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Buddhism - “Self-Improvement without God”

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The fallacy is worldwide – Buddhism is all about peace, tranquillity, love of the planet, and not stepping on ants. Buddhists are perceived to be ‘lovely’ people. The reality, though, is very different! Buddhists are just as capable of murderous intent and actions that harm, as anyone else. And even where Buddhists appear to be lovely people, their resolve is against the one true God.

If such believers in the cult refuse to listen, and do not repent, or if they continue in a determined way to live as Buddhists, then we can have no part in their lives. This is God’s command. It does not matter if a person is a ‘lovely person’ or a raging murderer, if he or she holds tenaciously to Buddhism, God is being grossly rejected and offended. The person’s character is not the issue. What matters is that he or she has a belief system that offends God and causes those around them to sin by not rebuking it. In this paper I will only give a broad sweep of this false religion (or, rather, an ethical system with added religiosity).

I am always astonished that Christians are only too quick to ‘love’ or befriend a Buddhist, even though Buddhism rejects and opposes their own true God! Christians feel they must put up with every offence against them or their God, while Buddhists carry on opposing the one true Lord. (Some do so because of the culture they have been brought up in). In almost every case, personal friendship with a Buddhist is the basic cause for a Christian’s lack of concern and vigour. This is why every Christian is warned never to stay in the company of sinners and those who reject God (Psalm 1:1, et al):

God says this of anyone who does not follow Him:

“For he stretcheth out his hand against God, and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty.” (Job 15:25)

Some might argue that the Buddhist they know does not offend God in any way. This is a fatal mistake. To God, ANY rejection of Him is gross sin, whether or not the Buddhist does anything nasty or bad against Him openly. The fact that he or she believes in Buddha is sufficient to bring God’s anger against them. So does every Buddhist practice, observation, or rite (death/birth/marriage allowing Buddhist rituals and words). The same, of course, applies to all false religions and cults.

Who or What was ‘Buddha’?

Though most people know him as ‘Buddha’, he is also known by other names, such as Shakyamuni, Siddhartha Gautama, or Gautama Buddha. Buddha was nothing more than a sage (Baroni 2002, p. 230). That is, famed for wisdom and being a teacher. A Christian cannot accept anyone as a sage unless he teaches what God says, because any other teaching is sin.

Buddha lived in India about 400 years BC (Warder 2000, p. 45, and academic research tends to say he lived 80 years; his actual dates of birth/death are argued over), which is about the time the Jews were taken as prisoners to Babylon.

After the worldwide Flood, men attempted to build a tower to reach God by their own efforts (Babel). As a result, God brought them to utter confusion, by removing their common language and giving them different tongues. Those who used the same new language began to move away from Babel, and this is how we now have a variety of nations. Thus, Buddha’s tribe or nation came from the Middle East, and should have followed the religion of the One True God, Jehovah (because his origin was in descendants of Noah). His wisdom, then, is worthless in the light of God’s word.

As with so many religious offshoots, Buddha wanted to escape the very severe ascetism (abstinence from worldly pleasures) current in his day, so he created a ‘middle way’ that balanced a less harsh ascetism with a more sensual indulgence. Buddha means ‘awakened one’ or ‘the enlightened one’. Obviously, as Buddha was only an ordinary man, this view of him is just an human one, whereas the view of the Christian God is absolute.

Gautama Buddha might have been a very wise man in his day, but as his nation was not godly, his wisdom was only a reflection of, or amendment to, the environment he lived in... which was, by definition, godless. Compared to the wisdom of Hebrew godly men, he was not wise at all. He taught throughout eastern India. His life and teachings were not formalised until after his death, but did not arise in written form until about 400 years later, roughly the time of Herod the Great.

Buddha was influenced by other great national thinkers of his day (great in their own eyes, but not in the eyes of the true God of the Jews). He was, then, just one of many foremost thinkers in his nation. He was born into the Shakya clan in north-eastern India (a part now called Nepal), his father being either a clan chief or an oligarch (very rich with political influence).

Significantly, all details about Buddha were memorized, there being no written records about him at all. This means any written material (not until about 400 years after his death) may have been corrupted historically or factually by straightforward lapses in memory, gratuitous elaboration/omission, or straightforward mistakes. Even so, the work of Buddha is, like any other work not arising from God, just human invention and so liable to be faulty.

