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Featured Are Christianity and Buddhism compatible?

Discussion in 'Christian Debate Forum' started by aspen, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    I am not a pantheist...i know that God is separate from his creation. I think we are getting caught up on the word ‘emptiness’ - emptiness is more of a perception than a state of being.....it is a perspective of a witness - our true self...watching our own thoughts and feelings as seperate from our true self. The psychological term is called metacognition and it is an important skill to develop in yourself because perspective on your own ideas amd concepts helps you not over-identify with the roles you play in this world.

    I believe we are called to witness the world as it is under the reign of Satan and the consequences of the Fall. This world is in essence an alternate reality, which thanks to us has run amuk and is currently circling the drain. We are guilty and responsoble for this train wreck amd we need Jesus as our savior.
    We are called to resist this worldliness by learning and practicing perfect love. Only perfect love drives out sin - it is in fact the opposite of sin.

    Buddhists call the world an illusion - i call it an alternate reality.....they are pretty similar concepts. Christianity has also taught the concept of diefication, which I tend to interpret as God making us perfect human beings and part of the Body of Christ - Christ is fully human - a perfect lover from birth. We will become fully human just like Christ when God perfects us as perfect lovers, as we were created to be. .

    I do believe in a triune, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God, i have know him and i have experienced his love and my hope is to become a perfect lover when I kneel before Him. In the meantime I am practicing my sanctification by loving my neighbor imperfectly, but improving as I walk the path I have been called to walk. When i see tools to help me along the way I pick them up and use them.....meditation and mindfulness are two tools I use.

    I appreciate our conversation. We do not have to agree on everything - i could be wrong.....I am not afraid of being wrong anymore. All I care about is loving, praying, and worshipping.
     
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  2. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where to start a reply. I must admit, you've mentioned several things that raise red flags in my mind.

    First, I'm glad that you don't identify as a pantheist and that you see God as He has expressed Himself and revealed His nature in the Bible. We're told that Jesus is the exact representation of the Father, who is love. I don't think that we often understand His love because it requires self-sacrifice, but I agree with you as to the importance of knowing and practicing His love. Often, we Christians fall short in doing this.

    Metacognition is a very broad term used in psychology. As an educator, I'm somewhat familiar with the term, which generally means thinking about how we think. It can also involve self-reflection, which can be a problem if we draw conclusions about ourselves that are not true. I'm curious about how you define metacognition and how you apply it to your own life.

    When I see the term "true self," I tend to think about how it is used in the framework of mysticism, which I believe has pantheistic undertones. So, in this framework, the true self would basically be God. You also mentioned deification; however, I don't know how you're using either of these terms. I admit that not everyone views mysticism as I do, but I believe after researching this topic that the false identification of humans as God in a pantheistic sense is the ultimate goal of mystical beliefs and practices. This is certainly true of Eastern mysticism, which is at the center of both Hinduism and Buddhism.

    Also, equating Buddhists' pantheistic concept of illusion to any biblical concept of reality is very problematic. I do believe that sin taints our ability to understand reality, which is another word for truth. However, this is different from the pantheistic notion that the separateness of things is an illusion and has to be overcome through meditation in order to achieve the "Buddha nature of the universe," or a sense of oneness with all that exists and is believed to be God.

    I'm relieved to hear that you believe that God transcends His creation, and yet you practice a type of meditation that could influence you to eventually conclude that Buddhist concepts are true. At least, that's what the author of the article I quoted said is a danger of practicing mindfulness meditation. Also, I see this practice as an avenue for demonic influence as the author said that the effect of this meditation is similar to hypnosis, which can break down moral and mental inhibitions and leave a person open to outside influence. This conclusion concerning hypnosis is one that I came to from personal experience prior to becoming a Christian.

    I guess I would say that the tools that seem to help us in the short term can do more harm than good in the long run. But we don't always see this until it's too late. This would apply to anything that runs contrary to the truth as God has revealed it through Jesus Christ, who IS the truth. And as Jesus said, the truth sets us free. So, I would propose that meditating on God's Word would do more good for you than any form of meditation based on false notions of God.

    Like you, I appreciate our conversation and your openness in sharing your beliefs with me. No mere human I've ever known is right about everything, but Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth, so I believe that truth, His truth, is knowable. And I have experienced freedom that comes from knowing His truth.

    Sorry this is so long. :)
     
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  3. charity

    charity Well-Known Member

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    'Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
    after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
    And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power:'

    (Colossians 2:8-10)

    Hello @aspen,

    If God is, 'the fulness of the Godhead bodily', and those who are born from above, 'complete in Him'; why should they seek to compare what God has given to them, in Him, with any belief system which does not have the Living God as it's originator? To do so would seem like a betrayal.

    In Christ Jesus
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  4. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    Because we are faliable human beings in the midst of a long, slow, plane crash and scrambling for salvation. We are living Plan B. Judging people in a crash like the one I just described for swearing on the way down for betrayal or anything else seems a bit diverting. We are after all at the mercy of God’s love and Grace and when our hearts cry out to Him, does the method we use really reflect or take away from Him? God is not a vain God.....he does not use us as a mirror to reflect His glory....in fact we are supposed to be looking to Him for our validation. So deciding to use meditation or yoga or whatever to cry out to Him my be imperfect on the surface, but it is par for the course, right? If we are satisfied drinking the same water recycled by countless creators who have walked the earth over the centuries, IMO, God doesn’t seem to be too picking about decorum.
     
