Is it enough - to be good?


#1

**Someone of this Forum send me this note:

There is a monk somewhere in the Far East praying, perhaps fasting. Alone with God in silence he feeds the poor, helps the sick subjecting himself to disease yet completely selfless. He has abandoned the pleasures of the world for the love and care of his fellow Brothers and Sisters. He, for whatever reason has never heard of the Christ. THIS MAN KNOWS GOD!

Yes, of course this is so, that this man lives in Gods commands which God had given us to our very own benefit.

But we can not say, „THIS MAN KNOWS GOD!“ for nobody „knows God“ when he doesn’t know Gods revelation through Jesus Christ.
It was at first God Himself who made Himself known (to Abraham and others). 2,000 years later, Jesus told us as much as we could stand about God.

The mentioned “monk somewhere in the Far East” doesn’t know God at all, even though he is a good human and he lives in God’s word without knowing.

What is very hard to understand is; that even very wise men of other religions, like the Dalai Lama, do not believe in God, even though they surely red at least parts of the New Testament and know about the passion on Christ.

Every intelligent person, who knows about the person of Jesus Christ, must stumble by the thought: Why did this man, who was the wisest of all times, and with his sapience easily could have conquered and ruled the world; why did this Jesus of Nazareth then, who told us nothing else but everlasting words of love and God, that where so great, that no book in the world is printed even one millionth of the amount of the bible is printed, let himself be condemned to death on the cross. We know why; they read why – but disallow believe to get into them.

Let’s get back to this monk mentioned above:
We might be good. Even ever so good. Full of love and understanding. But we don’t know God, if we either never heard of God, or what’s really perditionable after all what Jesus Christ did or us; deny believe!

It is not enough to be good. If is was, Jesus, God wouldn’t have bothered to “establish” the salvation and passion of Christ!
To ignore both, means to contempt God deliberately.

**


#2

The total lack of self, of ego, in some eastern religions seems to serve an ego of a type, since they strive for reduction of self. The ultimate goal is denial of self, which is also taught by Christ as the way to follow Him. So, they do everything but follow Christ. This reminds me of a satire article in “The Onion” about two Buddhist monks in a furious dispute over which of them was “most serene”.

And, their suffering has no purpose, other than to the self, so its value is lost, except for self-gratification (or its opposite). How much better to have a positive purpose, as in seeking God’s Kingdom, by denial of self.

They suppress the joy of life in the act of suppressing their desires and expectations. Christians exalt in joy at acts which deny the self for the good of God’s Kingdom. Big difference.


#3

That is an interesting analogy of the Eastern Monk who does not beleive in God. I suppose the same holds true for the Hindus?

The participants of this thread obviously do not believe that the Kingdom of God is within you, attainable through an interior life.

How then do you explain our great Saints such as Saint John of The Cross, Saint Francis or the Desert Fathers who along with many other led a truly monastic life?

Christ is within you. The Living Waters spoken of in John are within you. The same who proclaimed He was not of this World is within you, The real peace of Christ is to rid the mind of the ego which ignites all sin, and then and only then will Christ reveal his true self.


#4

Yes, but Buddhism attempts to achieve that totally within the self - salvation both in this world and that beyond by the power of the self. Or, perhaps, some greater unknown power similar to God, but remaining outside of God. The point is that God revealed His mercy and goodness to the world for those who do not turn away from him. It seems that Buddhism is religious life without religion. But, what is its hope? What are its promises and who has revealed them?


#5

I am not here advocating the Teachings of The Buddha although I have read his teachings and find an uncanny likeness to that of The Christ .However, this is a Catholic Forum and I intend to respect the nature of its theology.
There is only one Truth. Jesus told Pilate He was The Truth, hence truth is the essence of the Son of God who along with the Paraclete , advocating The One True God of all mankind.

Jesus tells us whatever kindness you do for your brother you do for me, there by doing the kindness, or act of charity you do for The Almighty Himself as they are one in the same.

I now ask you, is it any less Christian if an individual who has never heard the words of Christ yet sacrifices his life for the welfare of the unfortunate? Did he not fufill the desires of Christ?
Does Jesus acknowledge his action? Again, there is only One Truth! It is Universal! He has done his good acts for Christ without
even knowing Him on an intellectual level. Christ does not have an ego, His teachings convey the love of your fellow man. When you love and care for your fellow man you abide in the One Absolute Truth which is Christ Himself.


