Christianity

Introduction

Christianity is the largest religion in the world today, with more than 2.4 billion followers, which is about 32% of the world’s population. The religion is an Abrahamic Universal faith that is based on the teachings and life of Jesus of Nazareth (Countess, 2009). The followers of this religion believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to save all humankind. The teachings of Christianity are founded in the Holy Bible, which has two major categories – the Old Testament and the New Testament. The coming of Jesus Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament, while the New Testament expounds on Jesus Christ and his teachings. These are the teachings that guide the lives of Christianity. One of the most important aspects of Christianity is the act of Jesus Christ dying on the cross and rising from the dead on the third day to signify that, the original sin committed by Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God and passed on to the rest of humanity had been forgiven. In Christianity, there is only one God, but there are three elements, which include God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Christianity has many rituals that give the religion its uniqueness. The Christian religion is known to have many rituals, practices, and ceremonies. However, the way these rituals and ceremonies are practiced differ from one cultural context to another.

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What fundamental practices are the same?

Some fundamental practices are the same across all the cultures that practice Christianity. All Christians irrespective of their cultures worship in churches. This cuts across all Christian denominations, and it is required for all groups of Christians to come together and contribute towards the building of churches (BeDuhn, 2010). Prayers and fasting are two other fundamental practices that are the same across all cultures that practice Christianity. Christians pray and fast by emulating what Jesus Christ did at the Judean Desert, where he prayed and fasted for forty days and forty nights while being tempted by Satan (Bowman, 2015). Baptism is another fundamental practice that happens in all cultures that practice Christianity. John the Baptist baptized Jesus, and it is through these teachings and example that all Christians throughout the world practice baptism.

How are the practices different from one to another society?

Baptism

Even though the main practices and rituals remain similar, they are sometimes practiced differently from one culture to another. In baptism, many cultures in South America and parts of Europe, especially those that practice Catholicism, practice baptism when a child is young. Toddler as young as the age of one is dedicated to God and baptized (Bill, 2011). This is not the same to cultures that practice the evangelical and protestant type of Christianity. In these cultures, people are only baptized when they are grown up because many have to undergo catechism classes and do an exam to pass (Bergman, 2012). One has to prove that they understand the basic fundamental principles of Christianity before they are baptized (BeDuhn, 2010). This shows that even though baptism serves the same purpose to all Christians, different cultural practices determine how each section of the religion interprets the scriptures.

 Sacrament

Sacrament forms a very important aspect of Christianity. It is used to symbolize the partaking of bread and wine to symbolize the body and blood of Jesus Christ when he was crucified on the cross. Christians partake on the sacrament to show that they understand the pain Jesus had to undergo to forgive their sins and save humanity (Bergman, 2012). However, different Christian cultures par-take it differently. Many protestant churches located in parts of Africa partake on it only once a month. They do it to show that they love Jesus Christ, and they live according to his teachings (Bergman, 2012). This is not the case in most western cultures where Christians are participating in partaking sacrament each Sunday when they go to church to worship.        

Way of worship

Most Christian cultures worship differently. In the United States, for example, white Christians follow the most conservative ways of worship where everything is orderly and quiet. Things are also done following a strict timeline from start to finish. This is normally not the case in many black churches in the United States (Bergman, 2012). The black churches start their program with loud prayers that are followed by praise and worship that is loud. Many speak in tongues and there is a lot of dancing. They believe that they should dance to their lord the same way David danced for him until his clothes were in tatters.

Conclusion

Christianity is the largest religion in the world and it is very hard for all cultures to worship the same way. That is why there are some differences between how people practice their religion. However, a keen analysis will show that the major principles of religion remain the same irrespective of the cultural differences between the worshippers.

References

BeDuhn, J. (2010). Truth in Translation about Christianity. Chicago, IL: Routledge. 

Countess, R. (2009). The rituals and ceremonies of Christianity. 2nd ed. Phillipsburg, NJ:

Presbyterian

Bergman, J. (2012). Jehovah’s Witnesses. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Bowman, R. (2015). Jehovah’s Witnesses. Zondervan Guide to Cults and Religious Movements.

Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Bill, A. (2011). Understanding Christianity- Why They Read the Bible the Way They Do.

Chicago, IL: Routledge.

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