ABRIDGED CHRISTIAN CATECHISM
OUTLINE. This catechism is about God,1 in Whom belief among humans including the great scientists is universal, and about human beings, individuals living in a community, whom God created2 in His love, grace and image as the Bible, the word of God, writes and like a mirror reveals God, the eternal invisible Spirit, to humankind and humankind3 to itself. The first man and woman, husband and wife, Adam and Eve, at the instigation of a fallen angel, the devil, Satan, rebelled against God’s will and sinned, bringing into world history and culture evil, suffering and death: pride, greed, hatred and violence between individuals, linguistic, religious, ethnic and national groups, demagoguery, killing of Natives and slave trade in the Americas, social-economic abuses of workers, women and children, deadly Marxist atheism, Fascism-Nazism, killing of Jews and Slavs in Europe, world wars, the A-bomb in Hiroshima, perverse abortions and sexual practices, terrorism, etc. At the same time, world history including 5,000 years of civilization, also produced much good: religious temples and scriptures, saints, philosophers, libraries, schools, hospitals, the Red Cross, philanthropy, the Holy Alliance of 1815, fruits of art, music, science and technology, etc. But despite its vast knowledge, good intentions and deeds, the human race could not free itself from the evil consequences and stain of sin. However, the God-man Jesus Christ, born of Mary in Bethlehem, by His death on the cross and resurrection repaired Adam’s sin, regained God’s grace4 giving every person a chance to live a righteous life which leads to peace, happiness, fulfilment and eventually heaven. God’s will expressed in the law of the 2 Commandments of love of God and neighbor and in the 10 Commandments5 is the basis of all ethics, morality, human rights and freedoms, good political-State laws and good personal relationships with God, within the family and the society. This requires faith in God, dealing justly and charitably with people, helping them spiritually and materially, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, as well as repenting of sin and evil when necessary. Prayer is communication, being connected with God, acknowledging Him, thanking Him and asking Him for our needs. Christ established His Church to teach His gospel and administer His Sacraments,6 which are also channels of communion with God. They help us on the journey through this short and fragile life, lasting up to 70 years or so, 700 million breaths, and through death to eternal life with God in the kingdom of heaven.7
THE CREED. I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; light of light, true God of true God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father, through Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. The third day He rose according to the Scriptures, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, and spoke through the prophets. And in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins, and I await the resurrection of the dead, and the life in the world to come. Amen.
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS. (1) I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods before Me. (2/1) You shall not make unto you any graven thing to adore it. (3/2) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. (4/3) Remember the Sabbath day [Sunday] to keep it holy. (5/4) Honor your father and your mother. (6/5) You shall not kill. (7/6) You shall not commit adultery. (8/7) You shall not steal. (9/8) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (10/9) You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife [or husband]. (10) You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
PRINCIPAL PRAYERS. (A) PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING. Blessed be God. Thanks be to God. Glory and praise to Jesus Christ. (B) THE LORD’S PRAYER. Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen. (C) PRAYERS OF REPENTANCE. O God, be merciful to me a sinner. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Holy Mary, pray for us sinners.
REFERENCES. 1 There is only one God, but three Divine Persons: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 2 God created all things, He upholds everything in existence and by His Providence He cares for all. 3 A human being, man or woman, has an immortal soul and a mortal physical body. 4 God’s grace is necessary for salvation and is given in Christ through faith, the observance of the Commandments, good works, fasting, prayer and the Sacraments. 5 Twin numbers indicate Orthodox-Protestant[less Lutheran] and Catholic-Lutheran numerations. 6 Baptism with water, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is the first Christian Sacrament. There are 7 Sacraments -Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Confession, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick- in the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, but fewer in the Protestant Churches. This variation dominates the divisive differences among the Christian Churches which ecumenism attempts to reconcile. 7 God is an all-knowing, just, good and merciful judge Who rewards good with eternal life, and condemns evil with eternal punishment unless a person repents, is sorry, for his/her sins. † See also: www.bible.com John 1, 3:16, 6:51, 17:20, 20:21; Luke 6:17-31, 22:19; James 2:14; Isaiah 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 13; Proverbs 24:16; Jonah 3, 4; Ephesians 4:4; Matthew 6, 7, 16:18, 19:16, 25:31, 28:19; Dictionary of the Bible, The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary on the Bible, creationscience.com gospelcomics.com creeds.net The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ccc-cce.ca ncccusa.org usccb.org ctbi.org.uk ncca.org.au wcc-coe.org mospat.ru vatican.va consult a chaplain/minister/priest or visit a church – over 100,000 Christian -Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant- churches in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Australia, where services are held every Sunday.
Adapted from the Basic Christian Catechism by Slavic Christian Society, Mississauga, 6.4.2005. Internet: http://slavxrist.org