The earliest references to Buddha and his work do not ascribe to him the idea of omniscience (knowing everything there is to know), or that he was a ‘transcendent being’. Only after his death as followers wanted to give him some kind of deity, do ideas emerge suggesting he was somehow ‘higher’ than mere mortals. Of course, no human being is omniscient! Such is impossible for human beings. Buddha himself said he was not omniscient (Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta), though he did claim to have “higher knowledges” (abhijñā). The problem with this is that what a Buddhist might call ‘higher knowledge’ would likely be called ‘specious nonsense’ by Christian thinkers and scripture!

Writings on Buddha usually ascribe a number of ‘supernatural’ events and miracles to him. And why not? After all, this is how Roman Catholic ‘saints’ are created! Again, this is bunkum, but if such things did occur they could only have come from demonic sources or vivid imaginations.

These impossible claims say that Buddha was conceived without human intercourse, and his mother had a painless birth. He was said not to need sleep, food or medicine, nor did he need to bathe. These are all claims similar to those attributed to Greek gods! It has been noted, though, that Buddha was never thought of as only human (Skilton 2004, p. 64-65).

It is evident that Buddha (see his statements) thought of himself as being on a higher plane of existence, and even that, if required, he could live a thousand years or more (Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta). Whilst scholars argue over his life and acts, the only feasible thing to say is that he did exist (Armstrong 2000, p. xii.). The rest is arguable. And his ideas concerning ‘enlightenment’ are far removed from biblical truth, the only Truth there is – making his views sin. Really, Buddhism is merely another form of self-improvement.

Take, for example, his claim that he knew the real reasons for suffering and how to eliminate it. Now, more than two thousand years later, can Buddhists really say their suffering has been removed? Of course not. Just look at the history of Buddhist Nepal! Yet, the “Four Noble Truths” are at the very core of Buddhism. Complete each stage of these successfully and you achieve Nirvana, they say! (‘Nirvana’ is perfect peace by freedom from ignorance, greed, hatred, and other affective states; a form of nothingness).

To put it bluntly, this condition would be easy to come about when one is locked away in a monastery, or sitting on top of a lonely mountain, or even a tall pole. Indeed, one could claim he had achieved almost anything by doing so, there being little evidence to offer as corroboration. The near-impossibility of understanding what Buddha was talking about led him to say he should not teach others about it. But, he finally did, and many have pretended to understand ever since!

Buddha died about 80 years of age, some say from food poisoning after eating pork (which seems likely given the sparse record) and others say he died from ‘old age’. (because they prefer to imply that Buddhism is vegetarian). Kings, in an effort to legitimise their rule, held relics of Buddha to ‘prove’ they were true kings.

Central Teachings

The central teachings are called the ‘Four Noble Truths’. It is a sad fact that ANY man can get a following, even when what he says is complete nonsense. In the case of Buddha, what he taught was just another human form of philosophy and self-improvement, rejecting God. Only gradually did it assume the trappings of a religion.

The ‘Four Noble Truths’ are the framework within which Buddhism can be understood. Basically, these truths cover:

Truth 1: Struggle/unsatisfactoriness

Truth 2: The cause of struggle

Truth 3: Awakening is possible

Truth 4: The path to awakening.

In reality, Buddhism is nothing more than selfism and self-help. It is no different from many seminars held today by countless self-help gurus, and just as worthless. Of course, most teachers want you to sign-up to receive their material, and cash is involved at some point. But, by calling itself a ‘religion’ Buddhism tries to avoid this grubby cash desire... though many teachers have managed to gather together a lot of money and worldly goods!

When one reads the supposed ‘truths’, it can be seen that they are similar to ‘truths’ expounded by a variety of psychiatric workers... recognising what causes imbalance, how to put the imbalance right, how to avoid it in the future, and so on. Remove the religious aspect of Buddhism and that is all you are left with. Overall, Buddhism teaches a path that should not be contemplated by Christians, for the methods and results are not of God, but are human inventions, no matter how close some parts might get to truth.

As with any philosophy, the main core of beliefs is followed by an ever-growing sub-set of further pronouncements founded on the core beliefs. Again, this is no different from how most philosophies have developed. Even Buddhist sects disagree with each other because they choose other forms of the philosophy! In itself this shows the inconsistency one should expect in a mere human invention.

