Buddhism related to Christianity/Catholicism?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Sunburst, May 26, 2004.

  1. Sunburst

    Sunburst Fairy

    For some reason, I find it more easy to follow the Buddhist belief system when I am trying to become more spiritual. I am Catholic, I love God with all of my heart, body, and soul, and would instantly give my .life for him, no hesitation.

    But they have so many beliefs that I think God would say, like The 5 Precepts:

    1. Do not take life (this is why most Buddhists are veggie)
    2. Do not take that which isn't given
    3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct/do not over indulge in the senses.
    4. Do not pertain to falsehood.
    5. Do not take any substances that cloud the mind.

    To me, this is what God wants. There are so many beliefs they have that I agree with so much, and it's easier than the bible in many ways.
    Also, I recently read some stuff on a Buddhist website that made sense to me, about how you shouldn't be held down to rituals and stuff, so don't do what people say or be held down by what the bible says (people's translations and renderings of what God wants, because people can not understand exactly what God wants for us or wants us to do), but to do what feels right in our hearts. Listen to what YOU KNOW is right, not what you think the bible means.
    Sorry to confuse every1 with my rambling, just a thought.

    I dunno, it seems like I find it more helpful to learn about God when I'm not tied down to "crap, does God want me to do this?" and "Am I allowed to do this?", like when I can be free, it helps me more to learn from Buddhism than from the bible. I will never stop loving God, I won't go buddhist or anything, but it helps me to learn from the openess and "do what u know is right" than the worrying about sinning and wondering if the bible hasd a problem with it.
  2. Chodpa

    Chodpa -=Chop_Chop=-

    God and Buddhism are not anathema. I have heard some Buddhist teachers teach that the Absolute or void of the Buddhist could be compared to the formless Jehovah or Vishnu. I wouldn't go about arguing this with Buddhists especially of the theravadin school, however, amongst Tibetan Buddhists there seems to be more acceptance of commonly counter viewpoints, and so one could be both Buddhist and accept God.

    I tell my friends sometimes that if I'm a bodhisattva, then should I not try to help the Gods (I was previously Hindu). They would know best after all what was good for us. Moreover, at this late date for humanity in its brutal materialism, I think all religions should band together for peace. The Shakti that collective meditation creates is common to all. Peace.
  3. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed & Confused Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator


    Buddhism is not really a religon, in my opinion, it is a way to understand life. A philosophy of doing.

    A Buddhist learns to throw things away.
    Many other ways tend to accumulate this and that and become dogmatic and stale.

    Visit the Buddhist forum if you would like to learn more.
  4. Smudge

    Smudge Member

    the thing is - if you're Catholic- then yes, there will be rituals...which as yourself...I couldn't cope with...I love simplicity, basics...
    Many parts of the Christian Church are very simple, no rituals, more like the New Testament first Christians...just meeting together in one another's houses, etc, having food together fun...loving Jesus and each other.
    That is happening...
    (Check out my web site if you want to read a bit more about it)
  5. gnrm23

    gnrm23 Senior Member

    when tales of a wonder-working holy man trickled back to rome from nestorian priests (& others - thomas is reputed to have died in india) who did miracles & spread gentle teachings, his reputation eventual earned him canonization (sainthood) in the catholic church...
    it is now believed that saint jehosephat was in fact siddharta gautama, the shakyamuni buddha...
  6. Smudge

    Smudge Member

    never heard of saint Jehoshaphat...

    on the other hand...there is a Jehoshaphat in the Old testament :rolleyes:
  7. WayfaringStranger

    WayfaringStranger Corporate Slave #34

    buddha is supposedly an incarnation of Vishnu, the hindu god, and alot of the philosophies are drawn from Taoism. Toaism goes along good with any religion, because it is non-religious and has no religious aims on its own. Hinduism is a very scary religion in my opinion.
  8. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    Hokay. So. Here's the deal.

    Sid said that it is a mistake to believe that things were caused by:

    or Fate

    Strictly speaking Buddhism is atheistic.

    However there is a zen quote :
    "If you believe in god, you are mistaken.
    If you are an atheist, you are mistaken.
    If you are agnostic, you are still mistaken."

    I think it's probably a good thing for you to mix Buddhism and God. Reading "the Alchemist" has had a powerful affect on me.

    Uncle Sid said:

    "Anything that brings you to the cessation of desire,
    to the cessation of ignorance,
    and to the cessation of hatred - this is my teaching."


  9. insomniac

    insomniac Guest

    I'm pretty sure that only Hindu's believe the Buddha was an avatar of VIshnu, and believe his purpose was to mislead the unfaithful. It's been a long time since I studied Hinduism in high school. Personally I believe the Buddha was just an ordinary man who discovered enlightenment.

    I also believe that anyone who is truely a Buddhist (like the Dali Lama and the monks i've met at uni) acts more christian than alot of people who claim to be christians.
  10. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Senior Member

  11. Random Andy

    Random Andy Member

    I totally agree with insomniac about Buddhists seeming better christians than most christians. I'm on the Alpha course at the moment (an introduction to christianity) and find that the believers there tend to ridicule all other religions and even science. I find the people who are there to find out about christianity, rather than those who need to be told what to believe, are far easier to get on with.

    I think life is a spiritual journey and, like it says in the bible and most holy books, all scriptures should be respected equally. Taoism, I agree is not really a religion, but more a way of life but, then again, isn't that what religions are supposed to be? I think if Jesus had known about buddhism he may very well have converted to it, as it were. He obviously didn't want to be a jew.

