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  • doug07031863
    Hi, I m not really sure what I would call myself. When somebody asks me I usually say something like the following: * I was born into a Baptist family, which
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 9, 2002
      Hi,
      I'm not really sure what I would call myself. When
      somebody asks me I usually say something like the following:

      * I was born into a Baptist family, which my mother took
      quite seriously, being a treasurer at the Baptist Home
      for Children and Sunday School superintendent. My father
      never talked about religion, but after he died I found
      an astonishing number of religious tracts in his study.
      He must have been real scared, but never talked about that
      either.

      * I converted to eastern religions in college. All of
      them. For many years now I've settled on Buddhism, but
      still like the Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching.

      I think this group has over 3,000 messages in it. I
      imagine that I'm walking into the beginning of a movie
      which old-timers have already seen, but here's my question:

      Is it possible to be both a Buddhist and a Christian?

      Here's how I understand them:

      Buddhism: Belief in the 4 Noble Truths, which says that
      the nature of our minds is to attach to transitory sensations,
      including thoughts. Being transitory this leads to
      suffering. The goal is to detach. This is best done
      by following the Noble Eightfold Path, the hallmark being
      meditation. There is no concept of an external God. Since
      the concept is never discussed, we can assume that God
      as Christians would conceive God has no place in Buddhism.

      Christianity: The Bible, more specifically the
      Beatitudes, points the way as to how we can "save" ourselves.
      Similarly to Buddhism, the goal is to detach from our
      binding to our selves. However, the route is not by
      mindfulness, but by love. Christ modeled the way in
      the way he lived. "Loving" Christ means to try to do as he
      did. He never sought to possess things, but dedicated the
      fruits of his labors to God. He showed how we should act
      in the world: with love of other human beings and to
      ourselves, recognizing our bound condition. Like the
      Buddha he preached that it is what we think in our hearts
      that makes or breaks us, not anything external.

      His final act was to point the way how we should live in
      this world: not by trying to escape suffering, but to face
      it head on. Modern psychology validates this. He died
      the way he lived, demonstrating for all time how we
      should live life: with will and intention, according to
      our beliefs.

      "Ye ha' seen me heal the lame and blind,
      And wake the dead," says he,
      "Ye shall see one thing to master all:
      "Tis how a brave man dies on the tree."

      Ballad of the Goodly Fere - Ezra Pound

      That's my understanding. Maybe they can co-exist. I
      don't see any reason why not.

      Thanks for this group.

      - Doug
    • Jack Betterly
      ... Hi, Doug! What do you mean? Is it internally contradictory? Are there laws against it? Will people stone you? I think you need to expand on this. In my
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 9, 2002
        > Is it possible to be both a Buddhist and a Christian?

        Hi, Doug! What do you mean? Is it internally contradictory? Are there laws
        against it? Will people stone you? I think you need to expand on this. In my
        Unitarian Universalist Church, you can "be" any combination you want.

        - Jack

        --
        Make your upper garments into a monk's robe
        Make your chair your sitting cushion;
        Make the mountains, rivers and great earth the sitting platform;
        Make the whole universe your own personal meditation cave.
        This is the true practice of the sages of the past and of today.
        - Hakuin (1748)

        Jack Betterly, Emma Willard School, Emeritus
        6350 Eubank Boulevard NE, Apt. #1013
        Albuquerque, NM 87111 E-mail: jbetterl@...
        New Web Site: <http://www.geocities.com/jbetterl/index.html>
      • Doug
        ... Hi Jack, I think the difference is that Christians believe in a permanent, unchanging God whom one prays to and who is considered to have an existance
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 9, 2002
          --- Jack Betterly <jbetterl@...> wrote:
          > > Is it possible to be both a Buddhist and a Christian?
          >
          > Hi, Doug! What do you mean? Is it internally contradictory? Are there laws
          > against it? Will people stone you? I think you need to expand on this. In my
          > Unitarian Universalist Church, you can "be" any combination you want.
          >
          > - Jack

          Hi Jack,
          I think the difference is that Christians believe in a permanent,
          unchanging God whom one prays to and who is considered to have an
          existance apart from oneself. One prays to this God. Buddhists would
          say that any such concept is just another factor of mind, no more
          permanent than being happy that one's dentist appointment is over.
          A pretty stark difference.