#6

According to the Catholic Church’s teaching, as I have understood it, a person who knows about Christ and rejects Him is not saved because they willfully reject the truth about God. It doesn’t matter how good you are.

On the other hand, if a person does not know about Jesus Christ or has never heard the Gospel, he may still be saved by following his conscience - as in the case of the Buddhist monk. If he attempts to follow the natural law as implanted in his heart by God, he can be saved thus. Admittedly, it is much more difficult because one would not have all the graces that come from walking with Christ, but the Church says that it can be done. A person in this case *would *have been baptized if he had only known about the gospel.

See The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1260


#7

You are a very open minded person and I commend you, especially on the notion that God shines on the Buddhist.

If God shines on the Buddhist then surely Christ and the Holy Spirit also shine on him for they are, according to our faith One.

When you speak of Heart… as you illustrated …what do you consider the Heart, and where do you think it abides in you.


#8

There is a monk somewhere in the Far East praying, perhaps fasting. Alone with God in silence he feeds the poor, helps the sick subjecting himself to disease yet completely selfless. He has abandoned the pleasures of the world for the love and care of his fellow Brothers and Sisters. He, for whatever reason has never heard of the Christ. THIS MAN KNOWS GOD!

Reading this again, I say that the man knows how to act as God intends, but does not know God. Where is his joy in living? His desire to “fight the good fight”? Where is the passion that drives him on? The greater vision? His evangelism? I don’t see it - just the actions.


#9

Hello po18guy

Can you not see the mans joy in living is in the complete service towards others? His fighting the good fight and evangelism is in his works. Selflessness is love. Is not portraying love evangelism?
Did not Christ himself ask us to give without boasting or making a spectacle of oneself?

His passion is the act of doing without expecting anything in return. This comes from a source not of the tangible world, but rather a deep seeded interior life, putting all personal desires aside for the welfare of his fellow man and doing it with abundant joy.

The example Jesus made at the Temple when alms were being given. Out of all the people he cites to the Apostles the elderly woman who had the least and gave it all. She did not know Christ.
Though The Christ, the I AM, was in her enabling her to make a complete sacrifice.


#10

Smiled when I saw the title of this thread. Jesus is addressed by the young man as “Good Master” and Jesus answers “why do you call Me good, for only God is Good” - if only we could realize the truth in that statement and that we are all out dangling on a limb and desperately in need of God’s Mercy to save us. Amen.


#11

But Buddhism empties the self of all desires and expectations, so that no disappointment is experienced in this life. There is no joy in that. A form of peace, maybe, but not joy. It is the reduction of life, whereas Jesus came that we might have life, and life in abundance. Anyway, Buddha died and neither rose again, nor taught that he was the resurrection.

How does the self-immolation of Buddhists point to joy? And, why fire? Why not jump in a river or off a cliff?


#12

**

Precisely! Pope J.P.2 even said, Buddhism is a kind of atheism, as it is a “Religion without God”= Atheism!

[quote=jon27] participants of this thread obviously do not believe that the Kingdom of God is within you, attainable through an interior life
[/quote]

You yourself say; “attainable”. Yes, COULD be attainable - but not in this case. St. Paul reminded us in 1Cor 3:16, that Gods Kingdom is within us and God lives in us – and this we will attain by living in Jesus word; never though simply by being good, but defeating Jesus Christ. God is not attainable plainly by interior life (which as po18guy points rightly out; is merely self-referred).

If it would be so; all Buddhists, Hindus or religious of any substitute religion, would eventually believe in God. If one doesn’t believe in the one and only true God, God doesn’t live in him, and that’s all there’s to it.
The word “God lives in you” is relevant to those who believe in God and live in God.

Let’s never forget the Word of Jesus Christ:
of Mt 10:33: “WHOEVER DISOWNS ME BEFORE MEN, I WILL DISOWN HIM BEFORE MY FATHER IN HEAVEN”.
So – how could God live in the person who denies the one and only Divine Trinity?!

Let’s for better understanding secularize this:
Surely you know one or two persons who are ever so good; but you simply can’t stand this person. He’s simply not on the same page.

