Cornerstone Baptist church in New Jersey is an important part of my secondary socialization. It provides spiritual and religious guidance services. It is a place where I gather with many other people who congregate for renewal of our religious faith. The services are usually guided by a planned program, which is distributed to each person in attendance.
Values, Norms and Beliefs
Cornerstone Baptist church is committed to win the lost and to empower believers to be committed to the works of God and Christ. Our church believes in soul freedom; everyone is responsible in their own way in the way they relate to God. Evangelism and missionary work is of sole importance to our church as it helps reach people of all denominations and religious configurations. The church believes that the Bible as opposed to the church is the one that should guide the Christians in all matters relating to faith and Christianity.
We believe that baptism should be done by full immersion to an individual who has fully accepted God as his personal savior. The minister is like any member of the church, but he is ordained to be a minister for himself as well as for others. We do not get intimidated or influenced by outside forces as we are an independent church with our own beliefs and values. Bible freedom is also essential in our church as an individual is the one who will interpret for himself/herself the Holy Script using the tools available and in accordance with his/her views of the Bible. Our values and beliefs form our culture, especially the freedoms. We as a church have a culture to live by faith and belief as the individual members of the church (National Institute for Urban School Improvement, 2005).
Importance of Cornerstone Baptist Church
Cornerstone Baptist church is of great importance to the community as it helps the members who are sick, bereaved, and homeless. It has dedicated members who make sure that the society in which they reside fears God. It contributes to the education of the children by making sure that the needy get an opportunity to go to school and learn.
Theoretical Concepts of Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theory
Structural functionalism attempts to explain the way society behaves by looking into various social institutions that are part of the society. Institutions such as churches, government, schools are all a part of a social institution. It supports the status quo of women being subordinate to men, claiming that it makes society function smoothly. Structural functionalism views society to be in constant struggle to be in a state of equilibrium as people strive to stick together. The structural functionalism believes in things as they are; social change is avoided as far as possible. It believes in the best side of people of cooperating to effect social order.
Conflict theory, on the other hand, views society as a system that is unequal and brings about change and conflict; individuals strive for limited resources that exist in the society. The conflict theory focuses on the negative side of society that has a lot of conflict and is ever changing. This theory challenges the status quo and believes that the rich people force social order on the less fortunate. This theory helps one to understand the concept of culture, especially the fact that culture is dynamic and can be acquired when one interacts with other people or stays somewhere for a long time (Stephens, 1963).
The structural functionalism helps us explain why some things in society never change at all and why the culture of people follows the needs of their fellow members of society. Thus, for example, the American attacks by the al Qaeda terrorists made the US government enhance security in the airports and all major buildings. This change was because the society is interrelated and interwoven and social systems strive to meet the social needs of all the members of the society. Members of society will work together to integrate the best actions for the interests of society as a whole. Technology, for example, has had a major impact on our society as it has made the world a global village, and since it is in the best interest of society, it has been adopted (Merton, 1957).
The Process of Socialization in Both the Society and in the Church
Socialization is learning from another person, mostly their culture and how they go about it, and even learning how to live with it. There are various types of socialization such as primary, secondary, anticipatory, and developmental. Socialization in a social institution is developmental, and it may vary from one social institution to another. Socialization does not work in the same way in a church as it works in the society as a whole (Parson, 1951).
The church and the society are both agents of the socialization process and may influence the way an individual relates to others. Religion is believed to be an ethnic category when it comes to socialization. Therefore, people who are firmly attached to their churches may find it very difficult to break from their native religion and go to another religion. Socialization in the church has a positive influence on the parties involved as they grow and learn more. Society as a whole is, however, different. It constitutes various individuals and characters, and an individual can be easily influenced by another person’s culture. Society has both good and evil; therefore, the socialization process is more complicated and has more severe consequences than when individuals learn from each other in a church institution (Cornerstone Baptist Church, n. d).
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