Nature and Deity
One God, creator of all things, is considered to be three “persons” (the
Trinity): God the Father / the Son (Jesus Christ) / the Holy Spirit. These three
aspects of God co-exist within a single Godhead.
Understanding of Beginnings
All that exists does so through God who began creation at a definite point in
time and who will end creation. God created from nothing and all that he
creates has purpose and meaning.
Conception of Time
Time is linear, though there are two very different approaches. In one, there
is the suggestion that through human lives a renewed and peaceful world will
be created—the Kingdom of God on earth. In the second, the world
becomes so full of suffering and wrongdoing that an antichrist will appear,
bringing conflict. Christ then returns and defeats the antichrist in a great
battle inaugurating a reign of peace.
Mortality (and Afterlife)
There is one life only. Beliefs about death vary. The soul may ascend to
heaven and be judged by God; or, the soul and the body may be raised on
the Day of Judgment, at the end of time, and will then be judged.
The Bible is sacred scripture. It consists of the “Old Testament”—the books
of the Hebrew Bible—plus the “New Testament.” The books of the latter
were fixed circa 280 CE and are the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, letters
from writers such as Paul and James and the Book of Revelation.
Prophets and Founders
The faith is named after Jesus Christ, who was born in Palestine circa 4
BCE and crucified circa 29 CE. Christians believe he is the Son of God,
part of the Trinity, and that he came to earth in human form to bring humanity
back to fellowship with God.
Rites of Birth and Death
Many Christians are baptized into the Church while they are babies, but this
can be done at any time in life. At death, Christians are laid to rest in the
hope of the resurrection of the dead. Cremation and burial are both
Festivals and Calendar Events
The main festivals celebrate the life of Jesus Christ: Christmas, celebrating
his birth, Easter, marking his death and resurrection; Ascension Day,
celebrating his return to Heaven. Pentecost celebrates the coming of the
Holy Spirit onto the Disciples.
Teaching About Religion
in support of civic pluralism