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Because I was brought up in an extremely strict Pentecostal church does not imply that I will be conceded everlasting life in the Kingdom of Paradise. In fact, it means that my curiosity for other religions has always been peaked. I have always been interested as to fundamental standards, actualities, and demonstrated sciences behind every one of them. I was instructed to place confidence in that which can’t be seen, to never scrutinize the Lord or his reasonings, and to never stray from his footsteps.
In contradiction, however, if I managed to “wander from my flock and become a lost sheep”, with repentance, I would be redeemed and forgiven by the Lords mercy and of course, regranted unceasing life in Paradise. If I had been otherwise raised in home with Buddhism faith and beliefs, I would have lived perhaps an entire different life, quite possibly with less mental antiquities about beliefs, belonging, guilt, and finding my purpose.
How it works
Perhaps, by now, at 33 years of age and what many call an “old soul”, I would be on the voyage of my own Nirvana and self mindfully held harmony and on my last run of Earth. My last rebirth. Of course, “There are many paths to God” most with religious backgrounds say. Christianity is the most common belief in the world today, with Buddhism being 6th on that list of religions practiced worldwide. Some even claim faith in both religious practices, stating you can be a Christian and still follow Buddhist teachings. I believe the contrast between the two is quite paradox to the comparisons, and that with the vast oppositions in teachings, it would be impossible to fully commit to both religions at the same time.
Religion has a big impact on human behavior and quite often affects human conduct. Conviction frameworks impact how we life our lives, treat others and are intended to only benefit human kind in a positive way. Christianity and Buddhism both were founded by spiritual pioneers who wished to offer a path to salvation, although the route to that destination had quite a different approach for each doctrine.
Their paths for each were taught by historic leaders, and both leaders teaching was never documented until well after their departure from earth, albeit death, or return to the heavenly father. This of course, leads for the question of reliability of each as the timeframes of stories passed down often lead to room for great misinterpretation and error. History clearly shows that all early civilizations believed there was a close relationship between rulers and Divine beings. Buddhism believed in a divine authority, while Christianity had one God.
The two religions celebrate special holidays, have their own religious symbols, and serve their God through supplication and contemplation. Both religions evolved into highly ceremonial religions with monks who withdrew from mainstream life. Both began with Leaders who had disciples and taught using parables. Both were “egalitarians” and wished to stress a more ethical way of living, and to reform the current ritualistic forms of religions, for more spiritual and meaningful ones.
Both religions have a similar appeal as a way of enlightenment and self-detachment from burdens, worries and stress and a path to find everlasting peace, with Buddhism, here on Earth, within one’s self, and with Christianity, eternal life in heaven for one’s soul. Buddhism beliefs lead followers to find “Nirvana” stating the truth they are searching for lies within. Buddhist do not consider their religion to be the only option, however they do teach it as the best option. Teachings are about one’s self, internal changes, and recognizing that there is no earthly justice to be found.
All personal healing and peace comes from methodology, and one must lose themselves and their search or need for peace to gain Nirvana and be granted eternal peace. “Nirvana-in Buddhist thought, enlightenment, the ultimate transcendence from the illusion of the material world; release from the “wheel of life”. (MindTap-Cengage Learning-Duiker, World History, 9E) Buddhist believe the universe has always existed, that every aware being is a part of that universe, connected and should be treated with compassion and respect. They trust that after every life, until the gain of edification, you are renewed for another opportunity to redress past misfortunes.
Christianity convictions lead supporters to Jesus Christ, or the divine trinity (The Son, The Father, and the Holy Ghost). It is taught as the only option and is recognized and known for its demonization of other religions and their teachings. Passages are about losing self, but by giving it to the Lord, which will grant your soul into heaven, for everlasting life, with no suffering for all of eternity. God created the universe, with a definite beginning, and as humans we are only granted one chance on this earth to succeed in following the correct path to Heaven. The relationship to these two moral related religions can easily be compared as the same to someone without further knowledge, however, the paradox and opposition between the two could not be further from that.
The Christian Church has always been a major source of social services like schooling and medical care, inspiration of art, culture, and philosophy, and even politics and religion. Celebrations and the measurement or timeline of Jesus birth, has been adopted and the international civil calendar, and many other religions, excluding only a few, celebrate the religious holidays, such as Easter, Christmas. After the fall of the roman empire, the church scholars preserved literacy. The bible and Christian theology have vastly influenced both philosophers and political activist.
