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Author Topic: Are Muslims/Buddhists/etc saved?  (Read 10323 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2011, 04:08:38 PM »

I have a question by how God works in the lives of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Let's take for example they don't know the Gospel and keep practicing whatever belief that they have; does God forsake them because they worship a false idol or prophet...or how does He work in the lives of those that are in those religions?

Sorry if I missed the post explaining this.
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« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2011, 04:13:08 PM »

I have a question by how God works in the lives of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Let's take for example they don't know the Gospel and keep practicing whatever belief that they have; does God forsake them because they worship a false idol or prophet...or how does He work in the lives of those that are in those religions?
The Holy Spirit blows where it wills.
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« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2011, 05:21:34 PM »

I have a question by how God works in the lives of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Let's take for example they don't know the Gospel and keep practicing whatever belief that they have; does God forsake them because they worship a false idol or prophet...or how does He work in the lives of those that are in those religions?

Sorry if I missed the post explaining this.

There is no straightforward answer to this question.  The only sure answer we have is go and preach the gospel.
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« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2011, 05:47:05 PM »

^
I think it is difficult for you to imagine a Muslim Christian because it really isn't possible to be one.  Someone who follows the teachings of Islam clearly does not give credence to Christian tradition and scripture and certainly denies the divinity of Christ.

I don't claim to be an authority on Buddhism, but there are some posters on this forum who are extremely knowledgeable on the subject.  My opinion, however, is that the major Buddhist traditions (I'm most familiar with Theravada and Mahayana) are, in some ways, incompatible with practicing Christianity, in large part due to their perspective on the world, chronology, soul, etc.  I have read arguments that Christ is, in fact, the Great Bodhisattva, or something along those lines, but that is not a particularly orthodox understanding.  I guess, in a very similar vein as a recent Tai Chi/Yoga thread related to this, my question would be: Is Zen, removed from particularly Buddhist spiritual understandings, still really Buddhism?

I don't doubt that practices such as Zen, Yoga, Tai-Chi, etc have beneficial qualities, but I find it peculiar (please note that I did not write "wrong") that people want to somehow integrate these practices into Orthodox Christianity.  I recognize the similarities between Zen and Hesychasm, but Hesychasm is also very different and was developed strictly within the confines of Christianity.  





Keeping in mind that there are may different types of Buddhism, in general Buddhism has a far different World View.

Take the Buddhist vs. the Christian view of Time. For a Buddhist all time is cyclical. Great circles that always come back around. In Christianity we understand time to be linear. There is a beginning, a middle and there will be an end.

This sort of presuppostion has great effect upon how to conduct ones spritual development. If I am to work off my Karma over many cycles of lifetimes, I can approach things one way. If I think I have one life and will face Judgement at the end of it, I will proceed a different way.

Like that.
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« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2011, 05:54:50 PM »

^
I think it is difficult for you to imagine a Muslim Christian because it really isn't possible to be one.  Someone who follows the teachings of Islam clearly does not give credence to Christian tradition and scripture and certainly denies the divinity of Christ.

I don't claim to be an authority on Buddhism, but there are some posters on this forum who are extremely knowledgeable on the subject.  My opinion, however, is that the major Buddhist traditions (I'm most familiar with Theravada and Mahayana) are, in some ways, incompatible with practicing Christianity, in large part due to their perspective on the world, chronology, soul, etc.  I have read arguments that Christ is, in fact, the Great Bodhisattva, or something along those lines, but that is not a particularly orthodox understanding.  I guess, in a very similar vein as a recent Tai Chi/Yoga thread related to this, my question would be: Is Zen, removed from particularly Buddhist spiritual understandings, still really Buddhism?

I don't doubt that practices such as Zen, Yoga, Tai-Chi, etc have beneficial qualities, but I find it peculiar (please note that I did not write "wrong") that people want to somehow integrate these practices into Orthodox Christianity.  I recognize the similarities between Zen and Hesychasm, but Hesychasm is also very different and was developed strictly within the confines of Christianity.  
Keeping in mind that there are may different types of Buddhism, in general Buddhism has a far different World View.

Take the Buddhist vs. the Christian view of Time. For a Buddhist all time is cyclical. Great circles that always come back around. In Christianity we understand time to be linear. There is a beginning, a middle and there will be an end.

This sort of presuppostion has great effect upon how to conduct ones spritual development. If I am to work off my Karma over many cycles of lifetimes, I can approach things one way. If I think I have one life and will face Judgement at the end of it, I will proceed a different way.

Like that.
It isn't quite that simple. Buddhist time isn't cyclical -- if by cyclical you mean a process that proceeds to some point, then starts over again and repeats itself in the exact same fashion. Even the process of rebirth isn't cyclical in that sense -- you never simply repeat what you did in a past life. Likewise, in Orthodox Christianity, there is no end to time, because the process of theosis involves becoming more and more God-as-given-by-Grace. I can see Protestants arguing for an end to time, but not a theosis-based Christianity. Theosis has a beginning, but it has no end.

In Buddhism, at least in Theravada, the beginning of the whole process of one's life (and by "life" I mean all of one's series of existences, all of one's rebirths) is said to be "unknowable" or "unsee-able", and the realization of nibbana (which is the "end" of one's enslavement to greed, hatred, and delusion) is the transcendence, the end, of the whole process altogether, and entry into the indescribable nature of nibbana.

So, in Buddhism, there is an "end", and in Christianity, there is an "endlessness"; and, of course, vice versa is true as well. Traditions like Christianity and Buddhism escape any easy categorization of cyclical or non-cyclical, ending or non-ending.
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« Reply #50 on: January 17, 2011, 06:47:32 PM »

^
I think it is difficult for you to imagine a Muslim Christian because it really isn't possible to be one.  Someone who follows the teachings of Islam clearly does not give credence to Christian tradition and scripture and certainly denies the divinity of Christ.

