The following is a list of questions asked of me considering my interest in Buddhism and practice thereof.
Q1. Did this Buddha fella ever have a real job, or career, or did he just ride blissfully on inherited wealth?
Answer: He was born as the prince of a small “tribe” in what is now modern-day Nepal. He was wealthy by the standards of his day. He left his home at 29 years old because of experiences that led him to seek after an end to the cycle of birth and death.
Q2. Did this buddha ever claim divine authority to teach, or was he just a really neat homeless fella?
Answer: He claimed he attained enlightenment by direct, determined will to do so. He did not seek or obtain “divine authority”. Coming from a Hindu background - he sought to change his own circumstances and obtain his own freedom from death instead of relying on a god that he could not directly experience.
Q3. If some things are too strict, are they objectively too strict for all humans or just certain humans? Same with loose?
Answer: Let me give you an example: a man who followed the Buddha named “Sona” came to Buddha and claimed he had tried very hard to reach enlightenment and meditate well, but was becoming frustrated with his results. Buddha asked Sona about his previous experiences playing a musical instrument. He asked him if his strings were too tight on his instrument did it give a good sound - Sona replied no. And so he asked him if the strings were too loose,would they give a good sound then? Sona replied no. So, as the Buddha explained, it is not by being too tight or too loose that one achieves his goals.
Q4. Did buddha rise from the dead?
Answer: In the sense you are speaking of - no. He was not divine.
Q5. Did all those Apostles and others lie about Christ rising from the dead?
Answer: I don’t believe they lied. I believe Christ rose from the dead. Since the Buddha was alive 500± years before Christ he knew nothing of Him but I’m sure he would have like Him.
Q6. If so, how do you know this with certainty?
Answer: See above answer.
I am a life-long Baptist who attends Sunday worship and who reads Buddhist teachings and meditate regularly.
I find no dichotomy in this practice. I find that the Buddha’s teachings are beneficial and can lead to the end of suffering - to the endless cycle of birth and death. Of course to most Catholics and devout protestants this approach to life is absurd. It is contradictory.
So, the questions are:
Can we learn anything from Buddhism and its founder, Siddhartha Guatama (the Buddha - “enlightened one”) and apply it to our lives today as Christians or is it complete nonsense that isn’t even worth a second look? I will post a second time and give parallel beliefs of both Buddhism and Christianity that most if not all of us could agree on.