Why remain Christian, especially Catholic when I could instead choose Buddhism?


#41

The big reason is because Catholicism is right, and Buddhism is wrong.

There’s also the fact that Catholicism makes a better offer.

In Buddhism all violence - even violence in self defense and in the defence of others, even against pests and vermin - results in negative karma and is abhorrent. In Buddhism the afterlife involves being reborn over and over again, with the end goal being to achieve Nirvana - which based on descriptions seems to mean non-existence or oblivion. In Buddhism there are no Creator Gods or Spirits, nobody you can pray to in times of need or guidance - the universe does not care about you.

By contrast in Catholicism there is a practical take on violence - murder, rape, and cruelty are still mortal sins, but self-defence, defense of the innocent, and the killing of animals for subsistence is permissible. In Catholicism the afterlife involves punishment for the irredeemably evil in the world and an eternity of bliss and affection for the righteous. In Catholicism we have a God who loves us, who created reality for us, who became one of us (Jesus is fully God and fully human - he is never apart from us), who continued to love us no matter what, and who suffered and died on our behalf - the Lord of the Universe will never stop caring about you.

And if you want the asceticism of buddhism, you can have it as a Catholic too. Catholic Monks willingly choose to abstain from things to be close to God.


#42

Was Buddha predicted long before he appeared? He teaches emptiness, the abandonment even of despair - true and utter spiritual poverty.

There is only One who was prophesied centuries before, who fills - not empties - us with the Holy Spirit, and who came that we might have life and life in abundance.

Easy.


#43

Hi Pat,

You sound like a wonderful mom! I appreciate your concern for your son, and I understand your frustration (not that I myself am frustrated). My son is very much into Zen Buddhism, actually spent a couple Summers at a retreat center, but he is a (very) devout Catholic about the same age as your son. While at the retreat center, he happened upon (Benedictine) Brother David Steindl-Rast and was very impressed with him. He also gave me a book that Brother David wrote, Deeper than Words: Living the Apostles’ Creed, which gives a Buddhist reader ( and the doubtful Christian) a fresh look at Christianity.

I think the best approach is to realize, as both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict have stated, that there are “legitimate differences” among people in the Church. Those who are quick to condemn any viewpoint are coming from a position of lack of awareness.

I think there is plenty of room in the Church for “legitimate differences” concerning religion/state opinions. In reality, there is no such thing as separation between religion and state, because every elected official has a set of beliefs.

There have been several great apologists associated with Catholic Answers who address how to approach this. From a scientific perspective, the unborn child is just as human (and dependent) as a born one. I never “attack” the “pro-choice” position as unmerciful or evil (though for the most part, it is). The pro-choice position is a position of mercy, but the position lacks in awareness of the value of the unborn child. It might have an impact to tell him that you mourn for aborted children, that they never had the opportunity to enjoy the gift of life.

Keep in mind, though, that there are a lot of variations on “pro-choice” and “pro-life”. My grandfather’s first wife was told by a doctor that she must have an abortion, or she would die. Devout as she was, she went to a priest, and the priest told her not to carry it out. She died with her child, and my grandfather was devastated and understandably averse to the Church.

continued…


#44

Again, euthanasia is a position of mercy, but there is a lack of awareness involved. These are difficult topics where it does no good to drive a wedge in relationship because of them.

To me, gay marriage doesn’t have near the impact of the last two you mentioned. It is a cultural issue that the word “marriage” is attached to such unions. I don’t see a reason to argue about it. (not that you were arguing!)

Catholics can have “legitimate differences” about the positions and behaviors of Donal Trump. If Mr. Trump is the devil, though, that would reflect a dualistic theology/philosophy, not a Buddhist one. :slightly_smiling_face:

Well, my three kids are all about the age of your son. To me, what motivates this generation is an idea of a world vision, improving the world. When I say “Jesus is Lord” I am affirming the fact that Jesus models forgiveness for the world, as he forgave the unrepentant crowd from the cross.

You might ask your son to imagine what the world would be like if everyone could be inspired to forgive as He did, without condition! Imagine what the world would be like if everyone was aware of the value of other people, to the degree that they value their own lives or those of their parents or children. This is the value set we commit to as Christians, it is a commitment to building the Kingdom.

In the mean time, though some Catholics get a bit condemning about Brother Steindl-Rast, his book I read was very good. I think it is probably pretty obvious that I don’t believe that our Father condemns people of other religions. I do believe that worship of a Father who loves and forgives unconditionally and cares deeply about every single one of us is a path to a future where the Kingdom can be more tangibly realized.

In my own faith-life, I have seen problems in the Church, but it is an institution worth working to improve because of Jesus Christ as the focus. I have always gone back to “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

Blessings to you and your family :slightly_smiling_face:


#45

Deuteronomy 4:1-Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

12 Then the Lord spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. 13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 And the Lord directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess.**

Idolatry Forbidden
15 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,

23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell.

The Lord Is God
32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.