I don't claim to be an authority on Buddhism, but there are some posters on this forum who are extremely knowledgeable on the subject.  My opinion, however, is that the major Buddhist traditions (I'm most familiar with Theravada and Mahayana) are, in some ways, incompatible with practicing Christianity, in large part due to their perspective on the world, chronology, soul, etc.  I have read arguments that Christ is, in fact, the Great Bodhisattva, or something along those lines, but that is not a particularly orthodox understanding.  I guess, in a very similar vein as a recent Tai Chi/Yoga thread related to this, my question would be: Is Zen, removed from particularly Buddhist spiritual understandings, still really Buddhism?

I don't doubt that practices such as Zen, Yoga, Tai-Chi, etc have beneficial qualities, but I find it peculiar (please note that I did not write "wrong") that people want to somehow integrate these practices into Orthodox Christianity.  I recognize the similarities between Zen and Hesychasm, but Hesychasm is also very different and was developed strictly within the confines of Christianity.  
Keeping in mind that there are may different types of Buddhism, in general Buddhism has a far different World View.

Take the Buddhist vs. the Christian view of Time. For a Buddhist all time is cyclical. Great circles that always come back around. In Christianity we understand time to be linear. There is a beginning, a middle and there will be an end.

This sort of presuppostion has great effect upon how to conduct ones spritual development. If I am to work off my Karma over many cycles of lifetimes, I can approach things one way. If I think I have one life and will face Judgement at the end of it, I will proceed a different way.

Like that.
It isn't quite that simple. Buddhist time isn't cyclical -- if by cyclical you mean a process that proceeds to some point, then starts over again and repeats itself in the exact same fashion. Even the process of rebirth isn't cyclical in that sense -- you never simply repeat what you did in a past life. Likewise, in Orthodox Christianity, there is no end to time, because the process of theosis involves becoming more and more God-as-given-by-Grace. I can see Protestants arguing for an end to time, but not a theosis-based Christianity. Theosis has a beginning, but it has no end.

In Buddhism, at least in Theravada, the beginning of the whole process of one's life (and by "life" I mean all of one's series of existences, all of one's rebirths) is said to be "unknowable" or "unsee-able", and the realization of nibbana (which is the "end" of one's enslavement to greed, hatred, and delusion) is the transcendence, the end, of the whole process altogether, and entry into the indescribable nature of nibbana.

So, in Buddhism, there is an "end", and in Christianity, there is an "endlessness"; and, of course, vice versa is true as well. Traditions like Christianity and Buddhism escape any easy categorization of cyclical or non-cyclical, ending or non-ending.

Like I said, there are many different types of Buddhism. I am not very familiar with Hinayana ( Lesser Vehicle) Buddhism. My limited understanding is the goal is to save yourself and break the chain of rebirth finally in this lifetime. I can see how that is more like the Christian view.

 However, most Buddhism taught in the World today is Mahayana (Great Vehicle), Buddhism. Time is seen as cyclical. That does not necessarily mean the exact same things occur again and again, it is more like Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. No two Winters are exactly the same but Winter will come again. A person goes through repeated cycles of birth and death, ever refining his Karma as he goes with the goal of saving all sentient beings, not just himself.
Unlike the Hinayanist, He refuses to break the chain of rebirth but rather keeps coming back to help others.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 06:48:30 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2011, 10:40:01 AM »

I would also think that when Christ says, "My sheep here my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27) includes many He knows and we may not necessarily comprehend. Is not someone like  the good Samaritan an ongoing example of one outside the known fold but known by God? Also, what about all sins & blasphemies (except against the Holy Spirit) being forgiven?; who can presume to define such a threshold intellectually? I think these mysteries are good since they would seem to teach us humility, fear of the Lord, obediance to His commandments, the future promise of answred prayers even when misery abounds in the present tense etc.
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« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2011, 12:07:45 PM »

Of course Christian position is that Christ's NT teaching tells us that all authority in heaven and earth are given to Christ. Christ is the truth the way and the life and no-one comes to the Father God except by Him.
So we cant judge who is saved except by their testimony, and only Christ will know the heart of people.
Obviously Buddhism and Islam doesnt have the knowledge of God for people to have faith in Christ, so all we can say is there is no salvation in Buddism or Islam.
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« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2011, 01:00:59 PM »

^
I think it is difficult for you to imagine a Muslim Christian because it really isn't possible to be one.  Someone who follows the teachings of Islam clearly does not give credence to Christian tradition and scripture and certainly denies the divinity of Christ.

I don't claim to be an authority on Buddhism, but there are some posters on this forum who are extremely knowledgeable on the subject.  My opinion, however, is that the major Buddhist traditions (I'm most familiar with Theravada and Mahayana) are, in some ways, incompatible with practicing Christianity, in large part due to their perspective on the world, chronology, soul, etc.  I have read arguments that Christ is, in fact, the Great Bodhisattva, or something along those lines, but that is not a particularly orthodox understanding.  I guess, in a very similar vein as a recent Tai Chi/Yoga thread related to this, my question would be: Is Zen, removed from particularly Buddhist spiritual understandings, still really Buddhism?

I don't doubt that practices such as Zen, Yoga, Tai-Chi, etc have beneficial qualities, but I find it peculiar (please note that I did not write "wrong") that people want to somehow integrate these practices into Orthodox Christianity.  I recognize the similarities between Zen and Hesychasm, but Hesychasm is also very different and was developed strictly within the confines of Christianity.  
Keeping in mind that there are may different types of Buddhism, in general Buddhism has a far different World View.

Take the Buddhist vs. the Christian view of Time. For a Buddhist all time is cyclical. Great circles that always come back around. In Christianity we understand time to be linear. There is a beginning, a middle and there will be an end.

This sort of presuppostion has great effect upon how to conduct ones spritual development. If I am to work off my Karma over many cycles of lifetimes, I can approach things one way. If I think I have one life and will face Judgement at the end of it, I will proceed a different way.

