Buddhists can be called deists
Faith is best judged from within. It is therefore difficult as a Christian to judge other people's sacred things. I also didn't live as a Buddhist before I became a Christian. In addition, Buddhism is not a simple and coherent structure of thought, so everything that has been said here is also greatly simplified. Therefore: All Buddhists who read this are expressly invited to correct mistakes or to participate in the discussion. What we can compare are the teachings of both faiths. And I want to do that here in a nutshell.
In my opinion, there is a common ground between the two religions
Inner, positive or negative, attitudes, needs and beliefs lead to actions. These actions can be good, bad, or neutral. They have consequences, not only in the material but also in the immaterial. Christians would call the immaterial the spiritual dimension, Buddhists call it karma.
Evil deeds worsen karma; good deeds improve it. When a person dies, the “resulting” karma of his life, i.e. the moral quality of his actions, decides whether and if so, as what a person will be reborn as. A worthwhile goal is not to be born again at all, but to dissolve into nothingness, nirvana, and to escape the eternal cycle of being born again. Buddhists regard this as a redeemed state. Following the teachings of the Buddha should pave the way to nirvana. That is not easy, but: Ultimately, it is up to the human being to get into the redeemed state.
In contrast to Buddhism, the Christian faith knows a personal creator god
This God created man and directs the course of history. According to the Bible, this God says of himself that he is love. Christianity, like Buddhism, affirms that the inner attitude, the character, determines what people do. The value of actions is measured - greatly simplified - by whether love is expressed in them. Love is not just a feeling, but what God himself is: a very complex attitude of unconditional goodness, loyalty, kindness, mercy, peacefulness and selflessness. If people act like this consistently, they are called "righteous" in Christianity, and they do not disappear into nirvana, but are redeemed to an eternal life of joy.
The problem is: Unfortunately, we humans are not like that
The Bible even says that no one lives so righteously. Our actions are more evil than good. Because many of our - on the surface - good deeds also happen for selfish, narrow-minded or evil motives. And God sees them all. In the end, therefore, all human beings would be condemned, not to a cycle of eternal rebirth as in Buddhism, but rather to an existence in a place of the worst punishment, however we would have to imagine it.
The Christian God has found a way out of this dilemma
He has sent a perfectly good person into this world who willingly accepted the punishment of everyone else: his Son Jesus Christ. Linked to this is the promise: Whoever decides to entrust himself with his life to this God, God gives him this eternal life already now and invites him to a life of freedom, love and goodness. No matter how bad his behavior may have been: God accompanies him and helps him to become the person that God's loving wish he should have been for a long time. Only this promise of God and his loving accompaniment make it possible to change his being for the better. Man cannot bring about this change through his own effort alone. Increasingly, he can lead a life in which his deepest needs are met. He increasingly learns to live by good standards with God's help and strength, but without becoming perfect. This transformation is a process that begins with the decision to entrust oneself to this God and is completed with the physical death of man. After earthly death, such a person lives a fulfilled life in joy and without sorrow for all eternity.
I don't want to judge. For me the question is decided. And, most of the people I know wish something of them stayed. Christian hope feeds this wish, while Buddhism buries it. What do you mean?
SW, member of the Lukas Congregation
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