What are some things Christians believe?

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Answered by: Tyler, An Expert in the Christianity - General Category
In today's pluralistic society, with the variety of opinions that many people have, it can be incredibly difficult to condense the beliefs of any certain group down to a concise list. That can be particularly true of one of the largest groups in the country, Christians, because there are many things Christians believe, and not only that, but the things Christians believe can vary significantly.For example, those who would identify as Christian hold different beliefs on everything from the purpose of baptism, how often one should go to church and what church is for, and even what it means to be a Christian in the first place. Also, there is less agreement than one might think on things Christians believe about topics such as evolution, homosexuality, abortion and the afterlife (hell, especially).

Despite this diversity, there are a few things Christians believe that are widely held in common. This includes belief in an all-powerful and loving God who created the universe, his one and only son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit — which is generally held to dwell within the hearts of believers. This threefold understanding of God is commonly known by its doctrinal name, "the Trinity." Other basic things Christians believe include that disobedience to God (referred to as "sin") brings separation, and acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus (who never sinned) on the cross is what restores people to a right relationship with God.Christians often believe they are called to live a life in line with the teachings of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. When asked to sum up all of the moral requirements of the Old Testament, Jesus said they were to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind, and "to love your neighbor as yourself" (which is sometimes known as "the golden rule"). Beyond that, topics Jesus taught on include discipleship, worship, giving, marriage, selflessness, trusting God and grace.

Christians generally believe in the importance of the Bible, though they may differ in their understanding of its authority or inerrancy. Conservative and mainline Christians, for example, tend to view the Bible as a divinely inspired text, perfect in its original conception and complete in its revelation of the nature of God and his saving work through Jesus Christ. Progressive Christians, on the other hand, tend to favor a view that while God inspired the Bible, he did it through the hands of sinful, imperfect people, whose biases and unique cultural contexts may have colored their contributions. Progressives would be more likely to accept that textual additions and subtractions, edits and copying errors have been introduced to the Bible over time.

Most Christians believe in prayer, the idea that one can talk to God and he will listen, though unlike much of what has been mentioned thus far, prayer is not an exercise unique to Christians. Even for the most conservative Christians, beliefs about the practice of prayer are fairly open-ended. In the Bible, it takes many forms, from worshiping God to confessing sins, from thanksgiving to asking for things (sometimes called supplication).

Hopefully, this attempt to describe the basic things Christians believe will be of value to readers. It is by no means exhaustive, and some Christians will surely disagree about whether all the bases have been covered. But more often than not, this broad sketch should prove largely accurate.

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