For two thousand years people of every age, culture and
country have discovered that in the person of Jesus Christ they have been
brought to God.
Christianity remains the world's largest religion, and the Bible the world's best selling book. We believe that in Jesus Christ, God was made man and taught his followers about belief, values and the meaning of life.
Jesus Christ lived in what is now the Middle East and was executed by being nailed to a cross in about AD30. He was in his early thirties when he died. Jesus was put on trial for speaking out about his beliefs and criticising the values of his society. He was sentenced to death and was crucified. To the amazement of his followers, who watched him die, three days later Jesus was raised from the dead. This experience transformed the lives of a group of very ordinary men and women. They had witnessed evil overwhelmed by good. Christianity had begun.
We believe that on the cross, Jesus who was without sin took our sin and death upon himself. In his resurrection he broke down the barrier of death and opened the way to eternal life. To those who trust and follow him he offers new life and a new start, the promise of his Holy Spirit to guide us, strengthen us and enable us to live according to his example and teaching.
It is the presence of the Holy Spirit which Christians believe supports and leads the Church in its mission to share the Good News of the Gospels. We know that no-one is perfect and that everyone make mistakes. We all do. But we believe God forgives us when we say sorry to him as we try to learn from what we have done wrong.
We don't have all the answers. Only God does. By entering into a relationship with God, through his Son, Jesus, we look to serve him better with the life he has given us. Life itself now has a new meaning. No failure or disaster can be beyond recovery.
Once a person has accepted that God cares for them, they look at other people in a new way - for God is equally concerned for each of us. Prayer – talking to and listening to God – is also for everyone, and for Christians it is the way we communicate with God our Father. God speaks to us today through the Holy Spirit, through the Bible, through prayer and through other Christians.
All the important things in life – work, sex, money, politics, relationships – are of concern to God. Human beings are trusted by God to be generous with their lives.
From the Diocese of Ripon & Leeds website: used with permission
Click this link for an Introduction to Methodism
To find out more about traditional, evangelical views of Jesus follow this
Also, many churches hold regular Alpha courses to introduce the faith. Go to www.alpha.org to find out more about Alpha and where your nearest course is being held.
For a more radical approach to Christianity, take a look at the Progressive Christian Network website and Ship of Fools.