilled, including his birth, triumphal entry, death, resurrection, and ascension. Matthew 21.
Death and resurrection of Jesus
He died on the cross as a living sacrifice for the sins of man and took upon himself all the sins of humanity, but after being entombed and buried he rose again by defeating sin and death. Matthew 28.
The third person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit who is in charge of carrying out the work of God towards his people, a way of making it known that God dwells in the Christian who believes in him. God manifests his power through the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:1-5.
Jesus focused on establishing a church that is made up of God’s people throughout the world. A community that is sealed through the Holy Spirit by receiving power from on high to be able to be prepared when Jesus Christ comes and takes his church without a spot, Acts 2: 43-47.
Resurrection and eternal life
Those saved in Christ Jesus are called children of God, who have a special place in heaven and will spend an eternal life at his side. Therefore, when Jesus comes to earth for the second time, the physical bodies of men will be transformed and they will go into the presence of God. But false Christians will be condemned and thrown into the lake of fire. John 3:16
Who is the founder of Christianity?
The founder of Christianity is Jesus of Nazareth of Jewish origin, who according to the Holy Scriptures the center of the Christian faith is the faith in the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In addition, Christians believe in the resurrection that is found after death and the eternal life that will be at the side of God.
Only Jesus is the true God and the expected Messiah that was announced for thousands of years in the Old Testament and also that the Son of God is not dead but rose on the third day defeating death. The Christian religion celebrates the day of the resurrection on Sunday and they practice the Lord’s Supper once a month in commemoration of the sacrifice of love made towards humanity.
What is Christianity
Christianity consists of one of the three monotheistic religions found in the world today, its base and foundation are found in the teachings of Christ. Early Christians are born according to the Judaic religion in the year I, with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in Judea, which is now Israel.
Over time, many Christians were persecuted for believing in Jesus, until Emperor Constantine I promulgated an edict from Milan in 313 AD, where the cult was released and the persecution ended. It is currently one of the most widespread religions in the entire world and reaches an average of two billion followers.
Characteristics of Christianity
- Christianity is born with Jesus Christ as a prophet.
- Followers of Jesus are known as Apostolic Christians, basing their faith on the Bible which is inspired by God.
- It is believed in one God in three forms, known as the Trinity, which is made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ is born of Mary a virgin woman who was pleased with God.
- Jesus’ mission was the reconciliation of man and God through sacrifice to bear the sins of mankind.
- Jesus atoned with his death on the cross stripping mankind of the sins inherited from Adam.
- Salvation is only obtained by believing and having faith in Jesus Christ.
- Hell is considered to be a place of eternal punishment and there is no bridge connecting Heaven with Hell.
Differences between Catholics and Evangelical Christians
Catholics are Christians but or all Christians are Catholics because Christians are divided into various groups, Orthodox, Christians, Evangelicals, Protestants, and followers of Christ. In addition, Catholics refer to the Church of Rome as a universal identity, while Christians have God as the center of their belief.
Similarly, Catholics believe in the 7 Sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, and Marriage. Priestly Order, Confession, and Anointing of the Sick. For their part, Christians do not profess the belief in these sacraments, and it should also be noted that there are differences between their beliefs among Christians themselves.
Another difference between Catholics and Protestants is that Catholics believe in the Virgin Mary, who is the most important Saint as she has no sins, but Christians, despite believing that Mary was the mother of Jesus, affirm that she committed sins like other people. . Likewise, Catholics believe that their spiritual leader is the Pope and is considered a direct descendant of Saint Peter the Apostle.
Summary comparison between Catholics and Evangelical Christians
Difference between Christians and Catholics?
- Origin: Jerusalem.
- Place of worship: Church, basilica, chapel, cathedral, and others.
- Scriptures: Holy Bible, a collection of 73 canonical books in two parts: 46 Old Testament and 27 New Testament.
- Clergy: Hierarchical clergy in holy orders: bishops, priests, nuns, monks, and deacons. Another level is found: pope, cardinal, and archbishop, among others.
- Generalities: Catholics belongs to the church formed by Christ, who chooses Saint Peter as the first pope. Then the apostles were responsible for bearing witness to the Catholic creed.
- God: Monotheistic in a God that is made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Sacred images: crucifixes, images, and statues. They often use a form of representation of Jesus, Mary, or saints.
- Participation of believers: participation in the liturgy in celebration and veneration of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross in the mass, as well as celebrating the 7 Sacraments.
- Human Nature: Having inherited the original sin of Adam and Eve, they must be in constant search of the forgiveness of their sins.
- Holy days: Sundays, the Lord’s Day so you must go to church, Advent, Pentecost, Easter, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
- Life after death: comes eternal salvation in paradise, plus eternal damnation in hell. There is also a third-place to seek forgiveness of sins, which is purgatory.
- Confession of Sins: Absolute redemption is granted by a priest upon confession.
- How to achieve salvation? : the original forgiveness of sins is given in baptism, but when lost due to mortal sins, salvation is achieved through faith and penance.
- Conception birth of Jesus: conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
- Coming of Christ: when the end comes, Christ will return to judge the living and the dead, in the final judgment.
- Death of Jesus: on the cross, he rose on the third day and then ascended to paradise.
- Founder: Jesus along with his apostles and Peter who was appointed the first pope was chosen by Jesus himself.
- Marriage: sacrament celebrated between man and woman, so there is no divorce, but there is an annulment that only a higher ecclesiastical authority can give.
- Etymology: Catholic comes from the Greek “katholikos” and means “General or Universal”.
- Main virtues: true, kind, pure, honorable, just, and noble.
- Branches: Latin Church and Eastern Church, Anglo-Catholic Church recognized in 2008.
- Purpose: to give glory to God and share eternal life with him.
