Christianity is the global title for people who try and follow the teachings and practices laid out in the New Testament of the bible. There are numerous variations or denominations with different emphases and approaches, but, there are some things are can be identified as central to most if not all Christian beliefs. It is assumed that God both exists and is significant, which, in itself is by no means universal. God is, by definition, part of faith. As yet, His existence can neither be proved nor disproved, at least scientifically.


Sin is the generalised term for having done something wrong. Strictly speaking it is going against God’s wishes but, as we disagree on what those are it is better just to leave it as wrong doing. Although, in theory, it is possible to never do anything wrong in practice most of us will admit to being not perfect. If it was only a matter of specific actions then, maybe, there would be nothing to concern us, but, the belief is that it is the intents that matter to God, as much as the resulting actions. So, on that reckoning, all have sinned in one way or another, which means that we are all separated from God by this thing called sin.

So how do we get past sin?

Most religions offer some sort of guidance or formulae for living to minimise, or even remove the chances of sinning. In fact, if you compare the teachings of different religions you will find a great deal of commonality. “Do to others as you would have them do to you” can be found in one form or another in every culture, religion, or teaching. What makes Christianity unique is that the solution to sin is provided by acts of God rather than the acts of a person or persons. Instead of penance, or attempting to live in a specific manner, God offers forgiveness. This means that it is not what we physically do that ultimately matters, but what we believe, and accept, as coming from God.

Salvation and Forgiveness

So whether it is the feeling of guilt about something you did or said, or maybe some fear of retribution (Hell), or reward (Heaven), Christians believe you can be made right with God by asking for, and receiving forgiveness. We believe that God sent His only son to die for (pay for) all our sins and because of that act God will forgive us, as long as we both admit the wrong, and ask for the forgiveness. There is also the implied understanding that you will try not to repeat the action, something that can be lost in some belief systems that involve penance or other acts of contrition or life styling. It is here where Catholicism and “High Anglicanism” tend to diverge from the other denominations. The Non-conformist churches, of which the URC (and Methodism) is a part, emphasise faith over action in line with the teachings of Paul in Romans (et al). The Church of England (Anglican) has divergent beliefs and practices depending on whether they are “High Church” (Similar to Catholic) or not.

Fanatics, Cults and Pseudo-Christians

As in any group or organization there will be those who are overzealous, fanatical and convinced they are right, even superior. There are several groups who claim to be Christian but are not recognised by the orthodoxed church. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are the most prominent, but, many include Seventh Day Adventists, Scientology, and some Independent churches, who have split from the Mother Group. They can be very persuasive and usually intrusive and domineering. If you or a member of your family, or someone you care about is approached or gets involved we advise you seek guidance and support. Finding and identifying that support is not easy to specify but, you are welcome to use the contact us form as a first approach. Christianity is based upon the principle of free choice, yet there are some who would deny it even exists let alone grant it to you. In the bible Jesus stands at the door and knocks, He does not bulldoze in and take over. Anyone who pressurises, or demands that you follow their ways is not behaving in a true Christian manner. All are welcome, but, you are free to walk away.

If you are looking for rewards, or conversely to avoid perceived eternal punishment then you are starting from the wrong perspective. We are Christians because we believe that to be the right way to live rather than as a passport to Heaven, or an insurance from Hell.