What do christians believe?
We wish you a warm welcome as you dip into this leaflet designed to answer some basic questions about the Christian faith. If something you read here sparks an interest and you would like to know more, please do get in touch. And know that you are very welcome to come to our church for any service regardless of where you are on your journey or even if you just want to see what goes on!
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY DIFFERENT TRADITIONS?
The church is like a huge extended family all thinking of God as their heavenly Father who is the source of everything. But like all families, people move and put roots down in different places and end up doing things slightly differently. We’re still one family and we call all Christians our brothers and sisters in Christ.
TELL ME ABOUT THE BIBLE
The Bible is sometimes called Scripture and it was written over a very long time by different people. It is not one book but 66 books and so it is more of a library than a book! It contains books of poetry, books of history, songs, letters, and books about the early church. Most importantly, it contains the Gospels. The Gospels are four books about the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus. These books are called Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – if you want to start reading the Bible this is a good place to begin!
SOMETIMES CHRISTIANS SPEAK OF GOD AS 'FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT'. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
If you’ve ever been to a baptism you will hear the priest use the words, ‘I baptise you in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. This does not mean that we believe in three Gods. We believe in one God but we also believe that God has three key parts to his nature (just like a triangle, three sides but one thing). He is the source of all life (the Father); he revealed his nature in the person of Jesus (the Son) and he is at work in the world today (the Holy Spirit). It is a fundamental belief and nowhere near as confusing as it sounds but we have another leaflet just on this topic!
DO YOU NEED TO GO TO CHURCH TO BE A CHRISTIAN?
You can worship God everywhere and service in the week is every bit as important as worship on a Sunday. But Jesus commanded us to break bread together in his memory, and that is something that happens together at church. It is also a place of learning, of fellowship and support. Families need to get together regularly - and that is true of the Christian family. People who do come love to come.
THIS IS ALL VERY INTERESTING BUT HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP WHAT CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?
We believe that God brought the world into being and loves all of his creation; we believe that people became lost and so God sent his Son to show us how to find our way back to him. Jesus died on the Cross because people did not wish to hear his message of love and peace and transformation. But he rose from the dead that first Easter and showed that the love and power of God is greater even than death. Now we have a job to do – that task, with God’s help, is to build for all people a world of love, and peace, and justice which reflects the nature of the Kingdom of heaven. That is the mission of the church.