Suffering

Really, suffering and avoidance of it, is the whole point of Buddhism – hardly edifying. Buddhists see suffering as a result of ‘bad karma’ (related to what we do in life, good or bad) and not of sin, and that the answer is - not to be attached to this world. This is the right solution but the wrong answer. The aim is to try and escape this physical world, which, of course, is not possible, and not what God intends. Rather, the Lord tells us to keep away from sin and those who commit it, and to be ‘in the world but not of it’.

The Buddhist answer is ridiculous – that men and women die and reincarnate many times, perhaps over millennia, before they can reach the state of ‘Nirvana’, when a person fizzles out of real existence and joins with a universal, meaningless, non-existence. Christian answers are very different – when we repent and believe, Jesus takes on our suffering and deals with it. Then, we enter a real Heaven.

Buddhism is very much a ‘faith of works’, for it says the individual is responsible for achieving Nirvana, by his many works throughout many supposed reincarnated lives.

Reincarnation

This absurd belief is no better than the evolutionism of atheists, who say that soup turned into men! Men have just one life on this earth and after death we do not return. The only time we will return is when Christ creates a new Heaven and a new earth. And even then we will be perfect beings, not requiring multiple lives before we can live with God. We will certainly not be some sort of disembodied ‘things’.

Unfortunately, as in Islam, Buddhists from Asia (different from westerners who adopt the beliefs) are immersed in a Buddhist culture that affects every part of their lives. So, it is hard to talk to them, because to leave their religion is to leave their culture. But, someone who is abused in life must leave the situation he or she is in, or the abuse will continue. Buddhism is an abuse of the soul and must be put aside, regardless of cultural differences. Indeed, the true Buddhist must attain to a new culture, one that is built upon Christ. If they do not, they rebel against God a second time – the first time is when they simply live as Buddhists.

The idea of Nirvana, like much in Buddhism, makes no sense, for Buddhists believe in something they have no idea of! One critic who left Buddhism, put it this way:

“The Buddhist is like a man who goes to an airport and asks for a ticket. When asked where to, he says, I have no idea, just give me a ticket. Obviously, this is an absurdity.”

Buddhism and Creation

Buddhists do not believe creation occurred. Interestingly, one Buddhist teacher (www.budsas.org) quotes the atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell:

“There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts.”

Russell is just one in a long line of atheists who wish to decry and be rid of a Creation by an actual God... Who, alone, had no beginning! Buddhists think that the world has existed eternally. More than that, they say the world creates itself continuously every second, millions of times. This is more in accord with Star-Trek than with truth! Yet, modern Buddhists think they are supported by science. For Buddha, thinking about Creation has no religious relevance... but, the Christian knows otherwise. Buddhists align with modern science (evolution, that is), saying that it gives more truth about the world than religions. Evidently, they know nothing of God.

Like the world (though there is no actual evidence), persons are on a continual cycle of Samsara – birth and death (thus, reincarnation: allied to this is another absurdity – the belief in ‘past lives’, when one was a slave to Pharaoh, or a diseased ancient sailor. The realm of absurdity and psychological nonsense). The only task of an individual, according to Buddha, was to escape the present.

Buddhism and God

As you might guess from the above, Buddha did not believe in either a Creator or a personal God. (Thera, Nyanaponika. "Buddhism and the God-idea". The Vision of the Dhamma. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society. "In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world; as, for instance, world-soul, time, nature, etc. God-belief, however, is placed in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views which deny the kammic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of man and nature, or teach absolute determinism. These views are said to be altogether pernicious, having definite bad results due to their effect on ethical conduct.").

Buddha refused to discuss creation or anything of that kind, because, he claimed, knowledge of them does nothing to alleviate suffering. The real task should be to re-allocate suffering so that it is only one aspect of life out of many. For the Christian, the ultimate cause of suffering is the result of Adam and Eve’s fall, and sin. Once we establish this fact, we can seek the alleviation – which is to trust God and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Suffering is always with humanity, thanks to the Fall, but God can guide us through its ravages. Thus, there is no need to study Buddhism at length or to spin wheels in a temple, or to meditate for hours until we ‘become nothing’. Far from being of no consequence, it is knowledge of the Creation that gives us answers we need. Sitting under a tree for years will not assist us!