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  5. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    Ok, i just read your post and i think it is fantastic! I am going to have to take some time to address it, but i wanted to give my initial impression before i get started with my reply. Thank you for this discussion.
     
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  6. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    In the end it boils down to the nature of revelation, I think. If God has already revealed Himself in the Person of His Son, and His Work at the Cross, as testified by Scripture, then this is where we should continue to look in order to seek spiritual enlightenment.
     
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  7. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    Clearly an educator, LOL. When reading this I was reminded of the many discussions I have with my son in law who is a principal and total nerd. But he has a knack and skill to elucidate his ideas in a way that is understandable by lesser mortals such as myself, which I found with your post here.
    Reading through the various posts, I have learned a great deal about things I never knew, and am thankful for the thread @aspen . What I see is that as in all religions, there are many parallels with Christianity. Throughout history Satan has endeavored to counterfeit everything God has done, in order to lead people astray...a little truth mixed with error...or a little error mixed with truth...can be very damaging. I see this even in people's perceptions of others beliefs. Not fully appreciating where each other is coming from is dangerous as we tend to malign then judge people on matters we have misunderstood...we judge them on our own error. Particularly so with people who write in a manner that our intellect struggles to apprehend, like I do with @bbyrd009 .
    So I have noticed whenever God has instigated a move on earth to bring about greater revelation...work in evangelism...nd HIs purposes...Satan has introduced counterfeits to lead people away from truth. I read just yesterday of a fella call Apollonius who lived at the same time as Jesus, apparently worked miracles, taught many wonderful things, and is now being presented by some as the true son of God, with Jesus being the counterfeit. (no word on Apollonius being raised from the dead or fulfilling prophecy). Various church movements also were never alone in the field of battle...the reformation was matched with its counter...various revivals also had their twin working away purporting to do the same work...so we have Buddhism which rose in India at the same time as Daniels prophecies were being taken notice of in Persia and along also came Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Confucianism in Persia, India, and China respectively, and a little later, Socrates and Plato appeared in Greece.
    But all have one thing it seems in common...a denial of the self in recognition that the self is somehow at worst, an enemy, or at best a nuisance needing to be controlled. All variations of the main theme of Christianity, deny yourself and let Christ live in you, and there's the difference. It is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Where the parallels may be somewhat profound, what we replace the 'self' with, is the clincher. Emptying ourselves and not filling that vacuum with anything positive will result in whatever may choose to enter, will. We are living in a spiritual world...let us not open our minds to be "enlightened' so much that our brains fall out.
     
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  8. jaybird

    jaybird Active Member

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    if you asked a Buddhist many would say what Jesus taught is very compatible. there are writings of Jesus as well as coins (with likeness of Jesus) in Northern India and Tibet from way back around 200AD. He was very revered in those parts.
    however in western Christianity there is not a chance of any connections between the two because we are taught (by man) that everyone is wrong but us. its so bad we even attack each other.
     
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  9. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    I take this as a very high compliment (except for the nerd part, LOL).

    This is an important point. I don't believe that Satan creates, but he does counterfeit what God has created.

    Yes, I have been guilty of this myself, but as Paul said, we need to speak the truth in love. I'm learning.

    This is another good point and an essential one. When we are born again, we become new creations in Christ. Our new self is who God made us to be. I'm reminded of what 1 John 3:2 says. "Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is."

    Your post is very insightful, and I enjoyed reading it. Just one pointer, though. As an English teacher, one of my callings is to help God's people to write in paragraphs. No walls of text! LOL
     
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  10. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    :oops:
     
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  11. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    If I was to pride myself on anything scholastically, it would be my literary skills. I am now much chastened and humbled.
     
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  12. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Actually, if I had younger eyes, I wouldn't even notice the wall of text, but I struggle to read so many words that are close together. Plus, I've noticed that shorter paragraphs are the order of the day. I must say, however, that one-sentence paragraphs really bug
    me. LOL

    So, your literary skills are fine. Your form just needs a little tweaking. :)
     
  13. Dan57

    Dan57 Active Member

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    No modern day religion or belief follows anyone who claimed to be God in the flesh, except Christians.. So Christ isn't compatible with Buddha.. Philosophy isn't salvation.. Consider that the tombs of Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, etc, are all occupied, but the tomb of Christ is empty.. That pretty much separates the flesh from the divine
     
  14. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

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    I agree that Buddhism does not save anyone- only Christ saves us, but the practices of Buddhism seem to be helpful
     
  15. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    An obvious Scriptural ref to the Cult of Sol imo, and that mythology certainly has Apollo in that role too
     
  16. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    Wadr this is an assertion I hear a lot, that I don't find to be true in practice. Generally speaking ppl who really empty themselves do so specifically to find works unto rebound, and do not suddenly become more open to bad influence. The enemy is in the mirror imo
     
  17. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    The Hegelian dialectic demands this of course, as who would choose to be on the losing team?
     
  18. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    If only, huh? Unfortunately what most often happens is...exactly what Scripture says I guess, we make twice the sons of hell and seven worse spirits, and immediately begin commending ourselves to each other
     
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  19. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    Unfortunately any time you try to Quote this "claimed to be God in the flesh" you immediately run into problems!
     
  20. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    And I might point out that even in the Bible we are called to be Elohim.

    Any notions of pantheism in Buddhism are misunderstood, and can only come from someone who has not been exposed to Buddhism at all. Buddhists do not "do worship" of any deity in the manner that we are fam with
     
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