Like that.
It isn't quite that simple. Buddhist time isn't cyclical -- if by cyclical you mean a process that proceeds to some point, then starts over again and repeats itself in the exact same fashion. Even the process of rebirth isn't cyclical in that sense -- you never simply repeat what you did in a past life. Likewise, in Orthodox Christianity, there is no end to time, because the process of theosis involves becoming more and more God-as-given-by-Grace. I can see Protestants arguing for an end to time, but not a theosis-based Christianity. Theosis has a beginning, but it has no end.

In Buddhism, at least in Theravada, the beginning of the whole process of one's life (and by "life" I mean all of one's series of existences, all of one's rebirths) is said to be "unknowable" or "unsee-able", and the realization of nibbana (which is the "end" of one's enslavement to greed, hatred, and delusion) is the transcendence, the end, of the whole process altogether, and entry into the indescribable nature of nibbana.

So, in Buddhism, there is an "end", and in Christianity, there is an "endlessness"; and, of course, vice versa is true as well. Traditions like Christianity and Buddhism escape any easy categorization of cyclical or non-cyclical, ending or non-ending.

Except that Buddhism is non-echatalogical.
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« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2011, 01:28:54 PM »

Of course Christian position is that Christ's NT teaching tells us that all authority in heaven and earth are given to Christ. Christ is the truth the way and the life and no-one comes to the Father God except by Him.
So we cant judge who is saved except by their testimony, and only Christ will know the heart of people.
Obviously Buddhism and Islam doesnt have the knowledge of God for people to have faith in Christ, so all we can say is there is no salvation in Buddism or Islam.

But as Christ is the Eternal Word of God, "the True Light that lighteth every man", can we matter-of-factly limit His saving grace only to the historical life of Jesus Christ the Nazarene?  According to Professor James S. Cutsinger, also an Orthodox Christian, St. Athanasius and other church fathers said that Christ, the eternal Logos, "was not confined by his body even during his earthly ministry" (see link below if you want to investigate these ideas further).  Perhaps the Logos works in ways we cannot comprehend, who, while being most fully incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ, also works through other religious traditions (eg Buddhism and Islam) to affect individual salvation?

Either way, I think it's safe to say that it is beyond us as individuals to definitively declare who will and will not be saved.

http://www.cutsinger.net/pdf/perennial_philosophy_and_christianity.pdf
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« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2011, 04:16:12 PM »

Except that Buddhism is non-echatalogical.
If by that you mean that in Buddhism, there is no definitive goal to which the physical universe as a whole is arriving at, I would disagree. It's true that Buddhism doesn't speak of an "end time" in the same way that, say, Christianity does, but Buddhism's eschatology (from a dzogchen perspective) is based on the vision of awakening, in which the universe is transformed from a place of dissatisfaction, to a realm of conscious light. The Buddhist "end time" is when all beings are awakened to this reality, and since the number of beings is potentially infinite, then the "end time" is "without end". I find this somewhat similar to the everlastingly, never-finally-arrived-at process of theosis.
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« Reply #56 on: January 20, 2011, 12:46:21 AM »


Quote

One of the main issues is that one cannot really commit to the Three Refuges and really be a Christian.

Care to elaborate?

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.
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« Reply #57 on: January 20, 2011, 09:11:49 AM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.
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« Reply #58 on: January 20, 2011, 04:46:28 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.
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« Reply #59 on: January 20, 2011, 04:58:26 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.
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« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2011, 05:22:18 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

My sense is that many (perhaps the majority of) Buddhists regard Sidhattha as having been human by nature, yet the perfect embodiment of the Buddanature in his personality, and thus a Supreme Teacher and Mediator in a way similar to Jesus, to the point where there could be some truth to referring to him as "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" for them.
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« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2011, 11:29:33 AM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

My sense is that many (perhaps the majority of) Buddhists regard Sidhattha as having been human by nature, yet the perfect embodiment of the Buddanature in his personality, and thus a Supreme Teacher and Mediator in a way similar to Jesus, to the point where there could be some truth to referring to him as "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" for them.

I am afraid you do not understand what is meant by buddhanature. It is perfectly embodied by every being, and by every one of us. Shakyamuni didn't embody it any more perfectly than you do. What he maybe did do was manifest that nature more clearly or completely, i.e., with less delusion.
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« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2011, 12:21:04 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

Once again, you must be extremely careful to recognize that there are different forms of Buddhism that have far different idea's from one to another. You can never simply state that "Buddhism" teaches so and so.

For example in the Lotus Sutra based Sects it is understood that the Buddha was NOT merely a human. The LS teaches that his enlightement under the Bohdai Tree was an expedient means of teaching and that his disappearance ( death) was only to prevent people from being too attached to him.

In fact,  his "real " identity is as the "Eternal Buddha" ( chapter 15-16 LS)  and he is referred to in the commentaries by St. Nichiren and others as... "Our Father, the Eternally Living Lord Shakyamuni"..... That sort of representation is far closer to how one referrers to someone Divine than it is to Lord Wellington ( with my apologies to the General who was a great hero Smiley

Revisionist LS Buddhist groups like the Soka Gakkai often  take the original language and shorten or delete all the honorifics leaving just "Lord Shakyamuni" or simply "Shakyamuni".
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 12:23:54 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2011, 01:23:56 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

My sense is that many (perhaps the majority of) Buddhists regard Sidhattha as having been human by nature, yet the perfect embodiment of the Buddanature in his personality, and thus a Supreme Teacher and Mediator in a way similar to Jesus, to the point where there could be some truth to referring to him as "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" for them.

Buddha-nature was not really an early Buddhist concept but something that developed later. The original teachings have the Buddha (Siddhartha Gotema) denying that he is a god or any kind of celestial being, but simply awake.

