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Understanding comparative religion from a Christian point of view: If true knowledge and understanding are enhanced by reviewing significant truths from other religions, can our Christian faith be harmed? Won’t we only gain by exposure to other world religions and philosophical views? Here we have a quick look at Buddhist truths from southeast Asia, and provide a few resources (links).
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The Ten Commandments of Buddhism
a look at the core of Buddhist belief
and religious practice
The Daily Walk with Miracles, Updated August311, 2017, by Paul Evans. Here I am resolved to teach people truth, peace and understanding. Featured photo image from Buddhist thought that the mind is all and everything, spiritually that thoughts become things, is from Volker Ballueder.
I ask you, if you are afraid to be exposed to simple basic truths from other religions besides Christianity, how strong can your faith be? While my own faith is strongly Christian, and also spiritual and charismatic, my own ethics are strongly inspired by the Buddhist truths we give here.
For 24 years I was a Unitarian-Universalist (www.uua.org) and studied religious truths and teachings from around the world and throughout history. There is a misconception that this church is led by witches or teaches witchcraft. From my experience, though it may vary from church to church, this is simply not so, though there is no kind of doctrinal faith test to become a “U-U”. In my own church, we studied all religious faiths, especially in terms of spirituality. In the choir, to which I belonged for 16 years, we sang mostly Christian hymns and spirituals, as well as some of the more classical themes. These religious faiths and the sermons and teachings from them often included Buddhist ideas.
In 2009 I became a member of Trinity United Church of Christ and in the last year I have often attended the little Disciples of Christ church, the Overton Community Church. I have also attended other denominations in the Wooster, Ohio area, and I took home with me good ideas and truths from every church I attended. Without a car, it is useful to me to attend my little local Overton church, and I am very happy there, and am certain to gain understanding every Sunday that I attend. I do understand that attending a good church is a good way to worship God, as is reading His Word, but do remember that Jesus taught for us to “pray in a closet, for those who pray in public have their reward already.” Still, you learn things in church, and make friends and I believe that God is happy to see us there. I believe that DOCTRINE is what divides Christianity and Christians, and that, mainly, we should try to live as Jesus taught.
God Bless all you fine people in all the Wooster denominations I have ever attended! Here let’s look at some Buddhist truths I want to call to everyone’s attention: what Buddhists believe. Let’s look at the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism from the Buddhist Centre first, which they state encompass the very heart of their religious tradition. See the Wikipedia article on the Four Noble Truths, or the article about this at Buddhist Studies. Keep in mind that the Buddha made these teachings somewhere around 500 B.C. It’s enough to make one strongly consider reincarnation or the concept of Bodhisattva’s, who whom the Buddhists consider Jesus to be one. Certainly one can see that Christianity and Buddhism have a lot in common:
The Four Noble Truths
The Four Aryan (or Noble) Truths are perhaps the most basic formulation of the Buddha’s teaching. (They are expressed as follows by the Buddhist Centre, under three points of argument or claims, which I find to be very true):
1. All existence is dukkha. The word dukkha has been variously translated as ‘suffering’, ‘anguish’, ‘pain’, or ‘unsatisfactoriness’. The Buddha’s insight was that our lives are a struggle, and we do not find ultimate happiness or satisfaction in anything we experience. This is the problem of existence.
2. The cause of dukkha is craving. The natural human tendency is to blame our difficulties on things outside ourselves. But the Buddha says that their actual root is to be found in the mind itself. In particular our tendency to grasp at things (or alternatively to push them away) places us fundamentally at odds with the way life really is.
3. The cessation of dukkha comes with the cessation of craving. As we are the ultimate cause of our difficulties, we are also the solution. We cannot change the things that happen to us, but we can change our responses.
See the article Basics of Buddhism on Iowa PBS.
The Ten Commandments
1. Kill not, but have regard for Life.
2. Steal not, and do not rob; but help everybody to be master of the fruits of his labor.
3. Abstain from impurity, & lead a life of chastity (The New Testament counsels us that otherwise, we should get married, and that we are all sinners before God, who is “no respecter of persons.” As ye sew, so shall ye reap.
4. Lie not, but be truthful. Speak the truth with discretion, fearlessly and in a loving heart.
5. Invent not evil reports, and do not repeat them. Carp not, but look for the good sides of your fellow-beings, so that you may with sincerity defend them against their enemies.
6. Swear not, but speak decently and with dignity.
7. Waste not the time with gossip, but speak to the purpose or keep silence.
8. Covet not, nor envy, but rejoice at the fortune of other people.
9. Cleanse your heart of malice and cherish no hatred, not even against your enemies; but embrace all living beings with kindness.
10. Free your mind of ignorance and be anxious to learn the truth, lest you fall a prey either to skepticism or to errors. Skepticism will make you indifferent and errors will lead you astray, so that you shall not find the noble path that leads to life eternal.
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