What do you guys think of the Far Eastern religions?


#1

Such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and their sects? I think they are great religions that promote peace and love. Their concepts of humanity, the afterlife and cultural customs are all very interesting. In fact, some of their teachings I like more than the contemporary Christian teachings.


#2

Well, what we “like” or “don’t like” and what “interests us” are not important. What’s important is the truth. I got fed up with Buddhism after a while because it left way too many questions unanswered.


#3

Hello, Greek,

Would you please give me some examples of:

“In fact, some of their teachings I like more than the contemporary Christian teachings.” quote Greek

It’s hard for me to address your question without examples of
which teachings you’re referring to.

Best,
reen12


#4

I think they’re Far Out, man! BTW, what is the sound of one hand clapping?

Peace.


#5

You don’t think ideal and beliefs are important?


#6

[quote=reen12]Hello, Greek,

Would you please give me some examples of:

“In fact, some of their teachings I like more than the contemporary Christian teachings.” quote Greek

It’s hard for me to address your question without examples of
which teachings you’re referring to.

Best,
reen12
[/quote]

The mercifulness of Buddhism is taken to higher level than Christianity. In Christianity, it’s “Worship Christ or rot in Hell!” According to Buddhism, committing worngs will make you reincarnated into a lesser being but not necessarily tortured for eternity, which is how missionaries scare nonChristians into converting. Also, Christianity has a much more violent past with the Inquisitions and Crusades (I despise the Crusades for the sacking of Constantinople) than Buddhism.


#7

[quote=Greek]Such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and their sects? I think they are great religions that promote peace and love. Their concepts of humanity, the afterlife and cultural customs are all very interesting. In fact, some of their teachings I like more than the contemporary Christian teachings.
[/quote]

Hello Greek and welcome!

There is a great site which may catch your interest called “The Watchful Gate.”

strannik.com/watchful_gate/index2.html

One article in particular is fascinating…

Through The Eastern Gate - From Tibetan Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity
by Nilus Stryker
strannik.com/watchful_gate/Through_the_Eastern_Gate.html

and
Himalayan Ascent to Christ - Ryassophore Monk Adrian
philthompson.net/pages/becoming/himalaya.html


#8

They have ideas that are good like the way they think we should live and the way we treat others. But, I don’t think there dictrines are very good.


#9

Thanks for asking what we think!

Hinduism…well…Hinduism has more gods than the Chruch has saints. And as far as reaching Heaven…well, the saints are much better role models as to how we should live, besides being examples of following absolute truth, which Hinduism denies.

Buddhism…well, that religion was founded by a man who never claimed to be a diety but was made one after death. He’s probably rolling in his grave or his version of nirvana…whatever that is. But then again, if he achieved nirvana then he has ceased to exist. Buddhism at it’s very heart denies the existance of God and leads the followers in ever-increasing circles which lead only to despair and the desire to cease to exist in any form. It is a path that leads only to more questions, but never to any real answers and a path devoid of God. It is a “religion” instituted as a refute to the reality of humanity, catering to what we think we want.

As Hinduism and other versions of Eastern religions go, Buddhism is a false religion.

We cannot of course condemn the followers of these religions as many have never had any exposure to Jesus Christ or any understanding of how he saves us, so we leave their souls to God. The Church teaches that those who follow the teachings of Jesus without really knowing him can be saved…and this is possible through many religions. In the end, it is the grace of Jesus that saves souls. I will try to look up the section in the catechism that defines this better than I do.

Regarding the Inquisition, please keep in mind that common mythology is a lie, and we all learned versions of the same lie in schoo. The reality is that the Church actually saved souls from the state which tried to use the authority of the church to its’ own ends. But that plan backfired and the Church intervened and obtained mercy for those who would otherwise have been condemned. Additionally, torture devices such as the iron maiden have been proven to be mythological ideas only and never used for any of those condemned by the court of the government.

Regarding the Crusades…well, yes, I support them. Maybe not all, but then again, I am still studying this. But I do support defending our territory and therefore souls already saved by Christ against those who would convert them to a religion which contradicts the divinity of Christ yet still claims to worship the same God.

