Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby binocular » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:02 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
daverupa wrote:Modern thinking about Xianity is all over the map, it seems. "Xian" is (almost?) a meaningless term.


I think the same applies to "God", it seems to mean whatever people want it to mean.

Yes, back to Humpty Dumpty:

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"

(From Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass)
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby barcsimalsi » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:37 am

tiltbillings wrote:Buddhism is not the arbiter of what is and is not corrupted. That is just as stupid as looking at Buddhism from a Xtian stand point and stating that Buddhism falls flat because it does not accept Jesus as its savior.

Stupid or not, it is merely a personal impression replied to this topic "Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective".

tiltbillings wrote:The video should no understanding of Buddhism, so it really told us nothing of value.

Can't deny that, perhaps i was too obsess with its title and pay less attention to its content... :tongue:
Thanks for admonishing.
barcsimalsi
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:00 am

binocular wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
daverupa wrote:Modern thinking about Xianity is all over the map, it seems. "Xian" is (almost?) a meaningless term.


I think the same applies to "God", it seems to mean whatever people want it to mean.

Yes, back to Humpty Dumpty:

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. "They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"

(From Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass)


The same might apply to Buddhism, looked at by a Christian. Or indeed, by a Buddhist. Few people really think that words can mean whatever we want them to mean. The myriad of incompatible positions and opinions are all held by people who believe that their view is correct, and they will often be prepared to go to some lengths to demonstrate why their notion of God, rebirth, homoousios, jhana, grace, Sunyata, etc, etc, is either tenable or exclusively correct. This is as much to do with living in an age of information and "pick and mix spirituality" as the faiths themselves.
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Aloka » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:30 am

Sam Vara wrote: The myriad of incompatible positions and opinions are all held by people who believe that their view is correct, and they will often be prepared to go to some lengths to demonstrate why their notion of God, rebirth, homoousios, jhana, grace, Sunyata, etc, etc, is either tenable or exclusively correct. This is as much to do with living in an age of information and "pick and mix spirituality" as the faiths themselves.


Perhaps this is also because in todays world we're becoming conditioned to involving ourselves in arguments, attitudes and opinions, rather than letting it all go and tuning in to awareness and direct knowing in a non-verbal way.
User avatar
Aloka
 
Posts: 3576
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Sam Vara » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:50 am

Aloka wrote:
Sam Vara wrote: The myriad of incompatible positions and opinions are all held by people who believe that their view is correct, and they will often be prepared to go to some lengths to demonstrate why their notion of God, rebirth, homoousios, jhana, grace, Sunyata, etc, etc, is either tenable or exclusively correct. This is as much to do with living in an age of information and "pick and mix spirituality" as the faiths themselves.


Perhaps this is also because in todays world we're becoming conditioned to involving ourselves in arguments, attitudes and opinions, rather than letting it all go and tuning in to awareness and direct knowing in a non-verbal way.


Agreed - an excellent point.
User avatar
Sam Vara
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:19 pm

Sam Vara wrote: This is as much to do with living in an age of information and "pick and mix spirituality" as the faiths themselves.


Yes, and too much choice isn't always a good thing. ;)
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2383
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: With the cockney chimney-sweeps in Mary Poppins

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Kusala » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:49 pm

barcsimalsi wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:
barcsimalsi wrote:I think i will just follow the mainstream assertion that Jesus was a noble figure but the bible is corrupted.


Now why does that idea sound familiar? ;)

Please get yourself brainwashed by Dr Naik. :lol:


I tried my best to find any professional debate between Buddhist Ajahns with Christian apologists but can't find any. Here's an amateur video i found that might be of interest:


Though not a debate, Ven. S. Dhammika's review of Cioccolanti's From Buddha To Jesus is quite impressive. http://www.scribd.com/doc/13296079/Book ... a-to-Jesus

Image
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
User avatar
Kusala
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:02 am

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:16 pm

daverupa wrote: "Cafeteria Religion" or "...Buddhism" might be an interesting thread - sure to be full of flame, though...