Quote
No Innate Nature

...This is why the Buddha never advocated attributing an innate nature of any kind to the mind — good, bad, or Buddha. The idea of innate natures slipped into the Buddhist tradition in later centuries, when the principle of freedom was forgotten. Past bad kamma was seen as so totally deterministic that there seemed no way around it unless you assumed either an innate Buddha in the mind that could overpower it, or an external Buddha who would save you from it. But when you understand the principle of freedom — that past kamma doesn't totally shape the present, and that present kamma can always be free to choose the skillful alternative — you realize that the idea of innate natures is unnecessary: excess baggage on the path.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/freedomfrombuddhanature.html

You are probably right in that most (Mahayana) Buddhists throughout the world, especially lay persons, do see the Buddha more like a god or embodiment of Buddha-nature than merely as an awakened man, as the early Buddhists did (and Theravada Buddhists still do). My experience living in Korea, where Mahayana Buddhism is practiced, was that most lay people knew less about the original teachings of the Buddha than I did! Many of them go to the temples on the weekends, bow to the Buddha, and pray for their kids to get into the best Universities. Only the monks and nuns really seemed to meditate. I'm sure there were exceptions, of course.  Smiley

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« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2011, 08:03:08 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

My sense is that many (perhaps the majority of) Buddhists regard Sidhattha as having been human by nature, yet the perfect embodiment of the Buddanature in his personality, and thus a Supreme Teacher and Mediator in a way similar to Jesus, to the point where there could be some truth to referring to him as "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" for them.

Buddha-nature was not really an early Buddhist concept but something that developed later. The original teachings have the Buddha (Siddhartha Gotema) denying that he is a god or any kind of celestial being, but simply awake.

Quote
No Innate Nature

...This is why the Buddha never advocated attributing an innate nature of any kind to the mind — good, bad, or Buddha. The idea of innate natures slipped into the Buddhist tradition in later centuries, when the principle of freedom was forgotten. Past bad kamma was seen as so totally deterministic that there seemed no way around it unless you assumed either an innate Buddha in the mind that could overpower it, or an external Buddha who would save you from it. But when you understand the principle of freedom — that past kamma doesn't totally shape the present, and that present kamma can always be free to choose the skillful alternative — you realize that the idea of innate natures is unnecessary: excess baggage on the path.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/freedomfrombuddhanature.html

You are probably right in that most (Mahayana) Buddhists throughout the world, especially lay persons, do see the Buddha more like a god or embodiment of Buddha-nature than merely as an awakened man, as the early Buddhists did (and Theravada Buddhists still do). My experience living in Korea, where Mahayana Buddhism is practiced, was that most lay people knew less about the original teachings of the Buddha than I did! Many of them go to the temples on the weekends, bow to the Buddha, and pray for their kids to get into the best Universities. Only the monks and nuns really seemed to meditate. I'm sure there were exceptions, of course.  Smiley



There are two ways to look at it. One is that the early Sutra's are True because they are ...earlier.  The other way is that the early Sutra's contained only a partial Truth and that the Later Wisdom Sutra's and finally the Lotus Sutra tells the rest of the story, the whole Truth. 

The theory is that as we get further away from when then Buddha lived, it is harder to practice. Therefore, in early times one could accept all kinds of precepts and follow a Hinyanna type path and get results. But spiritual capacity has diminished over time, so now people need a direct method and the full Truth since we live in a spiritually degenerate age ( "Mappo"),   
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« Reply #65 on: January 24, 2011, 09:58:39 AM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

Once again, you must be extremely careful to recognize that there are different forms of Buddhism that have far different idea's from one to another. You can never simply state that "Buddhism" teaches so and so.

For example in the Lotus Sutra based Sects it is understood that the Buddha was NOT merely a human. The LS teaches that his enlightement under the Bohdai Tree was an expedient means of teaching and that his disappearance ( death) was only to prevent people from being too attached to him.

In fact,  his "real " identity is as the "Eternal Buddha" ( chapter 15-16 LS)  and he is referred to in the commentaries by St. Nichiren and others as... "Our Father, the Eternally Living Lord Shakyamuni"..... That sort of representation is far closer to how one referrers to someone Divine than it is to Lord Wellington ( with my apologies to the General who was a great hero Smiley

Revisionist LS Buddhist groups like the Soka Gakkai often  take the original language and shorten or delete all the honorifics leaving just "Lord Shakyamuni" or simply "Shakyamuni".

Thanks. I get tired of making this same point over and over. One can no more refer to Buddhism, as if it were something monolithic, than one can derive accurate understanding of Christianity from a children's Bible. On that basis, one would probably conclude than all Christians were like Methodists or Presbyterians.
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« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2011, 11:55:51 AM »

Let me state for the original post that I am not Orthodox, so I am not giving what would be a traditional Orthodox answer.

I would think that the Bible and majority of early Church teachings (save for Origen and possibly Gregory of Nyssa) would be quite clear on the subject - one who knows of Christ as Christ and willfully rejects Him cannot inherit eternal life. This is because the rejection of Christ is actually the utmost immoral act.

Now, for those who don't hear I would say the Bible implicitly says that those who still seek after God will be saved, but even among those who never hear are some of the condemned. I know it's not a pleasant thought, but the Bible does seem to say that there will be people thrown into Hell and even into the Lake of Fire after the Final Judgment. Perhaps this isn't so, and how wonderful it would be if it were not, but Scripture doesn't seem to paint such a picture.
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« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2011, 02:32:54 PM »

Let me state for the original post that I am not Orthodox, so I am not giving what would be a traditional Orthodox answer.

I would think that the Bible and majority of early Church teachings (save for Origen and possibly Gregory of Nyssa) would be quite clear on the subject - one who knows of Christ as Christ and willfully rejects Him cannot inherit eternal life. This is because the rejection of Christ is actually the utmost immoral act.

Now, for those who don't hear I would say the Bible implicitly says that those who still seek after God will be saved, but even among those who never hear are some of the condemned. I know it's not a pleasant thought, but the Bible does seem to say that there will be people thrown into Hell and even into the Lake of Fire after the Final Judgment. Perhaps this isn't so, and how wonderful it would be if it were not, but Scripture doesn't seem to paint such a picture.

