A Biblical View of Buddhism

Why should the Bible believer be educated on Buddhism? Well, in order to effectively spread the Word of God, we must know what opposes it and what compliments it. We must know what others believe in order to effectively explain why they should believe as we do, and with about 400 million Buddhists around, there is no small chance that we will meet some. At the same time we must guard our minds so that we are not blown away with every wind of doctrine. To the young believer; I’ll tell you Buddhism is safe, go ahead and read his teachings, do some research, watch some documentaries. What you’ll find may enlighten you. (pun intended)

Buddha was a man, like me and you, he sought a better way of life and solutions to life’s pains and worries. Short of the joy that can be found coming into a knowledge of our Creator, I believe his goals were achieved. Buddha did not claim to be a god and he did not ask do be worshipped. The following of Buddha’s teachings to the most pure understanding looks almost identical to the lifestyle of Jesus and Paul. Buddha taught against evil, spoke of contentment, defeating the desire within ourselves, being charitable, and finding peace. He was a kind and compassionate man.

What is the difference? Buddha’s search and teachings targeted one thing, our struggle on earth. He was a deep thinking problem solver but did not address “the big picture” that we find in the Bible. Living at peace on earth aids us only temporarily, which is a very small time if eternity is considered.

Buddha also saw some things from a perspective of his time and place such as the belief in reincarnation. He had a slightly lesser regard for marriage than does the New Testament, although he did recommend monogamous marriage and give moral advice to married individuals.

The strong similarities are in the lifestyle recommended. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, “When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa.” Buddha teaches us that the desire within ourselves is between us and happiness, and I have found targeting this desire to be a helpful tool not only to be happier, but to avoid sin. I believe less desire = more happiness, more peace, and less sin. This view encourages us to take responsibility and control of our thoughts and actions rather than asking God to do all the work for us. (Biblical)

Conclusion: As a Bible believer, I compare everything I hear with the Word of God to discern whether or not it is true. I believe this is also how Buddhism should be approached and personally find his teachings very useful in my walk on earth. I think his teachings should be read with the mindfulness that he did not know his Creator as we do, and I suggest being watchful for any teachings that do not line up with the Bible.

Practicing Buddhists do not need to change their lifestyle to become saved and Christ-like, they need only to come to know Jesus and live by the Word of God.

A Biblical View of Buddhism

Am I Selfish?

The Bible tells us not to be selfish, and that sounds easy enough, but perhaps there is more to it. Here is the scripture and logic that was a life-changing revelation to me.

Your “self” is a human, equipped with a human’s mind, nature, and desires. To follow this human mind, to live out this human nature, and to fulfill these human desires, is to be selfish.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Matthew 22:37-40 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

To count others more significant than yourself….Wow! That’s tough. Think about that for a second. That would mean to treat others better than I treat myself. Not only to put their needs before my desires, but before my needs! Instinct tells me that I am my top priority, but this says quite the opposite. This could mean giving strangers rides when I may be at risk, buying someone else lunch when I can’t afford my own, giving up my money, extra car, tv, vacation…anything that keeps me from providing for someone else’s needs!

What actions may keep my resources (time and money) from providing for the needs of others? Perhaps buying more clothes than I need, buying expensive dinners out regularly, and tending my lawn or large house. Maybe building and maintaining expensive church buildings to pray, fellowship, and worship in while our homes sit empty, or spending all of our time working, only to build a certain unnecessary lifestyle and comfortable retirement.

1 John 3:17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?

Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

Luke 3:11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

The only way to live a selfish lifestyle without guilt is to ignore the problems, or to ignore the Holy Spirit Himself. We cannot do this and expect our walk with the Lord to grow stronger.

Approaching sin as selfishness can make identifying sin easier, while making it more difficult for our flesh to win those little arguments in our heads. Think about each thought or action like this: Is this necessary for my physical health? Is this beneficial to another’s life or faith? Is this showing love and honor to my heavenly Creator? If the answer is “no” to all of these, don’t consider any further! The Lord has given you strength to overcome the temptation and by overcoming this temptation you will become stronger and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit!

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Often we are taught that earthly success above others is from God, or that our financial over abundance is a result of our righteous actions. This sounds great and makes us feel like we have done well with both money and our relationship with God: however, this is far from biblical! Though this may have been true in the old covenant, we are now under the law of love and the example of Christ, who was not only humble but gave even His life for us. As a matter of fact, the New Testament actually speaks of riches as a disadvantage in our walk with The Lord.

Matthew 19:23-24 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”… If this is the case, I surely don’t want my treasure here on earth. I want to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. How could I love the Lord with all my heart, if my heart is in riches and the responsibilities associated with these riches, here in the flesh?

This doesn’t exactly mean that we can’t have nice things, but it does tell us that we would be better off not to have them, even better off not to desire them, and best off if we will give them up for those in need!

1 Timothy 6:6-8 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I hope that all will find the peace and contentment that I have found in Christ, The Word, and His truths.

 

Am I Selfish?