Christian values historically refers to values derived from the teachings of Jesus Christ. The term has various applications and meanings, and specific definitions can vary widely between denominations, geographical locations and different schools of thought. The terms Christian values and family values are often used as a euphemism for familialism by the Christian right. Christian values also relate to the Christian identity in identity politics.

New Testament teaching

The biblical teachings of Jesus include: * Love of God and neighbors: "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might", an excerpt from the Shema Deut.6:5 (Matthew 22:37). This is the first half of the statement and the second half, given equal weight, is "love your neighbor as yourself" upon which hang all the Law and all the prophets (Matthew 22:36-40). * Fidelity in marriage: "Whom God has joined together let no man put asunder" (Matthew 19:6) * Renunciation of worldly goods: "Gather not your riches up upon this earth, for there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21). * Renunciation of vengeance: "If a man strikes you on one cheek, turn the other cheek" (Luke 6:29). * Forgiveness of sins: "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" (Matthew 6:12). * Unconditional love: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Luke 6:27-28). Explicit directions in the New Testament text include: * Jesus' enumeration of the intention of the Ten Commandments contained in the Sermon on the Mount is considered a key component of Christian ethics and a fundamental recipe for Christian conduct for centuries. This large unified text was meant as a counter to the practices of the day that followed the letter of the law but denied the spirit of the law. * One of the characteristic contrasts between Christianity and its Jewish roots occurs along the axis of the Law. The Christian holds that for un-redeemed mankind it is impossible to follow any holy law at all and further holds that only regeneration makes it possible for an individual to start and persist not breaking at least some of the body of holy law. Within this context falls the only letter from the totality of New Testament authorship to the totality of the Christian church on that topic. It is also profoundly important to recognize that these are placeholders that refer to Old Testament texts which more completely elaborate what each means. Acts 15:20 enumerates the four things that Christianity requires abstinence from: 1) food sacrificed to idols; 2) blood; 3) meat of strangled animals; and 4) sexual immorality. These all were part of the practices included in the polytheism of Greek and Roman civilizations.

Modern use in worldwide conservative or right wing politics

In the 21st century United States, Australia, United Kingdom and other countries, the phrases Christian values and family values are used by Christian right and conservative parties to describe some or all of the following political stances: * Censorship of sexual content, especially in films and on television. * Sexual abstinence outside marriage and abstinence-only sex education. * The promotion of intelligent design to be taught in public schools and colleges as an alternative to evolution. * The desirability of laws against same-sex marriage. * Support for laws against the acceptance of homosexuality into mainstream society. * The desirability of organized school prayer in public schools.

Modern use in worldwide liberal or left wing politics

In the 21st century United States, Australia, United Kingdom and other countries, the phrases Christian values and family values are used by some liberal or social democratic groups to describe other political stances.

See also

* Biblical law in Christianity * Brotherly love (philosophy) * Christian ethics * Family values * Jesusism * Red-Letter Christian


{{DEFAULTSORT:Christian values Values Category:Christian terminology Category:Political terminology Category:Value (ethics)