What if someone is the victim of violence perpetrated by Christians in the name of Christ, such as a pogrom or inquisition?

Someone may willfully reject faith in Christ after seeing family and friends lynched..etc.

I think God will do what is right without being bound by a narrow rule book.


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« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2011, 02:45:58 PM »

Let me state for the original post that I am not Orthodox, so I am not giving what would be a traditional Orthodox answer.

I would think that the Bible and majority of early Church teachings (save for Origen and possibly Gregory of Nyssa) would be quite clear on the subject - one who knows of Christ as Christ and willfully rejects Him cannot inherit eternal life. This is because the rejection of Christ is actually the utmost immoral act.

Now, for those who don't hear I would say the Bible implicitly says that those who still seek after God will be saved, but even among those who never hear are some of the condemned. I know it's not a pleasant thought, but the Bible does seem to say that there will be people thrown into Hell and even into the Lake of Fire after the Final Judgment. Perhaps this isn't so, and how wonderful it would be if it were not, but Scripture doesn't seem to paint such a picture.

What if someone is the victim of violence perpetrated by Christians in the name of Christ, such as a pogrom or inquisition?

Someone may willfully reject faith in Christ after seeing family and friends lynched..etc.

I think God will do what is right without being bound by a narrow rule book.




But He wrote the rules. Smiley

Notice that I said those who reject "Christ as Christ." Someone rejecting Christ because of a misrepresentation of Christ wouldn't be rejecting Christ; they'd be rejecting an idol.
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« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2011, 03:19:28 PM »

reply to philosopher (#68). God is sovereign and if we pray for others as we are commanded (1 Timothy 2:1), according to what we are commanded (love God with all our heart, soul, & mind & our neighbor as ourself), the golden rule, calling upon Christ as our savior (Romans 10:9-13), the Beatitudes, the law God gives to the individual conscience (Romans 2), recalling God's sovereignty (Romans 9:14-18), the Son asking the Father to forgive (Luke 23:34) the fear of the Lord & the final judgement (matthew 25:31-46) etc. how are we to presume to define where God extends His mercy?
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« Reply #70 on: January 24, 2011, 05:11:50 PM »

reply to philosopher (#68). God is sovereign and if we pray for others as we are commanded (1 Timothy 2:1), according to what we are commanded (love God with all our heart, soul, & mind & our neighbor as ourself), the golden rule, calling upon Christ as our savior (Romans 10:9-13), the Beatitudes, the law God gives to the individual conscience (Romans 2), recalling God's sovereignty (Romans 9:14-18), the Son asking the Father to forgive (Luke 23:34) the fear of the Lord & the final judgement (matthew 25:31-46) etc. how are we to presume to define where God extends His mercy?

Amen, and again, amen. That we little humans should presume to think we understand God's will perfectly, even with an instruction book, is pretty funny. Or would be if the history of the church weren't so littered with the remains of those it condemned.
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« Reply #71 on: January 24, 2011, 06:26:26 PM »

Let me state for the original post that I am not Orthodox, so I am not giving what would be a traditional Orthodox answer.

I would think that the Bible and majority of early Church teachings (save for Origen and possibly Gregory of Nyssa) would be quite clear on the subject - one who knows of Christ as Christ and willfully rejects Him cannot inherit eternal life. This is because the rejection of Christ is actually the utmost immoral act.

Now, for those who don't hear I would say the Bible implicitly says that those who still seek after God will be saved, but even among those who never hear are some of the condemned. I know it's not a pleasant thought, but the Bible does seem to say that there will be people thrown into Hell and even into the Lake of Fire after the Final Judgment. Perhaps this isn't so, and how wonderful it would be if it were not, but Scripture doesn't seem to paint such a picture.

What if someone is the victim of violence perpetrated by Christians in the name of Christ, such as a pogrom or inquisition?

Someone may willfully reject faith in Christ after seeing family and friends lynched..etc.

I think God will do what is right without being bound by a narrow rule book.




But He wrote the rules. Smiley

Notice that I said those who reject "Christ as Christ." Someone rejecting Christ because of a misrepresentation of Christ wouldn't be rejecting Christ; they'd be rejecting an idol.

Really? How good is his penmanship? Don't you mean he inspired the Men who wrote scripture? And generally Orthodox don't look at scripture as a book of rules..Therefore, there is some wiggle room for reasonableness and God's Mercy.

But I do like very much your explanation that to reject a false representation of Christ is not really a rejection of Jesus Christ. Thanks for that
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« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2011, 06:21:58 AM »

Hi Stavros_388,
Quote
But as Christ is the Eternal Word of God, "the True Light that lighteth every man", can we matter-of-factly limit His saving grace only to the historical life of Jesus Christ the Nazarene? 
No we cant limit His saving grace, but His saving grace is in Him and what He has done, which other religions limit.
Quote
Perhaps the Logos works in ways we cannot comprehend, who, while being most fully incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ, also works through other religious traditions (eg Buddhism and Islam) to affect individual salvation?
Or perhaps not as the evidence shows, particuallry with Islam withnits denial of Christ as the risen Son of God.   

Quote
Either way, I think it's safe to say that it is beyond us as individuals to definitively declare who will and will not be saved.
I agree with you there, we are not to judge those who havent heard the truth, or who have been blinded by their religion to the truth.
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« Reply #73 on: January 27, 2011, 07:01:37 AM »

I have a question by how God works in the lives of Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc. Let's take for example they don't know the Gospel and keep practicing whatever belief that they have; does God forsake them because they worship a false idol or prophet...or how does He work in the lives of those that are in those religions?

Sorry if I missed the post explaining this.

We need to differentiate “religion” from “religion as religion teaching” and “religion as religious organisation”.


