And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…’

The Lords Prayer, which was given by Jesus, shows that Christians need to ask for God forgiveness, in order to be forgiven, and also show their own forgiveness to others. ‘Forgive our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ Christians then also need to pray that they will promise to turn away from sin, and they may also ask God to help them do this. ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ This shows active repentance for what they have done, and Christians believe that if the reconciliation is true and heartfelt they will be forgiven, because Jesus took the place of all humanities sin when he died on the cross.Forgiveness is also taught in the parables, when Jesus told people to ‘Turn the other cheek’, and to ‘Carry the soldiers bag an extra mile’, this demonstrated not only to be forgiving, but to be happy to forgive others! Even when they don’t deserve to be forgiven. Forgiveness should be unconditional.Christians also ask God to forgive their oppressors and ask him to show them how they have wronged. This can be shown when Jesus knew that he had been betrayed by Judas, yet at the last supper he did not tell the other disciples who had wronged him, forgiving Judas and acknowledging that it was in his human nature to sin. Also when he tells Paul that he will not confess to being a Christian and he forgives him, in advance, knowing that Paul would also betray his faith.This helps to show Gods will to forgive, even to forgive Judas for his betrayal and Jesus’ death. Jesus’ love for everyone including his oppressors is also demonstrated in Matthew 5:43-44 (in the Sermon on the Mount) ‘I have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy, but I say to you Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be the sons of your Father in Heaven.” And Luke 23:34 ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’ Jesus also demonstrates His love for sinners where he stops a woman, who has committed adultery, from being stones, and says to those who were stoning her ‘Let you without sin cast the first stone’. (John 8:7)God taught of unconditional forgiveness, for He loves everyone, but He does however feels that sometimes punishment is necessary, for example sentencing sinner to hell, but this He does out of love for His other ‘Children’, and He cannot help the people that choose to turn away from Him. Only those that are completely sin free may persecute others, and the only person who fits this description is God, (or so Christians believe), and it is taught that in all human cases Christians should forgive others, rather than take out revenge.Explain how a Christian might respond to someone with racist opinions.Racism, to me, is when a person (man or woman) of any race (Black, White, Asian etc.) or any religion (Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu) actively discriminates, and is prejudice to other people because of a difference in colour or beliefs.One of the key beliefs within Christianity is that all people, no matter what gender, race or background are all equally special and loved by God. Whether they are rich bishops or poor tramps, God loves them all just as much as one another.There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)For few people that believe in racism, for instance cults such as the KKK (Klu Klutz Klan) they believe that God created white people to be superior to blacks, and that this is made obvious by the natural higher intellect of whites. Some people argue that their racist beliefs are supported in the Bible, pictures, and statues. They also acknowledge Galatians 3:28 and say that in the present life (i.e. Earth and where we are now) Whites were created to be dominant, and that Galatians is only specific to the after life, ‘For you are all one in Christ Jesus’. This part of Galatians can also be taken and understood to mean that God may love everyone equally, but it does not necessarily mean that they should deserve the same treatment on Earth. Most Christians who believe in racism normally don’t tend to have anything against blacks following Christianity, but they do however hold beliefs about blacks’ status in society.However, modern Christians would disagree with these ‘old fashioned’ beliefs, saying that all people are in fact equal on Earth as well as Heaven. They show the true meaning of Galatians 3:28 that people should not see others as Jew or Greeks, but as normal human beings, and that if they are all equally loved by God, then they should therefore deserve the same amount of respect and care by other humans. They can also use Genesis 1:28 ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’. This puts forward the idea that God can be both black, as well as white. Therefore if a white man oppressors a black man, it can be seen as harming the image of God, which would then be seen as blasphemy.In the Bible it teaches that we should love our neighbour, and our neighbour can mean anyone. Therefore I (as a Christian) believe that we should love, and show respect to all people, regardless of their looks or their beliefs. And for those who have racist opinions, I believe that, Christians should try to persuade them to turn away from their racists beliefs, or forgive them for what they do (through racist actions) as its says in Luke 23:34 ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ and pray that they will see their wrongs.”We know from looking around us that people are not equal”Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. You must refer to Christianity in your answer.I agree that, on one level, the people around us are not entirely equal. This can be seen in many modern-day societies. For example in many places in South Africa, there is still high racial tension; in jobs, there are still women that are being underpaid in comparison to their male counterparts; in Pakistan and India, there is high tension between religious beliefs; and even in the Church, women are not entitled to all the positions that men are. Here it is apparent that all people may not be viewed as equals in a material world.However, contrary to this, Christians believe that in the eyes of God all people are equal. This is backed up in Galatians 3:28 where it says ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’ To me this hints that God knew that the world would probably never be totally equal, due to the influence that Satan has over it, and therefore he wanted to show his followers that they would all be accepted into his faith and be loved equally, no matter of gender or race. For Christians the Church can, and should be, seen as a refuge in which all people are equal, for God loves the poor devoted follower as much as he loves the rich bishop.On the one hand I agree that, material and possession wise, not all people are equal. However I believe that on a spiritual and religious level, all people within Christianity are in fact equal.

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