Question: "What is Buddhism and what do Buddhists believe?"

 

Answer: Buddhism is essentially an offshoot of Hinduism, it is a religion, and it is about suffering. Its founder Siddhartha Guatama was born into royalty in India nearly 600 years before Christ. At some time in his young life Siddhartha became troubled when he saw the pain and suffering of the common people. He decided to travel the country seeking knowledge which he could use to alleviate suffering. He studied the Hindu scriptures under Brahmin priests but became disillusioned with their teachings. While in his late twenties he stopped praying to ‘the gods’ and went off on another path, he became a mendicant (1) devoting himself to a life of extreme asceticism [note - Christianity does not believe in asceticism of attacking the body]. At some time he realized that rigid and severe restraint did not lead to peace and self-realization but merely weakened the mind and body. Siddhartha continued to immerse himself in the practice of meditation though, and it is said that one day he achieved the god like state of Nirvana (2). As a result of this experience he believed he had discovered ‘the’ answer which when utilized would relieve all pain and suffering. His mission in life was then revealed to him and he determined to spread his message throughout the land. He became known as the ‘enlightened one’ or the ‘Buddha.’ [note - Buddha is a man who is a sinner; whereas Christ was sinless, being the fullness of the Godhead bodily].

The principle tenet of Buddhism is the ‘Four Noble Truths’ – (1) There is pain and suffering in the world. (2) Attachment causes suffering. (3) The suffering will cease when a person can rid him/her self of all desires. (4) The extinguishing of all desires [note - Christianity operates by grace that comes through the operation of the cross with Christ through the Spirit of truth].

It is important to be aware that the Buddha never considered himself to be a god, or a divine being of any type, rather he considered himself to be a ‘way-shower' for others. On the other hand it is stated quite clearly in the Bible that Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew: 3 [17] and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased) and that He and God are one (John 10: [30] I and my Father are one).

Jesus taught that He is the way not simply one who showed the way as John 14:6 confirms, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me." By the time Siddhartha died at an age near to eighty Buddhism [naming a religion after a sinner is idolatry and itself a sin] had become a major influence in India; three hundred years after his death Buddhism had spread so far that it encompassed most of Asia. The scriptures and sayings attributed to the Buddha were written about four hundred years after his death [compare this to Christianity in which the earliest preserved papyrus' are within 80 years of Christ's death on the cross, not enough time to be legend]. It is this delayed period between his death and the writing or commentary containing his message that causes numerous astute and dedicated scholars to ponder over the accuracy of many of the Buddhist scriptures.

The Buddha lived and died well before the time of Jesus. His travels never took him more than a couple of hundred kilometers from his home. The Bible and its message were never known to the Buddha, and in fact he never spoke of God, or Jesus; consequently Buddhists, generally don’t speak out for God as Christians do. They don’t believe in any personal God or Divine Being [Ergo, Buddhism is atheism. Yet we know God is the Creator. See the 4 Step Perfect Proof for God]. The concept of Jesus as our Savior is foreign to them, so there is no tolerance for the concept of redemption, or salvation from our sins. For the true followers of Buddhism the religion is a philosophy of morality and ethics, encapsulated within a life of renunciation of the ego-self [renunciation by one's own strength not relying on God's grace is futile]..

When asked how the world started, who/what created the universe, the Buddha is said to have kept silent [coyness is unethical, and unknowing shows Buddha was without the love of the Lord and the Spirit of truth in his life] because in Buddhism there is no beginning, and no end, instead there is an endless circle of birth and death [since all things in nature have cause and effect, then we would have had an eternity to be perfected, but yet we still sin. Cycle  theory is a looping nonsense overassuming cycles with no beginning. Remember, God said in Gen. 1.1 In the beginning...[. One would have to ask what kind of being created us to live, endure so much pain and suffering, and then die, over and over again? [evil god] It may cause one to contemplate, what’s the point, why bother? [an evil god would want to inject dejection into your heart] Christians know that God sent His Son to die for us, just the one time, so that we don’t have to suffer for an eternity. He sent His Son to give us the knowledge that we aren’t alone, and that we are loved. Christians know there is more to life than suffering, and dying (2 Timothy: 1[10] But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel).

