Buddhists in HK are counterfeiting the very practices of the Christian faith: interceding for others in prayer, witnessing and testifying to miracles eg. regarding once testy and destructive relationships changing dramatically for the better due to Buddha’s spiritual intervention. Many are drawn to this kind of ‘godlike’ powers of Buddha whom we know was only a mere human. I feel the real trouble appeared to be with us, Christians, who tend to be less loving or caring towards their neighbor, being so wrapped up in a noisy and ladened world. What are your thoughts about this situation?
I fear that judgmental and uncaring “Christians” have driven people away from Christ in every society. It is most important for us to demonstrate love in all we do. In John 13:35 Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” And Paul repeated the sentiment in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
So, the first thing is to lovingly deal with your fellow Christians that are not acting with love toward others.
I rely heavily on what set of beliefs fit the reality of the world around us. Do the claims of Buddhism or Christianity more adequately explain how the universe began, how and why we exist, why we are in our current state (the existence of evil), and how we are to achieve redemption?
The ironic thing is that those Buddhists show much love n empathy in their drawing people into their fold. Yea it is us Christian’s who need to shake off our apathy and lukewarmness. Thank you for your answer.
@mutts, what you are observing in terms of appropriation of Christian teachings into eastern religions or eastern religions wrapped in Christianese is indeed becoming increasingly common. It is unsettling to meet adherents of other religions who seem to be more disciplined and more altruistic than believing Christians!
Bible speaks of such times:
Matt 24:4 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Matt 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
So how are we as Christians to respond? Some guidance that we see in Matthew 24 is to be careful to not eassily believe these counterfeit signs and wonders. There can be an appearance of spirituality through display of power. False gods are eager to bestow material blessings and supernatural powers if it can keep us from Jesus. Power however differs from love of God.
It is tempting to be in a performance mode to be a good Christian in front of saintly followers of other religions. But God has promised that our yoke is easy and burden is light! True worship and love can only come from understanding grace. On the cross, we see the end of human wisdom, talent and power so we can rest in the grace of Christ who empowers us to walk in love. Apart from Him we can do nothing! (nothing of eternal significance)- John 15. Since it’s not by might but God’s Spirit, I think we as Christians really need to learn how to submit fully to the Holy Spirit to face this onslaught of false religions.
In Canada, Buddhist practises and ideology have snuck in the back door, so to speak…through mindfulness training and yoga.
They are the number one go to practises among many clinical counsellors, therapists and psychologists. These practises are being taught to kids in school etc.
We do a very poor job in many areas, and especially in the church…talking about our thoughts and feelings … how to regulate our neuro-biology. We fail our children in teaching them to recognise their feelings and how to cope with them.
We fail to focus/quiet our hearts, minds and spirits in prayer…
It is little wonder Buddhism seems attractive to people…because people are having a hard time coping with both their internal and external life. Humans like to feel they have control … (and God has given us valid areas in life where we should be in control).
Yet, there is huge deception in these ideologies…which offer “peace…peace…”
For one, it turns people inward to look to themselves to save themselves from what is overwhelming. And there is a degree to which meditative techniques work…to quiet the central nervous sytem…to bring a sense of calm. This is part of how people become deeply involved and deceived. The sense of gaining power and control over all that is bothersome, stressful, upsetting…etc. is really appealing.
And yes. There is a evangelistic element, as you have mentioned. These people teach their philosophy. They are convinced of what they believe and they want to make disciples. They want others to be converted.
This is where Christians need to look at how we set about to proselytize and evangelize…Are we “selling” an ideology, a world view, a fix to life’s ills…rather than proclaiming, humanity’s need to encounter with the LIVING GOD through JESUS.
Our faith is a proclaimation of life…new life…life from death…not a system of beliefs to make us feel good, to be self satisfied, or even to be better humans.