Buddhism vs. Christianity

Examining the Fundamental Differences of Buddhism vs. Christianity

The popular appeal of Buddhism today is one of “coolness”,”tolerance”, and non-buddhadissention. It’s a belief system that many feel can help them “detach”, maintain neutrality, and find peace in a world of injustice and suffering. Some even say that Buddhist teachings and Christianity are compatible, and that one can be a Christian and at the same time adopt Buddhist teachings. 

The truth is, although one can findmany truths in Buddhist teachings,Buddhism is in many points incompatible with Christianity.  Upon examination of fundamental Buddhist and Christian beliefs, it quickly becomes obvious that there is a clear contrast between the teachings of Buddhism and those of Christianity.Although you may hear some Buddhists claim that “we believe the same things; there are many paths to God”, many fundamental Buddhist teachings are in fact diametrically opposed to those of the Biblical Christianity

Examining Buddhist Beliefs  

The following is a list of “Basic Beliefs of Buddhism”, along with an answer for each from a Christian point of view.  The list is of Basic Buddhist Beliefs is taken from “Buddhanet”,http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot01.htm.  Please note that this is a response to these published Buddhist position statements, based on what the Bible says, and my own experience as a Christian.

Let’s take a look at each of these Buddhist assertions which I have listed from the above Buddhist web site, and consider how they compare or contrast with what the Bible, and Christians believe.  Then examine the evidence yourself – pick up a Bible and read the passages I refer to.  Look at the scientific and other evidence I refer to.  Research and see what Buddhism teaches.  And ask God to lead you, for as it says, “the Lord is found of those who diligently seek Him.”

1.    “There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgment Day.”

In contrast to this Buddhist assertion, the Bible asserts, and modern science supports, that there is indeed an “almighty Creator”. 

According to modern physics the Universe did not always exist, but had a definite beginning of Spiral_Galaxy_jpgspace, time, and all matter (14.5 billion years ago).  Popularly known as “the big bang”, this theory is the most widely accepted, and best attested to theory in science.  That “first Cause” indeed had to have been “almighty” to have created everything - all matter, space and time – out of nothing, in an instant, in order to have what we have today in this marvelous finely tuned, highly complex creation we live in.

Consistent with modern scientific evidence, the Bible also asserts that there was a First Cause to all things, that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1).  Indeed, the Bible proclaims we have an “awesome God”.  Science now proclaims we have an expanding universe, but the Bible revealed long ago that He stretches forth the heavens like a curtain (Psalm 104:2). Time and ago God has shown that “there is nothing too hard for Me”, if we will only believe and place our trust in Him.

Rewards and punishments have to do with judgment and accountability, and the Bible does assert that each must give an account to God one day for their actions.  God is a loving Creator, and that’s absolutely true.  But He is also just, and must punish sin.  And we have all sinned, and missed the mark – as the Bible says, “All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  The good news is that those that put their faith in Jesus are not condemned – because they have put their trust in Him – God Himself, who came to earth in the form of man to pay the ultimate penalty for all sine, and rescue His creatures.  “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works lest any many should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Yes, good works are vital, but they are like the fruit of a good tree that is firmly planted.  Faith naturally produces good works, or fruit of the Spirit of God guiding us along His path each day.  As a result, we reap rewards in this life by helping others, and we grow in character to be more like Christ.  Those outside of Christ must give an account one day to God apart from Christ’s saving work on the cross – and can their works save them?  Can Buddha’s eight fold path of guidance save?  The Bible says no, because the stain of “sin” still remains.  “Nor is there  salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) - and that name is Jesus.

2.  “Buddhism is strictly not a religion in the context of being a faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being.”

While it may not recognize a “supernatural being”, Buddhism is still nevertheless a religion.  Practitioners follow a set of rules “religiously”, and pay homage to a  “natural being” – Buddha.  Statues are erected to Buddha, and followers revere his legacy and teachings.  In contrast to Christians, who based their salvation on faith in God and His finished work of redemption, Buddhists practice good works and “detachment” with the world to hopefully alleviate suffering – and to one day, through a cycle of re-birth, attain “enlightenment”. 

Buddhism stresses that each individual must on their own behalf to work to attain perfection, as one poutingworks through countless re-births to one day eventually achieve “enlightenment”.  Essentially it is a faith that “worships the creation [the self] rather than the Creator.”  The problem is, there is no evidence for “re-birth”.  Death is still the barrier we all must face before the great beyond.  In contrast to Buddhism, the Bible says that humans are appointed to live just one time on this earth, and that this is a “testing ground” for an eternity to come. 

The second issue with Buddhism is that, in emphasizing “the potential for perfection within”, it is in fact promoting worship of the creation, rather that the Creator.  It is essentially saying that through mediation, good works, and following the Buddhist teaching, you can save yourself.  The Bible on the other hand says the Jesus is the only way of salvation, enlightenment, and fulfillment:  “For there is NO other name under Heaven by which we must be saved.”

In contrast to Buddhist teachings, the Bible states that there IS an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator God, and that the human condition is in a fallen state - inherently sinful, lost, and in need of a Savior.  This is the message in both the Old and New Testaments – that “the heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked, who can know it?”.  And again, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.  The Bible says that  all have been stained with sin since the Fall of the first two humans – Adam and Eve.  And what have we seen since history began but continual rebellion against God and each other – all due to this inherent sinful nature passed on to each of us. 

That rebellion has led mankind to be separated from His Creator, in need of a Redeemer.  Buddhism in effect teaches you can save  yourself by following the Eight fold path, and enduring through a cycle of re-births to eventually reach nirvana.  Christianity say no, we cannot possible save ourselves – we are all lost, and in need of a Savior.  Paul the Apostle writes “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death!  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24-25)  That Redeemer is Jesus Christ, who paid the ultimate price for mankind’s sin “once and for all”, bringing all that receive Him back into a right relationship with the Creator through His saving grace (unmerited favor).
3. “No savior concept in Buddhism. A Buddha is not a savior who saves others by his personal salvation. Although a Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha as his incomparable guide who indicates the path of purity, he makes no servile surrender. A Buddhist does not think that he can gain purity merely by seeking refuge in the Buddha or by mere faith in Him. It is not within the power of a Buddha to wash away the impurities of others.”

There is no savior in Buddhism because there is no recognition of “sin” in Buddhism; so naturally there is no need for a savior or salvation.  The implication is that one can save oneself, and eventually through multiple lifetimes finally enter “nirvana”.   In contrast, the Bible says that “all jesus_facehave sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.”  All are in need of a Savior.  In the Old Testament God proclaims Himself as Savior of His people:  “I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no Savior” (Isa 43:11);  In the New Testament, it is clear that this Savior has come in the form of the Lord Jesus: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11).

But can a person reach communion with God by following the Eight Fold path?  Christianity says no – you have the indelible stain of sin on your being, and the only way of salvation is by accepting Jesus Christ into your heart and trusting in Him for your salvation. If there was some other way, God Himself would have seized it.  But there was no other way.  God needed to remain just, but also act as the justifier for His fallen creatures.  Only God Himself, coming to earth in the form of a Man – Jesus of Nazareth – could live a sinless life, then lay His life down willingly and pay the ultimate price of redemption for all of mankind.

Buddha, although a very wise teacher, was still a fallen creature like everyone else, and he died. He left some very wise teaching that many follow to improve themselves – but Jesus did the same, and much more.  Not only did Jesus give us some of the wisest teachings ever -not only did He point the way – He WAS “the way, the truth and the life”.  Only Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God who came in the form of flesh, lived a perfect life, died for us, and then rose again from the dead!Buddha remains in the grave.  Only Jesus rose again – God in human flesh – and paid the price once for the sin of all mankind, so that we could all be made righteous to God. Are their many paths to “get back to the garden”?  Not according to the Bible.  Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes (trusts) in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

But a gift is not a gift unless it is received.  Each of us remains a free creation, and God will not force His way into our life.  We must each choose Him, and receive Him into our heart.  Then we are “born again”.  We become “new creatures” in Christ, and daily take up the cross and follow Him.  We live out our lives in surrender to His Spirit, who lives within our hearts.  And He perfects us day-by-day as we yield to Him and seek His perfect path for our lives.

4. “A Buddha is not an incarnation of a god/God (as claimed by some Hindu followers). The relationship between a Buddha and his disciples and followers is that of a teacher and student.”

Buddha is a teacher, and his followers are students.  To Christians, Jesus is also a great Teacher.  But He is ever so much more.  “Jesus is Lord” (Phil 3:20) proclaims the Bible in numerous places, and in fact this was a common pronouncement among early Christians.  The Bible says that Jesus is the eternal Word of God made flesh (see John chapter 1).

