Believing in a Christian God

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Blossom
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Believing in a Christian God

Post by Blossom » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:07 pm

I think it's reasonable to believe in a Christian God, as there are many gods in the sutras.
There is a story I read about the Buddha long ago meeting a being who claimed to create the universe, but the Buddha corrected him and said that it only seemed that way since this being was the first to enter the universe and was alone until others came along. I find this story interesting. Perhaps this is a reference to the God of Jerusalem?
What does Dharma Wheel think?

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:20 pm

Very interesting point. Also, ever think that...

Holy Father = Primordial Buddha..?

Best wishes.

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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jesse » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:29 pm

I don't see any issue with belief in god per say. But when you attach a religious doctrine along with it things get mucky.

An omniscient and omnipotent creator god can only be evil when the universe is examined thoroughly.

Also the logic just doesn't add up. But if you need to have belief in an all loving all knowing god go for it. Doesn't hurt anyone.

Just don't expect to consolidate two opposing belief systems.
The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
-Henry David Thoreau

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Konchok Namgyal
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Konchok Namgyal » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:34 pm

Belief in a Christian God as in the whole dogma etc attatched to it ?
Or simply believe in " his " existence ?
Does it really matter ?

I thought that the teachings of the Buddha transcended god.......

I have an understanding of what I percieve " god to be....but it is my perception
Recognize that your mind is the unity of being empty and cognizant, suffused with knowing. When your attention is extroverted, you fall under the sway of thoughts. Let your attention recognize itself. Recognize that it is empty. That which recognizes is the cognizance. You can trust at that moment that these two – emptiness and cognizance – are an original unity. Seeing this is called self-knowing wakefulness. ~ Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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Blossom
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Blossom » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:47 pm

I am not speaking about the dogma or the traditions associated with the Christian god, but the existence itself. It is possible that this god exists in the Deva realm alongside the others, but has a different connotation given to him by us humans. The trinity concept is described as three persons in one spirit, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. I don't see how this is possible, though. It is probably something man created to put Jesus and the Spirit in the context of the Old Testament's Hebrew God. Usually the origins of these beliefs are more complex than Christians make them out to be, so it's hard to say, right?

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Ayu
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Ayu » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:27 pm

I think you have to decide wether you want to explore this matter from a christian point of view or from a buddhist one.
If you mix the different terms all together there probably will be no new discovery - but just more confusion.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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Blossom
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Blossom » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:17 pm

Ayu wrote:I think you have to decide wether you want to explore this matter from a christian point of view or from a buddhist one.
If you mix the different terms all together there probably will be no new discovery - but just more confusion.
Well, I am trying to posit the possibility of the existence of a god that is not Hindu, in other words the existence of a god or gods other than the ones depicted in the sutras. It seems fair in a Buddhist context to believe in the existence of a god or gods of other religions. Nichiren Daishonin, for instance, cited Shinto gods and goddesses multiple times in his writings, and he was a full-fledged Buddhist monk. Then again, I am not Buddhist, I am only learning. I can see how the idea of the Christian God and everything he represents goes against what I know about dharma. However, at the same time, I can see how non-Hindu gods could exist in the Deva realm. That is, unless I'm misunderstanding the nature of that realm.

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Boomerang
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Boomerang » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:22 pm

I think it's possible to accept the existence of the God of Abraham from a Buddhist perspective. Buddhists would doubt the omnipotence and infallibility of this being, but it could still exist. Going is heaven is considered a suboptimal rebirth in Buddhsim, because you're so engulfed by pleasure that you forget to do meritorious deeds, and then when your good merit runs dry you are at risk of a bad rebirth. The fact that Christians experience miracles and visions makes me believe they are in contact with some sort of entity.

You can read about Buddhist cosmology in the link below. Page 37 says that some deva realms are equivalent to the heavens of other religions.

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/allexistence.pdf
Last edited by Boomerang on Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grigoris
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Grigoris » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:36 pm

I believe that one can believe in the existence of Yaweh/Allah/God as long as they recognise that they are a (powerful) samsaric being like all the other Asura and Deva and not turn them for refuge.

