Titles

Research Statement Acknowledgement Introduction and Purpose of Research Definition of Terms Literature Review Data Collection Source Presentation of Findings Interpretation of Findings Discussion of Findings Conclusion Limitations Recommendations Bibliography Appendices

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How has Christianity impacted on the social lives of individuals living in the Spring Garden community?

Research Objectives
 To determine how Christianity has impacted on the lives of the people in the Spring

Garden community.    To find out the features of Christianity. To use findings to make recommendations about the impact of Christianity on society. To identify the level of aspirations that Christianity gives

Research Questions
1. 2. 3. 4. What are the impacts of Christianity on the lives of people in Spring Garden? What are the features of Christianity? How does Christianity inspire an individual? Why do individuals attend church?

This project is the fruit of concerted efforts. An internal assessment of this magnitude was effectively compiled with the assistance and contribution of a number of individuals; gratitude must be extended to such persons. The researcher would like to thank God almighty for giving him the health and strength he need to complete this Caribbean Studies Internal Assessment, so as to meet the requirements of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination syllabus. The researcher would like to give credit to his teacher Miss Gray for the role she played in outlining the task I am expected to perform. I would like to express my warmest thanks to my friends at school who contributed significantly to my project. Finally, I would like to say thanks to the staff at the school’s computer labs that went beyond the call of duty to ensure that the necessary resources were available and the attention was forth coming so that my project was completed efficiently.

This study is geared towards finding out how the people of Spring Garden community in Portland, Jamaica are impacted by Christianity. The researcher is of the idea that Christianity has played an integral role in the lives of the people living in the community. Informal interviews with members of the community indicated that Christianity has changed the lives of many individuals living in the community. This study therefore aims to assess the community of Spring Garden, seeking examples of Christianity impacts on individuals and how it has impacted on their lives. The community of Spring Garden is located in the parish of Portland and has a population no more than one hundred and twenty person mainly young adults and children. The community has a rich tradition of followers of Christ which has lead to the community forming its own church. The researcher chooses this topic to research on this topic because of the increasing amount of arguments arising about the impact of Christianity on person worldwide. The researcher who has also has some special interest in the topic and wanted to explore more, sees this as an opportunity to do so. The research sees a lot of educational values arising from carrying out this research which includes; adding to the knowledge based of individuals about the impact of Christianity as a part of the entire impact of religion on individuals as well groups and institutions which is a topic studied in the subject.

Definition of Terms
Christianity: is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings. Adherents of the Christian faith are known as Christians.

Individual:

is a person or any specific object in a collection.

Celibacy:

refers to a state of not being married or a state of abstention from sexual intercourse or the abstention by vow from marriage.

Monotheistic: is the belief in the existence of one god.

Liberate:

To set free, as from oppression, confinement, or foreign control.

Intimacy:

a close personal relationship.

The greatest religious change in the history of mankind took place under the eyes of a brilliant galaxy of philosophers and historians who disregarded as contemptible an Agency (Christianity) which all men must now admit to have been the most powerful moral level that has ever been applied to the affairs of men (Lecky, 1905). I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world (Bertran, 1927). Christianity is a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teaching of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as Saviour as define by the Oxford Dictionary. Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of god… that which is born of the flesh is flesh that which is born of spirit is spirit (John 3: 3, 6). Do not be conformed to this world system, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of god (Romans 12:6) As Christians we cannot say, "What I look like is no one’s business!" because what we look like reflects on our Lord. My house, my car, my personal appearance, my use of time and money, all reflect how Christ has changed my life from the inside out. When Jesus comes into our lives, He does not cover our blemishes with cosmetic powder, but He cleanses us wholly by working from within. This inner renewal is reflected in the outward appearance (White, 1948)

For a very long time, Christianity has had a very strong aim in the shaping of the way children are to be brought up. The medieval period was in particular a period in which the church

could not accept standards other than its own when children were brought up. For this reason Christian ideas became deeply rooted in the children who were growing up during this time, and anything they did was entirely shaped by the expectations of the church (Petrescu, 2010). In order to promote bible literacy, Christians have been leaders in education. This trend was accelerated with the advent of the printing press at about the same time as the Protestant Reformation. Many of the world’s languages were first set to writing by Christian missionaries in order for people to read the bible (Faith Facts, 2008).

God calls us to dress modestly and decently, not only to prevent sin, but also to preserve intimacy. People who want to sin will sin no matter how modestly dressed the people they see are. The purpose of modesty is not only to prevent lustful desires, but also to preserve something which is very fragile and yet fundamental to the survival of a marital relationship: the ability to maintain a deep, intimate relationship with one’s spouse. If marriage is going to last a lifetime, as God intended it to, then husband and wife must work together to preserve, protect, and nurture the intimacy. When all is said and done modesty will preserve the joy of intimacy long after the ringing of the wedding bells (White, 1948).