While some topics such as sexuality, marital and women’s rights are often controversial, in effect, the biblical teaching held strong change in human sacrifice, slavery, infanticide, polygamy, infidelity, divorce, incest. The Bible also presented the standard for the current feminism movement we see today. As often happens, some have taken certain religious view points and altered them for their own use, such as God created woman and man to be equals, partners, and in the Bible he did indeed, however he created Eve to be complementary to Adam.
To care for and nurture him. For him to protect and devote himself to, while she was to serve and subordinate herself to him. Because of its promise of eternal life, peace and salvation, Christianity has remained and is the top followed religion in the world and has been for some time. Christianity has contributed to the flourishing of many societies throughout history the puritans applied bible principles to work, marriage, economics, family, education, politics, and personal piety, as well as devotion and worship.
From helping the poor, widows, orphans, development of science, the abolition of slavery and the development of art and music and so much more, the Christian worldview has been the instrumental document. Christianity set the standard of love, respect and morality for mankind. It promotes peace among society, if everyone abides by moral code of the golden rule.
Buddhism regards godhood as the result of good deeds, perishable and, thereby, subject to the cycle of birth and rebirth. Again, Buddhism does not believe in God or Providence or Creator of the Universe who participates in the determination of fates of individuals as Hinduism believes. Buddha preached that the goal of one’s life is to attain Nirvana, the eternal state of peace and bliss, which is free from sorrow and desire, decay or disease and of course, from further birth and death, and, to attain it, one should pursue the Noble Eight-fold Path.
Buddhism teaches that all people are reborn, repeatedly until they reach enlightenment and Nirvana. It is a self-casted responsibility to find one’s own peace, and finding such peace is essentially by no longer feeling the need to search for it in the world. While Buddhism, has lasted longer than other religions, it is no longer as widely practiced as it used to be.
Because Buddhas original purpose was to resolve the previous form of ritual based religion, and Buddhism began to take on the forms of ritualism through their teachings, monks, and actions, Buddhism was found to be corrupt by many who chose to no longer follow. Buddhism did have a huge impact on education, art, literature and contributed to world peace,
Christianity on the other hand does not believe in reincarnation, or rebirth, in fact, it is a one chance, one life, win or lose. Either find your salvation, by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, and walk in his footsteps or be eternally damned into the fiery pits of hell.
It isn’t difficult to see why both religions have outlasted many others that have been faded out in history. They offer a way of life that brings about reassurance and hope for the future, with no Earthly punishments. If you stray from teachings, you will not encounter your consequence, until after your death. This gives a place to feel “okay” with the future. A reason to belong and gives followers a feeling of purpose, and a goal to strive for.
Just like other religions around the world, Buddhism and Christianity have been abused, corrupted, perverted and radicalized by men who wish to inject their own political agenda. Often Christians today have adopted a lifestyle of being very conservative, homophobic, anti-women, anti-Muslim, essentially demonizing any other way of life or religion. They have taken up false teachings and cast judgement on others, and pass condemnations by doing even physical harm to those who disagree.
Originally Christianity was a persecuted Jewish sect arising from the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus taught followers to act without violence, to strive to be like him or “walk in his footsteps” he taught to help the poor and less fortunate. He condemned the privilege and hypocrisy of the religious establishment, which then got him executed/crucified for sorcery and leading people into apostacy.
Many Christians, most in fact, and even today faced persecution, in history for refusal to join in worshipping the emperors or kings, as they believed, the only ruler, or kind was the divine trinity. Christianity is deeply rooted in many wars throughout history. A major act of violence in Christianity history, was “The Crusades”** ***in the Middle Ages, a series of military campaigns in defense of Christendom Both religions while having some of the same ideas about disputing hate with love, showing compassion, and even facing the sins of this earth, or a past life because of past sins or actions, their basic principles are very different.
It seems that these two religions, both use the influence of a punishment, in the form of a damnation in the afterlife, or an additional life with Karma related events or issues as a scare tactic to reform the less fortunate, or weak. Religion has a good and just cause for existing, whether believed to be fact or fiction, and if all those who claimed to be leaders or followers of these religions, abiding by the doctrines of said religion, the world would greatly change.
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