I’m sorry you have such a poor understanding of Christianity. I will pray that your heart and soul be opened to the grace of our Lord Jesus. God bless you and may the peace of Christ surround you.


#10

[quote=JCPhoenix]Regarding the Inquisition, please keep in mind that common mythology is a lie, and we all learned versions of the same lie in schoo. The reality is that the Church actually saved souls from the state which tried to use the authority of the church to its’ own ends. But that plan backfired and the Church intervened and obtained mercy for those who would otherwise have been condemned
[/quote]

Although it is sad to relate, the Roman Catholic Church advocated and organised the execution of heretics. In some places where the Catholic monarchs were reluctant to introduce the Inquisition and its cruelty, the Pope threatened that he would 1) dethrone them and place a new king on their throne or 2) place the entire kingdom under an Interdict -this meant that no services could be held, no Masses, no baptisms and worst of all, no funerals, people had to be buried by their family members without a priest and outside the church cemetery.

The principles on which the Inquistion operated are enunciated by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica. Aquinas advocates death for heretics.

For example he writes:

"With regard to heretics there are two points to be observed, one on their side, the other on the side of the Church. As for heretics their sin deserves banishment, not only from the Church by excommunication, but also from this world by death. To corrupt the faith, whereby the soul lives, is much graver than to counterfeit money, which supports temporal life. Since forgers and other malefactors are summarily condemned to death by the civil authorities, with much more reason may heretics as soon as they are convicted of heresy be not only excommunicated, but also justly be put to death.

"But on the side of the Church is mercy which seeks the conversion of the wanderer, and She condemns him not at once, but after the first and second admonition, as the Apostle directs. Afterwards, however, if he is still stubborn, the Church takes care of the salvation of others by separating him from the Church through excommunication, and delivers him to the secular
court to be removed from this world by death.
Aquinas.: SMT SS Q[11] A[3] Body Para. 1/2 and 2/2
The text for the above is in the Catholic Encyclopedia
newadvent.org/summa/301100.htm


#11

[quote=JCPhoenix]Regarding the Crusades…well, yes, I support them.
[/quote]

The Crusades were intended to deliver the Holy Land from the hands of the non-Christians. I often wonder why the Pope has not launched a new Crusade to deliver the Holy Land again from the hands of the Jews? They cause a lot of grief and harrassment to the Christian Church. Lately they have been refusing to renew the visas of Catholic priests who have been living in the Holy Land for many years. There have been a lot of protests by the Catholic authorities about this and about other Israeli abuses against the Chruch? Should we have a new Crusade? Is the time right for it? Would young Catholic men and women be prepared to make war on Israel if the Pope gave his blessing?
:confused:


#12

[quote=Greek]Such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and their sects? I think they are great religions that promote peace and love. Their concepts of humanity, the afterlife and cultural customs are all very interesting. In fact, some of their teachings I like more than the contemporary Christian teachings.
[/quote]

They are false religions. Hinduism is just flat out wierd and filled with false gods. Buddhism is godless and its aim is to become indifferent to the world. Adhering to these religions increases your odds of eternal damnation. Other than that, they’re great.


#13

Hello, Greek,

Thank you for your detailed answer to my question.
I appreciate it.

I would start by saying that I’ve spent more than 25
years reading Eastern philosophy, so I don’t
respond to your questions with a substantial lack of
knowledge* re* Buddhism, at least.

And I start my responses with a deep respect for
the compassion for all creatures espoused by
Siddhartha Gautama, the buddha = “the enlightened
one.”

Siddhartha Guatama had no way of knowing about
the monotheistic religion of Judaism. He taught
from the perspective of what he could know without
what the West would call “revelation.” [that is,
God intervening in history and “revealing” both
His existence and the basis of His relation with human beings,
on His terms.]

Since Siddhartha Gautama had no access to
monotheism, what he taught was quite lucid,
from the perspective of a man who had no knowlege
of God. What the man taught made sense to many
in his time and those following.