The truth isno matter how much you learn, how much you meditate, how much you give up worldly healinggoods, or how much you try - you cannot save yourself.  Only Jesus can save us from sin because only He bridged the huge chasm that was created as a result of the fall.  He is our “Way” back to the Father;  the “Bread of Life”; the “Door of the Sheepfold”; the “Resurrection and the Life”.  He saves us from sin through faith in Him – a resurrected, LIVING Lord.  As a result, we know we have eternal life.  And He empowers the Christian who relies on Him to walk that exciting, fulfilling life on a daily basis by the power of His Spirit.

The Bible makes it clear that our own good works will not suffice.  As Jesus said, “unless  you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24).  Believe and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior – you have nothing to lose, and everything in this life, and in the world to come, to gain!


5. “The liberation of self is the responsibility of one’s own self. Buddhism does not call for an unquestionable blind faith by all Buddhist followers. It places heavy emphasis on self-reliance, self discipline and individual striving.”

Buddhism emphasizes the need for one to take personal responsibility to “liberate oneself” - to rely on one’s own abilities, self-discipline and “striving” to improve. The problem, from the Christian point of view, is that the “sin thing” will keep getting in the way.  Read Paul the Apostle’s passage about his struggles to be led of the Spirit while in this fleshly body:

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but [how] to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will [to do], I do not do; but the evil I will not [to do], that I practice.” (Rom 7:18-19)

Paul goes on to proclaim who will deliver him, and enable his victory so that he can have the power to perform the good and deny the evil:  “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:24-25)

Christianity recognizes the need for individuals to be accountable for all of the actions done while on this earth, and to practice self-control.  But here is the key difference.  Self-control, kindness, patience, these are all “fruits” of the Spirit who dwells within each born-again believer:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal 5:22).

Good works are expected of a Christian (read James) – but it is not “works” that justifies one before God – only by faith is one justified, and that faith has to be placed in His Son, Jesus, as your Lord and Savior.  A living, active faith in the Lord produces good works, just as a tree firmly planted produces good fruit.  Healthy trees don’t “strive” to produce fruit.  They do it naturally. 

Bottom line - Buddhism does not recognize the reality of the “sin” defect in every human worship_Godbeing, while Christianity does recognize the sin reality and the fallen disposition of human kind.  Buddhism proposes that one rely on one’s own abilities for continual improvement, whereas Christianity states that without the indwelling power of the Spirit, this will be a loosing battle – doomed to failure. 

Christianity proclaims that we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens us”.  It is not a blind faith, but an informed faith in an all powerful Creator who reached out and saved us.  Christians recognize that they are in need of a Savior, and they are to “walk” in the power of the Spirit, rather than live under the power of the flesh.  Christians who walk in the Spirit rely on the Spirit of Christ, and allow God to accomplish His purposes in their lives.


6. “Taking refuge in The Triple Gems i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha; does not mean self-surrender or total reliance on an external force or third party for help or salvation.”

While Buddhism is not self-surrender or total reliance on an ‘external force’ or third party for help or salvation, Christianity takes the opposite position. 

jesus_risenThe Bible teaches that you must indeed surrender your self, your desires, and your will to the Lord God Almighty. Recognizing that He is God, and you are not.  This is fundamental to Christianity, and it starts with “repentance” – acknowledging that you are a sinner, and in need of a Savior.  Giving your life to Jesus, relying totally on Him, and inviting Him into your heart to live and reign on the throne of your life. That is why Jesus said “what is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.. you must be born again”. 

It is then that you become a “new creation” in Christ – and He begins to rework you from the inside out, as you “rely” on His indwelling Spirit by prayer and seeking His will for your life.  Daily he is making you a member of God’s family, day by day He works out the old fallen nature, and works in with a new Christ-like nature.


7. “Dharma (the teachings in Buddhism) exists regardless whether there is a Buddha. Sakyamuni Buddha (as the historical Buddha) discovered and shared the teachings/ universal truths with all sentient beings. He is neither the creator of such teachings nor the prophet of an almighty God to transmit such teachings to others.”

There is a bit of truth in many of the world’s religions.  
There are also many good secular teachings that are profitable for self-control, self development, etc.  But that does not means these paths are the way to salvation, and eternal life. you_decide

Christianity teaches that there is a God in Heaven, and that He is also all around us.  That He is eternal, all powerful, all mighty, and all knowing.  It also proclaims that HE is the source of ALL truth, knowledge and Wisdom.  The Bible, God’s written word, wasn’t “discovered” – it was transmitted on purpose by God to selected individuals, as they were “moved” by His Spirit to write His pronouncements (the meaning of “inspired”).  “Thus says the Lord” is a common refrain throughout the Bible. 

The Bible states that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but the way thereof is the way of death”.  It further proclaims that “there is no other name under Heaven by which man can be saved” – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Teachings alone cannot save.  They cannot provide a right standing before the almighty Creator.  Only faith and trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior can do that.
8. “Especially emphasized in Mahayana Buddhism, all sentient beings have Buddha Nature/ Essence. One can become a Buddha (a supreme enlightened being) in due course if one practices diligently and attains purity of mind (ie absolutely no delusions or afflictions).”

While Buddhism teaches that you can in effect “work your way to heaven” in due course by practicing diligently and attaining purity of mind, Christianity emphatically teaches the opposite: that no amount professor_at_workof “good works” are going to result in one’s “enlightenment”, and attainment of perfection.  Why?  Because those works are the product of a fallen nature

Christianity is about listening and following after His indwelling presence – and the result, any ‘good works’, are the “fruit of the Spirit” – not the striving of the flesh.  The Spirit dwelling in each Christian has made their spirit “alive” unto God, enabling them to walk with Him daily, taking advantage of and practicing the “good works that He lays before them in advance.”

For it is “By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is it gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”  No one is getting to Heaven, Nirvana, or Paradise through their own efforts.  The Bible states that our works are “as filthy rags”.  Only Jesus is able to save us.  He is our only hope, He is “the resurrection and the life”.  Works are a fruit of our spiritual walk with the Lord; not a justification for right standing with a holy God.  The only works that will endure are those that are born out of a pure heart following after God’s will.

Finally, the Bible states that in Jesus dwells “all the fullness of the God-head in bodily form”. And “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”.  Furthermore, “by His stripes we are healed”.  So, in point of fact, accepting Christ as Savior and Lord, and getting to know Him better each day is the best way of getting rid of those delusions and afflictions.
9. “In Buddhism, the ultimate objective of followers/practitioners is enlightenment and/or liberation from Samsara; rather than to go to a Heaven (or a deva realm in the context of Buddhist cosmology).”

According to Wikipedia, Samsāra (Sanskritसंसार), (in Tibetan called “khorwa”)[1], literally means “continuous flow”, and is the cycle of birthlifedeathrebirth or reincarnation.  So according to point 9 above, the ultimate goal of Buddhism is to free oneself from this continuous cycle of re-birth.  In a modern vernacular context, particularly in the Himalayas, samsara is also a word used to describe the how life is full of attachments and comings-and-goings, a subtle state of suffering.  So thomaspracticing Buddhism is more immediately about freeing oneself from “attachments”, and any state where there might be some “suffering” involved. 

Christians don’t try to liberate themselves from or disconnect from the world, as Buddhism teaches.  Jesus taught a parable of the ‘good Samaritan’, to illustrate how important it was to not only love God, but also love your “neighbor” by doing real, self-sacrificing actions.  Christianity teaches engagement, not detachment.

Christians are commanded to work to change the world for the better – to reflect Christ into the world.  As a result we have seen thousands of Christian hospitals, orphanages, universities, and outreaches established. Jesus set an example of servant hood and helping others, and those who would follow after Christ are encouraged to emulate that.
10. “Karma and Karma Force are cornerstones in Buddhist doctrines. They are expounded very thoroughly in Buddhism. Karma refers to an important metaphysical concept concerned with action and its consequences. This law of karma explains the problem of sufferings, the mystery of the so-called fate and predestination of some religions, and above all the apparent inequality of mankind.”

Karma is essentially cause and effect, past and present.  That your past genetic inheritance, plus previous experiences, along with current experiences and choice, explain what and where you are today.  Your “Karma”.

Of course there is cause and effect, and we have genetic inheritance, and choice.  In fact, the Bible teaches “God is not mocked – whatsoever you sow that shall you reap also.”  Suffering is a reality comprehensible for Christians, explained by the fact of sin in the world and a fallen creation.  Inequality is the result of greed, selfishness, and people preying on one another.  Factor this end_timesup a notch and you have the cause of most wars.  All the result of sin “warring in our members”, as the book of James discusses.

And although there are disasters that occur in this creation that has gone awry, much suffering is brought on by mankind’s own injustice to one another.  Christians understand that, so its not a mystery.  We also realize that many times suffering brings us closer to the Lord, as we rely on Him through trials to grow our character (see also James 1).

