Broward College World Religion Discussion

Question Description

Assignment 10:

go the following link to view a video, in which some young US Marines found the time for faith and religion in the middle of a war zone. They had been patroling a very dangerous place in the world, risking their lives on a daily basis.

One of them emerged as a leader who provided practical and spiritual guidance for them when they faced death. The baptism “coffin” (as they called it) was built by a Navy Seabee from scraps of wood. link: http://youtu.be/4_R1xOI1n28

A. Water is a very important symbol in many religions. Nearly 97% of the world’s water is saltwater. Another 2% is held in ice caps and glaciers. 1% is left for agricultural, residential, manufacturing, and community needs.

Due to the lack of water in ancient biblical lands, it was greatly valued. Washing with water before prayer and worship, was and is a common ritual in many religions. It symbolizes cleanliness and sanctity. It is also symbolic of life (the womb) and death and resurrection. Ancient Greeks believed that souls were taken across the river Styx to the world of the dead. Some Hindus believed that the river Ganges symbolized the way to Moksha or Nirvana. Many temples are built near water. Ancient Egyptians centered their much of their culture and theology upon the Nile River. They considered the Nile River to be a causeway to the afterlife.

For ancient Hebrews, water represented the chaos of the origins of the world in Genesis, as well as life and resurrection. Although Christian groups hold diverse views on its proper use and meaning in the context of worship, water is a symbol that they commonly share. Some Christians use water in a ritual called baptism. It is often administered by ordained clergy to infants and to others, it is done only when they arrive at an age of consent. For many Christians, Jesus Christ used water in several key situations. He was baptized and hence, set an example for others to follow. Do a quick search on the internet or ask someone who might know stories about how Jesus used water in the Christian Scriptures. Then, briefly give an account of a situation in which Jesus used water in ways other than baptism.

B. Give a short description of the meaning of baptism for

– Catholics

– Lutherans

– Baptists

– Presbyterians

C. Does it matter that the young marines in the video were baptized by a peer rather than a priest or clergy? To which of the groups you described in the previous task might it matter? What do you think is the meaning of the type of baptism in which they participated? As each Marine left the box, what did that communicate about finding life in a place where death was common?

D. Does the context of danger matter? How do you think baptism under the threat of rocket attacks might be different for them; than baptism for young Christians here in the safety of America?

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