- Laws: diocesan law, canon law, and papal decree.
- Rites: seven sacraments, dedication to churches, the blessing of objects, masses, exorcisms, and others.
- God and Salvation: God sent his only son to save mankind from their sins.
- Prophet: John the Baptist, Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and others.
- Dogmas: sacraments, Eucharist, Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception, and others.
- Day of veneration: worship as a regular process in life, Sundays although it is a sacred day but not the only one that can go to church.
- Internal laws: catechesis of the church, decrees, papal orders, the law, the 10 commandments, and 5 processes.
- Mary: considered as queen, mother of God, and object of the greatest adoration, for which she assures that she has been seen in places throughout history.
- Impulsivity: varies, low in general.
- Original languages: Greek and Latin.
- Opinions about animist or pagan religions: Pagan idolatry that Catholics must be careful not to fall into.
- Estimated number of believers: 1.2 billion believers worldwide.
- Role of the Pope: he is the holy father, the successor of Saint Peter, and the leader of the Catholic Church.
- On other Abrahamic religions: Catholicism is the original Christian church, so the other religions are worthy of respect and distance.
- In which direction to pray: it is not very important but it should be done towards the Blessed Sacrament.
- Purgatory: Yes it exists.
- Praises for the saints, Mary, and angels: it is allowed to be the intermediaries and mediators of the people towards God himself.
- Origin: Judea.
- Place of worship: home studios, church, tabernacle, among others.
- Scriptures: Bible holy book for Christians.
- Clergy: ministers, bishops, pastors, evangelists, prophets, teachers, and apostles.
- Generalities: They believe in Christ the son of the Trinity who walked the earth.
- God: one Godfather, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Holy Images: Several branches only allow statues in churches.
- Participation of the believers: prayer, worship in the temple, reading of the bible, and acts of charity.
- Human nature: a fallen and broken species that need the salvation and forgiveness of Jesus son of God.
- Holy days: New Year, Pentecost, Christmas, and Easter.
- Life after death: it depends on the behavior of the person, being allowed in paradise or hell.
- Confession of sins: confession of sins only with Jesus who came to die for humanity. For Anglicans, confession is optional as they always find forgiveness from God.
- How to achieve salvation? : it is reached under the grace of Jesus, in his death and resurrection.
- Conception birth of Jesus: conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary.
- Coming of Christ: Christ will return to judge the living and the dead, setting his children apart for final judgment.
- Death of Jesus: He died on the cross, rose on the third day, and ascended to the right hand of the Father.
- Founder: Jesus.
- Marriage: It is a sacred act celebrated between a man and a woman.
- Etymology: Christian comes from the Greek “christianós” which comes from the name “Christós” translation that means Messiah or anointed.
- Main virtues: love, patience, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, meekness, faith, and temperance.
- Branches: Orthodox Church, Church of Alexandria, Protestant Church, and other currents.
- Purpose: to love God and obey each of his commandments.
- Laws: varies according to the denomination you have.
- Rites: do not exist.
- God and salvation: no one can save himself, only God through his son Jesus can save humanity.
- Prophet: Moses. Samuel, Isaiah, John, and others.
- Dogmas: God is only a father, resurrection, salvation, and others.
- Day of veneration: Sunday day of the Lord.
- Internal laws: Canon Law.
- Mary: mother of Jesus the savior.
- Impulsivity: high.
- Original languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Modern Greek.
- Opinions on animist or pagan religions: witchcraft and satanic possessions, so it is not recommended to have pagan cults.
- Estimated number of believers: 1.4 billion believers worldwide.
- Role of the pope: Protestants and Orthodox reject his authority.
- In other Abrahamic religions: Judaism is considered as an incomplete religion, Islam as a false religion, and the Koran is not the true gospel.
- In what direction do you pray: you do not pray, you pray towards the place that you think is convenient.
- Purgatory: Does not exist.
- Praises for the saints, Mary, and angels: only God, Jesus, and the Spirit are praised.
- What is the New Life in Christ?
- Christianity Beliefs: When did we start being Christians?
- 50 Questions About Christianity and Answers
- What are Christians? Christianity is one of the three monotheistic religions that exist in the world today. It has as its basis and foundation the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, also called Jesus Christ.
- What is Christianity and what do Christians believe? Christianity is one of the world’s largest religions with followers all over the world. Christians believe that Jesus was God and follow a code of ethics set forth in their holy book, the Bible.
- What are the types of Christians? Its main branches are Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy.
- What is the God of Christians? Christians believe that God is spirit, not created, omnipotent, and eternal. The Creator and sustainer of all things, who redeems the world through his Son, Jesus Christ. After Jesus’ ascension, he left the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide his people.
- What do Christians think of the Virgin? For the Catholic Church, the Virgin Mary is the Mother of God insofar as she is the true mother of Jesus who is God. Mary did not conceive the Word (second person of the Trinity) since, like God, he is eternal, but she did conceive Jesus who is the Word made man.
- What does Christianity teach? The Christian is always a disciple of the Master, Jesus, who teaches us to be true children of God, our Father, men and women who through their faith in Jesus, their hope in the coming of Christ, and their crucified love become salt of the earth and light of the world.
- How many types of evangelicals are there? Protestants, Baptists, Methodists, Mennonites, and Pentecostals, which, as we will see, is the evangelical branch that has grown the most in the 20th century throughout the world and is at the origin of current political concerns.
- What is the meaning of the cross for Christians? In Christianity, the cross represents the victory of Christ over death and sin, since according to their beliefs and thanks to the cross, the incarnate God (“the anointed one”) defeated death itself and rescued humanity from condemnation.
- What are the three major religions in the world? Christianity is the religion with the most believers. Islam and Hinduism follow.
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