But rather than blaming our past, present, and trusting our future to some mysterious “Karma”, the Bible teaches that God planned you – that He knew you while you were still in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  In fact, in contrast to the notion of Karma being responsible for your past and present state, Christianity teaches that you are here today because God has a plan and a purpose for you life – now, and in the life to come.  You are absolutely unique, and only you can fulfill the mission He has put you here for!

11. “Rebirth is another key doctrine in Buddhism and it goes hand in hand with karma. There is a subtle difference between rebirth and reincarnation as expounded in Hinduism. Buddhism rejects the theory of a transmigrating permanent soul, whether created by a god or emanating from a divine essence.”

Another fundamental difference between Buddhism and Christianity.  While Buddhism teaches that if you are not “enlightened” in this life, you are up for a re-birth, the Bible says “man is appointed to live once, and then comes judgment.”  There is no re-birth, or re-incarnation in Christianity.  Period. couple

What scientific evidence is there for “rebirth” into a second life?  None as far as I can tell.  This is all just wishful thinking, in my opinion.

Whereas Buddhism rejects the notion of a “soul” being the essence of a human, the Bible teaches that each person has an eternal “soul” - and that soul is you, your identity.  You do not “have a soul – you ARE a soul.  You have a body” (C.S. Lewis). Many philosophers have subscribed to the existence of an eternal soul – Plato, to name one.  Jesus taught that your soul is eternal, and that we pass from this life into eternity. He also said that “you must be born again”, and unless you were you cannot see the kingdom of God. 

This is an important question – are you just a physical organism, or something more?  Are you a soul, or just firing synapses in a chunk of grey matter?  The Bible teaches that you were created by God for a purpose, and that He has a plan for your life.  Consider this carefully, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  He wants to make you a part of His kingdom.

You are to be with the Lord forever, or apart from Him – depending on the choices you make in this life.


12. “Maitri or Metta in Pali (Loving Kindness) and Karuna (Compassion) to all living beings including animals. Buddhism strictly forbids animal sacrifice for whatever reason. Vegetarianism is recommended but not compulsory.”

Christianity teaches that originally Humans were created as the peak of God’s creation, and that at that time, all God’s creatures lived in harmony. 

But then humans rebelled, and “sin” entered the human race and all of creation.  All of creation since is in a fallen state, which is why there is sin, why mankind wars against itself, and why even creation displays a fallen state. 

Christians are taught that all God’s creatures were created “good”, and that they all reflect His handiwork.  But we are not to worship animals.   We are to treat them well, as living beings which have a place in God’s wonderful creation.   Christians do not sacrifice animals, as was done by the Hebrews at one time.  We are to give sacrifices of obedience, praise and thanksgiving to God.  

As far as eating goes, the Bible teaches that Christians should not eat food sacrificed to idols, and that a blessing of thanksgiving should be said before partaking of food.


13. “The importance of Non-attachment. Buddhism goes beyond doing good and being good. One must not be attached to good deeds or the idea of doing good; otherwise it is just another form of craving.”

The importance of “non-attachment” is about not being attached to anything.  So Buddhists are not to be influenced by the bad – but not to be too interested in doing good either! The goal is not to do good, or do bad.  Just to do nothing.  Non-attachment.

In contrast, Jesus commanded us to follow after Him, and proactively do good to others.  Put your faith in action.  In fact, in James it says “faith without works (good works) is dead”.  In Romans 12 Paul writes:

“Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor what is evil.  Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

This is not an attitude of detachment, but of engagement. 

As a result, Christianity has done far more good in the world that Buddhism or other religions.  More hospitals to heal people.  More schools to educate.  More giving of time and money and effort.

14. “In Buddhism, there is consideration for all sentient beings (versus human beings, as in other religions). Buddhists acknowledge/accept the existence of animals and beings in other realms in Samsara.”

According to Wikipedia, Sentience in Buddhism is the state of having senses (sat + ta in Pali, or sat + tva in Sanskrit). In Buddhism, the senses are six in number, the sixth being the subjective experience of the mind. Sentience is simply awareness prior to the arising of Skandha. Thus, an animal qualifies as a sentient being.

While the Bible teaches that God created all living and non-living things, and that was considered by Him to be “good”, Humans are represented as the pinnacle of God’s creation – formed “on the 6th day of creation”, or as one of the final acts of God’s creative work (animals having been created earlier).  Christianity teaches that we should take care of animals and other aspects of creation, as good stewards of His creation – but does teach that we should revere animals as “sentient beings”.

In fact, animals are worlds apart from humans in terms of demonstrations of self-awareness and higher thought.  While they are amazing elements of God’s creation, they do not demonstrate the capacity to worship the Lord as humans do.  Animals do no build churches, or temples.  They do not build laboratories, or explore the solar system.  Very simply, Christianity teaches that human beings are God’s special creation, created “in His image” - and that the animal and plant kingdom are a subsidiary part of God’s creation.
15. “No holy war concept in Buddhism. Killing is breaking a key moral precept in Buddhism. One is strictly forbidden to kill another person in the name of religion, a religious leader or whatsoever religious pretext or worldly excuse.”

There is no “holy war” concept in Christianity either.  Christians are commanded “Thou shalt not kill.”  However, wars are a reality in this fallen world.  The Bible teaches that war happens because “you want, and have not” (James).  Its based on the sin nature in man, which is why it’s a reality in this fallen world.   

So Buddhism having no concept of war doesn’t prevent them from happening.  Wars exist because of the fallen state of mankind, and the root cause of sin.  The solution is the saving grace that is available in the person of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that there will be a “final war”, and to conclude that will be the coming of God’s Holy One, the Messiah – Jesus Christ.  He will one day finally bring in the peace that we all so desire.
16. “Suffering is another cornerstone in Buddhism. It is the first of the Four Noble Truths. Sufferings are very well analyzed and explained in Buddhism.”

Suffering is a reality in this world, as Jesus said “in the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

Lets look at how Christianity vs. Buddhism treat the reality of suffering.  How many hospitals around the world has Buddhism founded?  How many has Christianity founded?  Countless. 

Christianity recognizes that there is suffering in the world, but that God often uses suffering to teach us and to refine us.  In fact, for Christians God can and does in fact use evil to work good – as it says “all things work together for good to those that love God, and are called according to His purpose.” 

God can use the evil some intend to work for His good purposes.  The Bible teaches that we shouldn’t “run away” from or try to detach ourselves from suffering.  In fact, it says in James that we ought to “count it all joy” when we enter into trials and tribulation – knowing that God is doing a work to perfect our character to make us more like Him.
17. “The idea of sin or original sin has no place in Buddhism. Also, sin should not be equated to suffering.”

Another key difference between Buddhism and Christianity is the recognition of “sin”.  Biblical Christianity teaches that a “sin nature” has been passed on to humans, as the result of the fall of the first humans.  “Sin” is a defect in the nature of humans – it is the rebellious nature in the very heart of every human.  Literally it means “missing the mark”.

Our own experience bears witness to this truth. For example, you don’t have to teach children to disobey, to rebel – they do it “naturally”.  Paul wrote about the sin nature in Romans, when he described the war between the Spirit and the flesh that was warring in his members.

Buddhism denies the existence of sin and instead teaches that you are fundamentally good, and that if you “strive” hard enough, in some future lifetime you might make it to “nirvana”.  Christianity states that we are all flawed, all stained by a sin nature.  No amount of our own  own effort will perfect us – only a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s also look at its relationship to suffering.  Is there a connection?  Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.  For example: sometimes when we sin, we bring on sufferings because of our actions.  In other cases, suffering has no cause in sin. Its an effect of a fallen creation – we suffer due to wars, natural disasters, and so forth.
18. “Buddhist teachings expound no beginning and no end to one’s existence or life. There is virtually no recognition of a first cause — e.g. how does human existence first come about?”

Another fundamental difference between Buddhism and Christianity is this idea of “no recognition of a first cause”.  This is a direct opposition to established scientific fact, and the teaching of the Bible.

One of the most proven facts of science is that a “big bang” occurred about 14 billion years ago - that there was a “first cause” to all matter, time and space.  That all things have NOT been continuing on forever.  There was a start to all things. 

The Bible, in Genesis 1:1, is consistent with the notion that the known universe started with an initial singularity: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  The word created in Hebrew is “bara”, which means “to create out of nothing”.  So science and the Bible concur - there was a first cause that was the start of all matter, space and time - what he Bible calls “heavens and the earth”.  Buddhism, on the other hand, apparently takes no position on this.  The Bible, however, gives glory over and over to the Lord of all Creation.  In fact, it says “the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork”.
19. “The Dharma provides a very detailed explanation of the doctrine of anatman {anatta in Pali} or soullessness , i.e. there is no soul entity (whether in one life of many lives).”

Another fundamental difference between Buddhism and Christianity – Buddhism teaches “there is no soul”, while the Bible teaches that we each are an eternal soul: “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find [Him] if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Due 4:29).