Yes, it would probably lead to a food fight. :tongue:
User avatar
Spiny Norman
 
Posts: 2383
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: With the cockney chimney-sweeps in Mary Poppins

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Kusala » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:20 pm

It appears Ven. S. Dhammika is no stranger to Evangelical Christians. One last piece by the great Venerable...

"I used to know a man who was always very aggressively trying to convert me. One day I asked him why he became a Christian. He drew himself up, pleased to have the opportunity be a witness for Jesus and then he told me this story.

His mother had been a Buddhist and his father had been a Christian and as a boy he was a little of both. During the Second World War he joined the army and was taken from Sri Lanka to North Africa. He and his platoon were due to be taken abroad a ship but because to a series of strange incidents he was delayed and when he finally arrived his platoon were all on the ship and it was sailing out of the harbor. As he stood watching the ship reach the open sea and a German submarine suddenly torpedoed it. The ship sank and everyone on board died. After saying this he stood there with a big smile on his face as if this explained why he had became a Christian. 'What is the point of your story'? I inquired 'Can't you see'? he said. 'If I had been on that ship I would have died. Jesus delayed me in order to save my life. At that very moment I was born again and I gave myself to Jesus'.

I was silent for a moment as I tried to comprehend the bazaar logic of the evangelicals. Then I said. 'Do you mean to tell me that Jesus let hundreds of people die just so that you would believe in him? Why didn't he delay the whole platoon so they would all believe in him'? He stood there with his mouth open. It was clear that he had never thought of this possibility before. This man never talked to me about Jesus again."
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
User avatar
Kusala
 
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:02 am

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby barcsimalsi » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:53 am

Nice story Kusala.

An article from Reverend Sumitta, with some interesting comments too.
http://appliedbuddhism.wordpress.com/20 ... christian/

The author's view on Christianity:
WHAT DO I BELIEVE?

My Buddhism is one of today. A businessman once said, “Success is always the by product of work not the goal.” I believe that this is true with all faith. To practice Buddhism for a goal to reach Nirvanna is to miss the point of my Buddhist practice. I practice to live the fullest and happiest life possible. That requires developing myself with the tools and lessons provided by the Buddha. If I were to become enlightened, that is a byproduct of what I think is important.

I strive to reach the four sublime states of compassion, sympathetic joy, unconditional friendliness, and equanimity in my being.

It is true that I do not follow the Christian faith, but I have studied it for many years. I believe that Christianity is not about trying to get to Heaven, but embodying the essence of Christ, who encompassed the four sublime states. A Christian wanting to achieve these qualities can enrich his faith by adding Buddhist practices and not be hypocritical.

While I do not follow Christianity, I do not deny it. While I do not believe in the afterlife as they do, if those who follow it embody the qualities of Jesus in the here and now, then I embrace their practice as successful and good.

Too many practitioners of all faiths focus on the rewards at the end of our journey, when the rewards and purpose are the journey itself.
barcsimalsi
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:57 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
daverupa wrote: "Cafeteria Religion" or "...Buddhism" might be an interesting thread - sure to be full of flame, though...


Yes, it would probably lead to a food fight. :tongue:

Food fight around the barbeque?

:tongue:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3047
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:21 am

Kusala wrote:Though not a debate, Ven. S. Dhammika's review of Cioccolanti's From Buddha To Jesus is quite impressive. http://www.scribd.com/doc/13296079/Book ... a-to-Jesus

That's not a review, that's a demolition. :tongue:
Ven Dhammika's main points - that Cioccolanti's book is as ill-informed as it is dishonest seem beyond doubt - but a few of his supporting arguments are not as strong as they might be. e.g.
If Buddhism is really as nonsensical and confused as Cioccolanti claims, why do so many Westerners leave Christianity and embrace it? The 2006 census showed that the number of Buddhists in Australia had jumped by 107% since 1996 (p.8). Cioccolanti is convinced that it cannot be that Buddhism has anything worthwhile to offer, so he has to explain its attraction some other way. His explanation is that actually Westerners are embracing Buddhism as a reaction against Christianity, particularly against the Christian doctrine of sin (p.14).