Christianity made the liberty of every individual before God the bright red tread of history, and its interpretative key. Underlying the chances of democracy then is its faith in the foundation of the concepts of human rights and universal dignify (Novak, 2002). The church considered that materials things were obstacles to the attainment of perfection. They had the impact of distracting one from the path of perfection. These kinds of teachings greatly informed the way that children were to be brought up. The expectations of the parents and guardians regarding childhood were shaped by this ecclesiastical teaching. Another teaching of the church

which impacted negatively on understanding childhood, was that of child bearing, namely the life of celibacy. This was encouraged to the extent that children were at some point required to sacrifice their childhood for the sake of the higher life (Petrescu, 2010). This research attempts to add to the knowledge base of the influences the church and Christianity has on the ideas of individuals.

Studies have shown that it is indecisive of the impact of Christianity and the church on individuals. Some theorist especially Christians, believe that Christianity has a positive effect on the social life of an individual (Novak, 2002), some believe that children are brain washed during childhood to accept the teaching of the bible, so that when they grow old they will not depart from it (Petrescu, 2010), while others are of the idea that Christianity is a system of control which sets out to control individuals (Faith Facts, 2008). Christian ideologies have tended to focus on the positive impacts of Christianity with only some realization that there are drawbacks to Christianity (Novak, 2002). In dept and interpretative studies reveals that individuals has no belief in Christianity because it is the principal enemy of progress in the world (Bertran, 1927) .

Shifting the research from studying only one side and its advantages and disadvantages, we recognize that Christianity has both a positive and negative impacts on the social lives of individuals. This research about the impact of Christianity on the social lives of individuals living in the Spring Garden community shows the most recent ways that researchers are studying the impact of Christianity on individuals. The methodologies consist of detailed interviews where individuals are encouraged to speak openly about the impacts of Christianity and their ideas of the church and Christianity overall. Also in-depth questionnaires are used to allow individuals who are afraid to speak out, but able to write their views and the impact that

Christianity has on them. In this way researchers can study how Christianity has impacted on individuals which have lead to Christians and atheist in society. It addresses the challenges regarding Christianity or atheism as a stable entity a major disadvantage in previous works.

In order to carry out this internal assessment on the impact of Christianity on the social lives of individuals living in the Spring Garden community, the researcher had to made use of primary and secondary sources of data collection. The primary data collection source used was a questionnaire while the secondary sources of data collection include texts and the internet. A questionnaire is a research instrument that can be applied to fact finding technique in systems development projects. It consist of a series of questions, the questionnaire used by the researcher includes both open and close ended questions. A total of fourteen (14) questions were asked in the questionnaire. The researcher choose questionnaires in collecting the data because it was more economical when collecting from a large source, it allow persons that will be answering the questions time to do so, questionnaires are easily analyzed and they allow the researcher to get opinions of people who are afraid to speak out. The researcher issued thirty two questionnaires to members of the community, to persons of different age groups. All questionnaires where fully answered and returned a week after the first issue, seventeen (17) males participate while only fifteen (15) females participated in the research. The questionnaires were issued using random sampling where individuals were chosen without any speculation however it spread across the different age groups to get the opinions of all. The data collected by the researcher were useful and essential to the research being carried out since it gives answers to research questions. However the researcher was confronted with a

drawback. The drawback encountered in using the questionnaires as a source of data collection is that the questionnaires had to be explained in much more details to some of the persons involved in the data collection; this caused the researcher some small amount of time. Despite all that the questionnaires helped the researcher to understand the problem better than before. The secondary sources where used by the researcher to gather information related to the research, to gain a better understanding of the problem that is being investigated. The sources where access by visit to the school library and the World Wide Web. These sources however had their downfall, their downfall was that the researcher was unable to gather information from a source within Jamaica and much wider the Caribbean. The sources contributed to the researcher understanding of the problem in that they cite examples and gives enormous amount of details to comprehend.