Jesus said: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matt 16:26)

The Bible teaches that you ARE an eternal soul (you just have a body).  And that the choices you make in life determine the eternal destiny of your soul. 

In fact, the Bible teaches that humans – in contrast to other creatures – are a tri-part life form: spirit, soul and body. In Genesis we are informed that God formed humankind from the dust of the Earth (thus the body), and that He breathed into the human His ‘breath of life’ (spirit), and man became a living ‘soul’.
20. “The Buddha is omniscient but he is not omnipotent. He is capable of innumerable feats but there are three things he cannot do. Also, a Buddha does not claim to be a creator of lives or the Universe.”

According to the dictionary, omniscience is “the capacity to know everything”.  Point 20 above states that the Buddha is omniscient – that he knows everything (but he is not omnipotent, or “all powerful”).

In contrast, the Bible teaches that ONLY God, the Lord, the Creator, “knows everything” – or is all knowing.  Christianity teaches that there is only ONE all-knowing, all mighty, ever present God of Creation, and that He exists in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Hold Spirit.

Its either Buddha, or the Creator, that is all knowing – not both.  There can be only ONE all knowing, all powerful, in all points present Being.  Not two.  Logically that rules Buddha out.


21. “Prajna [Panna in Pali] or Transcendent Wisdom occupies a paramount position in Buddhist teachings. Sakyamuni Buddha expounded Prajna concepts for some 20 years of his ministry. One is taught to balance compassion with prajna i.e.emotion (faith) with rationale (right understanding / truth / logic).”

The Bible teaches that in Christ are “hidden all the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge”.  By growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Wisdom of God, Christianity teaches we will likewise grow in understanding, knowledge of the truth, and in the application of these truths to all the facets of life – in this life, and in the life to come.

The Bible does teach that we should use all of the gifts that God has given us – our reason, as well as our compassion and emotional understanding.  In fact, it says “come, let us reason together”.  The Bible encourages us to “get Wisdom, get understanding”.


22. “The tradition and practice of meditation in Buddhism are relatively important and strong. While all religions teach some forms or variations of stabilising/single-pointedness meditation, only Buddhism emphazises Vipassana (Insight) meditation as a powerful tool to assist one in seeking liberation/enlightenment.”

This is a reference to meditation, which is healthful for mind-body coordination and popular in today’s 21st century culture. It can calm your mental faculties, and your bodily state.  While extensive meditation may result in detachment or “liberation” from reality and the world, it is not going to bring you “enlightenment” with the source of all knowledge and wisdom.

The Bible teaches prayer, in addition to meditation.  While meditation is helpful, it does not connect you with the Creator.  That is what prayer does.  While meditation may be calming and helpful, it is not a substitute for prayer.  Only prayer can connect a believer with their Creator, through the Spirit that is within each child of God.

23. “The doctrine of Sunyata or Emptiness is unique to Buddhism and its many aspects are well expounded in advanced Buddhist teachings. Briefly, this doctrine asserts the transcendental nature of Ultimate Reality. It declares the phenomenal world to be void of all limitations of particularization and that all concepts of dualism are abolished.”

The concept of Emptiness in Buddhism is in stark contrast to that of Christianity, where Jesus said “I am come that you might have life (Zoe), and that more abundantly.”  Zoe, or life, is God’s life within you. 

While apart from Christ, a life that is lived in this world might seem quite “empty” - Christianity teaches that God wants to fill us with His life, His “Zoe” – not empty us!  Jesus said “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water!

The Bible teaches that we are “born again” into God’s family, we should empty ourselves of the old creation, so we can be renewed day by day as a new creature in Christ.  He will then fill us with His abundant life, and His joy!

24. “Conditioned Arising [Paticcasamuppada in Pali] or Dependent Origination is another key doctrine in Buddhism. This doctrine explains that all psychological and physical phenomena constituting individual existence are interdependent and mutually condition each other; this at the same time describes what entangles sentient beings in samsara.”

The Bible also teaches that we need to pay attention to what we fill our minds with, and how we treat our physical bodies.

In Galations it states that our bodies are “the temple of God”, and that we ought to treat and care for our temples wisely and reverently. 

In another part of Scripture it states that we ought to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds”.  And again,“whatsoever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8).

Bottom line, Christianity teaches that we ought to care for our body, our minds, and especially our spiritual life.  Because they are all important, and interdependent.  But what is most important, according to the Bible, is that your spirit be “made alive” – that it be quickened, and that you have a “new birth”.  Once “born again” you enter into a new spiritual life, and relationship with the Lord. And God begins a work in you from the inside out, making you a “new creature in Christ”.  Slowly but surely, your mind is renewed day by day, and the body falls in line and is subservient.
25. T”he concept of Hell(s) in Buddhism is very different from that of other religions. It is not a place for eternal damnation as viewed by ‘almighty creator’ religions. In Buddhism, it is just one of the six realms in Samsara [i.e. the worst of three undesirable realms]. Also, there are virtually unlimited number of hells in the Buddhist cosmology as there are infinite number of Buddha worlds.”

If we were inventing a religion, as C.S. Lewis once remarked, we could get really creative and imagine all sorts of fanciful places or realms, with any number of levels.

Christianity teaches very simply that you are either alive spiritually, or not (“he that has the Son has life, he that has not the Son has not life”).  To know Jesus, the eternal Son of God, is to know the Father, and to have life.

To have life in the Son is to have eternal life, and pass one day from this existence into an eternity with the Lord (“heaven”).  We don’t know precisely, but the Bible gives us some idea of what heaven will be like

The Bible teaches that there is punishment for evil, just as there are rewards for good.  Hell is horrible because it is eternal separation from God.  Hell was not designed for humans, but for evil spirits who have rebelled against the Creator – who want no part of Him.  Eternal separation from the Creator is what some humans will also have, not because God wishes it upon them, but because they wish it upon themselves, and will have no part in Him.  “God is not willing that any [of His humans] should perish” in this place, which is why He himself came down in the form of flesh (Jesus) to save us. (John 3:16).
26. “The Buddhist cosmology (or universe) is distinctly different from that of other religions which usually recognize only this solar system (Earth) as the centre of the Universe and the only planet with living beings. The Buddhist viewpoint of a Buddha world (also known as Three Thousand-Fold World System) is that of one billion solar systems. Besides, the Mahayana Buddhist doctrines expound that there are other contemporary Buddha worlds like Amitabha’s Pure Land and Bhaisajyaguru’s world system.”

The Bible does not discount the idea that there may be other worlds, with intelligent life.  The Bible, and Christianity, are focused on God’s creation here on earth, and His redemptive plan for His human creatures (an indeed all of creation). 

According to modern science, there are countless galaxies and stars, and any number of planets.  But so far, there is no proof for other planets that support highly intelligent life.  Any planets that have been discovered have been done so by inference, and are usually found not to have even the conditions to support life.

The Bible’s cosmology is more in agreement with science than Buddhism – that there is an all powerful, creator of the universe (ref the “big bang”); and that we are living on a special planet that has been amazingly engineered and fine tuned to support life.

Christianity doesn’t preclude other worlds, but neither does it assert it.  God may have created other worlds with other beings.  And if He has done so, no doubt He has a plan for His creatures on those worlds. But so far, it doesn’t appear that worlds like the earth are plentiful throughout the universe.  In fact, the earth appears to be extremely “rare” and unique in the universe - reference the following books to check this out: “Rare Earth”, and “The Privileged Planet”.

27. “Samsara is a fundamental concept in Buddhism and it is simply the ‘perpetual cycles of existence’ or endless rounds of rebirth among the six realms of existence. This cyclical rebirth pattern will only end when a sentient being attains Nirvana, i.e. virtual exhaustion of karma, habitual traces, defilements and delusions. All other religions preach one heaven, one earth and one hell, but this perspective is very limited compared with Buddhist samsara where heaven is just one of the six realms of existence and it has 28 levels/planes.”

The truth is, there is no proof for endless rounds of rebirth.  Endless cycles of existence.  From the Christian viewpoint this is a  dangerous deception – because it implies an endless series of “second chances” at getting it right.  While Buddhism teaches endless “second chances”, Christianity teaches the opposite – “man is appointed to live once”, and then comes judgment.

Most scientists support the Christian position - that there is one universe (“one heaven and one earth”).  While it is possible that there could be multiple universes (a multi-verse), we have no hard evidence for this – just theory.  It is possible, but not probable. 

What ever the case, the Bible says that God seeks a relationship with every single one of His human creatures - He may be speaking to you right now, asking you to give Him a chance in your life.  Will you consider turning your life over to Jesus, and asking Him to come in and enable you to be all that you can be?

Buddhism vs. Christ? The Eight-Fold Path, or a Relationship with the Risen Lord- What Will it Be?