1.   hard to except there are people who not heard about “bible” and “Christianity”.
2.   God work 24/7 about each of as.
3.   to be orthodox is not mean nor equal “to be saved.” It is to know right road to salvation, and most of  us would die on this road.




Also few words about “beliefs”:

Beliefs – is form of perception.
If some one perceiving green as blue and salted as sweet ….What you called them? 
And if some one presenting glass as diamond and play with your perception…. What you called them? 
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« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2011, 09:34:10 AM »

I'm curious how many people here actually know what either Buddha or Mohammed taught? I can't imagine a Muslim Christian, perhaps because of my narrow and ignorant view. But I can certainly imagine a Buddhist Christian. In Zen, to take one example, there's really nothing to contradict the teachings of Christ. Zen teachers simply do not cover the same ground. It is a non-scriptural tradition that emphasizes experience over understanding and traditionally doesn't seek to verbalize much about even that--much like the apophatic (sp?) tradition of the hesychasts. And much of what they teach about the the nature of mind and the craft of concentration, if you will, could be useful to us in our own practices of prayer and meditation.

No, genuine Zen is not compatible with Christianity, since it assumes all of the doctrines taught in traditional Mahayana Buddhism. Zen's "nonscriptural" approach, which can be traced to the Lankavatara Sutra, among other scriptures,  goes beyond the scriptures, but that can only be done if one has actually studied their contents. Zen teachers in the US immediately want to jump to the "nonscriptural" part without taking the time to understand the Buddhist tradition. That's why American Zen is generally a dumbed down grab bag of cliches serving as a cover for whatever the "Zen Master" believes on a given day. This "nondogmatic" Zen is a product of 1960's America, not China or Japan, though teachers from those countries have certainly exploited it when they came here.  Some American Zen teachers have seen the problem in this and are emphasizing rigorous study again, like in the Mountains and Rivers Order. Then there are some of the Chinese orders, like Sheng Yen's, which always emphasized a thorough grounding in Buddhist teaching.
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« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2011, 09:51:14 AM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

I can say from experience that the Buddha is definitely "worshipped", and not just by the "simple" folk, in Mahayana Buddhism and also Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered eternal, immortal, omnipotent, etc. One prostrates before him and treats statues of him as if they were the Buddha himself. The merits gained by praising the name of the Buddha, making offereings to him, making statues, or circumambulating stupas are not some folk accretion but are written out very explicitly in certain texts, in sutras (Lotus Sutra, for instance) and also core texts like Gampopa's Jewel Ornament of Liberation.
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« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2011, 09:56:11 AM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

Once again, you must be extremely careful to recognize that there are different forms of Buddhism that have far different idea's from one to another. You can never simply state that "Buddhism" teaches so and so.

For example in the Lotus Sutra based Sects it is understood that the Buddha was NOT merely a human. The LS teaches that his enlightement under the Bohdai Tree was an expedient means of teaching and that his disappearance ( death) was only to prevent people from being too attached to him.

In fact,  his "real " identity is as the "Eternal Buddha" ( chapter 15-16 LS)  and he is referred to in the commentaries by St. Nichiren and others as... "Our Father, the Eternally Living Lord Shakyamuni"..... That sort of representation is far closer to how one referrers to someone Divine than it is to Lord Wellington ( with my apologies to the General who was a great hero Smiley

Revisionist LS Buddhist groups like the Soka Gakkai often  take the original language and shorten or delete all the honorifics leaving just "Lord Shakyamuni" or simply "Shakyamuni".

Thanks. I get tired of making this same point over and over. One can no more refer to Buddhism, as if it were something monolithic, than one can derive accurate understanding of Christianity from a children's Bible. On that basis, one would probably conclude than all Christians were like Methodists or Presbyterians.

Buddhism may not be monolithic, but some describe it as "holographic"- the different traditions reflect each other. There is rarely a significant contradiction in doctrine between the different sects- it's usually more a matter of making different emphases or adding some layers to the common cosmology. In China and Japan there were big-tent sects (Tiantai/ Tendai, Hua Yen/ Kegon) that sought to unify all the teachings into one. When Chan became dominant in China, it didn't wipe out the other teachings but absorbed them, no now it is common in Chan to practice Pure Land nian fo and other practices not commonly associated with Chan. The only really radical departures tha I know of would be some of the crazier mappo sects like Nichiren.
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« Reply #77 on: January 27, 2011, 02:31:13 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

I can say from experience that the Buddha is definitely "worshipped", and not just by the "simple" folk, in Mahayana Buddhism and also Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered eternal, immortal, omnipotent, etc.
I would like to see where Tibetan Buddhism argues that the Buddha (e.g., Shakyamuni) is "eternal" and "immortal" (in the way that God is considered "eternal" and "immortal" in the Abrahamic traditions), and "omnipotent" (being all-powerful, implying Abrahamically total creation of the cosmos).
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« Reply #78 on: January 27, 2011, 04:24:36 PM »


Quote

The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

I can say from experience that the Buddha is definitely "worshipped", and not just by the "simple" folk, in Mahayana Buddhism and also Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered eternal, immortal, omnipotent, etc.
I would like to see where Tibetan Buddhism argues that the Buddha (e.g., Shakyamuni) is "eternal" and "immortal" (in the way that God is considered "eternal" and "immortal" in the Abrahamic traditions), and "omnipotent" (being all-powerful, implying Abrahamically total creation of the cosmos).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Buddha
The Buddha is very plainly taught to be eternal in key Mahayana texts like the Lotus Sutra. Sometimes the Buddha is described as the ground of all existence.  Is it the same way as the Christian God? I'd say no. The devotions to Shakyamuni and to other beings are done as if these Buddhas are still present. The "omnipotent" thing I'm not as clear on- I remember reading and hearing about how the Buddha was all-powerful but in exactly what sense I'm not sure. All the same, the Buddha is definitely not an ordinary mortal in any Mahayana narrative.  
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« Reply #79 on: January 27, 2011, 06:56:00 PM »


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The Three Refuges essentially set up the Buddha as one's Lord (made even more clear by the fact that many Buddhists refer to Siddhattha Gotama as "the Lord Buddha") in a way that cannot be reconciled with Christ's Lordship. Sure, certain concepts and practices of Buddhism may be able to be incorporated into a Christian life, but I think it's clear that one cannot be a full Christian and a full Buddhist.

