I recently met by chance with an acquaintance of mine, (maybe slightly more than an “acquaintance”) and he asked “what is new with you these days?” and he was very surprised to hear my response…I said I have become an ordained Christian Minister. More surprising to me, he told me that he too was a believer. Even more surprising to me, although he professed to be a Christian believer he said that he lives his life following the lifestyles of Buddhism! After further explanation to me he stated that although he believes that Jesus is the Messiah he sees nothing wrong in following the teachings of Buddha as they are very similar.
When I started questioning him on how he came to that decision in his spiritual journey he quickly shut me down, and I could see him getting agitated. So before I left him I gave him some spiritual food for thought.
Buddhism has an “Eight Fold Path” that is the basis tenet of their belief system. By following the “Path” you will be led to 1) Many Reincarnations 2) Erasure of Karmic Debt; all leading to Nirvana.
Conversely the Christian Bible tells us we must exercise the spiritual disciplines in order to transform our desires. Suffering is not overcome from the quashing of the “self” but through the “selfless” sacrifice of our sinless savior Jesus Christ.
In Buddhism the soul escapes the body and then dresses up in other bodies. Harmonize with Christianity? NO WAY! These two belief systems cannot be harmonized. Buddhism is a false doctrine and offers false hope. Whereas Christianity offers eternal life promised to us from a resurrected savior Jesus.
Since Jesus rose bodily from the tomb and had over FIVE HUNDRED WITNESSES, and he promised that he will return to us in judgment I must believe that. He is still alive. Where is Buddha?
Buddhists require great works to reach Nirvana; Christians do not have a works based faith. Christians only need to realize that we are ALL sinners and require the Grace of God to save us. We ask for forgiveness through repentance. We believe that Jesus was crucified, buried and rose in body three days later.
On the surface most people believe that Buddhism is a peaceful, anti-suffering religion. However I still have not met that many people that really know what Buddhism is all about. Most think of this little fat “Buddha” statue and Yoga, not researching it or really trying to understand it. It is also a favorite of Hollywood celebrities, and we know how well meaning they are…ahem.
Can you see how the two beliefs are similar? I can’t.
John 14: 6 (NASB)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.