So which is it?  The way of the Buddha, or a relationship with the living Lord of Creation?

The truth is that we are all sinners, created to be in relationship with our maker.  We all have a “God-sized” hole in our hearts – a hole that we try to fill with all sorts of things – possessions, success, money, sex, etc. But in the end none of this truly satisfies.  No otherreligious figure – including Buddha - can bring you into a personal relationship with the LORD – because as it is written, “there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved”, and that name is JESUS.

Only the Lord Jesus Christ bridges the gap between Man and Maker. 

Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?  If you do, then you have everything to look forward to – in this life, and in the life to come.  Peace with God, joy in your daily life, fulfillment of God’s purpose while here on earth, and life eternal.  You were made for a purpose, and your daily walk with Jesus will help you come to realize His purpose in your life and fulfill it.  If you don’t have a relationship with your Creator, you can!  Give Jesus a chance!  Don’t put it off.  Allow Him to come into your life and make you “a new creation”!  You have nothing to loose everything to gain.  Here is a link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can invite Jesus into your life and be the creation He has always intended you to be …

Take Me to Steps to Peace With God ==> http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp

Buddhism vs. Christianity Sources

Teachings source:
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot01.htm

The Buddhist Society: http://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/resources/Teachings.html

The Gospel Way:
http://www.gospelway.com/religiousgroups/buddhism.php

Apologetics article re Buddhism vs. Christianity:http://www.johnankerberg.org/Articles/
PDFArchives/apologetics/AP3W1101.pdf

Peter Kreeft – Comparing Buddhism and Christianity

Buddha Web:  http://www.buddhaweb.org/

About.com:  http://buddhism.about.com/

29 thoughts on “Buddhism vs. Christianity

  1. Who are you to justify these questions? Like you said, you’re a Christian yourself, I don’t see why, you’re even talking about Buddhism. No religious figure? Then what About Quan Yin, the god of compassion, many Buddhists have food offerings for these gods to protect their loved ones. There are different branches of Buddism, I feel like you don’t have the rights to talk about another religion or even justify it unless you had personal experience with the religion.

    • Thank you for your comments. I am providing my replies to a list of points published on Buddhism.net. I believe there is only one GOD – Father, Son, and Spirit. The Creator of the heavens and the earth (the cosmos). This is what I believe, what Christ taught, and this is in contrast to what Buddhists believe from what I have read, and friends I have who say they follow the teachings of Buddhism. Believe me I have studied many religions. But our Maker wants a relationship with you, not a religious person. Christ, in contrast to Buddha, claimed not to just point to the truth. He claimed to be THE TRUTH. Jesus is like no other teacher, wise man, or holy man. Who can you compare Him to? He along claimed to be ‘one with the Father – God’s truth revealed in human form. He changes lives, and is Hope in a darkened world. Please beware – there is only one Creator and sustainer of all things. Not many gods. And there indeed was a beginning of the universe or cosmos, and there is coming a conclusion of all things. If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. The Lord says He is “found of those that diligently seek Him. I pray that you open your heart to Him, and allow Jesus to come into your live so that you may be saved, and become part of His family.

      • I only worship one God but I may honor any teacher. I think it is incorrect to try and make a comparison of both religions. When the Buddha was asked if he was a god he said no. When asked to resurrect a child he made the mother understand that death is also part of life (before you jump the gun and start thinking that Jesus overcame death, keep in mind that Jesus was not on earth at that time. Therefore resurrection in the Buddha’s time was unheard of.). In my opinion Jesus commanded his followers to love one another but did not leave any instructions on how to cultivate love. He instructs them to be cheerful and full of joy but did not leave instructions on how. If you have studied Buddhism as you claim you would know that there are meditations on Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. If God commanded you to build a structure in his name you would have to close the Bible and open a book made by man (architect) even if that person was not a Christian. In doing and in following their instructions you are honoring that person.
        Some say that worshiping the Buddha is idolatry…I say that it is. But being that he never claimed to be a god those people are mistaken. (Example: if I manufacture a glass ball just to be a glass ball and you decide to worship it as a god or your god then you are committing idolatry. The glass ball is not an idol but the object of your idolatry. Now if I create a glass ball to be a god or my god, even if you or no one worships it, it remains an idol.) Many Christians have erred and unjustly claimed the Buddha to be a false god. This is slander at its worse for Christians wish to further the Christian agenda while defaming a another figure who is not around to defend himself or his teachings. (I bet that I can find any number of persons that I can convince into believing you (evidencetobelieve) are a god. These people may continue to worship you even if you claim not to be a god. Would you still be an idol or just the object of idolatry?
        In my opinion the Buddha did overcome suffering that is what he claims to be about. “Suffering is what I teach and how to end it.” He does not teach nor did he promise salvation in the sense of everlasting life in heaven. He promised a formula on how to stop suffering here and now. The middle path (for natural suffering) and non attachment (for mental suffering). You mentioned inaction as a requisite but you have misled people in only stating that part. The Noble Eightfold Path mentions right actions as right speech, thought, physical actions etc. Performing good deeds (giving alms to the poor would have good consequences for the person. Not performing evil deeds would protect the person from revenge and punishment.) All this you left out and much more.

        All this being said I only worship God and I thank Him in his infinite glory that He has given me life, protected my family, gotten me out of trouble and nightmares and it is He whom I can when I am tormented and in trouble. Yet, as a teacher I do honor the Buddha and his many teachings which if taken as a philosophy hold great value for the development of man not for his salvation which was gain through Jesus Christ our Lord.

      • Thank you for your not Jorge. I am glad you worship only one God., and I think it is fine, of course, to look to many teachers. I myself listen and study from many teachers, of all sorts. As the Word says “There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors”. I myself teach IT and business best-practices – so in fact I am very much of a teacher to many. And so that is all well and good – that we recognize Buddha as a teacher who had some good things to share and teach. But as a Christian, I have to take his teachings in light of what I consider to be God’s Word – the Bible, and God’s Spirit within me which guides me “into all truth”.

        As far as a comparison between Buddhism and Christianity, I think it is fair, and needful to make a comparison. As I say in my article, many are under the impression that they are similar and mutually compatible – however, this is not the case. Which is why I point out the distinctions. The Bible also warns many times about deceptive doctrines, and to not be led astray by these. Our God is a jealous God. He loves us so much that He was willing to die for us. But He won’t stand for any other ‘gods’ before him – even if Buddha didn’t intend himself to be worshipped.

        Bear in mind that I based my article on the “generally agreed” teaching that were listed on Buddha Net. I was responding to those supposed “generally accepted” teachings. Those points listed on that web site may not be consistent with all of the various version of Buddhism, but I point this out in the intro to the article. Now, left me reply to each of your points, as you raise many.

        First, ‘death’ was never intended to be a ‘part of life’, as you say. Buddhism teaching this is in direct contrast to Christianity, and the Bible, which teaches that God’s intent was that humankind were intended to live forever. We were not originally designed to “die”. Death was introduced because of the “fall”, and man’s rebellion against God. So it is not part of the design. It is a defect, “an enemy” that was introduced. Jesus came to defeat death, and in fact has defeated death by His sacrificial death on the cross, and by rising back to life (and by the way, He will be coming again). All those that believe in trust their life to Him have “everlasting” or eternal life (“zoe”, the life of the Spirit in them).

        Second, as far as Jesus “not being on earth” at the time of Buddha, keep in mind that Christianity teaches that Jesus was and IS the Eternal Son of God. He “pre-existed” before he took on human form, as the Second Person of the Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit). So keep in mind that Christians hold that Jesus was and is the of the same substance as the Father Creator. He appeared to many humans before he was born in barn some 2,000 years ago. In fact, I – and many others – have written about the many “pre-incarnate” Jesus appearances in the Bible. I believe it was He that walked in the Garden with the first humans.

        Third, you state that Jesus did not leave any instructions on how to “cultivate love”. This is another key distinction between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhism is a practice, a religion about following the “eight fold path”. About a set of doings. Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship! It’s about realizing you are a sinner, cannot begin to reach your own perfection, and allowing Jesus’ Spirit to come into your heart to make you into a “new creation”. He gave us an instruction book on how to love, and what to do, etc – it’s called the Bible (the Law and the Prophets, and the New Testament). But keeping the Law is impossible without Christ in you, empowering you by His Spirit! As Jesus said, “I am come not to overturn the Law, but to establish it”. The New Testament records that the Law is the “schoolmaster” that brings us to Christ. Apart from Jesus living and empowering you, you will – and we all will – fail at keeping the Law. So not only has He given us the instructions (the Bible), but He has also made a WAY for us to keep the law and get it done – through His Holy Spirit living in us, “we are more than conquerors through Christ” (Romans).

