Gabriel Tajimaroa Donavan Ingram Eng 1A April 3 2010 Research Essay Christianity vs. Buddhism There are many religions and sacred texts that have shaped complete civilizations and cultures. They have varied in their theories of creation and how man should live and act towards each other and nature. The more I study religions and sacred text the more I see that for the most part they are alike. Most of them share a view of love and peace towards all things living. What varies between them are simply deities.
It is these minor differences that cause their followers to completely abstract their sacred text to the point where they have completely deviated from their text and do the opposite of what their text commands. For example Christ lived a life of Love, forgiveness and the general acceptance of human beings (Bible, JOHN 8:2-11). Yet a “Christian” church was responsible for deaths of Muslim soldiers and Christian soldiers in the fun era known as the crusades (Black P. 200-202). In this essay I will compare and contrast Christianity and Buddhism.
Christianity will take the definition of “Actions of the Christ” as seen in the Bible and The adopted laws of the Christ in the Bible. I will also define the difference between “Christianity” as adopted thru actions taken by a “Christian” church. Buddhism will be considered by Buddhist doctrine on how to carry one’s own life. After some consideration I have learned that the Christianity and Buddhism are more alike than they are different. I have learned that “Christianity” is nothing like the two.
The peace and love taught by Christianity’s and Buddhism’s founders are so alike, that the two can be united in the sense that the rules of living can be considered the same. I will begin with Christ’s teachings and actions on how to live and act towards people. In my introduction I cited John 8:2-11. In this piece of John’s text, men bring to the Christ a woman that has been caught in the act of adultery. The men state that under Moses’ law the woman must be stoned to death. The Christ replied “Let the one of you who is sinless be the first to throw a stone at her. All the men that had heard him left one by one. Christ also let the woman go on her way telling her “Neither do I condemn you, go your way, from now on sin no more. ” In this text it is brought to understand that no man is to may pass judgment on any other soul. Furthermore this shows Christianity’s forgiveness and Love to even those who have practiced wretched moral crimes so long they recognize their faults. Buddhism’s likeness to men being absent from judgment over one another comes in the form of Karma.
Yet Karma takes this idea further Buddhists understand karma as a natural law. There is no higher instance, no judgment, no divine intervention, and no gods that steer man’s destiny, but only the law of karma itself, which works on a global time frame. Deeds yield consequences either in the next second, in the next hour, day, month, year, decade, or even in the next lifetime, or in another distant lifetime. -(The Big View) Karma gives to us the understanding that we are not bound by any judgment from any being nor may we pass judgment upon any being.
The only judgment comes from ourselves and the natural law of the universe. It is by our own discretion that we know what is right and what is wrong. That we should not persecute any of those that do wrong but that we should rather act out of what is good in our hearts to promote Love, Peace. For if not we will suffer all of our bad deeds in this life or the next. It is because of this Buddhist view of Karma that Buddhists may not harm any sentient being animal or human. Any harm done to any sentient being will be returned to the original culprit in this life or the next.
However Christianity is not completely absent to the idea that man should have respect for all things sentient. The Bible does express this idea in its own words I even I have said in my heart with the regard to the sons of mankind that the [true] God is going to select them, that they may see that they themselves are beasts. For there is an eventuality as respects the sons of mankind and an eventuality as respects the beast, and they have the same eventuality. As the one dies, so the other dies, and they have but one pirit, so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast, for everything is vanity. All are going to one place, they have all come from dust and they are all returning to dust. -(Bible ECC 3:18-20) The Christian Bible gives us the idea that we are all ONE Man and Beast. That it is impossible for one to harm the other without also harming themselves in the process. The resulting idea on how to live would be that we should respect all things living as we would respect ourselves.
A difference between Christianity and Buddhism is their Spiritual leader. One was Jesus the Christ and the other Gautama Buddha. They were two men who lived at different times, different places, and followed by a different ethnicity and culture as it continues today. As both religions believe in reincarnation it is impossible to say that they are not the same man reincarnated to serve as a Spiritual Leader for two peoples. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ” -Mahatma Gandhi
This is where the difference between “Christianity” as defined by Church religions and Christianity defined by teachings, actions of the Christ, and scripture take place. It is the difficulty of SOME “Christian’s” to accept religions that are not their own to be like their own. They ignore their own teachings and do not respect religions which are so like theirs. If you have trouble believing this walk into a “Christian” church and tell a follower that the Buddhist faith is like their own. Wait for a response. Furthermore, as I stated in my introduction “Christianity” as a Church religion is responsible for the Crusades.
Its “Christians” are responsible for recent Child Molestations (Washington Post) and the Dark Ages. None of these actions fits with Christianity as the religion of Love and Peace taught by Christ. It is in my understanding that the two most important teachings of Christianity and Buddhism is that we must not pass judgment on others and that we must treat all beings with Love and respect. When we do this there will be no need for courts, police, armies, or weapons. The world will live in what was once called paradise. For when men follow these two simple ideas egardless of their origin the world will know peace. Works Cited The Bible, New World Translation Black, Christopher (2001). Early Modern Italy. Routledge. ISBN 0415214343. The Big View, Accessed: April 1st 2009 http://www. thebigview. com/buddhism/karma. html ©2009 QuoteDB. com, Accessed: April 1st 2009 http://www. quotedb. com/quotes/1905 ©2009 The Washington Post Company, Accessed: April 1st 2009 http://newsweek. washingtonpost. com/onfaith/godingovernment/2009/03/sebelius_vs_archbishop_naumann. html? hpid=news-col-blog ©2009