What would you do if you met singer Tina Turner? Would you shake her hand and tell her how you grew up on her music and how you have every album she has ever made? What if you were eating dinner with her and you asked her to bow her head so that you could pray over the food and she looked at you and stated that she does not serve the same God that you serve. Actually, she does not “necessarily embrace a God.”? Huh??? What???? But didn’t you grow up in the Church Tina? What happened?
So whats the fuss? Why do I need to know all of this? I promise you Saints, if you live long enough, you are going to come across someone perhaps in your work setting or school that is Buddhist. Knowledge is power. Christianity is not the only religion on earth. Stop trying to member swap and start rescuing the billions of souls that have no clue that Jesus is God manifested in flesh.
First and foremost, Buddhism is a split from Hinduism. Yesterday we learned about Hindus and their belief system. Buddha is not the founder of Buddhism. actually the original name of the founder is Siddhartha Gautama. He received sat under a fig tree and received his enlightenment. The fig tree became known as the bodhi tree which means “tree of wisdom”. At this time, Siddhartha also experienced a name change to Buddha meaning “the Enlightened One”. He was born at about 560 B.C. Buddha died around the age of 80 in India. Below, you’ll find some major tenets of the Buddhist religion.
Buddhism embraces evil (unlike Hinduism) and the solution for evil is summarised in the Four Noble Truths. These four truths are a belief that 1. suffering is life, (2) the cause of suggesting is desire, (3) to stop suffering one must stop desire, and (4) the way to stop desire, which would stop suffering, is the Eightfold Noble Pah:
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Awareness
- Right Meditation
- Right Understanding
- Right Thoughts
As you can see, Buddhism is more about an ethic and philosophy than an actual religion (and I can clearly see how Tina Turner was able to embrace this way of living since she was beaten by her husband Ike Turner time and time again….back in the day that is…if you have not read about her life, you should.)
One of the most effective means for the Christian to present the gospel to the Buddhist is to draw his attention to evil and craving (desire) as something unable to be resolved by the Buddhist. Rather, they were atoned for on the cross by Jesus Christ. Because Buddhist believes that evil does exist, a Christian can illustrate the hopelessness of attempting to rid oneself of sin by human effort (basically, you need the Holy Ghost). Showing in scripture Jesus Christ’s conquest over sin, the devil, hell, and death is a proper means to bringing Buddhist to faith in Jesus Christ.
Hinson, E., Caner, E., & Verstraete, E. (2008). The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers.