Well, Jesus is the Son of God, or the God, the beginning & the end...I know how or what do the devoted followers of this concept usually think of Islam, Hinduism or about atheism. The only thing I'm curious is that what do the Christians think of Buddha & what do they really think of Buddhism?
***If you are not a devoted Christian, don't bother ***
Yes, I am an extemely devout Christian. However, having shed the prideful passions that so many have about defending their faith and the "albeit" of their faith I've long sought tolerance and understanding among all faiths and even those without faith. In a nutshell I do believe in "order" to the faith of Jesus Christ as He has instituted and instructed. Furthermore, I believe He has mercy and strongly upholds personal free agency to choose for all mankind just as the Father upholds. For this reason we teach and instruct in this life and that mission continues among the dead as well. That's part of the mercy.
I believe that systems of faith that lead one to seek out knowledge and power above that of the self is helpful. One of the ultimate relinquishings of pride is the acknowledgment that there are forces greater than the self and it is that force that we are answerable to.
Do systems of faith butt heads? Sure they do! However, I believe that the sum total of all eternal knowledge will be made known to man eventually. No one has all truth and that simple fact should put us all on a level playing field. In fact, it should be grounds enough for all to exercise religious tolerance and understanding.
Buddhism is a quest of improvement of the self and understanding the environment around you. For that reason I support those of this faith. If a faith works for you and it satisfies all your current questions then I advocate continuing in that faith. As I said corrections and missing knowledge will eventually be made known.
As far as those other faiths you've mentioned there are many wonderful faiths out there. Most are rooted in love, charity and hope for all mankind. However, some are not and many people pervert the writings and doctrines of others to promote or justify abhorrent actions. It is the individuals that need correction.
Thanks for such detailed response gp, it was really helpful.
There are very many Christians, and so there would not be just one view, you realize.
I do know of a rather official view, and that was John Paul II's. He wrote a very great little book, a kind of autobiography, called On the Threshold of Hope which is now available for free online. Among the first chapters of that book there is a summary of the John Paul's inofficial view of the history of philosophy, a great summary, maybe some 3 or 5 pages long, no more, nice. And then, in that book, he wrote about Buddhism in a rather summary way sounding almost depressed, almost like a schoolkid in one of those idiotic history exams. I don't think he knew anything about Buddhism and yet felt he had to say at least something.
Well, a few days later he was in the BIG headlines, because apparently he had described Buddhism as a sort of atheistic philosophy. I read that chapter, too, but can't remember a thing about it. It was truly minor but caused some stir. And he apologized saying it had never been his intention to offend the great nations of the Far East.
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