November 8, 2013 at 8:12 am #45010memmParticipant
Dalai Lama mentions quite a lot that no one religion is going to work for everybody but there’s no reason not to, for example, use buddhist meditation and remain a christian or whatever.
That said my own personal opinion is I loath christianity exactly because of the things you mentioned, unlike Buddhism (I’m atheist by the way) which from the beginning taught that you should seek out your own answers and QUESTION everything to achieve your OWN understanding, whether Buddha’s path of enlightenment is correct or not is up to you to find out.
Unlike that, Christianity and other similar religions use ignorance instead. They say you should STOP questioning and use fear tactics to get you to submit.
The Dalai Lama has said that all popular religions basically have the same message, peace, working together, happiness etc…
And I agree, christianity at its base does have the same message, which is good, it’s the execution of spreading that message that in my humble opinion is wrong and too easily corrupted (as history has shown time and again).
When I look at buddhists I see people with clear eyes that actively look around and see things and ask questions and seek understanding, when I look at christians they look happy, yes, but their eyes are foggy with too much blind faith, yes they are happy, but it’s a creepy kind of happiness where they will just as happily walk off a cliff if asked to. I find this really disturbing.
Disclaimer: this is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt. Also don’t think of my post as pushing towards buddhism (like I said I’m atheist, but I recently started meditating and it has helped me a lot), think about it yourself.November 8, 2013 at 9:19 am #45012MattParticipant
Thanks for sharing your ideas, certainly some good fruit in there :). One thing that caught my attention is the negativity you have toward Christian/Christianity. Why give them that power over you? Consider that Buddha taught that when we loathe, the mind cycles into pain, so forgiveness isn’t something we just give to be nice… its physiologically better to find it. Said differently, if you can spend some time looking at how beautiful Christianity is for many beings, how it helps them find compassion and kindness, and how almost every institution of social power (Buddhism included) has some corruption which can make its message cloudy… then perhaps you can be more peaceful and free from the affliction of loathing. After all, they’re your family. 🙂
MattNovember 8, 2013 at 10:28 am #45018memmParticipant
Yes you’re right, when I re-read my post I realised loath is a strong word and I could have phrased it better. My dislike for Christianity is out of concern not hatred.November 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm #45415babylaughterParticipant
Lori, I want to thank you for sharing your views. It bothers me a little when my Christian friends try to convert me knowing full well my beliefs. It’s like they don’t accept me for me. After reading your post, I realize that perhaps you are right about the fear. They probably feel like they are at fault if I go to hell and are just trying to be responsible Christians. I’m not sure how to make them worry less about my soul because I am happy as I am and have no intention of taking up any one religion aside from Buddhist philosophies and practicing yoga. Thank you for this perspective.
<cite> @loraly3271 said:</cite>
I want to share my story about releasing traditional beliefs about God. I became a quote “Christian” at age 16 and held traditional beliefs about God before that as well. At age 18, I married a man who became a Baptist preacher and we were married for almost 23 years. I believed people were going to hell if they didn’t accept Jesus Christ as their savior and I believed God was an entity that I had to supplicate for things and my status in eternity was dependent upon how good of a Christian life that I lived. Church services were about preaching us in to feeling guilty and unworthy. We judged ourselves and everyone else.
About five years ago, I discovered “New Thought” and Buddhist beliefs, which felt very good. I began to embrace my own power as a creator and see that we are all one, as God. Judgement was replaced by love and understanding for myself and others and the separation that I felt from others began to dissolve. But, letting go of the belief in hell was the hardest thing to release. It meant that I had been wrong for all those years. Later, I realized there is no right and wrong or good and evil. After about a year of maintaining my new beliefs, I was still holding on to the belief in hell and Jesus being a Savior for our sins.
Then, one day I had a break-through and I have never had a moment of doubt since then. I was out of work at the time and was going to food banks for free food. The food was usually distributed by churches. As I was waiting this particular day to receive my food donation, one of the church workers put on a demonstration for myself and another person who was waiting. She cut out figures of the the crosses from folded up paper, as she told the story of the crucifixion and how Jesus died for “our sins” and that if we didn’t accept his as our savior, we would go to hell. Then, she asked us if we went to hell, whose fault would it be. The woman with me said, “Our fault”. I had an amazing moment of clarity as I saw so clearly how the gospel message is one of fear. I could see that the woman sharing the message was sharing it because she was afraid we would go to hell and that if she didn’t tell us, it would be her “fault”.
I am so glad I am free from the fearful and guilt-based beliefs of traditional Christianity. I do believe Christ came to humanity for reasons other than Christianity proposes. I believe he came to teach us about the abundant life and that we are light and powerful creators. The Bible says, “Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God”. He was crucified because he said he was God. There it is, as crystal clear as it can be. We are One with God. We are all equal to God. All of us together make up God. And, we have the power to do miracles just like Christ did.
The Bible has some great truths in it that were written from inspired authors. And, some of it is written from the ego nature that is fearful. We get to choose love or a God who punishes people in a burning hell. My choice has brought me the fruits of the spirit that the bible talks about, “love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, allowing, faith, and self-control.
November 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm #45866JoJOeParticipant
- This reply was modified 8 years, 2 months ago by babylaughter.
Go somewhere alone and scream at the top of your lungs
” I DON’T BELIEVE IN YOU GOD, I DON’T BELIEVE IN YOU”
Now smile, rejoice, God, Buddha, Allah, whomever, smiles upon you.
That is the mystery you will then discover.
I know this, I’ve been there.December 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm #46154ElleParticipant
I just want to say thank you to all of you who took the time to share your story and thoughts. It really means a lot to me. It helps to hear that I am not alone in my hesitation. Thank you again.December 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm #46804James MontyParticipant
I have had struggles my entire life with this “God” thing. I have seen many tragedies throughout my life from childhood to losing my youngest son. (He was not my biological son but we raised him for what turned out to be his final 10 years. I had a psychology teacher in college that leaned toward the eastern traditions and intermingled them with all her classes. This was what got me looking to Buddhism for answers no one else could provide me. I remember in the ICU unit when the doctors told me that my son was brain dead, there was a priest there. As I walked to the family room to tell the others the priest followed me down the hall and said, “It was God’s will that Billy join him now.” Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t even want to tell you what I said to that priest. I already had strong doubts about a God but now even if he existed I wanted no part of him. That’s the point in my life I realized that I needed more inside me. Buddhism gave me the chance to look at myself, figure out how to deal with this tragedy and cope with it in a way that would bring peace to my soul. It don’t mean I don’t believe in the possibility of a God existing;Imean that I was no longer going to assign the responsibility of my successes and failures to any outside forces. From that day forward I used my own resources to cope with life’s ups and downs. I am a better person for it and my life and the lives of those around me are better for it.December 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm #47739MarkParticipant
I view Buddhism as a philosophy of life rather than a religion. There is no worship of a deity nor any commands to do so (or not). I see it as a blueprint, a guideline on how I can live a more fulfilling and happy life.
I also like the Dalai Lama quote, “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”