RELIGION OF RESPONDENTS
6%

RASTAFARI CHRISTIANITY

94%

FIGURE 1

RELIGION OF RESPONDENTS PARENTS
6%

RASTAFARI CHRISTIANITY

94%

FIGURE 2

EXPOSED TO OTHER RELIONS
25 23 20

15 YES 10 9 5 NO

0 YES NO

FIGURE 3

ATTENDED CHURCH BEFORE

YES NO

FIGURE 4

FORCED TO ATTENDED CHURCH

YES

NO YES NO

0%

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

FIGURE 5

INDIVIDUALS AFFECTED BY THE TEACHINGS OF CHRISTIANITY
90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% YES NO 22% YES NO 78%

FIGURE 6

READ THE BIBLE
3%

YES NO

97%

FIGURE 7

GET FROM READING THE BIBLE

32% 48% SENSE OF LOVE FEAR ASPIRATION

20%

FIGURE 8

INFLUENCED BY CHRISTIANITY WHEN COMMUNITY

NO

1

YES NO YES 31

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

FIGURE 9

Spring Garden a highly populated Christian community has ninety four percent (94%) of the members of the community which believe in the Christian religion while the remaining six percent (6%) believing in the Rastafarian Faith, this is indicated by Figure 1 in the presentation of findings. Based on the findings all the persons that believes in Christianity their parents or guardian believes in Christianity as well, the same trend applies the Rastafarian Faith, as shown in Figure 2 where ninety four percent (94%) of the respondents their parents or guardian or Christians and six percent (6%) are Rastafarian. A total of twenty three (23) respondents out of thirty two (32) respondents in the community are exposed to other religions, these religions includes Islam, Hinduism and Judaism, the persons who were exposed to these other religion were exposed to them at school and church. The remaining nine (9), of the thirty two (32) have never been exposed to any other form of religion than the one they were brought up in; this is depicted by Figure 3 in the presentation of findings. In the community of Spring Garden ninety four percent (94%) of the persons living there have attended church before and still attends church as shown by Figure 4 in the presentation of findings it also shows that six percent (6%) of the total population has never been to church before. The question “have you in any point in your life been forced to go to church?” was posed to respondent of the questionnaire ninety percent (90%) said yes and ten percent (10%) replied no has specified by Figure 5. The individuals who replied to the question giving a yes for their

answer was also asked the reason for this all responded stating that they do not know why they were forced to attend church. The teachings of Christianity had affected the lives of seventy eight percent (78%) of the residents of the Spring Garden Community, while twenty two percent (22%) of the residents are not affected by the teachings of Christianity; this is represented by Figure 6 in the presentation of findings. A popular bible saying which advice individuals to attend church in whatever they have, have an impact on the residents of the community because they do not the ancient dress code for church, which is long frocks for the ladies and formal clothes for the males. Reading of the Christianity holy book is a major practice by the residents of the Spring Garden Community because as revealed by Figure 7, ninety seven percent (97%) of the population reads the bible and three percent does not read the Christian holy book. In the community the residents who read the bible as indicated by Figure 8, forty eight percent (48%) gets a sense of love from it, twenty percent (20%) receive fear from reading the bible while thirty two percent (32%) obtains inspiration from reading the bible. This piece of information shows that Christianity impacts on these individuals, because a person reading the bible and receive a sense of love from it or inspiration will always want to read the bible to get that love and inspiration, at the same time the teachings will be rooted into the individuals then change the individuals. Individuals who read the bible and a gets a fear from reading the bible will want to give their life to Christ because they don’t want to go to hell but wants to go to heaven. Individuals in the community have different view of the impact of Christianity on the residents in the community. Some are of the view that Christianity creates a God fearing

community; other views Christianity as one of the creator of bad living while others just don’t know the impact of Christianity on the community. What are the views of the inhabitants of Spring Garden on the idea of Christianity? Christianity in Spring Garden is seen by most people as the true religion or the correct directions of the way to live, however a single residents has a different view of Christianity, this individual stated that Christianity is total confusion and if you want to be confused try to understand the teachings of Christianity and the bible. The idea of Christianity impacts on the social life of members of the community. According to the data from the questionnaires Christianity has helped individuals to appreciate and love others despite of their religious background, social stance and their race. Therefore Christianity does not affects communication in the community has indicated by Figure 9 where thirty one persons communication are not influence by Christianity and one person is influenced by Christianity. Is Christianity a system set up to control human beings? The residents have different views some are of the opinion that the Christian religion is like the idea of Santa Claus where it forces children to behave all year round to get Christmas gifts when its time, while another group strongly stated yes because as quoted by Ephesians’ 6, where it commands a child to obey their parents, while a minority says that no Christianity is not a system of control because Jesus only liberate. Another piece of data coming from this question is that pastors tend to dictate how persons should live their lives. It can be shown that in the community of Spring Garden Christianity has some level of impact on the residents based on the response to the questions asked in the questionnaire.