If you put aside obnoxious human behavior for a moment, I
think the first question to ask is: Do I believe in
the God acknowledged by both Jews and Christians?
If the answer is No, then there’s no difficulty.
Buddism is one man’s attempt to make sense of
why are we here, where are we going, what is the
meaning of suffering, what do we look to to determine
what is the right mode of conduct [the Eightfold Path.]

The difficulty I find with Gautama’s answers, is that
the “practice” that he calls for doesn’t really "work"
for the family man, the busy housewife, the men
and women who are dealing with the loss of their
parents, and so on. It is a* lovely* theory. If I were
an atheist, I’d gravitate to Buddhism in an augenblick.

To me, Buddhism is a cold philosophy. It brings
neither warmth nor cheer as the aging process goes
forward, as life has the chance to knock the stuffing
out of me. As limitation, illness, pain increase.
Buddhism looked far more attractive to me at 32
than it does almost 3 decades later.

As to eternal hell, well…I expect a lot more mercy
from Him than than, Greek. Those who use hellfire
to scare people into “fatih” are just…people who
use hellfire to scare people into “faith.” They operate
with the light they have. I don’t justify what they do,
I just try to understand it.

I guess in terms of the Crusades, it might be wise
to separate the motives of those who fought, with
the scurrilous behavior of *some *who fought- whose
actions were witnessed by God. Let Him see and
judge their behavior, OK?

Maybe it would be useful to pass along the
following, and contrast it with the Eightfold Path:
“Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with
your God.”

As I said to a friend, years ago: By definition,
God demands and deserves love, worship,
obedience. A being who is not God, would
not be worthy of such behavior on our parts.
Does that make sense to you?

reen12

It’s true, I think, that "The fear of God is the
beginning of Wisdom."
But, remember, it is only a beginning. It goes
on to love, gratitude, worship and acts of compassion
for our fellow human beings.


#14

Relayed from: strannik@strannik.com

I am one of at least 8 people that I know who have become Orthodox Christians after having been Tibetan (usually Nyingmapa) or Zen Buddhists. There is a good possibility that there will soon be a book with the stories of such people, and how their conversion took place. I can offer you a few sample perceptions that I have developed on the way as to why Orthodox Christianity makes sense to Buddhists:

• Buddhism has always been primarily monastic and ascetic in nature, with an emphasis on spiritual practice and development more than just mental assent to a list of truths. There is an organic unity between understanding of precepts and the quality of practice in Buddhism that serves well when learning about Orthodoxy.

• Buddhism has always had some form of ‘iconography’.

• Buddhists venerate the lives of ascetics, relics and ‘saints’.

• Buddhists (at least the Tibetans) have highly complex and developed forms of liturgical practice, including chanting, incense, etc. (e.g. they aren’t intimidated by the typicon :-))

• Buddhists understand that it is wise not to live for the present life, but to struggle for the future one.

• Buddhists understand the value of dispassion and mental stillness.

• Americans who become Buddhists usually are fervent spiritual seekers, who get used to struggling with foreign languages and cultures, and pushing themselves outside of their ‘comfort zone’ in order to imbibe a deeper spiritual life.

• Buddhists are already used to the idea that fervently seeking spiritual growth will cause pain in the legs :slight_smile: :-).

Now as to why someone moves from Buddhism to Orthodoxy - everyone’s story is different - some are miraculous - some are frightening - some are fairly ordinary. But a common denominator seems to be that; if a person has even the smallest history of knowledge of Christ before becoming a Buddhist, then even the smallest of such impressions, even from early childhood, will cause a Buddhist to reach a point beyond which they cannot grow as a Buddhist. There are Buddhist practices that serve to ‘open the heart’. Such a practice will often not work for one whose heart has been visited even briefly by Christ - their heart will open only for Him. More than one Buddhist has caught himself chanting a mantra that he or she had previously chanted over 100,000 times, that somehow, one day turns into ‘Lord have mercy’. And He does have mercy!