#46

Buddhism and violence - Wikipedia


The Buddha reportedly stated, “Victory breeds hatred. The defeated live in pain. Happily the peaceful live giving up victory and defeat.” These elements are used to indicate Buddhism is pacifistic and all violence done by Buddhists, even monks, is likely due to economic or political reasons.
‎Teachings, interpretations … · ‎Regional examples · ‎Southeast Asia · ‎South Asia

Buddhism can be as violent as any other religion | Aeon Essays


Apr 26, 2017 - After all, violence does not fit into the popular narrative of Buddhism being wholly peaceful. But they are indeed ‘true’ Buddhists, and many are …

The darker side of Buddhism - BBC News - BBC.com
www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32929855
May 30, 2015 - The principle of non-violence is central to Buddhist teachings, but in Sri … In fact, while a minority of the Tamils did indeed come from India as …
Buddhism on Peace and Violence
https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/essays/buddhism-on-peace-and-violence
The Buddhist tradition is most clearly associated with non-violence and the principle of ahimsa (“no harm”). By eliminating their attachments to material things, …

Buddhism: Peaceful or Violent Religion? - Alan Peto


Jun 23, 2013 - What a true Buddhist cannot do, however, is be violent, have hatred, or anger. When anyone does that, they are not following the teachings and …

A Short History of Violent Buddhism - ThoughtCo
https://www.thoughtco.com › … › History & Culture › Asian History › Wars & Battles
Oct 31, 2015 - Violence and Buddhism seem to be directly opposed to each other, yet history shows that violence is a factor in the lives of monks as well as lay …

Buddhism and War - University of Hawaii
www2.hawaii.edu/~stroble/Buddhism_and_War.html
Unfortunately, these rulers did not often follow the Buddha’s own example and … Even the “successful” use of violence does not escape from the production of …

Conflict in Buddhism: ‘Violence for the sake of peace?’ - CNN - CNN.com
www.cnn.com/2013/04/22/world/asia/buddhism-violence/index.html
Apr 23, 2013 - Buddhists monks in Meiktila, Myanmar, where violence between Muslims and Buddhists … In fact, almost every global religion does," he said.


#47

Oh yes, he was indoctrinated. I agree 100%. Furthermore, he works in the city of Bolder which is strongly liberal. I’ve a Catholic counselor and her 7 children remained Catholic because they all graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville. Her youngest wants to become a priest. She said they’re broke but it was worth every penny! True story.


#48

Thank you for the information. It’s greatly appreciated.


#49

You’re right on and I completely agree with all you said. Thank you!


#50

I took your advice and ordered The Case For Christ from Amazon. I’ve actually heard of it and I trust the author. If my son doesn’t want to read it, I will because I’m really curious about the contents. My son’s wife is fairly open minded so there’s a possibility she might consider reading the book. Thank you so much for all your help. God bless you Jamal… .


#51

Awesome! I will do my best to remember to pray for your son when I’m at adoration!!

What’s his first name?

(I might just read the book myself. There’s so many books to read in the universe, but this would be a good one for all us “evangelizers” I suppose)


#52

Oh yes, as you said being a practicing Catholic and well informed. Most of the Catholics I know don’t know or understand their faith. Not that I do entirely because that would take several lifetimes. It’s an on going process. I like what the actor/singer Harry Connick Jr. said and that’s, “When someone asks me if I’m a practicing Catholic, I tell them I am, and I’ll keep practicing until I get it right.”


#53

Thank you. Another ‘organized religion’ then, just as all the others except for Catholicism . . which was (as you said) founded by Jesus Christ. I didn’t know Buddhism was established by a person. I’ve a lot to learn! I know the best catholic apologists are the ones that have read about other religions or ideologies (Islam), so one has to be very well informed. Fr. Mitch Pacwa is an example so I’m tempted to write him or call his show on Catholic radio. He’s brilliant man yet also open minded. Speaks half a doz. plus languages, including Aramaic. He’s always thoughtful and considerate as well, a really good, holy & humble man of God with a great sense of humor! Love hearing all he has to say!


#54

Thank you. I agree, my son is letting opinions (especially hearsay) over ride what is true. He’s not even taking the time to research or seek out what’s true about Catholicism. That is what I find especially frustrating.
There’s so many excellent resources for my son, especially Catholic radio because he could easily listen during his long commute to & from his job each day. He’s well aware that Catholic radio exists and just today, Catholic apologist Trent Horn was on Catholic Answers from 4-6:00 discussing the existence of Christ. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve slowly realized that a person can’t make another read a book, listen to a radio station or c.d. because it doesn’t work that way. Only God can convert or convince someone. I can only be an instrument for our Lord.
I agree about the miracles in the church being a convincing way for some people to get to know Christ. Father Donald Calloway is just a unique example because he happened to read about Fatima and he wasn’t even a Catholic!! Thank you so much for all the helpful information. I really appreciate it. God bless you.


#55

God is Love. Not only does that trump Nirvana - it trumps every other religion. Christianity is ‘right.’


#56

God bless you as well, and do pray for him. Please include me in your prayers as well.


#57

Being a Catholic in Boulder is no easy task. Soon they will be stoned. :confused: Not really, but I think it is probably one of the most liberal cities in the U.S. I live in that other town in Colorado. :ram: We generally check Boulder Passports at the city gate. Actually, you need a visa.


#58

Umm… they’re already stoned in Boulder. :wink:

The fact that some who claim to believe in a religion don’t actually practice it well is not an argument against the religion itself. If it were, then one could disprove the teachings of Christianity by simply pointing to Christians who practice un-Christian behavior… :thinking:


#59

He’s a GREAT role model

Continued Blessings

Patrick


#60

Know that in GOD"S Time and Manner all prayers are answered
Persist in very much prayer, ONLY GOD can cause a conversion


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