Christian Buddhism?

(Shawn Suttle) #1

I recently had a conversation with a man who claimed to be Christian but also practices Buddhism. He said that his practice of Buddhism makes him a better Christian. Just curious how others would respond to this remark.


(Omar Rushlive Lozada Arellano) #2

Good question @ssuttle1. Normally, unclear statements like this makes me use the Columbo tactic. One use of this tactic is to clarify someone else’s position. So, I would ask, “What do you mean by that?” This is the basic question form, but by principle based on what’s claimed by the man you had conversation with, you can also frame the questions like these:

  • How does the practice of Buddhism make you a better Christian?
  • Can you please educate me which Buddhism you mean?
  • What do you mean by Buddhism?
  • How do you reconcile Buddhism and Christianity?

The basic form “What do you mean by that?” is recommended, since it does not show any form of assumption in your questions. But the other questions are good as well, as long as you are able to let the other person share their belief, so that their claims will be clear to you. Once the proposition of the claim is clear, you can proceed in knowing their support for their claim to understand their argument further. It’s funny that at times you’ll encounter people using inappropriate terms, like you might discover that what a person refers to Buddhism is not really Buddhism and maybe something which you could agree about, or maybe not! Clarity is always key. :slight_smile:

I would understand anyone who would find the comment of the person as weird, since Buddhism believes in samsara, which is a cycle of life and death. And for them, we experience this because of our cravings, desires, or attachments to things or people which causes us pain and suffering. Though on the surface, like Christianity, it wants to solve the problem of suffering, their way is opposed to Christianity.

(Shawn Suttle) #3

Thanks! I will try to dig deeper.

(SeanO) #4

@ssuttle1 @omnarchy did a great job of explaining how to dig deeper into the meaning of the person’s statement.

I think the only thing I would add is that if you have an opportunity to ask “Where do you go to Church?” or to invite this man to a cookout or something with your Church I think it would be good for him. Sometimes I think when people’s minds are confused there is a power in being surrounded by a community rooted in truth. I think it can give the Spirit space to work and provide the reinforcement they need to go through the process of changing what may be deeply rooted beliefs.