Many Buddhists see thoughts on a deity an hindrance to escaping suffering, so a God does not figure in their thinking. Indeed, many say God is incompatible with Buddhism... even though some Buddhist sects think Buddha was ‘more than human’. One can detect a number of contradictory strains. And some believe there are divas, who are in ‘higher realms’: and though in higher realms they, too, are plagued by suffering! Buddhism, then, is maudlin, though this is denied.

Some Buddhists think Buddha is superior to the gods and is their teacher. What a confused lot Buddhists are! When one examines the many facets of Buddhism, the multiple definitions jump out, proving just how foundationless the system is. There can be only one Truth, even if there are many sub-truths that define the one Truth. But, in Buddhism, there are multiple ‘truths’ with alien sub-truths that do not even match the original ‘truths’.

Salvation is a non-starter in Buddhism. All a Buddhist wants is to achieve Nirvana, which depends on a man letting go of his desires, cravings, attachments to worldly things, and a rejection of ignorance. This is helped by following the Dharma (Buddha’s teachings), the “Eightfold Path” that eventually, maybe after many millennia, release a person from continuous reincarnations and more suffering. Until this release, they will keep being born to die, on one of 31 planes of existence. Buddhists pay obeisance to the Buddha, Dharma and the Sanga (Buddha’s teachings); these are referred to as the “Three Jewels”. Buddhists do not speak of sin or repentance, but simply of doing better in our next life, slowly casting aside everything in our character that holds us back from Nirvana. There is belief in a ‘coming one’ or Meitreya, and many, against scripture, see this as the Christ.

The Dalai Lama (whose writings I once read; that is, the former Lama) belongs to Tibetan Buddhism, which has nothing to do with Theravada Buddhism. There are many sects within Buddhism, which is an indication of its real status – a cult.

Buddhism and the Occult

The occultism of Buddhism first came to my notice about forty years ago, when a missionary warned people about having statues of Buddha in their home. He spoke of spirit manifestations that stopped when the Buddha was removed. He advised that authentic statues (bought in the East) often contain small rolled-up papers containing Buddhist blessings, etc., which attract demons. But, is Buddhism occult? Sadly, yes it is. Thus, it doubly offends God - once for rejecting His deity and sovereign rule, and secondly, because it absorbs Satan’s replacement of God’s word with his own.

Another source (http://www.jnani.org/intro/occult_buddhism.html) says:

“Buddhism was open to diverse influences from as long ago as the 4th century BC, including that of occult traditions. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and the Life of Milarepa are just two examples of how occult knowledge and jnani transcendence can become intertwined.”

“Buddhism absorbed local religions, such as Zoroastrianism in Afghanistan, the Bon religion in Tibet, and Taoism in China, to become a highly varied religion, much as Hinduism is.”

“The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a good example of how Buddhism absorbed the occult elements of the Bon religion (which is an ancient Shamanistic tradition). The book is a manual for helping the deceased in the preparation for dying and for the 'bardo realm' of disembodied experience before rebirth, the essential aim being to prevent the soul from taking birth again, or if it does, to help it gain an 'auspicious' birth. (The engagement with reincarnation in this way is shown in the contemporary political drama, acted out between Tibet, China and India of the spiritual succession in modern Tibetan Buddhism of the Karmapa, a titular role that one is reborn into). The Tibetan Book of the Dead, while it incorporates occult elements (as defined here) is however a book of jnani transcendence, showing how close these areas can come. The occultism in it is always a description of the structure of the human condition, and in the service of a better understanding of the way to transcendence. This is in contrast to much of occultism which seeks knowledge for its own sake (as a science), for dominion over the occult realms (as an application of that science), or for power in the service of disreputable ends.”