          - Doug


          __________________________________________________
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        • jzse@earthlink.net
          ... God in the Christian concept is permanent but not unchanging. One aspect of God is entirely evolutionary, experiential and incarnational -- even as deity,
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 9, 2002
            At 11:25 AM 11/9/02 -0800, you wrote:

            >Hi Jack,
            > I think the difference is that Christians believe in a permanent,
            >unchanging God whom one prays to and who is considered to have an
            >existance apart from oneself. One prays to this God. Buddhists would
            >say that any such concept is just another factor of mind, no more
            >permanent than being happy that one's dentist appointment is over.
            >A pretty stark difference.
            >
            >- Doug

            God in the Christian concept is permanent but not unchanging. One aspect
            of God is entirely evolutionary, experiential and incarnational -- even as
            deity, Christ became "Pantocrator" only after his successful mission here,
            after he "saw Satan fall like lightning." God the father in his
            incarnational or experiential aspect is continuously evolving through us,
            his creation. He manifests himself through us, and as we become "perfect
            even as my Father in Heaven is perfect" or as "thy will be done on earth as
            it is in heaven" the absolute sense of God -- will -- manifests, changes
            and grows and we as human beings become creators as he is and grow in that
            role -- he creates through us. So, it is a mistake to make this
            difference, it is an oversimplification of one aspect of
            theology. Furthermore, God is a part of us, as is the Christ ("the kingdom
            of God is within you") -- our goal as Christians is union as opposed to
            separation, in the same way that a Buddhist wishes for union or restoration
            within himself -- to return to his true nature.



            >__________________________________________________
            >Do you Yahoo!?
            >U2 on LAUNCH - Exclusive greatest hits videos
            ><http://launch.yahoo.com/u2>http://launch.yahoo.com/u2
            >
            >---/\---
            >Open Your Mind!
            >PEACE!
            >
            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the
            ><http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>Yahoo! Terms of Service.



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jack Betterly
            It is much more complicated than that. My mother was a passionate, college-educated woman deeply committed to Methodist and Congregational churches all of her
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 10, 2002
              It is much more complicated than that. My mother was a passionate,
              college-educated woman deeply committed to Methodist and Congregational
              churches all of her life. She basically thought Jesus was a poor Jewish
              carpenter who was in no way a God. Simply an immensely superior human being.
              "Christians" have included Cappadocians and Augustinians and Quakers and
              Byzantine mystics and Arians.

              I like Karen Armstrong. You might start with her "History of God", and then
              read her book on Buddhism. They are fun, and useful.
              - Jack
              --
              Jack Betterly, Emma Willard School, Emeritus
              6350 Eubank Boulevard NE, Apt. #1013
              Albuquerque, NM 87111 E-mail: jbetterl@...
              New Web Site: <http://www.geocities.com/jbetterl/index.html>

              > From: Doug <doug07031863@...>
              > Reply-To: christian-buddhist@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Sat, 9 Nov 2002 11:25:02 -0800 (PST)
              > To: christian-buddhist@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [christian-buddhist] Intro
              >
              > --- Jack Betterly <jbetterl@...> wrote:
              >>> Is it possible to be both a Buddhist and a Christian?
              >>
              >> Hi, Doug! What do you mean? Is it internally contradictory? Are there laws
              >> against it? Will people stone you? I think you need to expand on this. In my
              >> Unitarian Universalist Church, you can "be" any combination you want.
              >>
              >> - Jack
              >
              > Hi Jack,
              > I think the difference is that Christians believe in a permanent,
              > unchanging God whom one prays to and who is considered to have an
              > existance apart from oneself. One prays to this God. Buddhists would
              > say that any such concept is just another factor of mind, no more
              > permanent than being happy that one's dentist appointment is over.
              > A pretty stark difference.
              >
              > - Doug
              >
              >
              > __________________________________________________
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > U2 on LAUNCH - Exclusive greatest hits videos
              > http://launch.yahoo.com/u2
              >
              >
              > ---/\---
              > Open Your Mind!
              > PEACE!
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
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