Attn:eastern religion followers

I'm not looking for an athiest or a Christian or a jewish or a Muslim answer. i want to hear from Buddhists,Hindus,Shinto,etc. I may be wrong but from what i read from you you view Christianty as a rather simplistic religion. And seem to look down your nose at it's spirituality. I'm sure many of you have read the Bible, but have you truly READ it? did you just read it as you would any other book or did you look deep into the meaning of it's words? have you ever truly prayed? I'm not talking about asking God to heal a sick loved one or to keep you safe at night. I MEAN TRULY PRAYED..a one on one conversation with God? Ever wait and listen for him to reply. Again I might be wrong, but i get the impression that you are judging the faith on it's outward appearance and not looking deep with in it. Please prove me wrong.

yours in Christ

sherm

There are lots of great things about Christianity. It's just not for me. I spent so much time waiting and listening for God, now I just wait and listen.

well Bludhall, I was hopeing for a serious answer, especially from you, seeing that from what I've read from you, I have developed a tremedous ammount of respect for you and your views and beliefs. i may not agree with all you have to say, but none the less respect your views.

yours in Christ

sherm

you view Christianty as a rather simplistic religion. And seem to look down your nose at it's spirituality.
Personally, no, I just think Christianity has some very simplistic followers. Not all of course, there are many I deeply respect. But, I've found that the most simple-minded of them tend to be some of the loudest. Buddhism has simple-minded people, too, of course. They just don't tend to hand out pamphlets, interrupt my dinner, or campaign for the revision of state textbooks.
I've also read the commentary of Buddhist monks on biblical passages, and they spoke highly of the "enlightened" nature of the messages. "Consider the lilies..." sent them into endless praises. I think most Buddhists would agree with amny of Jesus' message. On some levels, Buddhism and Christianity are very much in harmony. We are all one. Hurting your neighbor is hurting yourself. Letting go of hate, jealousy, and fear is key to happiness.

I'm sure many of you have read the Bible, but have you truly READ it?
Twice cover-to-cover with an open, inquisitive mind. Some of it is great. Some is sleep-inducing.

have you ever truly prayed?...Ever wait and listen for him to reply.
As a kid, not as an adult. If God is truly within, I'm often on that channel, so he can reach me.

i get the impression that you are judging the faith on it's outward appearance
Unless you believe already, that's mostly what you have to go on. I can analyze the system, but I cannot feel it.

Conversely, I find many Christians unable to grasp the idea of a godless, mostly non-metaphysical religion. Instead, they assume Buddha takes the role of God or Jesus. They assume you "go to" Nirvana like Heaven. They assume Karma is like St. Peter's book, a log of good and evil deeds in my lifetime.

thank you willybone

yours in Christ

sherm

Bludhall, thank you for your response. Now...I'm not sure any Christian{except for the legalists maybe} view God as a man sitting on a cloud. God is not a man. god is....God. God is everywhere, he is within and without the universe. I've said it before and i will continue to say it, we try to comprehend the infinite using a finite brain. God the father does not have the form of a man."created in his image" does not refer to God's physical apperance. It refers to the inner. As far as Dualism goes..may I suggest reading Mere Christianity. CS Lewis does a far better job explaining it then I would.

yours in Christ

sherm

Here is the thing, the bible says there is a hell. Why would they want to leave out a huge part of the religion? As the hell concept is a major point, if they're leaving out stuff like that, it's barely recognizable as Christianity.

I've flirted with Buddhism (Chan and Zen schools) and Taoism. I find a lot of Truth there. But upon serious investigation, everything I found there I found in Judaism. You just have to lift up enough rocks to find the juicy bettles!

I'm sure Christinanity has a spiritual tradition, but with the reformation and the rationalist movement, it has become less emphasized and hidden- knock down enough doors and you will find what you are looking for.

MS

MS, you are correct..sort of. There are many many denominations today that are indeed knocking down those doors, and rediscovering the faith's spiritualism.

Bludhall is also correct in a sense. The images of fire and demons tearing you apart for all eternity were largely created in the middle ages. When Jesus described what hell was like, he pointed to a dump were trash was burning, and said it was worse then that. Hell is the eternal seperation from God. The great Christian theologian GK Chesterton said "Hell is God's great compliment to man's free will" It's God basically saying You did not want anything to do with me then, so I'm just giving you what you wanted for all eternity. For me being cut off forever from God would be far far worse then any physical torture. It's the emptiness of the soul forever.

yours in Christ

sherm

I really cannot believe that anyone can be appart from God forever.

"I've also read the commentary of Buddhist monks on biblical passages, and they spoke highly of the 'enlightened' nature of the messages. 'Consider the lilies...' sent them into endless praises. I think most Buddhists would agree with amny of Jesus' message. On some levels, Buddhism and Christianity are very much in harmony. We are all one. Hurting your neighbor is hurting yourself. Letting go of hate, jealousy, and fear is key to happiness."


Willybone is correct.


Thich Nhat Hahn has 2 books on the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism.

any Hindus or people who practice Shinto?

yours in Christ

sherm

"any Hindus or people who practice Shinto?"

i hear there are some in India and Japan, respectively. ;)

i was raised Catholic, and was pretty into it until about the age of 13 or 14. for the majority of my childhood i was convinced i was going to end up a priest. indeed, to this day i still feel the pull of a life dedicated to spirituality.

however, many of the objections Bludhall and others raise stuck in my craw when i started to question the faith i'd been raised in. i don't dislike Christianity, or Christians, but i recognize that i have fundamental philosophical differences with some of the tenets of Christianity.

i cannot fathom the concept of a personal god. simply put, it makes no sense to me. i would just as soon accept the assertion that the ocean or the sky had a personality, likes, and dislikes.

not to be insulting, but it seems to me that in many ways the Abrahamic religions are set up to pass along great ideas(human brotherhood, etc) by disguising them as ancient sky-god worship. there are plenty of Christians, Muslims, and Jews who get off on the thunder and lightning, on the pomp and circumstance of the old testament style god. i know many who are more interested in the human kindness embodied in the great Monotheisms than in kicking the other tribe's asses, but in my experience they are an unfortunate minority.

those whom i know well who are a part of this minority tend to be willing to critically examine their faith, and to deemphasize the parts of it that involve people burning for aeons, or being miserable in this life to prepare for the next. i know that many of those Christians and otherwise that post to this board are of this variety, and i appreciate the chance to interact with you.

and to be honest even the pamphlet-handing type of Christian doesn't bother me overmuch. i can certainly appreciate that they are acting out of a sense of sympathy for what they assume will be my Hellish end. i may disagree on almost all points of theology, but if i believed as they do i hope i would have the courage and strength to try to 'save' others.

so, i would say that rather than "judging the faith on it's outward appearance," i do my best to judge it by its followers who have gone beyond the outward appearance and ancient trappings of a pissed-off dude in the sky, and who have come to share common ground with me by virtue of our shared humanity, regardless of even substantial theological differences.