Modulo - The Basics
Giving Life Meaning
What's it all About?
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Welcome. Modulo - The Basics is all presented in one Part so start at the top of this page and go through to the bottom, or you can go straight to each topic by clicking on its blue heading in the Index in the right.

If you have a group and it’s going to read the text aloud, you might like to share the reading between the members so everyone gets involved. Alternatively you might prefer to do it in a more informal way using the text to prompt your own discussion – whatever suites you best.
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Picture, God Creating
Module 0: A Firm Foundation - Getting Started
Does God Exist – What's He Like? No-one can prove God exists, but equally no-one can prove he doesn't either. Christians believe that God has always existed, otherwise (i) who created God and (ii) what caused the ‘Big Bang’ at creation? Christians believe God is the ‘supreme being’ who created everything – including the Big Bang. When we believe something but can’t prove it, we’re said to believe it ‘in faith’.

One of the best ways to answer this question is to look at creation all around us. Science has learnt a lot about how it works, ‘The How’, but thy still can’t say why it happened or where all the matter came from. The Bible shows us God is greater than a human, he’s like three persons in one, a ‘Trinity’, who can and do act separately but always in perfect agreement, in perfect caring love. God made the universe to extend his great love to us and for us to return that love to him and each other which explains, ‘The Why’…. why we were created.
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  • The Christian Holy Book, 'The Bible', is a collection of records from hundreds of years that we use today to discover what others learnt about God before us. (It was mainly written in Hebrew and Greek, so we usually use a translation).

  • If you want to get to know someone, you need to meet and talk with them and Christians do that by using prayer - it's not 'talking to yourself' but talking to, and listening to God. Click here to use  Modulo 5 of The Big Picture if you would like a guide to help you do that.
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Picture, Abraham
Module 1: The Old Covenant - God Makes Himself Known
When God determined the time was right, he revealed himself to humanity through a ‘righteous’ man, Abraham, with his wife Sarah.

Their descendants were made slaves in Egypt, but God used a man called Moses to get them released, and through Moses gave them Laws for living together, (The Ten commandments – see page 3) and made an Agreement with them (The Old Covenant) that he would be their God and protect them if they would obey his Laws. For hundreds of years they weren't able to keep those Laws well enough, so kept breaking the Covenant which caused a separation from God just like a naughty child is separated from their loving parent. How the result of their breaking the Laws affected their life is recorded in the Bible’s first part – ‘The Old Testament’.

Module 1 of ‘The Big Picture’ explores in more detail how those original people responded to God’s Laws and compares that to our behaviour today.
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  • Over the years God sent messengers (prophets) to call them back to their Agreement, but they ignored them all and as a result God was unable to protect them. The Bible's Old Testament describes those events and reveals how they suffered as a result of their disobedience which we call 'sin'.

  • God’s Laws for living together apply to us too as we’re all part of his creation, and as we too can’t keep his Laws well enough, what did God do about it? (Return to top)
Picture, Jesus' Birth
Module 2: The New Covenant - What God did About it
To put right our disobedience of his Laws, God needed someone who was sinless and there was no-one that good, so God came himself in the human form we know as ‘Jesus Christ’. Jesus had to act on our behalf, so he had to be like us in every way. As a result, he was born in human form as a baby. Just as his birth was due, his mother had to go to the home town of her ancestors (Bethlehem) to be counted in a census. The town was crowded with similar visitors, so all the inns were full; consequently Jesus was born in the outhouse of an inn – a stable.

Shortly after his birth Jesus was declared a king by 3 visiting ‘wise men’ so the local king at that time (called Herod) felt threatened and killed all boy babies to avoid a competitor, but Jesus and his family escaped to Egypt as refugees until Herod died so the threat was removed.

On their return from Egypt, the child Jesus grew up in the town of Nazareth where Joseph (his Mother Mary’s husband) was a carpenter. When he was about 30 he began his ministry – first being baptised (‘Christened’) for the forgiveness of sins before going off into the wilderness to work out what he had to do and how to do it.

Jesus began his ministry by selecting 12 ordinary men as followers to be trained as Apostles (means ‘one sent out with a message’); then went about teaching people how to interpret God’s Laws correctly and healing people in miraculous ways, which in hindsight shows us he was God as no-one can do what he did.

