Comparative Religions Chapter 10 Response–Christianity

Christianity is, in essence, the offshoot of Judaism that follows the teachings by Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples; Christianity started as a rather small sect of followers in the early CE has since then become the largest religion across the entire planet. The Christian Bible is a compilation of the Hebrew Bible known as the Old Testaments and the works written by the disciples of Jesus known as the New Testaments; chronologically the books of the New Testament were written well after the death of Jesus, possibly as the transcribed form of his word that was previously exchanged through oral tradition. The overall theme of Christianity seems to have been to accept everyone, regardless of their status in life, and to share a unified love of all living things not unlike the beliefs held by several of the previously discussed religions; a major differentiation from other religions with a strong belief in unity is the belief in an afterlife ruled by a single divine entity, whereas the other religions lack one or the other of these qualities. During the initial spread of Christianity, mainly the three years Jesus was said to have personally ministered, a strong opposition formed in the main political ranks of the time who saw the Christian teachings as a threat to the governing body; despite opposition and the execution of Jesus, Christianity has wormed its way to the top religious organization due to its simplistic message and much more relaxed methodology towards reaching the salvation it foretells.

From the readings I have come to the conclusion that it is likely that Jesus intended his teachings to be used as a passive method of political reform through one of the most viable methods of reform, religion. Too much information on the early life of Jesus is unknown and what is known cannot entirely be proven through historical reference, which raises skepticism about any divinity claims; however there is enough evidence to suggest that a man referred to as Jesus did have some sort of influence over enough followers to warrant notice by the Roman government, and Christianity did eventually take over as the central religion of the rapidly expanding Roman empire which would have in turn affected those in political power. Information from my Greek and Roman Mythology course implies politics in the Roman Empire was largely catalyzed by the defining religious influence of the state; the course also highlights the tendency for Roman society to transition between religions fairly swiftly so long as the appeal is better presented than the previous titleholder, and Christianity was vastly less restrictive than the previous titleholder, in fact Christianity may be the least restrictive monotheistic religion we’ve covered that includes an afterlife determined by morality. Ironically, Christianity has become the basis for several political bodies worldwide and has, in many cases, been distorted to justify law to subjugate people whereas the intention was to treat everyone as equals; it has also been distorted to subvert the law and has been distorted to create loopholes to its own agenda, such is the way of long term religions that were built with a specific culture in mind. This is the first religion in my observations that showed a dissonance between the message and the practice; Christianity definitely has merit as a general way of thinking but does need to be interpreted in a new light and not taken as literally when it comes to application in law, evolution is always a major requirement for a religion to remain relevant throughout time and Christianity has a major milestone to cross in the coming century.

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