Friday, October 13, 2017

What about Buddhism?

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Golden Statue of Buddha
Buddhist philosophy has been a darling of the multitudes who have chosen to reject following Jesus.  Here is a religion that teaches us to think positive thoughts, and to be kind to all living creatures. But even atheists are finding fault with Buddha.

I have visited Nepal and India, home of Buddhism, many times, and observed the temples built to honor Buddha.. It seems strange to see a golden statue representing the reformer who taught against Hindu idolatry.. Also I have looked at the societies where Buddha gained influence, and observed the outcome of practicing Buddhism.  Buddhism calls mankind to be his/her own god, rejecting the Bible and Jesus Christ, but actually practicing idolatry that was condemned by Buddha. 

Buddha deserted his personal responsibilities and his family, and gave himself over to meditation.  Emptying himself of limiting ideas about things that actually are meaningful, he became his own god. This reminds me of Satan's temptation of Eve in the garden.  "You will be wise like God"  the Serpent said.

Here is a short record of Buddha's life. 

The belief that Buddhism is a peaceful philosophy cannot withstand the examination of history.  Buddhism in Japan was a major factor in the development of Japanese nationalism and militarism. 

I personally witnessed via Indian news the terrible war between the Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and the Tamil Tigers, while I visited nearby in Tamil Nadu, India.

And then there is Myamar.

I have personally visited a refugee camp in East Nepal for refugees who were expelled from Burma because they were not Buddhist.  History proves that Buddhism as practiced today is not a peaceful society.  It is nationalistic and exclusive.

I can hear the comments, "What about the horrible history of Christianity and war?"

The answer is found in the church-state combines that developed over time.  Jesus never intended for the secular state to control personal faith.  Personal faith and responsibility are the cornerstones of a society that actually follows Jesus.  The political empires developed by the exercise of religious power write the history of the great apostasy.. The persecution of Jews and the murder of congregational followers of Jesus mark the Apostasy.  The Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Anglican Church, and various Protestant nationalist movements all were militant in their enforcement of politically motivated religious rules.  Church-state militancy was always in opposition to personal faith in Jesus Christ.  Blame Satan for the slaughter.  Wolves in sheep's clothing are always followers of Satan.

Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a follower of the teachings of Jesus.  Everyone knows that Jesus taught us to love our enemies, and to do good to all men.  Thankfully, at the end of World War II, USA efforts to restore and rebuild successful communities in Japan and Germany did demonstrate the teaching of Jesus.

Believers in Jesus need to follow His teachings.  Meditating on good thoughts and doing good to other people are important parts of following Jesus.  But giving up doing useful labor so as to be more "Spiritual" becomes a drag on society.. Money given to Monks and Temples is diverted from the economy, and causes poverty. Jesus teaches us to work with our hands so that we can take care of our families and be helpful to other people.  Work is honorable, and good works are the center of following Jesus...

So yes, we need to meditate on good things, as Paul taught. 

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness[d] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned[e] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one gets to eternal life except through Him. When we surrender our lives in faith to Jesus Christ, making a decision to put Him first in our lives, and confessing our belief that He is the Christ, the Son of God, and then are immersed in water by the authority of Jesus Christ, we receive forgiveness of our sins and the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. Communing with the Spirit given to us is the meditation we need in our lives.

Do not be deceived by the emptiness and self delusion encouraged by Buddha. Put your trust in Jesus Christ. He never fails those who trust in Him.

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Thomas believed because he saw

Jesus and Thomas

24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[d] was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

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