A key concept of Buddhism is Nirvana, the most enlightened, and blissful state that one can achieve [think of it as drugging oneself in passivity]. The Buddha never really articulated for his followers just exactly what Nirvana was; they only know that it is not some place that you get to, rather a state of pure being, this is a recurring stumbling block for Buddhists [vague fantasy is unspecific; Satan is the author of confusion]. Because there are no specific directives regarding Nirvana there is no ‘one’ true Buddhism, no absolutes, and no one right path leading there. The Buddha taught that it was up to each individual to find his/her own path [self-centered life, which is not the life of Christ], he left no teachings on or about Nirvana, or for that matter, eternity. What he did leave are philosophical concepts [realize that coyness is not a Godly trait; sneaky people aim to deceive through coyness].

Jesus in contrast was quite specific, He taught us that our physical bodies die but our souls ascend to be with Him in heaven (Mark: 12 [25] for when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven) [at the last trumpet Christians rise together in His parousia]. For Buddhists there is no merciful Father in heaven who sent His Son to die for our souls, for our salvation, to provide the way for us to reach His glory [the atheism of Buddhism is without mercy]. The Buddha taught that people don’t have individual souls [we should reject this collective borg mentality; remember God said we were each made in the image of God each having our own personality and sovereign will], and the existence of an individual self or ego is an illusion [this is evil to say we do not have self-consciousness in our soul; it is an attempt to draw one into passivity; and passivity is the ground the devil needs to find a foothold in your soul to control you]. The main emphasis of Buddhism is on the denial of self [why does one need to deny self if according to Buddhism it does not exist? this is a contradiction. We need to deny self to the glory of God as Christ denied Himself through the operation of the cross by the Holy Spirit; daily bearing the crosses that God gives us by might of the Holy Spirit to follow His leading in our spirits. Mercy and grace are vital.] Buddhists believe in Karma. They subscribe to the law of cause and effect Christianity believes this too, except their is redemption - the cause, for the effect - forgiveness], that means what you do in this lifetime, either good or bad, determines what will happen to you in another lifetime [Christianity believes this too, except that all our sins can be wiped clean by God's grace which is not of our own doing or strength to receive eternal life - knowing Jesus Christ is the Savior and a spiritual ability], on and on through time without end [there are not other lifetimes in Christianity. The resurrection life given to us now is simply continued on through resurrection in eternity future in our newly clothed spiritual bodies]. Suffering is the only way to achieve purification, and much suffering is necessary before reaching a state of Nirvana [according the Bible, suffering for the sake of suffering is not required. In fact, we need not suffer at all, if it is God's will; but at the same time, we can suffer if called upon by God to do so to fulfill some purpose].

 

Question: "What does the Bible say about karma?"


Answer:
Karma is a theological concept found in the Buddhist and Hindu religions. It is the idea that how one lives one’s life will determine the quality of life one will have when one is reincarnated. In other words, if one is unselfish, kind, and holy during their lifetime, one will be rewarded by being reincarnated (born again into a new earthly body) into a pleasant life. However, if one lives a life of selfishness and evil, one will be reincarnated into a less than pleasant lifestyle.

The entire concept of karma is based on the theological belief in reincarnation. It is sort of a “you reap what you sow” idea with the reaping to take place in your reincarnated life. [are you really reaping what you sow if you always endlessly can go back into sin, always getting another chance? endless chances sounds like endless confusion. Where is the authentic improvement in that? since you never learn the lesson and are never ultimately judged] The Bible does not agree with the idea of reincarnation, so therefore, it does not support the idea of karma. [the sin of reincarnation or karma is that in cycles you can lower your conscience because you always get another chance; ergo, this becomes a breeding ground for sin].

In Hebrews 9:27 it states, “And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this (cometh) judgment.” [you get one opportunity, this life, not another] This Bible verse makes clear two important points which, for Christians, negate the possibility of reincarnation and karma. First, it states that it is “appointed unto men once to die…” Meaning that humans are only born once and only die once. There is no endless cycle of life and death and rebirth that is promoted in the reincarnation theory. Second, it states that “after this (cometh) judgment…” Meaning that there is no second chance, like there is in reincarnation and karma, to live a better life. You get one shot at life and living it according to God’s plan, and that’s it.

The Bible talks a lot about reaping and sowing. In Job 4:8 it says, “Even as I have seen they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.” And in Psalms 126:5 it says, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” And in Luke 12:24 it says, “Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?”