But Dhammika seems oblivious to the possibility - which is actually the truth - that far more of that increase in Buddhism in Australia is due to immigration from Buddhist countries than to conversion.
Again, Dhammika is extremely derogatory about Cioccolanti's Pali and Sanskrit, but many of the examples he quotes as 'errors' are common Thai consonant-substitutions ... hardly worth worrying about, IMO.
But his other criticisms are more than enough to sink Cioccolanti's book.
:toilet:

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3047
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby binocular » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:16 pm

I am personally interested in the topic of conversion, for my own sake.
I occasionally explore how come other people have converted, hoping for some insight into my own situation.

So far, I have to say I have never met or read of a genuine convert - ie. a person who was genuinely practicing one religion, and then genuinely converted to another one.
As it turns out, the person seemed rather superficial or fanatical about their first/previous religion, and it seemed it was just a matter of time before they'd leave anyway.
binocular
 
Posts: 1351
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby manas » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:00 pm

If we compare Doctrines, Christianity will always appear silly to Buddhists, and Buddhism will appear silly to Christians. But, if we look at things from a different perspective: is this a Path that, if walked sincerely and thoroughly, is capable of effecting an inner transformation in a person - then we could argue that this has occurred in both faiths, not just in one or the other.

If we look at the lives of the Christian mystics and saints, some were indeed noble, kind, self-effacing men and women in the service of Humanity - and they believed in Jesus. Obviously it works for some.
User avatar
manas
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:04 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Zenainder » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:04 pm

Marc108,

I grew up and studied Christianity most of my life. I've since "converted" to Buddhism, but if you have any questions or wish from contributions on anything in particular I am happy to contribute. My overall opinion of modern Christianity as it is taught is that it begins with a fearful ultimatum of "turn or burn" and fear, regardless of religion, is not conductive or suitable as a starting point for any spiritual path. I left for much more than that but this was a simple insight that came with finality in leaving Christianity.

Metta,

Zen
Zenainder
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 11:10 am

Re: Christianity, from a Buddhist perspective

Postby Zenainder » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:15 pm

Similarities worth contemplating:

Repent in the Greek is "Metanoia - 3341" means "a change of mind". If understood more openly its meaning is not to invoke conviction or guilt, instead its meaning is much more inviting. "Metanoia! For the Kingdom of God is at hand!" A perception based invintation away from the religious doctrine in which separates man and God via "sin" in its more convicting understanding.

Sin in the Greek is "hamartéma - 265" means "to miss the mark" or more interestingly "emphasizes the consequences of making any decision (action) by self rather than of faith ("God's inworked persuasion"). Emphasis added by me.

Faith in the Greek is "pistis - 4102" means "be persuaded, come to trust". Helps Word-Studies expounds the idea of faith as a "divine inner persuasion", as the Christian tradition teaches that faith is a gift from God and fundamentally speaking if His Spirit is within the person... the "person" of truth (God) innerly persuades and guides the believer to trust.

Another interesting study of Christian literature is the verse that states that mankind was only separated from God "in their own mind" and seems to hint at perception basis of sin (self based thinking) vs a Christ basis framework of thought. These ideas are rarely discussed in modern theology, but they exist regardless of the fascination the Christian idiom typically has of hell and the fear of being deceived.

A handful of thoughts that I had studied before I converted to Buddhism. Of course my framework of thought is not completely on here, but you may see glimpses of it through what I shared here.

:)
Zenainder
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri May 17, 2013 11:10 am

Previous

Return to Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chownah, PimonratC, Yahoo [Bot] and 8 guests