Buddhism: Harmonizing With Christianity?

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)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

God Bless

Brian Mason

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Jesus Existed(and still does)! Testimony of Non-Christian Sources

Jesus had enemies don’t fool yourself. There is a crystal clear picture in the Gospels of a battle between Jesus and the Jewish religious powers.  John 13: 22

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[c]

18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

When Jesus taught the masses were divided, and in fact some wanted to kill him on the spot! John 5: 18

18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

The Jews saw his ministry as a paramount threat to them. So Jesus’ death was conspired by them and they succeeded. The Jewish reaction indicates that they were not able to deny important facets of the Christian story. In fact the Jews tried to discredit Jesus as the Messiah by saying he was the son of a Roman soldier and not born of a virgin, and discrediting his Divine powers. John 8: 40-41

40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 41 You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.”

The Babylonian Talmud describes Christ’s Death:

It has been taught: On the eve of Passover they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out, in front of him, for forty days saying “He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone knowing anything in his favor let him come and plead on his behalf. But, not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the eve of Passover.

Then there was Josephus a Jewish Historian who lived around AD 37, he wrote:

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day.

There were Roman Antagonists that affirmed Jesus’ existence and all knew Jesus claimed to be God:

Lucian of Samosato (ad 115-200)

Celsus (2ND Century)

Porphryr of Tyre (ad 233)

They all knew Jesus claimed to be God.

There were many neutral writers that confirmed Jesus existence also:

Cornelius Tacitus (ad 55-120) and he wrote that Jesus was crucified under Pilates Jurisdiction.

Pliny the Younger (ad 112) wrote that “Christians of his day sang hymns to Christ and to God”

Evangelical scholar Gary Habermas did an exhaustive survey of ancient sources and wrote in his book “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ”, and reported:

We have examined a total of 45 ancient sources for the life of Jesus, which include 19 early creedal, four archaeological, 17 non-Christian, and 5 non- New Testament Christian sources. From this data we have enumerated 129 reported facts concerning the life, person, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus…While some believe that we know almost nothing about Jesus from ancient, non-New Testament sources, this is plainly not the case.

 

God Bless

Brian Mason

Should We Be Able To Do What We Want As Long As It Doesn’t Hurt Anybody?

Have you ever heard this before? “People should be able to do what they want as long as it is between two consenting adults”? Or “Do what you want but don’t violate anyone’s rights”? I am sure you have. However to read into those two statements (and there are many more of that ilk) they can be very self defeating and against Moral Standards.

“People should be able to what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody” opens up a huge can of worms. What if a person could hurt someone and they were allowed to get away with it scot free? Saying “We should be able to do what we want” is in essence saying we can do anything as long as someone else is not hurt? There are definitely actions that can harm another person such as Binge Drinking or Pornography and they are done in the privacy of your own home! Binge drinking, and suicide can be hazardous to one’s self and others. Watching porn in the privacy of your own home is also hazardous! The Pornography industry’s harm is apparent;

One of the most common psychological problems is a deviant attitude towards intimate relationships such as perceptions of sexual dominance, submissiveness, sex role stereotyping or viewing persons as sexual objects. Behavioral problems include fetishes and excessive or ritualistic masturbation. Sexual aggressiveness, sexually hostile and violent behaviours are social problems as well as individual problems that are linked to pornography.

“Our findings are very alarming”, said Dr. Claudio Violato one of the co-authors of the study. Dr. Violato, Director of Research at the National Foundation for Family Research and Education (NFFRE) and a professor at the University of Calgary, said “This is a very serious social problem since pornography is so widespread nowadays and easily accessible on the internet, television, videos and print materials”.

(Lifesitenews.com Tue Mar 12, 2002)

How about the notion of “Do what you want but don’t violate anyone’s rights”? From a relativists point of view rights are none existent. Relativism is defined as “the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual”. Look at the statement and ask yourself “How can you do ANYTHING without violating someone else’s rights?” Again this statement is self-refuting if you are a relativist.

We must remember that the freedoms that we humans have are important. Freedoms must be placed in the context of Moral Standards. Humans instinctively know that there are Moral Laws commanded upon us by God. Read Romans 2: 14-15

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

God Bless

Brian Mason

My Needs Are Not Being Met! Let’s Get a Divorce!

So many people errantly think that getting married is something that will complete them. These people have the notion that they personally have needs that is their marriage partner’s responsibility to meet. Problem is with this understanding is its ingrained selfishness and the very person who expects another to meet his desires often pays no attention to theirs While at the same time he himself is expected by the other to meet her needs, or vice-versa. In a nutshell, this is a self-defeating attitude.

Going to throw away a Marriage for selfish reason? Let’s see what James has to say…

James 4: 1-6 (NASB)

4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
But shows favor to the humble.”

God Bless
Brian Mason