His teaching annoyed the established leaders who were not revealing God properly, so after 3 years they contrived to have him executed to get rid of him. After a sham trial he was condemned to death on a cross as a common criminal.

At his Last Supper with his Apostles, shortly before he was arrested, he gave us a new agreement, a ‘New Covenant’, that he will speak up for us in defence of our sins if we at least try to obey the Commandments by loving God and our neighbour as ourself.
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  • ‘Messiah’ is a Hebrew word and ’Christ’ is its translation into Greek – both words mean ‘Anointed or Chosen One’ as Jesus was chosen by God to be the solution to our disobedience (our ‘sin’).

  • Jesus was both God and human at the same time – we don’t know how God could do that – we believe it ‘in faith’.

  • As a result, Jesus represents both the rich (a king) and the poor (a refugee).

  • We believe he was without sin, but he was baptised to be just like us in every way, and to mark the beginning of his adult work.

  • Jesus death was what God had planned all along, because, by his sacrifice on the cross, he made reconciliation with God for the sin of all people who have, or who ever will live.

  • Also at his Last Supper with his Apostles, Jesus gave us a way of remembering him using common bread and wine – which Christians call: Holy Communion, the Eucharist, Mass, or the Lord’s Supper.
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Picture, Fellowship of Believers
Module 3: The Apostle's Response
40 days after his death, Jesus returned to heaven and the Apostles returned to Jerusalem as he’d instructed them, where they waited for the gift of The Holy Spirit that changed them from frightened men, afraid the authorities would kill them too, into empowered men who preached Jesus message to thousands.

At first they invited people in to a ‘Closed Fellowship’ where they had to convert to the Jewish faith and life-style but, following a vision the Apostle Peter had, they changed and took the message out to where people were.

They travelled into the surrounding countries of that region and met with both success and failure, but overall they were successful in attracting many new members and creating the Christian Church we still have today.
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  • Saint Paul in particular made several journeys into the surrounding countries to create the first Christian churches, and subsequently wrote letters to them to correct and guide them, Letters that are still useful to correct and guide us today.

  • We can see what Saint Paul wrote as the books of the Bible’s New Testament that come after the four ‘Gospels’ are a copy of those Letters.
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Picture, Modern Congregation
Module 4: Our Own Response
After Jesus’ Apostles died, the Roman authorities (who then ruled much of the known world) either ignored or persecuted Christians, but in 313AD the Roman Emperor Constantine became a Christian and made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

From then on there was considerable inter-dependence between the church and state, which had the advantage of helping Christianity spread more quickly. However, in those early times, society was managed by powerful men – kings, dukes, or lords – so the affairs of the church now came to be managed by those same leaders, or by someone appointed by them, and several of those leaders pursued activities more aligned with their own interests rather than those of Jesus’ teaching.

After the ‘Reformation’, there was more attention again given to Christian teaching as detailed in the Bible and many organisations and individuals focused on sharing the Christian message with non-Christians. In the 19th century especially world travel became easier and the Christian message was taken out to people in remote areas such as Africa and America.

There was a tendency for those taking out the message to expect local people to copy western styles, so there was some tension with local traditions; but in more recent times, many organisations have recognised this and now work in sharing the Christian message in partnership with people in the style of the own area.
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  • The church split into two parts, headed in the west by the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and in the east by the Patriarch. They gradually became distanced from each other until 1054AD when they permanently separated into Roman Catholic and Orthodox.

  • In 1517AD, a few men began to ‘Protest’ at the corruption that had crept in and that led to the movement known as ‘The Reformation’ which resulted in a further split into the original ‘Catholic’ and new ‘Protestant’ wings, both claiming to follow more closely Jesus’ and the Apostle’s original teaching.

  • For many years it was expected that the priest would take the lead on everything but today, many believe that all baptised Christians are called to share the faith, so there’s more emphasis on everyone having a part to play. (Return to top)
Basic Rules for Living
The Ten Commandments

1 You shall have no other Gods but me.
2 You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
3 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4 You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
5 Respect your father and mother.
6 You must not commit murder.
7 You must not commit adultery.
8 You must not steal.
9 You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
10 You must not be envious of your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his partner, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.
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