The historical Buddha was a human. he's referred to as Lord Budddha in the same way as one might refer to Lord Wellington, as a mark of respect.

I highly suspect that's not the full story.

Some simple people worship him, just as some simple people worship Catholic saints. Ever seen some of those Spanish or Italian parades with the big statues of saints? A lot more is going on there than simple devotion. Same thing with relics. People with less elaborate intellects than yours regard relics as being inmbued with all kinds of magical powers, rather than as simple objects of devotion. But the historical buddha is not regarded by any Buddhist sect as anything other than a human being--a very extraordinary human being, but one who lived and died nonetheless.

I can say from experience that the Buddha is definitely "worshipped", and not just by the "simple" folk, in Mahayana Buddhism and also Tibetan Buddhism. He is considered eternal, immortal, omnipotent, etc.
I would like to see where Tibetan Buddhism argues that the Buddha (e.g., Shakyamuni) is "eternal" and "immortal" (in the way that God is considered "eternal" and "immortal" in the Abrahamic traditions), and "omnipotent" (being all-powerful, implying Abrahamically total creation of the cosmos).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Buddha
The Buddha is very plainly taught to be eternal in key Mahayana texts like the Lotus Sutra. Sometimes the Buddha is described as the ground of all existence.  Is it the same way as the Christian God? I'd say no. The devotions to Shakyamuni and to other beings are done as if these Buddhas are still present.
Ok. I see what you mean. I agree that the Buddha, in Buddhism, is not a mere "man" (even in Theravada, let alone Mahayana). But I think we have to distinguish the two ways in which the Buddha, in Mahayana, might be described as "eternal". The first way is to make "Buddha" synonymous with "Nirvana" or "Dharmakaya", which are more 'impersonal' labels. Insofar as the Buddha embodies Nirvana or Dharmakaya, then you could speak of the Buddha as "eternal". The second way is to say that, since the Buddha (in Mahayana) actually achieved Enlightenment eons and eons ago (and thus Shakyamuni Buddha, the Buddha of 2500 years ago, was a "manifestation" of an already-Enlightened Buddha), the "eons and eons ago" time-span is, for practical human purposes, "eternal".
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« Reply #80 on: January 28, 2011, 05:34:11 PM »

I'm curious how many people here actually know what either Buddha or Mohammed taught? I can't imagine a Muslim Christian, perhaps because of my narrow and ignorant view. But I can certainly imagine a Buddhist Christian. In Zen, to take one example, there's really nothing to contradict the teachings of Christ. Zen teachers simply do not cover the same ground. It is a non-scriptural tradition that emphasizes experience over understanding and traditionally doesn't seek to verbalize much about even that--much like the apophatic (sp?) tradition of the hesychasts. And much of what they teach about the the nature of mind and the craft of concentration, if you will, could be useful to us in our own practices of prayer and meditation.

No, genuine Zen is not compatible with Christianity, since it assumes all of the doctrines taught in traditional Mahayana Buddhism. Zen's "nonscriptural" approach, which can be traced to the Lankavatara Sutra, among other scriptures,  goes beyond the scriptures, but that can only be done if one has actually studied their contents. Zen teachers in the US immediately want to jump to the "nonscriptural" part without taking the time to understand the Buddhist tradition. That's why American Zen is generally a dumbed down grab bag of cliches serving as a cover for whatever the "Zen Master" believes on a given day. This "nondogmatic" Zen is a product of 1960's America, not China or Japan, though teachers from those countries have certainly exploited it when they came here.  Some American Zen teachers have seen the problem in this and are emphasizing rigorous study again, like in the Mountains and Rivers Order. Then there are some of the Chinese orders, like Sheng Yen's, which always emphasized a thorough grounding in Buddhist teaching.

Well, I practice "genuine Zen" and am a believing Orthodox Christian. You are right about the poor preparation of most american Zen students, wanting as they do to avoid the Hinayana altogether--manifestly impossible. But I believe you've misunderstood the expression "a teaching outside the scriptures."  It is the direct experience of fundamental reality. What could that be but God? The point is that rigorous study or the application of sequential logic do not lead to that direct experience. That is the problem with many of Shihfu Sheng Yen's teachings. They do not go deep enough.

Of course you can find people who "worship" the historical Buddha, just as you can find savior figures, such as Amitabha, in movements like the Pure Land schools. You can find the same wide variety in Christianity. Mary the Virgin Mother of God--yes or no? You'll get a quite different answer from an Orthodox than from a Pentecostal. What's your point? That Buddhism manifests in many forms? No one argues against this.
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« Reply #81 on: January 30, 2011, 10:40:14 PM »

Wow that is some plagarism regarding Nichiren Shoshu.
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« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2011, 10:42:29 PM »

Wow that is some plagarism regarding Nichiren Shoshu.

How so?
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« Reply #83 on: January 30, 2011, 11:03:28 PM »

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The Buddha actually exists as a Divine Supreme Being who has eternal life.

All people have the ability to become enlightend, not just a seperate class of Monks

The Word ( The Sutra) and the Person are for all intents and purposes identical in merit.

You achieve enlightenment by communion with this Supreme Being and by his grace alone.     

You commune by hearing the Dharma encapsulated in an easy to use form, the Title of the Hokkeyo .

The Buddha thereby indwells within your life and transforms you..

Sound at all familiar ?... Nichiren was a smart cookie. He got an awful lot right. 

If this came out in the 1400s then wouldn't be classified as being derived from the EO church?
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« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2011, 11:07:23 PM »

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The Buddha actually exists as a Divine Supreme Being who has eternal life.