You may wish to read this thread where the discussion revolves around the possibility of being a Hindu and a Buddhist. The idea of God and Gods pops up throughout.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by plwk » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:54 pm

In the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Tradition, a whole range of views is offered as to how the god of Christianity is viewed as and from many readings, many of them are split between identifying that deity as either Śakra Devānām Indraḥ, Lord of the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven ('Heaven of the Thirty Three', second in the rung of six heavens in the Realm of Desire) or as Brahmā from the Realm of Form. Generally, my personal opinion is to avoid pigeonholing the 'divinities' of other religions from a Buddhist POV as there are multiple perspectives involved in inter-religious comparative studies and to avoid the common over-simplification pitfall.

However, here's one opinion from the late Founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, the Venerable Master Dr Shèng Yán, in his popular book, 'Orthodox Chinese Buddhism' on pages 41-44, 2.5 'Do Buddhists Believe In The Existence of God'. You can also flip to the appendix section of the pdf link to have a look at how traditional Buddhist cosmology is presented.

And another example from the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra in its 25th Chapter on Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva's ability of multiple transformation bodies...
Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva said to the Buddha,
“World Honored One, how does Guanshiyin Bodhisattva roam through this Saha world?
How does he speak the Dharma for living beings? How does he carry out this work with the power of expedients?”

The Buddha told Inexhaustible Intention Bodhisattva, “Good man, if living beings in this land must be saved by means of someone in the body of a Buddha, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva will manifest in the body of a Buddha and speak Dharma for them.”

“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Pratyekabuddha, he will manifest in the body of a Pratyekabuddha and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Hearer, he will manifest in the body of a Hearer and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Brahma King, he will manifest in the body of a Brahma King and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of Shakra, he will manifest in the body of Shakra and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of the God of Sovereignty, he will manifest in the body of the God of Sovereignty and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of the Great God of Sovereignty, he will manifest in the body of the Great God of Sovereignty and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Great Heavenly General, he will manifest in the body of a Great Heavenly General and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of Vaishravana, he will manifest in the body of Vaishravana and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a minor king, he will manifest in the body of a minor king and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of an Elder, he will manifest in the body of an Elder and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a layman, he will manifest in the body of a layman and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a minister of state, he will manifest in the body of a minister of state and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Brahman, he will manifest in the body of a Brahman and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Upasaka, or Upasika, he will manifest in the body of a Bhikshu, Bhikshuni, Upasaka, or Upasika and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of the wife of an Elder, a layman, a minister of state, or a Brahman, he will manifest in a wife’s body and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a pure youth or pure maiden, he will manifest in the body of a pure youth or pure maiden and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a heavenly dragon, yaksha, gandharva, asura, garuda, kinnara, mahoraga, human or non-human, and so forth, he will manifest in such a body and speak Dharma for them.”
“If they must be saved by someone in the body of a Vajra-wielding Spirit, he will manifest in the body of a Vajra-wielding Spirit and speak Dharma for them.”

“Inexhaustible Intention! Guanshiyin Bodhisattva has accomplished merit and virtue such as this and, in all manner of forms, roams throughout the land, saving and liberating living beings.” “Therefore you should all single-mindedly make offerings to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva.

Guanshiyin Bodhisattva Mahasattva can, in the midst of fear, crisis, and hardship, bestow fearlessness.
That is why in this Saha world, all call him the “Bestower of Fearlessness.”

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Boomerang
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Boomerang » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:19 pm

I would like to believe that Jesus was an enlightened being who skillfully taught Middle Eastern people to be compassionate while witholding the teachings they weren't ready to hear, and that his heaven is actually a pure land where faithful Christians will encounter the full Buddha Dharma. But I have a reputation for taking my religious fantasies too far.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:13 pm

Boomerang wrote:I would like to believe that Jesus was an enlightened being who skillfully taught Middle Eastern people to be compassionate while witholding the teachings they weren't ready to hear, and that his heaven is actually a pure land where faithful Christians will encounter the full Buddha Dharma. But I have a reputation for taking my religious fantasies too far.
I would agree on Jesus, but not sure what heaven you think Jesus was describing...