Well… here we are.
Who’s “not on the same page” not in Jesus word, “doesn’t talk the same language”, is not in God and God not in him; that’s flat.
**


#13

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.
St. John of the Cross, Dichos

]
As Christians we’ll be held to a higher accountability due to the knowledge of God we’ve been given, but Gods’ standard for judging is how well we’ve loved and whether or not I’ve received that knowledge of Him, I’d much rather stand before Him knowing that, in life, I’ve loved well.


#14

Bruno Schulz,

God speaks to this monk, so who are you to say he doesn’t?

God reveals Himself to people, according to where they are able to hear Him.

Not knowing Jesus, doesn’t mean He doesn’t know God, because Jesus is God.

He merely Knows Jesus in the way God has revealed Himself to him.

This monk(if he is real), will enter the kingdom of heaven, before many Catholics, I’m sure of it.

Jim


#15

Why aren’t you Buddhist, then? I’s a much simpler life and apparently, you get to Heaven in the end. I think I’ll convert and go hang out with Richard Gere! Not.

Seriously, you are Christian for a reason. You could have chosen any other faith, or none at all. You chose Christianity to the exclusion of all others. Why? Your answer of many paths hints at relativism - the poison of our age. The monk knows God’s goodness, but has no desire for God Himself. Since Christ is God, to reject part of God is to reject all of him. Just one man’s opinion.


#16

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Hi Jim…
po18guy told you same as I would have said (If I’d speak better English)
Why on earth do you come to think, God would speak to a Buddhist monk who doesn’t believe in God, as long as this man denies God???
What a very peculiar way of thinking
Do you think God begs this guy “please do believe in me” ???


#17

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also. 1John 4: 20-21

We show our love for God mainly in how we treat each other. If we don’t have perfect knowledge of God but treat each other with love, we’ve demonstrated our love for Him. But the superior way is to have both full knowledge and love for Him, of course.


#18

po18guy;

Why aren’t you Buddhist, then?

Because God revealed Himself to me in Jesus Christ.

I’s a much simpler life and apparently, you get to Heaven in the end. I think I’ll convert and go hang out with Richard Gere! Not.

Buddhism, isn’t as easy as you think. Contemplative prayer requires devotion, whether its in Buddhism, or Christianity.

Seriously, you are Christian for a reason.

I’m a Christian through the gift of faith, given to me. This doesn’t mean the monk in the OP’s story, has no faith in God, only that he had no knowledge of Jesus Christ.

You could have chosen any other faith, or none at all

.

I could’ve chose any religion, but faith comes from one source, God.

You chose Christianity to the exclusion of all others. Why?

I opened myself to Christ, who gave me faith.

Your answer of many paths hints at relativism - the poison of our age.

I think you misunderstood my answer.

The monk knows God’s goodness, but has no desire for God Himself. Since Christ is God, to reject part of God is to reject all of him. Just one man’s opinion

Unless I read the story wrong, he didn’t reject Christ, because he was never told about Him. However, even then, just telling another person about Christ, doesn’t mean they will receive faith in Him. Only Jesus, can give faith. Our task is the help others be open to that gift. Not condemning them, the the level of faith God has already given them.

Jim


#19

**

Though this of course is true, it’s not the actual question. The biblical issue here is:

“Is it enough to be good, when you on the one hand know about God and Jesus (as all educated in the world do from reading or hearing) but on the other hand consider all this as highly doubtful or even false and a fake. (as of course highly educated theologicans of other religions do - I mentioned Dalai Lama for one, meaning any educated).

How then, if anyone thinks Jesus word and Jesus salvation act is of no relevance, how could he be saved?

This is a highly relevant question to exceedingly many Christians among us, who’s worldly wisdom tells them (as they keep hearing even out of this forum):

“Even if I don’t care about all that “biblical stuff” and don’t bother – in other words don’t know – but at the same time don’t do wrong, I’ll be saved and in heaven (if there is one at all)”.

This thought is highly blasphemous, profanity and libelling God in a way, that no thinking person should ever even think of being saved all the same.
Would you lovingly invite a person to your house who says you are a liar and speak a lot of mindless drivel? Surely not.

**


#20

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Here is a youtube video relaying the message of the Zeitun, Egypt Marian apparitions that may perhaps have great relevance for this thread: youtube.com/watch?v=S_X8l9OcEDI&mode=related&search=

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


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