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Running Head: CHRISTIAN PROSPECTIVE AND BUDDHISM
CHRISTIAN PROSPECTIVE AND BUDDHISM
Christian Prospective and Buddhism
Grand Canyon University/HCA 515
Worldview of Christians and Buddhism
While Buddhism is the philosophy of life as preached by Gautama Buddha, Christianity is the relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. According to the Buddhism, the nature of the world around constantly changes in that they believe that nothing is permanent in the world. It is their belief that the failure of humans to understand the nature of the world is what triggers unhappiness, troubles, and suffering. They this do not recognize the presence of an external God. However, according to the Christians, the world is a gift from God, and they are responsible for managing it. Specifically, Genesis 1:1, (King James Version) reveals that God created both heaven and earth. He also created Adam and Eve in his own image and thus the reason Christians believe they are called to represent God on earth. Human being to Buddhism reveals that ordinary humans are prone to ignorance, anger, greed and delusions as well as associations with “spiritual blindness,” in that they are not walking into the Eighfold path. Christians however belief that regardless of the fact that humans inherited sin from Adam and Eve, their sins can be forgiven through prayers. In regards to human suffering, Buddhism stresses on Anatta, (no self) and thus their attachment to the notion of enduring and substantial self is an illusion to this religion. They believe that suffering is brought about by the consequences of the volitional actions and bad deeds can be carried from one life to other. For instance, they believe that bad people can reincarnate into insects or animals. If one fails to attain Nirvana, Buddhists trust that he or she is reborn in one of the 31 planes of existence repeatedly, because of the “karma.” On the other hand, Christians believe that any sin can be forgiven by God through the acts of His Son, Jesus, who died on the cross. Regardless of the fact that humans are signed to die, Christians believe that they only die after which they face judgment with those who believe in the Godly ways living in heaven for eternity and sinners suffering in Hell.
Buddhism do not believe in a god and thus to know what is right or wrong, they strive to do as they are told by developing a deep self-awareness and understanding. On the other hand, Christians derive their ideas of wrong and right from God’s commandment. A Buddha can know about everything by attending to it as they believe that knowledge is an illusion in that what one may experience and know does not express the ultimate reality. In contrast, Christians know in that they are created in God’s image as stated in Philippians 4:13 (King James Version), that they can do anything through Christ who strengthens them. In regards to human history, Buddhists believe that time is an illusion and thus what one may perceive as time may be a cyclical movement of reality. Conversely, Christians perceive this as the purpose of God to prepare them for greater things. The notion of life after death shows no similarity between the two religions. For the case of Christians, human soul can only go to either heaven or heal (Shelly & Miller, 2006). There is no rebirth or the idea of a person living eternally. With Buddhism, if a person does not achieve the Nirvana in his or her lifetime, the being undergoes a rebirth of new entity depending on the Karma which is bestowed on him or her during lifetime (Schmidt-Leukel, 2005). Buddhist believe that it is possible to know anything
Religious Belief Systems
Buddhism and Christianity are considered as the most influential and powerful religions in the world. Both of these religions have served as pillars for their believers for centuries to the extent of influencing the way of living for millions of lives. Thought to have been founded in India, Buddhism is a religion which is based on the teaching and beliefs of Gautama Buddha, typically known as the Buddha or the ‘awakened one’ (Wallace, 2009). Despite the fact that Buddhism does not believe in the existence of the supreme creator, it recognizes several gods and goddesses. This religion hinges on the alleged existence of the ‘Buddha,’ as the enlightened human being who must have taught his followers how to end suffering through eliminating ignorance. To the majority of its followers, Buddhism is not just a religion but a way of life. The reason for this is because it primarily emphases on the personal spiritual development of a person.
Christianity is also a monotheistic religion which is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The foundation of Christianity comes through four gospels; John, Mark, Luke, and Mathew- as the only four scriptures deemed as being canonical. The followers of Christianity believe that Jesus is the true Son of God as well as that He came to this world as a mortal being. Equally, his teachings were the basic revelations from God His Father. He finally suffered, died, was buried, and later resurrected so as to cleanse the sins of mankind (Wallace, 2009).
The teachings of Christianity encourage its followers to take actions which are directed at improving their well-being. Equally, Buddhism has a firm devotional aspect which is characterized by having faith in the Buddha i.e. the Pure Land Buddhism that stresses devoting prayer to the Buddha (Schmidt-Leukel, 2005). Other than encouraging charitable towards the poor, both religions have lay and monastic approach although the monastic element is relatively absent in the modern Protestantism. The two religions share some values. For instance, the five precepts of the Buddhism religion i.e. abstention from stealing, killing, lying, sexual immorality are all welcomed by most Christians (Netland & Yandell, 2009). Besides, they both emphasize on ethical living, love and compassion to. These religions taught about the means of overcoming the forces of hate via the power of love.