Luke 17: 20-21
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’[d] For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

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Boomerang
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Boomerang » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:51 pm

Jeff wrote:
Boomerang wrote:I would like to believe that Jesus was an enlightened being who skillfully taught Middle Eastern people to be compassionate while witholding the teachings they weren't ready to hear, and that his heaven is actually a pure land where faithful Christians will encounter the full Buddha Dharma. But I have a reputation for taking my religious fantasies too far.
I would agree on Jesus, but not sure what heaven you think Jesus was describing...

Luke 17: 20-21
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’[d] For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
"Neither the pure land nor hell exists outside oneself; both lie only within one’s own heart. Awakened to this, one is called a Buddha; deluded about it, one is called an ordinary person."

http://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/52

I would like for Christian heaven to be a pure land. I'm not saying it is or isn't. I would like every religion that teaches compassion to lead to pure land rebirth.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:58 pm

Boomerang wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Boomerang wrote:I would like to believe that Jesus was an enlightened being who skillfully taught Middle Eastern people to be compassionate while witholding the teachings they weren't ready to hear, and that his heaven is actually a pure land where faithful Christians will encounter the full Buddha Dharma. But I have a reputation for taking my religious fantasies too far.
I would agree on Jesus, but not sure what heaven you think Jesus was describing...

Luke 17: 20-21
20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’[d] For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
"Neither the pure land nor hell exists outside oneself; both lie only within one’s own heart. Awakened to this, one is called a Buddha; deluded about it, one is called an ordinary person."

http://www.nichirenlibrary.org/en/wnd-1/Content/52

I would like for Christian heaven to be a pure land. I'm not saying it is or isn't. I would like every religion that teaches compassion to lead to pure land rebirth.
Thank you for the reference. Regarding your quote about the heart, think of "living water" in the same context...

John 7:37-38
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:42 pm

Blossom wrote:I think it's reasonable to believe in a Christian God, as there are many gods in the sutras.
People believe in this or that. I find belief more interesting than the innumerable objects of belief.

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Boomerang
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Boomerang » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:45 pm

Herbie wrote:
Blossom wrote:I think it's reasonable to believe in a Christian God, as there are many gods in the sutras.
People believe in this or that. I find belief more interesting than the innumerable objects of belief.
What do you believe, Herbie?

Herbie
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Herbie » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:48 pm

Boomerang wrote:
Herbie wrote:
Blossom wrote:I think it's reasonable to believe in a Christian God, as there are many gods in the sutras.
People believe in this or that. I find belief more interesting than the innumerable objects of belief.
What do you believe, Herbie?
i believe that belief is a psycho-mental phenomenon worthwhile to investigate.

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by 明安 Myoan » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:50 pm

God as a relationship with life and other people is not so problematic.
God as a concept described by Jesus in the Gospels is not so problematic.
God as widely described in American Christianity today is very problematic, in my opinion.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:29 am

Blossom wrote:I think it's reasonable to believe in a Christian God, as there are many gods in the sutras.
There is a story I read about the Buddha long ago meeting a being who claimed to create the universe, but the Buddha corrected him and said that it only seemed that way since this being was the first to enter the universe and was alone until others came along. I find this story interesting. Perhaps this is a reference to the God of Jerusalem?
What does Dharma Wheel think?
You have found that some people at Dharma Wheel think there is some merit and plausibility in the idea.
What Dharma Wheel thinks is best expressed in the Terms of Service, which you are presumed to have read:
This is not a "comparative religion site", it is a site to learn and discuss the Buddha's teachings without animosity. In support of this:
~ Badmouthing of other spiritual paths is not allowed.
~ Proselyting/evangelizing other paths which includes for example arguing some other path is superior to the Buddhist path is not allowed.

Please bear this in mind.
:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Mkoll » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:40 am

Herbie wrote:
Boomerang wrote:What do you believe, Herbie?
i believe that belief is a psycho-mental phenomenon worthwhile to investigate.
Investigate to what end?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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