    I think in this day and age you really have to make up your own mind. Not the simple choice of which religion to follow but decide what it's all about for yourself. With this war going on (which it seems to me is basically Christendom v Islam) I think picking either side is against the teachings of both religions, which both apparently preach peace, mutual respect and tolerance.
  12. insomniac

    insomniac Guest

    There's a controversial theory that Jesus spent the time not written about in the bible studying buddhism. A lot of Jesus' parables and sayings can be considered to be Zen koans.

    The actions of Jesus during his ministry are very similar to a buddha, so it is possible (i say possible because i don't think there is any evidence of this) that he was enlightened. My theory that Jesus was enlightened is based on the idea that it would take an incredible mental effort to come to terms with being the son of God, and being Catholic i believe that Jesus was completely divine and completely human at the same time. The completely human Jesus had to accept the completely divine Jesus before he could start his ministry, and a possible way to achieve this could be enlightenment.

    Its pretty much a half baked idea and i'm getting a bit off track here so I guess I'll leave of for today.

    Peace guys!
  13. if i remember correctly there are to branches of buhdism thervada and nervada one of those is wrong name but any way one of them does not believe in Buhda as a god the other does. i havent researched it enough but at the current time i see no reason why someone could not be both. but if u follow true christianity you will be a perfect buhdist too. the thing is who really knows what true christianity is any more? the bible has all kinds of twists on it now, the protestant bible is missing books and i am sure the catholic bible is also. i believe if u simply follow the 10 commandments and the new commandment in the new testament (Love) then that is true christianity.
  14. Jozak

    Jozak Member

    What are you talking about? The Early Church was when a TON of traditions Catholics still do today were founded. The Early Church was indeed simple in the place of worship until Christians were no longer persecuted, but those early years were the foundations of the modern Roman Church's Mass celebrations/beliefs.
  15. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Senior Member

    The New Testament describes communion as an agape meal (or "love feast") and a remembrance/proclamation of Christ's death and resurrection. There's no hint of the bread and wine being magically transformed into a ritual sacrifice that provides ongoing atonement of sins. That very concept is antithetical to the central message of the book of Hebrews, which is the finished work of Christ.
  16. Jozak

    Jozak Member

    It says right in the bible they used bread and wine, I think that is pretty clear. It is also clear Christ said it was his body and blood, he said nothing about it being symbolic. It is not "magic", either, Huck, come on, get over it. The Early church fathers and apostoles recognized communion as literal, even that poor bastard Martin Luther did.

    Communion does not provide ongoing anotnement of sins, we as people sin all the time, that is why we have confession (or supposed to at least, I have not been in a long time) . Communion does not make you sinless.

    Care to explain that?
  17. HuckFinn

    HuckFinn Senior Member


    He didn't have to. They could see his real body right in front of them!

    The Catholic priest is believed to transform the "substance" of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, a sort of undetectable "miracle" with no Scriptural basis or precedent. When Jesus performed miracles, the results were observable.

    The early churched believed in "real presence," which is not the same as transubstantiation, a concept that wasn't articulated until Thomas Aquinas. The Reformers' views varied somewhat. Most believed in something like "real presence," while Luther believed something he called "consubstantiation." You have a point in that Luther's views were close to Rome's, but that doesn't mean a lot to me. After all, he was a monk for much of his life!

    According to official Catholic dogma, the Mass "expiates" sins.

    See http://www.christiantruth.com/massandrcfaith.html.
  18. Sunburst

    Sunburst Fairy

    I don't mean that the philosophy itself is the same, I mean that it teaches many of the same teachings, about love, understanding, and forgiveness.

    I agree completely, many Buddhists ARE better Christians than most Christians. I prefer to follow Buddhist teachings at this time in my life, it is so much lighter (it's not against anything except being against things, it is openess, freedom, and loving everything).:)
  19. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    it's fascinating to take any two religions and notice the unbelievable simiarities there are between them. :)
  20. Hikaru Zero

    Hikaru Zero Sylvan Paladin

    Buddhism and Christianity are not inherently incompatible.

    Buddhism and Catholicism, on the other hand, are.

    You could not possibly be a Catholic Buddhist -- the second you adopted anything that was "Buddhistic" as a truth, you would no longer be considered Catholic. It's not that Buddhism disallows Catholic beliefs, it's that Catholicism disallows Buddhist beliefs.

    The Pope even once said that Buddhism was going to become the next major target and competitor for Catholicism, within the next decade. Even now, the Catholic clergy run campaigns to stamp Buddhism out of existance, along with pretty much every other religion. But especially Buddhism and its derivatives such as Zen.

    Still, I think that you would be hard pressed to be both Buddhist and Christian. There are many things about Christianity that would seem, on the surface, to contradict Buddhism -- most of these things would have to be taken in a metaphorical or even hyperbolic form, in order to be made to be compatible with Buddhism -- and many fundamentalist Christians (not bashing all Chrisitians here!!) would not consider you Christian if your beliefs about Christianity are too liberal and "wishywashy."

    Also -- one thing to keep in mind: Buddhism has a doctrine called Anatta. The translation is roughly "No Soul." Buddhism rejects the idea of a permanent soul. This idea is (in relation to what I said above) perhaps the toughest part of Buddhism to fit into Christianity, even using liberal definitions and metaphors.

    (I say all this because I am a Zen Buddhist [the philosophy -- not the religion], and I have had discussions on the Buddhism forums about compatibility with other religions such as Christianity before).

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