Summary: Looks at Buddhism and compares it to Biblical Christianity
Buddhism vs. Biblical Christianity
Good morning, if you are joining us today, we have begun a series called Faithology where we are looking at and comparing different religions of the world to Biblical Christianity.
Easter – Biblical Christianity
We started on Easter and saw the essential beliefs of Biblical Christianity, the things that you have got to believe according to the Bible to call yourself a Christian.
Last Week - Islam
Last week we looked at Islam and saw how Islam started and seen that it has grown through conquering other lands and either forcing conversions or taxing or killing non-converts.
We saw that their writings have come through one man, Muhammad,
who never did any miracles,
who is dead to this day, and
who gained power, influence and woman because of the things he said and preached.
This Week - Buddhism
This week we are going to take a look at Buddhism vs. Biblical Christianity.
When I say Buddhism or if you think of a Buddhist, one of 2 things may pop in your mind: Either the Dalai Lama or Tiger Woods.
Tiger may pop into your mind when you here Buddhist because of a recent press conference where he was apologizing for his behavior and failings over the past 6 months and where he admitted to be a Buddhist and where he said he needs to get back to his Buddhist roots to help him be a better person.
At that press conference he said, “People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security.” (Tiger Woods, press conference, Feb 19th 2010)
Maybe you think of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is the leader of a branch of Buddhism practiced by Tibetan Monks.
You probably have no idea what he believes or what he does, just that he is some sort of Buddhist Monk.
Well today, as we have been doing, we are going to look at some of the beliefs of Buddhism and seek to compare that against Biblical Christianity
to help us gain a better idea of what Buddhism teaches,
to help us be better assured of the truth of Christianity, and
to help us be better equipped to talk to Buddhists the Lord puts in our life.
Background and Overview of Buddhism
Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama,
the Buddha, around 500BC
He was born to parents who were nobility in Nepal.
Supposedly, a man had come to his father and said that his son would either be a great king or would lead a holy, ascetic, life.
His father wanted him to be a king, so he kept him from the religious leaders of his day which in that area were Hindu, and from seeing much outside of the city walls of the kingdom.
His father raised him in luxury with all that he could want and kept him in the palace area.
Gautama got married and had a son, but when Gautama was 29, he ended up going out of the city walls and it was outside the walls that
he saw the “4 sights” which were
An old man with regrets
A sick man suffering
A dead man
An “Ascetic” man, who had renounced material comforts, carrying a begging bowl
It was through these sights that he realized that everyone suffers.
Now Gautama had lived 29 years in the life of luxury, but he realized that as he got older, he too would suffer because this seemed to be the fate of every man.
So he left his home and his family and visited the holy men of the day, and lived an ascetic life for the next 6 years,
renouncing material comforts,
exposing himself to pain,
fasting to where he nearly starved himself to death.
He took this to its extreme and realized there he had not overcome suffering.
He finally sat under a Bodhi tree and began meditating. After many days of meditation, he is said to have reached a state of nirvana, of freedom from suffering and he became the Buddha, the enlightened one.
This enlightenment led to what is known as the
Four Noble Truths
These four noble truths basically say that
Life means Suffering
The origin of Suffering is attachment
The end of Suffering can be attained
Suffering can be ended by following the Noble Eightfold Path
And this eightfold path included 8 things that you must do to end suffering in your life and achieve nirvana, “the supreme state free from suffering and individual existence.” http://library.thinkquest.org/28505/buddhism/nirva.htm
This eightfold path that must be pursued is