Common Ground and God’s prescription for Buddhists and Christians
Did you know that there is a common ground between Buddhism and Christianity? I wanted to share this publicly as I have both Christian and Buddhist friends in Singapore.
For example, Buddhists and Christians believe that
1. Life continues after death
There is a natural fear of death for both, but the fear of it is under control, probably because both know that life continues after death. With their fear of death under control, they can actually both focus on “living” and being able to help others to do the same.
However, Christianity and Buddhism conceive of life after death in very different forms:
* Buddhism teaches that humans are trapped in a repetitive cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. Each successive rebirth may be into a better, a worse life, or a similar life, depending upon the person’s Karma — the sins and merits that have accumulated during their present and previous lives. One’s goal is to escape from this cycle and reach Nirvana. Once this is attained, the mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. Suffering ends because desire and craving — the causes of suffering — are no more.
* Christianity has historically taught that everyone has only a single life on earth. After death, one’s beliefs and/or actions are evaluated in the Final Judgment. An eternal life awaits everyone. Depending on the judgment, it will be either in Heaven or Hell. There is no suffering in Heaven; only joy. Torture is eternal without any hope of cessation for the inhabitants of Hell.
2. We must submit to the Ethic of reciprocity
Both share a basic rule of behavior which governs how they treat each other.
* Two quotations from Buddhist texts which reflect this Ethic are:
o “…a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?” Samyutta NIkaya v. 353.
o “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” Udana-Varga 5:18
This compares closely to Christianity’s Golden Rule, which is seen in:
o “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Matthew 7:12.
o “…and don’t do what you hate...” Gospel of Thomas 6. This Gospel was widely used in early Christianity but never made it into the official canon because of its Gnostic content. However, it remains valuable today because it seems to have preserved many unique sayings of Jesus that do not appear in other gospels.
3. both have Themes of morality, justice and love
4. Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ did not intend to form a religion
Gautama Buddha was an Indian prince who got fed up with traditional religion (Hinduism specifically, which believes in many Gods). He walked away from a comfortable life in SEARCH for Truth. In the same way, Jesus Christ fought traditional religion (Jewish) and shared the TRUTH. The difference though is, Buddha is a SEEKER of TRUTH, wherease Jesus is a BEARER of TRUTH. Both so-called followers of Buddha and Jesus, created RELIGION. REligioN is humans trying to work their way to God through good works. Take note that not even Buddha intented to create Buddhism as a RELIGION. Buddha wrote a set of practices for rightful living. Christianity on the other hand is God coming to men and women through Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us about RELATIONSHIPS – relationship with God and with our fellowmen.
5. personal and intercerssory prayer is powerful
So, what is God’s Prescription for Cancer Warriors?
-Proverbs 4:20-22 An alternative translation to the word “health” in the verse is “medicine”. God’s word is good medicine for our total being: spirit, soul, and body.