EXPLAIN RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS ABOUT EQUALITY AND DIFFERENCE (30 marks)
In examining the religious teachings about the values of human life using religious teachings it is easy� to see that God thinks all human life equal regardless of race�, gender or disability and encourages all his 'sheep' (followers of his, who he regards not as servants but as friends) to do so as well. This is proven in 1st Corinthians 7 18- 20 where it is said, 'Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.', the passage suggests that God cares not about the outward appearance or position of his followers but their obedience to his command, regardless of what life they have lived or what they were before, it also supports the fact that God was willing to take converts and so did not make distinctions between the human race or bear prejudice to those who were previously not his followers and had converted.
The belief of equality for all of mankind is further supported by the bible which (Genesis 1:27) proclaims that all were made 'in the image of God' and therefore bear a likeliness to him regardless of any differences we might show. This theory is known as imago dei and is one shared by the three Abrahamic� religions - it is thought that our likeliness to God means all human life should be treated with respect and dignity. (Matthew 5:43-38) 'Ye have heard it that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you'. This passage states that Christians should bear hate to no one even those who wish 'harm' unto them and instead pray for them and still show love to them regardless suggesting that Christians should have compassionate and fair attitudes towards all individuals. This belief of equality, understanding and acceptance no matter the past or social standing of the person is present in most other religions such as Islam, Judaism and Buddhism and now-days most religions are known to visit jails (where sinners lay) trying to convert the 'evil' and 'lost' (sinners) so that they may repent and instead become children of God an example of important converts is Charles Colson who was part of the Watergate Seven, he was arrested and pleaded guilty to Watergate related charges and the obstruction of justice before being sentenced for 1-2 years in prison. While in prison Colson converted to Christianity and when released started Prison Fellowship - a national ministry that helps prisoners to convert to Christianity, it is said that this program ' has helped prisoners live a better life and strengthen their spirit'. Quakers a faction derived from Christianity believe 'there is that of God in everybody'�, meaning that no one is more important than anyone else as they are all made in God's image by God, however even within this organisation - people still have to take charge and allocate certain responsibilities to others meaning they become leaders and therefore more important that everyone else, suggestion that they are not equal to everyone else as they are worth more.
There are two main Christian views on the truth of other religions; The exclusive view (mainly fundamentalists) who like Christians in the past believe all 'non-Christians' are not doing what is 'right' and therefore will be condemned to Hell unless converted. Fundamentalist try to convert others to Christianity through the means of 'evangelism' etc. becoming 'missionaries'. This is because of their literal interpretations of the bible, believing in John 3:18 which states, 'whoever does not believe in him (Jesus) stands...
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