        Fourth, you state that Buddha never claimed to be a god, and wouldn’t want to be worshipped. That may be the case, but fact is, many have fashioned “idols” of Buddha, and worship those idols – burning incense, and praying to the idol. This is very serious. The Creator is a jealous God, and wants “no other idols before Him”. So whether it is a statue of Buddha, the Mother Mary, my new car, or even my job – all of which can be “worshipped’ as “idols” – anything we out before or ahead of our worship to God is an “idol”.. There is only one Creator God who deserves our worship.

        Fifth is the issue of “suffering”. This is also a key distinction between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhism as you say promises a ‘formula” to stop suffering here and now. All suffering is perceived to be bad. In contrast, Christianity, and the Bible, state that suffering is a fact of life, but also that joy can be a huge part of life as well. Sometimes we are to suffer “for Christ’s sake”. We are to “count it all joy” when we enter into suffering for Him. So from a Christians’ point of view, we are to ask “why am I suffering this thing?” What is God trying to teach me?” Not all suffering is bad. God often grows our character though suffering . But while there is suffering in this life (due to our own actions, the actions/in actions of others, or due to a fallen creation) there is also JOY to be had in this life! This is key – Jesus said “I am come that you might have JOY, and that your joy might be full.” So we can have God’s peace and joy, even in the midst of suffering. If we know and abide in Him. So the causes of suffering, the perception about suffering, and the purposes of suffering, are very different to Christians in contrast to Buddhists. In addition to that, Jesus taught that we are to actively engage with others in the world (fulfilling the Law), by ‘loving God, and loving one another’ to alleviate suffering whenever and wherever we can. This means giving of yourself, your time, and your resources to help alleviate the suffering of others. Thus all of the Christian hospitals, outreaches, etc., that you see in the world, and throughout history. He compels us to do this.

        Finally, you mentions the Eight-fold Path, and actions. The distinction here is that without Christ living by His Spirit in you, these are just good deeds done in a fleshly nature. Now, it is important to do good works, and the Bible speaks a lot about this. The Law in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) prescribed the good works people should do. It started with 10 commandments, given by God to Moses, and was expanded to some 632 laws in the Old Testament. Problem is, no one could keep all these laws. And the Bible declares that if you miss one, you may as well have missed them all. Jesus came to fulfill the Law, and be that “Law” in our hearts. Receiving Him, we become a “new creation”, and His Spirit living in us, empowering us, enables to do all that God calls us to do according to His Word. (the book of Romans talks a lot about this). So yes, we are to do “good works”, but these are not to be “works of the flesh”, but “fruit of the spirit”. They are “prepared in advance that we should walk in them”. Like leaves and flowers that spring naturally from a healthy tree that is fed on the living water (the Spirit) of God living in us, because we have received and walk in Him. The book of James (NT) also talks about how important work are, because they are evidence of your Christ like nature, alive in you.

        So in closing, I am afraid my reply may be more lengthy than your note. May God bless you as He continues to draw you to Himself. Recognize and learn from the teachings of Buddha, but worship only God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. And realize new everlasting life by allowing Jesus Christ, the one and only eternal Son of God, to make His home in your heart and mind each day. God bless you!

  2. Would you please comment on born again Christians. My experience is that they are extreme hypocrits. They say that someone should be modest and then they dress immodestly themselves or their clan does. They do not seem to love animals very much and feel them to be on this earth to be used by mankind and are God-given. From my experience they do not extend themselves to others unless it suits their needs. My experience is that they hate gays and speak a life of hypocrisy there also. They believe in praying away the gay. They speak out against gays and mixed marriages and spew hatred from their bully pulpit.

    • I agree with many of your observations. Ghandi once said something like ‘I like your Christ – its Christians I can’t stand.” Unfortunately many so called Christians today are not ‘walking in the light, as He is in the light.’. They do not reflect Jesus into the world. They do bot “do as Jesus would do.” So many Christians, although believers and saved, are not ‘transformed’ as they should be, by the transforming power of Christ. They remain worldly. They do not look at the heart, and love the person – as Jesus would do. They look on the outward appearance, and judge. Jesus warned – ‘judge not, lest your be judged’. Like you, I am astounded by the views and positions of many Christians. And the media further distorts and promotes this picture of ‘Christians.’ Yes, many are like this – but not all. Many do in fact do the caring work of Christ, daily. My prayer is that all believers would be transformed – and love as Jesus would. Love the person. Care for the poor as Jesus would. Love the outcast as Jesus would. That is my prayer for my life. and all Christians.

  3. You present the ideas of Christianity very well, but you are lacking correct knowledge of both science and Buddhism. I am a registered Dharma Teacher, so I know. The main teaching is the three characteristics: emptiness, impermanence, and dissatisfaction. Emptiness means there is no ego-soul. If you attained samadhi in meditation then you would realize this fact, which I doubt you have. If there is no soul, there is no original sin. If there is no original sin, then Christ could not redeem us from it… You also say that Buddha does not expiate our karma (no karma is not cause and effect). Yet we have the light of Amitabha Buddha which does just that. We also have Kuan Yin, which much like Christ, can save us from the depths of hell… There is so much about Buddhism you apparently don’t understand. If you want to be Christian that is your choice, but please don’t misrepresent a religion you know little about.

    • I respect your choice as to what you want to believe, but I respectfully disagree on your point about science, and the basis for my response to Buddhist teachings. Since there are so many varieties of Buddhism, I went to a main Buddhist web site to get a basic list of teachings. I then responded to each of these point by point, based on science and the Bible. You state that one of the teachings of Buddhism is that there is no soul. The Bible says that the Creator “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breadth of life; and man became a living soul”.(Gen 2:7). Jesus said “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matt 16:26). So the Bible clearly states that one of the distinguishing characteristics of humans are that they are ‘living souls’ (in contrast to animals). You are a soul; you are not “your body” – you ‘have a body’. This is what I believe, and what the Bible teaches – in contrast to the Buddhist religion. Now, either there is, or there isn’t. If there is an eternal soul, then your choices have eternal significance. I believe that is the case. The Bible also teaches that humankind has fallen, has a ‘sinful nature’, and is in rebellion toward God. It is plainly evident that we live in a ‘fallen’ world. But God, because He loved us So much, sent His Son to save us and bring us back into a right relationship with Him (by grace you have been saved). Finally, you say there is a Kuan Yin who is ‘much like Christ’. I am sorry, but there is no one who even comes close to Jesus. He is the eternal one who became human. Who lived a perfect life. Then laid down His life for us, to bring us back. He then rose again and will one day come again in power and glory to judge all of human kind. Jesus radically changed my life in Sept of 1973, and made me a new creation in Him. He lives in me by His Spirit, has forgiven me of all my sins, and has given me a purpose for living and a bright hope for the future. In my humble opinion, there is none like Jesus. May the Lord draw you to Himself, and show you that its not about religion, its about having a relationship with Him!

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      • One of the key misinformations you have (one of many) is this: “There is no savior in Buddhism because there is no recognition of “sin” in Buddhism”

        That is simply not true. We call it “defilements”. The difference is that as a Christian, you believe sin/defilments are our true nature and goodness comes from outside of us (only from God and Jesus when we are saved). As Buddhists, we believe the opposite- that our original, true nature is basic goodness, but it is ignorance, craving, greed, and anger that make up the defilments/sin, and this comes from getting attached to things and trying to make them permanent, when wisdom teaches us that nothing is permanent. It also especailly comes from thinking of ourselves as seperate from others. We do not deny the existance of “sin” (bad behavior) we just see it differently.

        We see our original, true self as the real us, and the ego, which is our seperate selves, our selfish selves if you will, as not our real selves.

        You also wrote:

        “The importance of “non-attachment” is about not being attached to anything. So Buddhists are not to be influenced by the bad – but not to be too interested in doing good either! The goal is not to do good, or do bad. Just to do nothing. Non-attachment.”

        It’s a common misunderstanding. Non-attachment in relation to doing good simply means that you should do good without expecting a result. It does not mean you should forgot doing good. (In fact you should try to do good, and act out of a heart of compassion.)

        Those are just a few of the things.

        Honestly, I don’t understand why Christians have such a problem with people believe in other religions other than their own. You are always trying to convert non-Christians. I understand you (probably) believe that non-Christians are all going to hell, but still…many many Christians don’t believe that so why can’t you do the same? I’m not trying to be argumentative, I am seriously curious why some Christians are ok with believing all non-believers will go to hell while other Christians don’t believe that? Because I’m pretty sure that if you didn’t believe that you wouldn’t have written an article trying to bash Buddhism (and using lots of misinformation to do it, then refusing to address the misinformation or deleting posts that disagree with you.)

        We have no problem if people decide to be Christians rather than Buddhists. Sometimes I wish Christians could respect our choice to practice Buddhism over Christianity but I guess that for some people, that’s asking too much.