In each of these instances, as well as all the other references to reaping and sowing, the act of receiving the rewards of one’s actions (reaping) takes place in this life, not in some future life [this is an incorrect statement about Christianity actually. The reaping for Christians is both this life as well as the rewards of the millennial kingdom to reign with Christ for 1000 years - see Rev. 20.4] It is a present-day activity and the references make it clear that the fruit one reaps will be commensurate with the actions one has performed. In addition, the actions or sowing one performs in this life will affect one’s reward or punishment in the afterlife [hell and heaven, as well as rewards for Christians who overcome to reign in the millennial kingdom - this is a necessary aspect of the redemptive design towards accountability for those that are saved. The millennial kingdom is the last 1000 years on earth, mentioned 6 times in Rev. 20.2-7. It is a transition period before the new city and new earth to prepare the way for new city and reward believers that overcome in Him. It is so important. Jesus says man is expected to live 100 years of age during this period for there will still be those with bodies of flesh from the dispensation of grace].

This afterlife is not a rebirth or a reincarnation into another body here on earth. It is either eternal suffering in hell (Matthew 25:46), or eternal life in Heaven with Jesus, who died so that we might live eternally with Him. And it is this life that our actions of sowing should be oriented towards. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:8-9, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Finally, we must always remember that it was Jesus whose death on the cross resulted in the reaping of eternal life for us, and that it is faith in Jesus that will gain for us this eternal life. It says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Therefore, we see that the concept of reincarnation and karma is incompatible with what the Bible teaches about life, death, and the sowing and reaping of eternal life.

 

Question: "What is Hinduism and what do Hindus believe?"


Answer: Hinduism is one of the oldest known organized religions--its sacred writings being dated as far back as 1400 to 1500 B.C. It is also one of the most diverse and complex, having millions of gods, a wide variety of beliefs, and many different sects. Although it is the third largest religion in the world, Hinduism exists primarily in India, Nepal, and to a smaller extent in a few of the surrounding countries.


The main texts Hinduism uses are the Vedas (considered most important), Upanishadas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana. These writings contain hymns, incantations, philosophies, rituals, poems, and stories from which Hindus base their beliefs. Other texts used in Hinduism include the Brahmanas, the Sutras, and the Aranyakas.

Though Hindus believe in millions of gods (330 million according to many sources [note that 3+3 is the number of Satan the dragon, and 0 is taken as being of Satan which is neither 1 nor 3 for Trinity; 0 is like a endless looping cycle without beginning]), they also believe that there is one god that is supreme: Brahma. Brahma is an entity that is believed to inhabit every portion of reality and existence [God is the creator, not the created nature], throughout the entire universe. Brahma is both impersonal and unknowable, and is often believed to exist in three separate forms as: Brahma--Creator; Vishnu--Preserver; and Shiva--Destroyer. These "facets" of Brahma are also known through many other incarnations of each [Satan is said to the be the Destroyer; also, God can not be reincarnated. Jesus Christ was incarnation of the Godhead bodily, but not reincarnated].

Because Brahma is in everything, Hindus believe that ultimately they themselves are gods [yet, we are not God], and will often worship themselves as an extension of Brahma [pride of life and delusion]. All of reality outside of Brahman is considered mere illusion [the truth of this mistaken assumption is that all within Brahman is illussion since we are not God]. The spiritual goal of a Hindu is to become one with Brahma, thus ceasing to exist in illusory form. This freedom is referred to as moksha. Until moksha is achieved, a Hindu believes that he/she will be repeatedly reincarnated in order that he/she may work towards self-realization of the truth (the truth being that only Brahman exists, nothing else) [again, this can not be the truth, since God is God and man is not God]. How a person is reincarnated is determined by karma, which is basically a principle of cause and effect promoting balance [the Bible does not teach balance, though it does teach cause and effect, though all such cause and effect needs be righteous, holy and pure according to God's will such as the redemption, overcoming and rewards for that overcoming]. What one did in the past affects and corresponds with what happens in the future, past and future lives included [except for the lie that you get endless second chances which of course is not reality, but delusion].

Although this is just a brief synopsis, it is readily seen that Hinduism is in opposition to Biblical Christianity on every count of its belief system. Christianity has one God who is both personal and knowable (Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6), one set of Scriptures [66 books of the Bible, 6 showing the number of the dragon, and 6 the number of man because man loves Satan's ways, so the Scriptures are the redemptive design showing how to break that bond], teaches that God created the earth and all that lives upon it (Genesis 1:1ff; Hebrews 11:3), believes that man is created in God's image and lives only once (Genesis 1:27; Hebrews 9:27-28), and teaches that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone (John 3:16; 6:44; 14:6).