Fr Seraphim Rose, also a convert from Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity, said of Buddhism, ‘It’s fine as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough’.

http://www.iconostasis.nm.ru/mini/christos.jpg


#15

P.S… That post about the Pope getting together a new Crusade to free the Holy Land from the non-Christians WAS a joke :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=Fr Ambrose]P.S… That post about the Pope getting together a new Crusade to free the Holy Land from the non-Christians WAS a joke :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I realize it was a joke but would you agree that it was to stop the further progress of Islam destroying Christian civilization, however poorly done?


#17

• Buddhism has always been primarily monastic and ascetic in nature, with an emphasis on spiritual practice and development more than just mental assent to a list of truths. There is an organic unity between understanding of precepts and the quality of practice in Buddhism that serves well when learning about Orthodoxy.

The spiritual labour to assimilate the truth and not just to give it some sort of mental assent is strongly emphasised in the Orthodox East and especially in the monastic life. This is a common feature with Buddhism.

"The eastern tradition has never made a sharp distinction between mysticism and theology; between personal experience of the divine mysteries and the dogma affirmed by the Church. The following words spoken a century ago by a great Orthodox theologian, the Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, express this attitude perfectly:

"None of the mysteries of the most secret wisdom of God ought to appear alien or altogether transcendent to us, but in all humility we must apply our spirit to the contemplation of divine things.

To put it in another way, we must live the dogma expressing a revealed truth, which appears to us as an unfathomable mystery, in such a fashion that instead of assimilating the mystery to our mode of understanding, we should, on the contrary, look for a profound change, an inner transformation of spirit, enabling us to experience it mystically."
http://www.iconostasis.nm.ru/mini/christos.jpg


#18

Dear Father Ambrose,

How interesting that you embraced Orthodoxy after
having been a Buddhist.

I’ve always thought how wonderful it would be if many
in the East who practice Buddhism would come to the knowledge
of God. Their sense of reverence, ceremony, ritual
would probably end up putting many in the West to shame!

I appreciated particularly:

“Buddhism has always been primarily monastic and ascetic in nature…” quote, Fr. Ambrose

That’s why I said:

"The difficulty I find with Gautama’s answers, is that
the “practice” that he calls for doesn’t really “work"
for the family man, the busy housewife, the men
and women who are dealing with the loss of their
parents, and so on.” quote, reen12

I find the idea of reincarnation distasteful, because
here are working men and women raising families,
who are then burdened by the lack of time to
"reach nirvana" and therefore face another round as
of some kind of lifeform. How very dismal.

As is, by the way, the idea of extincition versus
the fullness of life offered by both Judaism and
Christianity.

Best to you, Father Ambrose,
Maureen [reen12]


#19

Well I used to be really interested in Hinduism, I still am just from a curiosity kind of aspect, not actually because I believe a word of it heh. Well I never did… I guess my comment would be that Hinduism is very interesting and Buddhism is a less (very much so) intersting version of Hinduism. Buddhism just took all the bells and whistles away so to speak. Although it eventually did get some of that back in some of the sects. The basic problem with both of them is that they aren’t true. And anyone, even if they don’t have knowledge of any of the Revelation from God could see that just from their own reasoning. If they actually did try to reason through it honestly. Hinduism is basically just mythological, you might as well be a druid or believe in Zeus and Athena etc. The reason I make mention of that and make that comparison is that a lot of people think that Hinduism could be true because it is so foreign and mysterious, but really it’s basically the same as any pagan religion, as far as the basics go that is. They have a lot of gods, a lot of myths etc. Sure there are differences, but basically it is the same. As for Buddhism, it is atheistic, so there’s no point in it. I guess it could be a philosophy, but again, a pointless one. So I guess that’s my take on them put simply. As for the crusades and such, you should probably learn more about it before you make a judgment. I would suggest Catholic Answers Live, they’ve done some good shows on both those subjects.


#20

[quote=reen12]Dear Father Ambrose,

How interesting that you embraced Orthodoxy after
having been a Buddhist.
[/quote]

No,no! :slight_smile: That message was relayed from strannik (that’s “wanderer” or “pilgrim” in Russian.) I put his name at the top of the message. He is the man who runs the website I recommended
strannik.com/watchful_gate/index2.html
I’m looking forward to the book he is planning with the stories of those who have gone from Buddhism to Christ.


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