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Christianity is a religion that is centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the New Testament. Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah reportedly prophesied in the Old Testament, and that the New Testament records the Gospel as revealed by Jesus. With an estimated 2 billion of formal adherents, or approximately 33% of the world’s population, Christianity is the world’s largest religion. It is the predominant religion in Europe and North America. It is also growing rapidly in Africa and Asia, particularly in China, South Korea and the Middle East.
The name “Christian” (Ancient Greek Χριστιανός), meaning “belonging to Christ” or “partisan of Christ”, was first applied to the disciples in Antioch on the Orontes, as recorded in Acta Apostolorum 11:26 of the New Testament. The earliest recorded use of the term “Christianity” (Ancient Greek Χριστιανισμός) is by Ignatius of Antioch.
- 1 Branches
- 2 Christian Church
- 2.1 Notes
- 2.2 History
- 3 Ecclesiology
- 4 Beliefs
- 5 The Christian Creed
- 6 Videos
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
There are several branches of Christianity, all with a different set of beliefs:
- Christian Identity
- Coptic Orthodox Church
- Eastern Orthodox Church
- Old Catholic Churches
- Roman Catholic Church
- Seventh-day Adventism
The Christian Church refers to the institution founded by Jesus Christ and His Apostles. It shows itself to be the legitimate heir of ancient Israel and that its membership has a unique covenant with God (in the form of the Holy Trinity). The self-declared purpose of the organisation is so that its members may succeed at living a righteous life and attain eternal salvation, avoiding damnation in hell. Originating in 1st century Palestine amongst the Judahites, it spread throughout much of the Roman Empire and came into contact early on with Greco-Roman culture. After a period of persecution, the Church was legalized under Constantine the Great in 313 and became the state religion in 380 under Theodosius the Great.
Disputes about the doctrinal nature of Christianity existed from an early time and St. Irenaeus of Lyons authored Against Heresies in the 2nd century. A body of literature built up, authored by prominent early Christians known as the Church Fathers, who defined the terms of orthodoxy (literally "correct belief") within the Church. From the 4th century, starting with the First Council of Nicaea (where the Creed and canon of the New Testament were defined) the Church held ecumenical councils to define such issues. Early groups defined as heretics included Gnostics, Arians, Monophysites and Nestorians. Over time, the numbers of these latter groups diminished, but some continue to exist today.
The identity of "the Church" was straight forward until the Great Schism of 1054. Within this, two parties; Western (what is today called the Catholic Church) and Eastern (what is today called the Orthodox Church) mutually excommunicated each other. Afterwards and to this day, each claimed to be the sole legitimate Christian Church. The origins of the dispute were partly doctrinal, partly political, based on who were the true upholders of Romanity (to which Christianity had become bound); the Frankish Carolingian Empire or the Greek Byzantine Empire. The issue was further complicated in the 16th century when Catholicism spawned Protestantism, eventually proliferating thousands of vastly different sects.
As part of an anti-Jewish group strategy
Kevin MacDonald has reported that the Christian Church in the World in its early history in part arose as having an anti-Jewish intellectual movement part of it due to resource competition between Jews and Gentiles and in response to the Jewish group evolutionary strategy.
Theological disputes, and religious splits
Christianity has been marked by numerous theological disputes and religious splits into many different denominations. This could possibly be due to too much psychological individualism among Western Aryans, despite Christianity being collectivistic, and how ordered Christendom was under the Catholic Church in the past. This psychological individualism was especially triggered among Aryans by Protestants, Freemasons, and Jews, spreading liberal-capitalism in Judeophiliac, sybaritic cultures thereof, and in such movements as the Liberal Enlightenment.
Life and Passion of Jesus Christ
The Christian religion understands itself to be the legitimate heir of the religion of the Israelites; namely the law of Yahweh (generally referred to as "God") handed down to Moses at Mount Sinai, carried on through Yahweh's covenant with the Israelites; Jacob, son of Abraham and the various Prophets of the Old Testament. Christians understand Jesus Christ to be the Messiah from the House of David prophesied in the Old Testament and Himself to be the fulfillment of the Law. According to the Christian religion, Christ instituted a new covenant consisting of the members of His Church, open to all of humanity, rather than just the Israelites. Those elements who were viewed as having corrupted the Israelite faith with Babylonian mysticism and false traditions of the elders, the Pharisees, rejected the new covenant and formed a schism which became Talmudic Judaism. Like the Christian Church, the Pharisees (today's Talmudic Jews) also opine to be the sole legitimate representative of Israel.
According to the Christian religion, Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary. The Gospels claim that he is the Son of God, who existed before all time, but was born into the world in the flesh through the Immaculate Conception. His genealogies, both maternal and his legal paternal ones (through his stepfather Joseph the Betrothed) claim him to be a Judahite, one of the tribes of the Israelites, from the House of David. Talmudic and pagan (such as Celsus) opponents have claimed that his true father was a Roman soldier named Panthera. His early years are obscure, but he is said to have been a carpenter in Nazareth. As an adult, he was baptized by his cousin John the Baptist and spent some time in the desert fasting, returning with the ability of wonder-working; some have drawn a parallel between this and the sect known as the Essenes.
Apostolic Church and Ante-Nicene
Christianisation of Roman Empire
Conversion of "Barbarian" Europe
East vs. West: Schism of 1054
The Christian Creed
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven. By the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended in heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
- The Church and anti-Semitism—again. http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2009/02/the-church-and-anti-semitism%E2%80%94again/
- St. John Chrysostom on the Jews: Creating an Anti-Jewish Group Strategy http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/02/st-john-chrysostom-on-the-jews-creating-an-anti-jewish-group-strategy/
- Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean by Philip A. Harland