“Like deceived Roman Catholics, Buddhists claim and are taught that they do not worship Buddha, saying that they only “pray” to his statue. The truth of the matter (as you will see in the numerous photos on this webpage) is that Buddhists do bow in worship and praise of Buddha.” (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Buddhism/satanic.htm )

“Buddhism tolerates all other religions, does not contend for its own faith, and fits in perfectly with the New World Order's homogenous One-World religion.” (As above)

“Buddhists are worshipping devils by bowing and adoring statues of Buddha. The Bible strictly prohibits worshipping or even the act of BOWING to any image of anything. We read in Exodus 20:4-5 (commonly referred to as the 2nd of the Ten Commandments), “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (As above)

“... modern secular psychology gravitates towards this eastern religion. Modern psychology is rooted in humanism, evolution, atheism and heathenism. The concept of sin is not recognized. The need for a Savior, and the precious gift of eternal life offered in Christ Jesus are not recognized. Modern psychology attempts to repair the mind and heart through education, reformation and rehabilitation (or psychiatrists and all their drugs); while totally ignoring the spirit of man, which is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). (As above)

Hitler was known to have been involved in ‘Black’ magic and the occult. This is why he sent a delegation to Tibet to study its occult practices: “Several postwar writers on the Occult have asserted that Buddhism and the legend of Shambhala played a role in the German-Tibetan official contact.” (www.berzinarchives.com ).

Hitler was not alone in his rejection of the One True God (as per Bible). Believers are only a remnant, and a huge number of the remaining people are against God. Concerning Buddhism:

"The student, by generating himself (or herself ) as the deity, is introduced to new mental patterns which help him to abandon old, destructive [Christian] conditioning, thus bringing him closer to the experience of the bliss consciousness of Kalachakra.”

(http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/forcing-change/08/9-occultism.htm )

"For those who embraced the Kalachakra, the ritual experience was viewed as an unleashing of powerful spiritual forces meant to empower world peace, and bring about the dawning of a New Age. Through all the ceremonies, lectures, and the ritual itself, a transcending spiritual theme was re-enforced: All religions are pathways to 'God,' and together we can reconnect with the divine." (Carl Teichrib, quoted in the above)

In a book by an ex-Buddhist nun, the writer warns to pray renunciation of former Buddhist attachments or interests (‘Buddhism in the Light of Christ’, Esther Baker). This is very wise, and something I have told many who have been damaged by occult practices of any kind. There is also the advice (again, repeated by myself where necessary) to burn statues, images, books, amulets, charms, etc. Burning is an absolute sign that the person is renouncing his or her former occult beliefs, including the self-help idea within Buddhism, which is itself idolatry.

Buddhism is connected to many forms of occultism. Well-known occultist/Satanist, Aleister Crowley, supposedly achieved Buddhist enlightenment, but took it further, not by removing all passions, etc., but by indulging them. Like many in the occult, he had a ‘spirit guide’ who told him what to do. It told him to practise sexual occultism, and with the aid of his “holy guardian angel” (a demon), his first sexual ‘liberation’ was found in sodomy. This is not a surprise as sodomy is a demonic activity.

A small group of people wanted to learn the occult practices of Buddhism: “The retreat was Daniel’s idea. For some years he had harboured an ambition to dedicate some time to exploring the Buddhist ‘powers’. These are supernormal abilities that arise as a consequence of attaining states of extreme concentration.” (http://oeith.co.uk/tag/buddhism/). The writer adds: “Your mental health may be at stake if you push yourself too far.” As one who dealt with many of this kind, I can assure you that your mental health WILL be affected adversely, no matter how far you take an occult practice.

There is no point in giving you more information like this: Buddhism is eclectic, joining with any and all false spiritualities. For many it can be dangerous, and for all it is against God, earning His wrath.

 

I have not given an exhaustive account of Buddhism, because such an effort would require a whole book. The above information, though selective and incomplete, shows clearly that Buddhism is nothing but a godless attempt to reach some kind of peace, without the True God, in a kind of nothingness. The cult even says we can achieve a ‘living Nirvana’, when we eliminate all that makes us suffer. This, of course, denies that a person is inherently sinful. Just see Buddhism as an extreme form of self-improvement and you will have the general gist. Christians should avoid and shun this pseudo-religion and not give it ‘house room’, whether personally or via friends, family or books, etc., for Satan sees those who show sympathy for Buddhism, whether by contact or literature, friends or foes, and he will use even the most tenuous link to ruin your life.

Also be aware that modern psychiatry often resorts to Buddhistic thoughts and methods. For this (and other reasons) no Christian should rely on psychiatry to give them peace of mind or a resolution to their supposed ‘mental’ maladies. Nor should one use psychiatric terms and methods to alleviate what is sin – depression, anxiety, and so on.

© August 2015

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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