It’s the intention of the researcher to find out the impact of Christianity of the lives of people living in the Spring Garden community. Anna Petrescu stated that Christianity had for long time, aimed at shaping the way children where brought up, a similar indication was shown in the research where the religion of the residents where Christians, this is showing that Petrescu statement is logically correct because all those parents are Christians and their children are Christians themselves, therefore parents must have seen Christianity as the way to bring up their children. In order to promote bible literacy, Christians have been leaders in education as according to the website Faith Facts. By this Christians are able to force persons to believe in God or the Christian religion and is the same as in the research where a lot of individuals were forced to attend church, as indicated were Christianity pulls members towards them by force. The religion of Christianity has impacted individuals resulting in them having various views of Christianity, a respondent in the research stated that Christianity is total confusion and if you want to be confused try to understand the teachings of Christianity and Bertrand Russell in Why I am Not a Christian said “I sat quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. Is Christianity a system set up to control human beings? Community members stated that the Christian religion is like the idea of Santa Claus where children were forced to behave so as

to receive Christmas gifts but Paul the Apostle said it better in Ephesians’ 6:1, 2 where he said that children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honour thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise. As is indicated the religion commands individuals and even its holy books provides shows that as well.

At the end of the research the researcher was able to conclude that the residents of the Spring Garden community are impacted by the ideologies of Christianity in a positive and negative way. The positive impact which Christianity has on the residents of Spring Garden is that it helps them to appreciate and love others while the negative impact of Christianity is that creates a fear in the members of the community which can cause internal or household problems. The researcher also concluded that Christianity in the community is based on traditions hence the reason why most individuals attend church is because of the way in which they were brought up and seeing that attending church is a norm in the Spring Garden society. Christianity aspire the people of the community in a way that it help them to appreciate others.

The researcher during the research encountered problems in carrying out this research. These problems include limited amount of equipment to get the assessment done on time, difficulties in gathering information which were key to starting the internal assessment which includes gathering for the Literature Review and problems analysing some of the data received from some of the respondents due to poor writing skills.

The researcher would like to recommend that the residents of the Spring Garden community increase their knowledge of their present religion as well as other religion so has to reduce the impacts of Christianity which can cause serious problems. This can be done by taking Religious Education classes or reading books on articles from reputable sources about various world religions. The researcher would also like to recommend that residents of the community seek to gain inspiration from Christianity other than just love or fear this can be achieved by reading the Christian holy book and with an open mind and questioning things that are written and not readily apply them to themselves.

 Bertran, R. (1927). Why I Am not A Christian. Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Publications.  Faith Facts. (2008). Retrieved November 16, 2010, from Faith Facts Website: http://www.faithfacts.org  Lecky, W. E. (1905). History of European Morals. New York: Appleton.  Novak, M. (2002). Democracy & Religion in America.  Petrescu, A. (2010). The Influence Of Christianity On Childhood. New York: Articles Base.  University, O. (2002). Oxford Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  White, E. G. (1948). Testimonies of the Church. In S. Bacchiocchi, Christian Dress and Adornment (p. 180). California: Mountain View.  Williams, J. (2007). Inplainsite. Retrieved January 8, 2011, from Inplainsite Website: http:www.inplainsite.org

QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire is for an internal assessment and all information given will be kept in the strictest confidence. This research is grateful for the time and effort you take in completing the questions below. Please tick the response that is mostly likely to be correct and write on the lines where necessary. Gender Age Group ( ) Male ( ) Female ( ) 22 – 30 ( ) 31 – 45 ( ) 0ver 46

( ) Under 15 ( ) 16 – 21

1. Which religion do you believe in? ( ) Christianity ( ) Rastafarian ( ) Islam ( ) Others ( ) None

2. Which religion do your parent/ guardian believe in? ( ) Christianity ( ) Rastafarian ( ) Islam ( ) Others ( ) None

3. Have you ever been exposed to any other religion? ( ) Yes ( ) No

b) If yes which religion and where? ___________________________________________ 4. Have you ever attended church before? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) Yes ( ) No

b) Do you still attend church?

c) Why? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 5. Have you in any point of your life been forced to attended church? ( ) Yes ( ) No

b) If yes, what was the reason behind this? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 6. Has the teaching of Christianity affects the way you live your life? ( ) Yes ( ) No

7. It’s said in the Bible that individuals must come as they are. Does this statement determine the way you would dress if attending church? ( ) Yes b) Why is this so? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 8. Have you ever read the Bible before? ( ) Yes ( ) No ( ) No

b) If yes, what do you get from reading the Bible? ( ) a sense of love ( ) a sense of fear ( ) inspiration

9. How has Christianity impacted on the people living in your community? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

10. What are your views on Christianity? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 11. How has Christianity impacted on your social life? ________________________________________________________________________ 12. Does Christianity determine the people who you communicate with? ( ) Yes ( ) No

13. Does the church involve in youth development in your community? ( ) Yes ( ) No

b) If yes, what ways does the church involve in youth development? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ 14. Do you think Christianity is a system organized to control human beings and why? ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________