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Buddhism: Find True Enlightenment in God

John 8:12

Then Jesus said, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Buddhism and Christianity are two of the world's major religions, each with its unique teachings, practices, and beliefs. While both religions promote peace, love, and compassion, a careful analysis reveals significant contradictions between Buddhism and the teachings of the Bible.


The first and perhaps most significant contradiction lies in the understanding of God. The Bible affirms the existence of a personal, transcendent, and holy God. According to the teachings preserved in the Holy Bible, God is the creator of the universe, the source of all life, and the ultimate authority over all things (Genesis 1:1). He is a personal God who seeks a relationship with His creation and has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:14).


Conversely, Buddhism does not acknowledge a personal creator God. Instead, it posits a worldview that is essentially agnostic. Though there might be a God (who in their texts, or Suttas, is named Brahma), Buddhism is more focused on the teachings and practices of the Buddha, who is not considered a god but an enlightened being, which he blasphemously described as being above God. The goal of Buddhism is not to know and serve God, but to achieve enlightenment, or Nirvana, through the cessation of desire and the practice of moral and ethical principles.


Another major contradiction between Buddhism and the Bible is their understanding of the human condition and the solution to human suffering. The Bible teaches that humanity is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but is fallen and sinful, separated from God because of disobedience (Romans 3:23). The solution to this problem, according to the Bible, is faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again to reconcile us with God (Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).


In contrast, Buddhism teaches the concept of Anatta, or 'no-self'. According to this doctrine, there is no permanent, unchanging self or soul. Instead, beings comprise five aggregates, or 'khandhas' that are constantly changing. Human suffering, according to Buddhism, arises from attachment and desire, and the solution is the Eightfold Path, salvation through one’s own works and good deeds.

Many of these works are part of austere measures like intense fasting and abstaining from many things which others would consider to reduce suffering, such as meat, wine, marital intercourse and pest control. Christians see these as gifts from God that have been given to us to enjoy and recieve with gratitude, each day is a blessing and the suffering is but for a season before eternal paradise.


Buddhism and Christianity have divergent views on the afterlife. The Bible teaches that there is eternal life after death, with believers in Jesus Christ promised eternal life with God in heaven, and unbelievers facing eternal separation from God in hell (John 3:16, Revelation 21:8).


Buddhism espouses the doctrine of Samsara, or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The goal is not eternal life in the presence of a personal God, but the cessation of this cycle and the achievement of Nirvana, a state of extinguishing desire and suffering. In a Christian sense, this extinguishing and end of rebirth and life is eternal death, which some call hell, or Hades: the grave.


Last, Buddhism and the Bible differ in their moral teachings. While both promote love, compassion, and ethical living (arguably, with much of the Buddha’s doctrine being a counterfeit of the Old Testament laws), the Bible's moral teachings are grounded in the character of a holy and loving God. The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) provide a moral framework rooted in God's nature and His desire for human flourishing based on loving grace and on universal justice: for a man reaps what he sows.


In contrast, Buddhism's moral teachings are part of the Eightfold Path and are aimed at overcoming suffering and achieving enlightenment. They are not grounded in a personal God or His revealed will, but in the teachings of the Buddha and the goal of Nirvana. Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha and monastics are often seen bowing, making offerings of incense, and praying to idols of the Buddha which God defines as worship and is prohibited in Christianity. Ultimately the Buddha is dead, and at the day of judgement faces eternal damnation whether or not he desires it.


In conclusion, while Buddhism and Christianity share some similarities in promoting peace, love, and compassion, they fundamentally contradict each other in their understanding of God, the human condition, the solution to human suffering, the afterlife, and morality. As Christians, we must affirm the unique teachings of the Bible about a personal, loving God, the fallenness and redemption of humanity through Jesus Christ, the promise of eternal life, and a moral framework grounded in God's character. We should encourage Buddhists to love God and His only begotten Son Jesus as the first great commandment.

Jeremiah 29:13

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


Heavenly Father, we approach Your throne of grace and mercy today with hearts full of gratitude and hands lifted in surrender. We acknowledge You as the one true God, the Creator of all things, seen and unseen. Your love is unfathomable, Your mercy is unending, and Your grace is sufficient for us.

Lord, today we lift our Buddhist friends to You. We acknowledge the sincerity of their search for truth, their dedication to a life of discipline, and their desire to live in peace and harmony. Yet, Father, we also recognise the fundamental differences between their beliefs and the truth You have revealed to us through Your Word, the Bible.

We pray, oh Lord, for a divine opening of their hearts and minds. May the Holy Spirit move powerfully among them, revealing the truth of Your love and the saving power of Jesus Christ. Just as You opened our eyes to see Your glory and our hearts to receive Your love, we pray for the same transformative experience for them.

Jesus, You said in Your Word that You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father except through You. We pray, Lord, that our Buddhist friends will come to know You, not just as a historical figure, but as the living, risen Saviour who offers eternal life to all who believe.

We pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with them, not in a spirit of judgment or superiority, but with love, respect, and humility. May our lives reflect Your love and grace, drawing them towards You.

Father, we pray against any spiritual blindness or barriers that may prevent them from receiving Your truth. Break down these walls, oh Lord, and let Your light shine into their hearts. May they come to understand their need for a Saviour and recognise that You, Jesus, have paid the price for their sins.

We pray for their liberation from the cycle of Samsara, as they come to understand the promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. May they experience the joy of salvation and the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Last, Lord, we pray for ourselves. Give us the wisdom to understand their beliefs and the sensitivity to respect their traditions. Help us to engage in meaningful conversations that point them towards You. May we be instruments of Your peace and ambassadors of Your love.

We trust in Your sovereignty, Lord. We know that You desire all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We believe nothing is too hard for You, and we have faith that You can draw even those who seem farthest from You.

We surrender all these to You, trusting in Your perfect will and timing. We pray all these in the mighty name of Jesus, our Saviour and Redeemer. Amen.