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By this, all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

With reference to the quote, evaluate the influence of Christianity in the life of adherents and
the Christian community.

Christianity is a dynamic living religious tradition, thus it possesses a central role in
influencing the lives of adherents and the Christian community. Adherents value Christianity
as a source of ethical guidance through the Scriptures, to address the contemporary bioethical
issues of abortion and euthanasia. This framework for an ethically-correct way of living
enables adherents to follow in the footsteps of Christ, acting as disciples of his ministry.
The significant practice of Baptism, as a central element of Christianity, is an initiation of
adherents to a discipleship with Christ as well as a reinforcement of the communitys
relationship with God. Furthermore, the Pauline Theology is prominent in fostering a doctrine
of a love for one another, which is necessary for adherents to uphold to be considered true
followers of Christ. In the face of growing secularism afflicting the contemporary Christian
tradition, the teachings of Paul are vital to strengthen solidarity in faith to maintain the
essence of a living religious tradition through its influence on the community. Thus,
Christianity delivers a paradigmatic approach to religious life and a way of living for its
adherents and the community.

Baptism is a key rite of initiation for Christian adherents, marking them as new disciples in
Christ and influencing how they commit to their ministry. This is a significant practice where
adherents proclaim their willingness to join the community and receive the grace of the Holy
Spirit, as represented through the immersion or pouring of water. Baptism also influences
adherents in acting as a ritualistic cleansing of Original sin, with the symbolic use of water.
The influence of Baptism on the adherent is clear through the scripture that none shall enter
the kingdom of heaven unless baptised of the water and spirit. (John 3:5). As a
consequence, Baptism offers adherents the way of life to gain salvation and a mark of
initiated members of the church.

The significant Christian practice of Baptism has an underlying importance for the Christian
community in strengthening their relationship with God, maintaining this tradition as
dynamic and living. Through Baptism, the community renews their pledge to commit to
Gods Great Commission which is detailed in the sacred scriptures of the Bible. It is
recorded that Jesus said therefore go and make disciples of nationsbaptising them in the
name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matt 28:18-19) This evokes a public
acknowledgement of Gods instructions and acts as a requirement of those of faith to become
elevated to the status of discipleship in Christ. Drawing from the sacred Scriptures,
Baptism is further significant in linking the community with the history of the early Christian
Church. The immersion in water reflects the baptism of Christ in the Jordan. This is
exemplified through he [Jesus] was baptisedthe spirit descended upon him. (Mark 1) It is
evident that the observance of Baptism, constitutes a tangible appeal to the Christian


community to assist them with consolidating their faith, enlivening this tradition as a living
religious tradition.

An abidance of Christian teachings concerning the life and death issue of bioethics, as
grounded in the Bible, is a crucial influence on an adherents way of living through faith.
This religious influence develops the lives of adherents to model the life of Christ. One issue
is abortion, the premature termination of life before the foetus has had its first breath.
Christian teaching outlines that only God can intervene with the passage of life, in
maintaining natural law, impinging on the commandment of loving one another.
Consequently, abortion is viewed as a moral evil by the Catholic Church who takes a
pro-life stance as justified by the Commandment thou shalt not kill, (Exodus 20:3-17) as
mirrored by the Orthodox Church. Euthanasia is another bioethical dilemma, which
constitutes the prolonging life by extraordinary means. As disciples of Christ, adherents are
expected to live with dignity, compassion and goodwill as core tenets of their faith. Thus
Christianity encompasses the notion that all people are made in the Image of God, (Genesis)
and thus the value and sanctity of an individuals life should be respected on all occasions,
even on the eve of death. In abiding by the Golden Rule to have love for one another, the
Uniting Church permits euthanasia as it would allow the patient to die with dignity as the
adherents acted with compassion to justify it. Yet the majority of variants like Orthodox and
the Catholic church share the view that euthanasia is a grave violation of Gods Law, (Pope
John Paul II) and as a result, condemn euthanasia. Overall, Christian doctrine in regards to
bioethical issues are a powerful aspect dictating the lives of adherents.

Christian theology, as developed by Paul of Tarsus, is an underlying source of teaching,
affecting how the Christian community meets the challenge of secularism, stressing the living
religious nature of Christianity. Secularism is the move away from religious virtue and an
increasing importance placed on materialism, however, Pauls theology influences adherents
by channelling an accord in faith. His inspirational development of the early communities
still influences the values of the modern faith community, reinforcing hope and appealing to
a union with others. Pauls theology laid down the foundations for the cohesion of church
members through his epistles. This is exemplified through his legacy including All of you
are like Christs body and each one is a part of it, (1 Corinthians 12:27-31). His guidelines
challenge the Christian community to promote ecumenism and harmony through religious
expression. Thus, in taking up the words of Paul of Tarsus, the community can renew their
Christian commitments and become influenced to spread the Word of God.

Christianity has a prominent influence on the lives of adherents and the Christian community
as symptomatic of a living religious tradition. This tradition values adherents to commit to
discipleship through an abidance of the correct ethically-minded way of living, as well as
the mark of a true disciple of Christ through Baptism. Also, Christianity appeals to the
community in strengthening their faith in Christ and to promote amalgamation with religious
virtue. Thus, Christianity presents a relevant approach to religious expression for its
adherents and the community as a living religious tradition.