All people have the ability to become enlightend, not just a seperate class of Monks

The Word ( The Sutra) and the Person are for all intents and purposes identical in merit.

You achieve enlightenment by communion with this Supreme Being and by his grace alone.     

You commune by hearing the Dharma encapsulated in an easy to use form, the Title of the Hokkeyo .

The Buddha thereby indwells within your life and transforms you..

Sound at all familiar ?... Nichiren was a smart cookie. He got an awful lot right. 

If this came out in the 1400s then wouldn't be classified as being derived from the EO church?

Similar ideas can be found in earlier expressions of Buddhism. I seriously doubt Nichiren or any of his forebears had any knowledge of Orthodox Christianity.

Chalk it up to that guidance which God, in his mercy, gives to all the best pagan philosophers.
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« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2011, 11:12:19 PM »

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The Buddha actually exists as a Divine Supreme Being who has eternal life.

All people have the ability to become enlightend, not just a seperate class of Monks

The Word ( The Sutra) and the Person are for all intents and purposes identical in merit.

You achieve enlightenment by communion with this Supreme Being and by his grace alone.      

You commune by hearing the Dharma encapsulated in an easy to use form, the Title of the Hokkeyo .

The Buddha thereby indwells within your life and transforms you..

Sound at all familiar ?... Nichiren was a smart cookie. He got an awful lot right.  

If this came out in the 1400s then wouldn't be classified as being derived from the EO church?

I think you are confused. We are taking about a Japanese Buddhist Sect.

Nichiren Shoshu was a very small branch of Nichiren Buddhism through the centuries. They had a big uproar internally in the 1400's and adopted all kinds of idea's not originally taught by Nichiren..By World War Two they were moribund but were lifted up by  lay leaders who eventually organized the Soka Gakkai. They teach a Health, Wealth and Happiness form of "Humanism" which has scant resemblance to anything Nichiren would recognize. They were hugely successful and are now the largest Buddhist sect in Japan by far.

I didnt plagiarizer anything. I just wrote this while watching TV.
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« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2011, 11:15:54 PM »

Quote
The Buddha actually exists as a Divine Supreme Being who has eternal life.

All people have the ability to become enlightend, not just a seperate class of Monks

The Word ( The Sutra) and the Person are for all intents and purposes identical in merit.

You achieve enlightenment by communion with this Supreme Being and by his grace alone.     

You commune by hearing the Dharma encapsulated in an easy to use form, the Title of the Hokkeyo .

The Buddha thereby indwells within your life and transforms you..

Sound at all familiar ?... Nichiren was a smart cookie. He got an awful lot right. 

If this came out in the 1400s then wouldn't be classified as being derived from the EO church?

Similar ideas can be found in earlier expressions of Buddhism. I seriously doubt Nichiren or any of his forebears had any knowledge of Orthodox Christianity.

Chalk it up to that guidance which God, in his mercy, gives to all the best pagan philosophers.

Exactly. That was my point. All on his own without benefit of knowing anything of Christianity Nichiren gleaned some basic Metaphysics that hold up well by Orthodox standards. He was obviously a well developed spiritual person.
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« Reply #87 on: January 30, 2011, 11:43:19 PM »

I didnt plagiarizer anything. I just wrote this while watching TV.
I didn't mean you plagarized anything but rather I thought Nichiren did, sorry for my bad sentence structure that accused you

Exactly. That was my point. All on his own without benefit of knowing anything of Christianity Nichiren gleaned some basic Metaphysics that hold up well by Orthodox standards. He was obviously a well developed spiritual person.
Wow that is pretty remarkable actually.
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« Reply #88 on: January 31, 2011, 12:32:41 AM »

Actually Christianity has a rather long history in Japan, dating back to the 700s.  It died out in the 1100s…devolving and being mixed with bit of Daoism and Buddhism and the like.  The largest Buddhist monastery in Japan is built on the ruins of one of the last Nestorian churches in Japan in the 11th century. One of its timbers still survives with a few words of Syrian script, a Gospel portion, visible upon it and can be seen in the national museum.

So even though Nestorian Christianity died out, a lot of its ideas lingered and took root in Japanese popular religious culture:

http://www.syriacstudies.com/AFSS/Syriac_Articles_in_English/Entries/2009/5/6_SYRIAN_NESTORIANISM_IN_JAPAN__.html
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« Reply #89 on: January 31, 2011, 12:24:04 PM »

Actually Christianity has a rather long history in Japan, dating back to the 700s.  It died out in the 1100s…devolving and being mixed with bit of Daoism and Buddhism and the like.  The largest Buddhist monastery in Japan is built on the ruins of one of the last Nestorian churches in Japan in the 11th century. One of its timbers still survives with a few words of Syrian script, a Gospel portion, visible upon it and can be seen in the national museum.

So even though Nestorian Christianity died out, a lot of its ideas lingered and took root in Japanese popular religious culture:

http://www.syriacstudies.com/AFSS/Syriac_Articles_in_English/Entries/2009/5/6_SYRIAN_NESTORIANISM_IN_JAPAN__.html

That is very interesting. I makes you wonder.

I have never seen anything to indicate Nichiren had any contact with Christians but as you said, some idea's may have crept into the general population. However, I think my teacher ( who is a famous translator of Nichiren) would reject the suggestion.

For one thing the idea of the Buddha actually existing ( Actual Manifestation Ji-Kempon) was the common thought during Nichiren's lifetime. Only after his death do we see everything interpreted as a Metaphor ( Ri-kempon) for your own life.. Buddha Nature becomes the inherent Buddha within your own life ( Hongaku thought) rather than the capacity for Buddhahood.

So the stage was well set for Nichiren's method without Christian influence. It resembles Christian idea's of salvation because an advanced Spiritual Person can somehow be led to or glean the Truth, IMHO.  
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 12:24:54 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

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