      • Hello Sharon. Thanks for your comments. Allow me to respond to the points you make.
        First, if there is any “misinformation” bout Buddhist teachings, it is not coming from me, or my site. My article is a response to statements made on a popular Buddhist web site entitled “buddhanet”. The site list what it considers “Basic Buddhist” beliefs shared among people who practice the Buddhist religion. You can find a link to this source site in the intro section of my article, and here as well: http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/snapshot01.htm.

        This web site’s “Snapshot of Buddhism” is supposed to be a “Summary of Teachings and Topics” in Buddhism. So please don’t blame me for misinformation. These points about “basic Buddhist beliefs” are coming from Buddhanet. Now, maybe they are ill advised to assume all Buddhists believe these points. But I am merely responding point by point to what are advertised as “basic Buddhist beliefs”, and showing how they contrast with my faith – Christianity, and my faith in the Lord Jesus.

        As far as what Buddhist believe about ‘sin’, here is what it says on Buddhanet: “17. The idea of sin or original sin has no place in Buddhism. Also, sin should not be equated to suffering”. I agree with you that there is a fundamental difference between Christ’s teaching’s and what Buddhists believe. You say Buddhism teaches that our “true nature is basic goodness”. The Bible teaches just the opposite – that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God [the Creator]”. In other word, we have all inherited a “sin nature” that is “predisposed” toward doing wrong, and not doing what’s right. My view is that what the Bible teaches aligns more closely with reality than the notion that people are “basically good” by their nature. You don’t have to teach children to do wrong – it comes naturally.

        The Bible teaches that we are fallen beings, living on fallen planet, taken over by the cancer of “sin”. That we are ALL “broken” in one way or another (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually). And not just humans. “Sin” has invaded all of creation, and the Bible says that the penalty for “sin” (the sin “nature”, which results in going your own way, instead of God’s) is death. In fact it say that even though we think we are alive, that apart from Christ we are “dead” in our trespasses and sins. Christians also believe that God the Creator has, in His love and mercy, created a “way back” for us by coming Himself in the form of a man; living a perfect life, and taking the penalty upon Himself for us by dying on a cross in our place. I’m sure you know the verse: For God SO LOVED us the He GAVE His one and only SON, that WHOEVER believes [trusts] in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16).

        We believe that what you are describing as “defilements” do not come from without, but from within the fallen human creature – anger, greed, selfishness, etc, come from a fallen human heart stained by sin. And because of this fallen nature, we are doomed to fail before a holy and perfect Creator. No matter how hard we try to do good, we always end up doing just the opposite (Read the first few chapters of Romans). This is the “sin nature” at work in every human heart that has not been regenerated by Jesus (God who had come in the flesh, was born, died, and brought to life once again for the redemption of all human kind).

        Now, as far as your contention that “wisdom” teaches us that “nothing is permanent”, I disagree. True, our possessions, our careers, our earthly – these are not permanent. But the Bible teaches that your “soul” is “permanent” and eternal. Christians believe that God breathed His life into human creatures, and they became “living souls”. That we were originally created to live forever. But then humankind rebelled, and turned away from its Creator. The Bible further teaches that your soul does not cease to exist after death, but continues on after life on this earth, in this physical body. We believe each person will be held accountable for the deeds done in his/her body. We also believe that the Father loves us so much that all He asks is that each listen and give His Son Jesus a chance – let Him into your heart, ask Him to prove Himself – that He is who He claims to be. Be willing to take a chance, and receive His life. When they asked Jesus. “What is the work that I must do”, He answered them – “This is the work [deed] that you must do – BELIEVE on Him whom God has sent.”

        With regard to “non-attachment”, here is the quote from Buddhanet: “13. The importance of Non-attachment. Buddhism goes beyond doing good and being good. One must not be attached to good deeds or the idea of doing good; otherwise it is just another form of craving.” This is what I was responding to, and is in stark contrast to what Christ taught, and the teachings in the Bible. Christians are compelled to do good, compelled to be involved according to the Bible, and Christ’s example. He went about teaching, healing and doing all manner of good. We should do likewise. And I think it shows in the schools, Universities, hospitals, outreaches, and other “good works” of Christians throughout the ages. Christianity has done far more than Buddhism in these areas, and I would not have to work hard to produce the evidence.

        Now, you ask “why do Christians have such a problem with people believing in other religions”.

        Why? Because we sincerely and truly believe that apart from a living relationship with Jesus, a person may never see eternal life. We fear they are lost, and will “perish”. Why? They are depending in their own “goodness”, and “good works”, to justify themselves before a holy God. Realize that God is the Creator of all matter, space and time – everything. Yes He is Love, but he is also Holy, Perfect and Just. He cannot abide in eternity with “sin”. Good works are necessary, but not sufficient. Someone had to pay for the sin, the rebellion. And we believe Jesus did that. He was the all sufficient “ransom” for us – one and all. God made a way, because He loved His creatures so much! He took the penalty for us. The Bible declares “For by grace [unmerited favor] are you saved, through faith – and that NOT of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of “works”, lest any should perish.” (Romans). We further believe that once saved and “born again” through faith in Jesus, we are renewed from the inside out on a daily basis – until we meet Him face to face after this earthly life is done.

        God produces opportunities for believers to do good works, but these are the fruit of our faith. Like the good fruit that is produced from a healthy tree, good works come naturally from a regenerated spirit – they are not “worked at”. Without accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and receiving his new life into your heart, you must depend on your own purity and righteous before a holy and all powerful Creator. And we do not believe that apart from Jesus, you cannot survive.

        I don’t know who is going to “hell” – only God the Creator knows. I do know that “hell”, according to the Bible, is eternal separation from God, and that it was NOT created for humans, but for the enemy (the devil) and his fallen angels. But God is not “sending” anyone there – He does not make robots, but free creatures. “He is not willing that any should perish”, as it says. We can either choose His way, or go our own way. He reaches out to every one of us. And He has reached out to save ALL through the work of His Son Jesus. And His Holy Spirit is at work throughout the world to spread the good news, and bring in as many into the Kingdom as possible.

        Christians believe that Jesus is “the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.” (as He said). We do not hold that there are “many ways” to God. Only one. In fact, Jesus said He is the “Door”, and that there is no other way. Some in the Middle East meet Him in a dream as the “man in white”. Some call Him Yeshua. Whatever you call Him, He is the only way. He is the only, all sufficient Redeemer. He is God who became man, so that we could be brought back into right standing with our Maker. He is Jesus – the one who gave His all for us. We believe that boat is sinking – that this world is perishing. And that only He is your life boat. Its called “history” because the world is playing out “His story”. We as Christians want ALL to be saved, just as our Father does! That is why we pray and reach out to Buddhists, to Muslims, and to those of so many other religions. Its not about “religion”. Its all about relationship – do you have a relationship with your Creator? Do you know the Lord? Being “religious” cannot save a person from their sins, and bring them everlasting life – only a living relationship with our God through Jesus, His one and only Son – the “image of God”.

        I respect your choice to practice Buddhism. I am not forcing you to believe and accept Jesus into your heart. Your Creator will never force you. You must make that choice. Jesus says in Revelation “Behold I stand at the door and knock…” He doesn’t force His way in. The door handle is on the inside. He knocks, gently. I pray for you, and care about you. I want you to know Jesus, and to have everlasting life. To have His joy, and purpose in your life. This is what Christians are called to do – share the love of Jesus in a caring and loving way.
        God the Creator loves you. Give Jesus a chance. Ask Him to come in to your life, and to prove who He says He is. If you give Him your whole self, He will do it. Paul.

      • So you deride Buddhism for not having proof of the afterlife then quote the bible as your “proof” of an afterlife. How backwards can you get? Focus on your own faith and practice instead of sitting around and worrying about what someone else believes or doesn’t believe. It’s none of your business and the world would be a better place without judgmental Christians who think they know all the answers.

      • Hi Athena. I agree that there is “after life”. And I believe we each have unique personalities, and an eternal “soul” (something which Buddhism denies, as far as I can tell). I believe that each of our souls, after leaving this body (what the Bible calls a tent) will come face to face with the Creator, and be held accountable for what they did while here on the Earth. And I do not believe that there are multiple paths to God, according to the Bible – I believe there is is only one Savior, one Way, one “Door”, one “name under Heaven” by which we can be saved – Jesus Christ. Only Jesus was God made flesh. Only Jesus was able to pay the ultimate price to redeem humankind. He is the Father’s gift to human kind to bring us back. Jesus said “I the way, the truth, and the life”, no one comes to the Father (God) except through me. As Christians, we believe that Jesus IS our way to the Creator, our loving Father. We feel it is our duty to share. If your friends all had cancer (sin), and you had the cure (Jesus), would you not share that with them – to give them the chance of surviving the deadly malady? It most definitely IS our business to share, in a loving and kind way. So I invite you. Study all the world religions. Take at look at what science has to say about an initial singularity (what the Bible calls “in the beginning God created ..”). Consider all of the world religions. Many have elements of Truth, of course. But which is the most reasonable path? I believe its faith in Jesus. Receiving and knowing Him. The thing about Christianity is that it not a “religion” so much as a “relationship” – about being filled with God’s Spirit, and knowing JESUS more and more each day. May God bless you and lead you into a fulfilling relationship with Him!