Although these religions were founded through the great Spiritual Master who wanted to provide the way to salvation, they teach different paths as well as emphasize on different approaches to spirituality. Conversely, neither Jesus Christ nor Buddha wrote down their teaching. For both religions, teachings were written down centuries ago after they had left the world hence the existence of a potential error and misunderstanding for their religions since two developed in different ways. The Buddha is perceived as being a remarkable human being who out of boundless compassion or love has resolved to offer guidance to any sentient beings so as to deliver mankind from suffering. Personal mortality is usually followed by reincarnations depending on the merit attained in pervious lives. The goal of Buddhism is the attainment of Nirvana- a state in which craving and desire cease due to the associated merit that is one can opt to be freed from the endless chain of rebirth into suffering lives (Schmidt-Leukel, 2005). Contrary to that, the mainstream of Christianity accepts teachings for instance; there is a personal God, personal mortality is followed through God’s judgment and one of its goals is the attainment of eternal life with God the Father. This is a reward which is seen as only available to followers who have faith in Jesus Christ. Thus, whereas Christians regard the teachings of Jesus as commandments which should be followed attain salvation, Buddhist perceives their religion as being more of a philosophy of how to live life. Buddhism as a religion can be summed up in four noble truths as well as the noble eightfold path i.e. ways of ending suffering (Cioccolanti, 2010).
Christianity emphasizes that the idea of salvation only comes through the acceptance of Jesus as the ultimate savior. Buddhists believe that a person has to work for personal liberation which typically a discipline which may take several lifetimes. Moreover, they believe that the beliefs of the Buddha are not enough hence the seeker has to experience Nirvana for him/herself. The reason for this is because humans are trapped in a repetitive cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth although each rebirth might be better or worse depending on the merits and sins which had accumulated during the previous and present lives (Cioccolanti, 2010). Once this is attained, a person experiences complete liberation, freedom, and non-attachment. Christianity teaches that after death, a person’s beliefs and deeds are evaluated in the final judgment hence eternal life awaits everyone. In heaven there is no suffering; only joy. Torture is everlasting without any hope or cessation for the inhabitants of Hell. Buddhists do not share the core beliefs of historical Christianity as well as the various critical beliefs which are widely accepted by the majority of Christians (Netland & Yandell, 2009).
Spiritual perspective and components of healing and care for both Christianity and Buddhism
With regard to healing and care, diseases and health are among the common human experiences as well as they are special concern of religion. Therefore, according to Christianity, spiritual healing is the channeling of God’s healing energy to a person to effect healing in him or her. Although the channel is a person, the source of that healing power or energy is God (Chaplain, 2008). In addition to that, prayer is regarded as a strong weapon for Christians since it is the spiritual aspect of healing come good health. Mindfulness and meditation are at the heart of Buddhism while Christianity puts greater stress on prayer. Personal effort is what Buddhism emphasizes on while Grace is what Christianity embraces. The teachings of Christianity indicates that we have one life, and one chance but Buddhism lay emphasis on the endless cycle of birth and rebirth as well as based on the idea of reincarnation.
Contrary to that, the worldview of Buddhism is holistic and is principally based on the beliefs in the interdependence of phenomena as well as a correlation between any mutually conditioning causes and effects. According to Buddhism, diseases can be dived into two i.e. disease of the mind and disease of the body. Moreover, suffering or illness is caused by clinging, craving, and ignorance, and this is the root of evil. Good health is as a result of an individual’s previous good actions. Health and ailment are controlled by the natural law as well. In return, this understanding turns back the responsibility of health to each (Chaplain, 2008). With regard to that, the duty of health professionals is relatively smaller. The scientific knowledge and methodology are not only cause leading to the solution of any health problems. Neither alternative nor modern medications are perceived as being the best means of eliminating the disease.
Patients of the faiths
The most important thing to patients of faith when cared for health care providers of different spiritual belief is showing love to him or her in that all religions support that fact that love brings people together. When there is love, the religion does not matter; all what matters is giving quality patient care and ensuring the healing of the patient.
In my opinion, healing is an element of developing spirituality in that once a person develops spirituality, their physical and mental illnesses often improve of not resolving. I believe that illnesses are sometimes linked to spirituality, and that his or her relationship with the disease may change with the development of spirituality. Form this research, I have learned that it is important for health care practitioners to identify how their spiritual beliefs affect the manner in which they relate and provide patient care. This learning can be applied to health care providers by training them to identity the spiritual needs of the patients as well as the best ways of responding to them.
Chaplain J.E, (2008). Religious Diversity:Practical Points for Health Care Providers.
Retrieved from: http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/pastoral/resed/diversity_points.html
Cioccolanti, S. (2010). From Buddha to Jesus: An insider’s view of Buddhism and Christianity. Oxford: Monarch.
Netland, H. A., & Yandell, K. E. (2009). Buddhism: A Christian exploration and appraisal. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic.
Schmidt-Leukel, P. (2005). Buddhism and Christianity in dialogue: The Gerald Weisfeld Lectures 2004. Norwich: SCM Press.
Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic/InterVarsity Press.
Wallace, B. A. (2009). Mind in the balance: Meditation in science, Buddhism, and Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press.
Christian Perspective, Christian Worldview and Buddhism. (2022, Feb 23). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/christian-perspective-christian-worldview-and-buddhism
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