Many people tend to think that they understand what religion means just because they can identify a religious behavior when they see one. On the contrary, understanding religion is quite a challenge as it is displayed in diverse ways in the world. Many have tried to define religion as a unified system of practices and beliefs to certain things that are forbidden or set apart. Others have said that religion distinguishes man from animals as it is a body of doctrine passed down in traditional beliefs. There are many religions of which people are associated with one they believe in or one they have been brought up in, knowing right and wrong. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Abrahamic Tradition and Yogic Traditions are among the many religions that are in existence. Many religions often appear to conflict one another regarding their teachings and the core myths. Some people are very committed to values of their religion while others believe in it for pleasure. Those with high and profound beliefs tend to see religion as a way of life. I believe in Christianity and all its teaching about God as the supreme. God is there and He is real.
As Christians, we believe in God as our creator and in his existence but its a little hazy how other religions such as Buddhism do not believe in God. Buddhists believe in gods, ancestors and not one specific God. The educated in Buddhism do not see the need of God, they claim He is irrelevant. Theirs is a religion of mind, which advocates for inner purity, impermanence, suffering and ethical conduct. Buddhists do not support the idea of the eternal and unchanging soul. They claim that if this world were created by God, then there should be no calamity, sorrow or even pain. Their religion is so firm that we should abandon all the beliefs we have about God and stop praying to him, speculating about and doing good deeds expecting good deeds to happen to us. As Christians, we can quickly oppose that but as said earlier; every religion has its beliefs and values. Therefore every religion whether we agree with it or not should be respected as long as they are living right without hurting people in support of their religion.
Buddhism claims not to believe in God because Christians respond to God only in times of fear and frustration. People are more religious in times of crisis. They only pray to God when they need a favor or strength to overcome inevitable tribulations. They believe in God because they prayed to Him in a time of desperation and He answered them. According to Buddhists, Buddha taught them to understand their fears, minimize their desires and courageously and calmly accept the things that they have no power to change. As humans, it is very true what Buddhists claim about our belief in God. If one believes in God yet they are not strong followers of God, they can tend to pray only in times of needs and it suits them. This way, God is part of them only for conveniences. Therefore, if we firmly believe in God, we should pray and praise him always despite the jovial or sad moments. As Christians, we also face and conquer our problem by believing that He can take them away.
One of the other common beliefs of Buddhists that is on the contrary with Christianity is the four noble truths. They believe that existence is suffering namely Dukha, where the suffering has a cause, named craving and attachment or trishna. There is also a way to stop suffering known as nirvana. Also the path to stop the suffering is known as the eightfold path of opinions, right speech, right action, right neighborhood and mindfulness. They do describe reality regarding process and relaxation rather than substance. Buddhism has so many details and the truths of this religion are not there or mentioned in Christianity. As Christians, suffering is part of life because Jesus also suffered. There is no particular processor way to stop suffering. Although suffering gives us pain, it is very relevant in our lives as we become stronger. We do not escape suffering but face it against it is. This way we can handle it boldly and become much stronger than was initial.
Buddhists also believe and follow to the letter anything to do with experience. They analyze experience in five aggregates known as skandhas. Rupa is the first form that results in material existence. Anything that is material or richness is part of Rupa. Sensations referred to as vedana, perception called samjana, psychic constructs; samskara, consciousness as vijnana are the psychological processes. These five aggregates can exist on their own. This is new one in Christianity as there are no five or any part of psychological process. The psychological process is managed by the individuals as they have their right to do what they feel free and right. Christians should make their decisions, on what is right and wrong. The Bible and their consciousness should direct them on the correct way of behaving and conducting themselves. I am in support of these five aggregates, because everyone should think of their self. Influence of anything can make them blindly follow the wrong choices. Therefore, the five parts of the psychological process should not be followed.
The differences between Christianity and Buddhism are many and major. First, the concept of God is major is Christian life. They believe in God as the supreme creator of the world. He is the one super natural creator in the world who helps them in times of needs and takes them of us. The Bible also very clear about God and Christians follow and believe what the Bible says about God. In Buddhism, God is not real and is not relevant to their lives. They believe in gods who is very important and help them in everyday life. The ancestors are also part of their life that makes them conquer each and every day. Christianity has no believe in ancestors while Buddhists are very strong about ancestors. Small gods in Christianity is a way of worshipping idol, while in Buddhism, gods are their supreme creators who they ask for guidance from. There are similarities in both religions. Christians believe in the Ten Commandments say do not kill, do not steal, do not lie or commit adultery or fornication.. Buddhists also have the same rule where one should not kill, steal, lie or misuse sex. These commands are followed to ensure that people live in peace as no one has a right to take another persons life.
As a Christian, I believe in God and have a personal relationship with Him. This means that I pray to God believe in Him to be the creator, provider and the ultimate power for all. I have been in trouble more than once and He has been on my side. Apart from that, everyday existence in this World is by his power and Grace. Although I do not have a specific story about Gods evidence, each and every day is a story by itself as I find myself in good shape, good health and alive. How could one explain what happens every night we go to bed. We are in unconscious body or even dead, but we still regain consciousness out of nowhere in the morning. It is amazing and I believe in God. Therefore God is in existence in our daily lives.
Hexham, Irving. Understanding World Religions. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2011. Internet resource.
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