    • Karma is the natural law of cause and effect. It’s one of the 3 universal truths. You plant a good seed, you get a good fruit. You plant a bad seed, you will get a bad fruit.

      • Hi Alfred. Yes, ‘karma’ is one of those universal truths that we see not only in the Hebrew scriptures, but in the Bible and in many other teachings. The Bible talks a lot about ‘reaping what you sew’, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. So we see such a basic truth included in many religions. But while many religions contain this and perhaps other such basic truths, that does not means that ALL religions are necessarily true. God bless you on your journey.

  4. Thank you for your reply and no it was not lengthy by any standard. I appreciate that you took the time to read and get back to me. I guess I just view things differently. May God bless you, and thank you once again.

  5. A lot of this is just wrong . Nonattachment doesn’t mean do nothing. Buddha is a savior. Buddhists recognize sin etc. silly article and unconvincing

    • Hi Joey. Thanks for your comments. Here is the Buddhist teaching which I am responding to: “The importance of Non-attachment. Buddhism goes beyond doing good and being good. One must not be attached to good deeds or the idea of doing good; otherwise it is just another form of craving.” This is from Buddhanet.net, a very popular Buddhist web site which supposedly documents basic Buddhist teachings. So if this is “just wrong”, you should take it up with Buddhanet. To me that plainly states “do not be attached to good deeds or the idea of dong good”. This is in stark contrast to Christianity, the teachings and actions of Jesus, and the Bible: “God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about DOING GOOD and healing all who were oppressed..” (Acts 10:38.). We who are followers of Jesus and filled with His Spirit are to do likewise – in fact He commands that we seek out opportunities to “do good” (Ref Gal 6:9, 2 Th 3:13, 1 Pet 2:15). That is why you see so many Christian missions, hospitals, and initiatives throughout the world. So to me this seems to be a basic difference between Buddhism and Christianity.

      Now, Buddha is a “savior?” How is he going to save you, and from what? Are the teaching he left you going to save you? I wonder. The Bible says that all of our righteousness is as “filthy rags” before a holy and just Creator. We cannot be saved by “good works”. They are a result of our faith and new life in Christ. We are saved by Grace – His love and sacrifice for us. The only One who can save is Jesus, since He is God Himself who came in human form to pay the ultimate price for humankind’s redemption. Only Jesus could and can redeem humankind. “There is no only name under heaven by which man can be saved”, according to the Bible. I didn’t write that – its in the Bible. If you truly want to be saved, trust and believe in Jesus. There is no other “door” back to fellowship with our Creator. “He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Don’t place your hopes on Buddha, who is long since gone, being your savior. Please your faith in a living Lord – Jesus!

  6. You have actually answered yourself but choose not to see further and deeper.

    Self justication for your choosen faith and it contradicted each other.

    Let’s say you have accidentally fallen into a lake… do you choose to help yourself by swimming to land or would you let yourself sink and pray for external help?

    If one observes… the answers are actually present in our daily mundane activities, thoughts, and logic.

    I would reckon you dwell deeper into Buddhism before you start comparing and at times unnecessary bashing of the other.

    God gave you the capability to think and make your own choice for a reason. Cause and effect is a fact.

    • Hi JW. It is not my intent to “bash” Buddhism. This was intended to be a comparison of world views. I acknowledge it is a world religion, has a lot of good sensible teachings associated with it, and it has many devoted followers. I just disagree with it as the source of life, and a means to finding a true relationship with the Creator.

      Many of the world’s religions have kernels of truth. The problem is that they are all “religions” – man reaching out to God to try to grasp hold of Him. Pointing to a truth or set of truths. Only Jesus claimed to be “the way, THE TRUTH, and the life”. Christianity is not about religions – its about having a “relationship” with the Lord – about God reaching “down” to man by becoming one of us – by taking on a body, walking among us, and showing us He was “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. God has reached out to us through Jesus to bring us back into a relationship with Him – if only we will accept Him and be filled with His Life. In my opinion, apart from Jesus there is no real life, and no way to eternal life. Only existence on a planet that has fallen, is full of “sin”, and and is in need of redemption and re-creation.

      Believe me, I searched long and hard for truths through my college years. I studied all the world’ religions through my college years, and since then, as well as the philosophy of materialism, as well as existentialism. None these offered satisfying answers, or had to ability to fill the “void I had in my heart. None of these satisfied my thirst for answers to the deep questions of life- why am I here? What is my purpose? Am I just the product of blind chance Darwinist evolution? Or is there something more to existence?

      So, JW, I am with you – the Creator made us in His image. He is “Mind”, and He gave us a mind, and the ability to reason (in fact, He says in the Bible ‘let us reason together’). This Jesus began to nag at me – through others, through people I met. In retrospect, I can see how God was after me in so many ways. I studied, studied, and studied. But could not “know” God through my manifold studies. I finally considered Jesus. Someone told me that the Bible says that Jesus stands at the ‘door’ of each of our hearts, and knocks quietly. He doesn’t force His way in. The handle is on the inside. As you say, YOU must choose. He will never violate the gift of free will He gave each of us. You have to acknowledge your need for Him, ask Him into your heart, and give your heart to Him to really “know” Him.

      Choose carefully JW. This life is a test. Will you let Him into your heart and follow Him? Or will you ignore Him and go your own way?

      • I am glad that I worships my Father in heaven who owns all, and loves me so much that gave His Son to set me free.

  7. Hi Sir,I am also a converted Christian.I was a bhuddhist.but I experienced that I even didn’t know about Christ, but I am Christian now, because I believe he chose his people, but I am facing so many oppositions from my family.I pray to Lord that he may open theirs heart

  8. Both Buddha and Christ emphasised the need for their followers to practise their teachings. Mere intellectual understanding or arguments were useless. Morality practiced would cleanse the heart and lead to love and liberation from sorrow. From the Buddha’s perspective,this was more important than mere speculation on the nature of God or how the world begins or when it will end. Christ advocated the divine love of God while the Buddha refused to speculate about the nature of God; this does not lead to the conclusion that the Buddha was an atheist. Simply that he believed that the immediacy of human sorrow and the need to be free of this was more likely to be a catalyst of change that could transform the nature of a human being. What is objectionable about this? Buddhism has not triggered wars or mass killings or bloody Crusades or forced conversions. And it has set the highest ideal for mankind: that do not seek salvation for yourself until every sentient being is free from suffering. Is this not the same ideal that Christ lived for when he bled on the Cross for the salvation of mankind?

    • Greetings. The fundamental difference is that while Buddha emphasized others to practice his teachings, only Jesus declared that “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. Myself as well as other believers, hold that Jesus is God come in the likeness of human form, to pay the ultimate price to make a way for humans to be in fellowship with their Maker once again. He was far more than a human teacher. He was God’s living WORD. No amount of adherence to Buddhist teaching will accomplish this. The sin remains on the holiest of buddhists, unless they are redeemed by the priceless blood of the Lamb. As far as sorrow goes, yes, Jesus said that ‘in the world you shall have tribulation – but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”. How did He overcome? By rising from the dead. He alone is risen and is alive by His SPirit in the heart of every true believer – not Buddha, not Mohammed, not any other holy prophet. So we sorrow as Christian, yes, but our intent is not to “free” ourselves from sorrow – but to recognize its a reality in this fallen creation, and to take action to do something about it. This is another fundamental difference between Buddhism and the Lord’s way. As far as Christianity being the cause of wars, etc., I disagree – these have been driven by man’s greed and lust for power. Christ Jesus never advocated war – if fact, He said “Blessed are the peacemakers”. He was and is the Prince of Peace. And no, Jesus was not about freeing ourselves from suffering. In fact, the Bible says in many places that we are appointed to suffer for Christ’s sake. Its how we handle the suffering, and what we do about it, and how we reflect Christ, that counts. May the Lord Jesus bless you, and draw you to Him.

  9. Buddha didn’t say the universe was ‘always there’, he taught that the universe had had several births through expansion and contraction, which parallels with modern science.

    • Thank you for your comment Actually, the latest scientific studies and evidence do NOT support the notion that the universe periodically expands and contracts. The latest evidence tells us that not only is the universe expanding, but that the speed at which it is expanding continues to increase. Check your facts.

  10. I used to be suggested this web site via my cousin. I am not positive whether this put up is written by way of him as nobody else realize such detailed about my difficulty.
    You’re wonderful! Thank you!

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