Essay on Contrast Between Buddhism and Christianity
Number of words: 2240
Difference analogies have existed between Buddhism and Christianity and it is clear that the two religions have several differences. The core idea in Christianity is on monotheism whereas Buddhism religion in purely non-theism. In this case, both Buddhism and Christianity had a great Spiritual Masters who founded them. These masters in the two religion needed to find a way to salvation for its followers. In each religion, the terminology used for the spiritual master was quite different. They incarnated in different circumstances and hence different paths were taught at the same time emphasizing diverse spirituality approaches. It is equally important to note that none of the two, that is, Jesus Christ or Buddha wrote or recorded their own work (Paz, Neto, & Mullet, 2007). This means that their teachings were recorded and written several years after they left the world. Since the two regions started at a different time of history, it is clear that several differences between them exist. In this regard, significant differences exist between Buddhism and Christianity will be discussed at length in this essay.
A general overview of Buddhism
It is a religion which puts emphasis on personal spiritual growth as well as the attaining of a clear understanding of nature of life. Primarily, this religion has a large number of followers worldwide which amounts to 376 million (“Differences between Buddhism and Christianity |”, 2018). Buddhists have a great desire of reaching nirvana, “following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who spent on a quest for enlightenment around the sixth century BC.” There is no particular god who Buddhists have belief on. Buddhists have a belief that there is nothing which is permanent or fixed and hence changes is inevitable and it can occur at any time. They believe that the Enlightenment path only happens via practicing and development of wisdom, morality as well as meditation. Another credence by Buddhists is that life has no end and hence it is subject to uncertainty, impermanence as well as suffering. These conditions are denoted as tilakhana, or “the three signs of existence.” Existence is interminable since individuals are re-embodied repeatedly, and as a result, they experience suffering through the lives of many. Since no state, either good or bad has a capability of lasting forever, then life is impermanent (Paz, Neto, & Mullet, 2007). The suffering that people have is due to their belief that things last forever. Therefore, Buddhism history is as simple as “the story of one man’s spiritual journey to enlightenment, and of the teachings and ways of living that developed from it.” (“Differences between Buddhism and Christianity |”, 2018).
The Buddha, whose name is Siddhartha Gautama was born and raised in Nepal which was a royal family for the last 2,500 years. He led a luxurious life full of privilege. In a particular day he decided to leave the royal arena and at that juncture, he encountered a sick man, a corpse and also an old man. He was greatly troubled and hence he converted to a monk and embraced the severe poverty of Indian austerity. The two paths did not satisfy Buddha and as a result he followed the “Middle Way”- in essence, a life which not only lacks luxury but also one without poverty. Therefore, it is a belief by Buddhists that while Siddhartha was seated under the awakening tree (Bodhi tree), meditation and reflection of his life experiences totally absorbed him up to the time he became enlightened.
This is a religion that is built on the foundation of miracles and the teachings of Jesus. Actually, Christ is Jesus and hence the word “Christ” is used to mean the anointed one. Jesus is the son of God who came into the world to fulfill the prophecies and the laws of the Old Testament. He was crucified on the cross and died and died a shameful death but he physically rose from the dead. The teachings by Christianity shows that there exists only one God. The teachings further say that this God created the earth and the universe. He also created Adam and Eve. The man was created in image and likeness of God.
Through the teachings of Christianity, we come to know that God is a Trinity. This trinity consists of the Father, son and the Holy Spirit (Tsai, Miao, & Seppala, 2007). Also, the Christian teachings unfold to us that the only way one can be saved is by receiving the faith of Christ’s work on the cross. We cannot anything to please God rather than believing in Jesus’ work on the cross. It is only the Christianity religion that teaches that it through grace that salvation is gotten, unlike other world’s religions which say that one has to good in order to communicate with God and achieve the freedom of accessing presence of God. Further, we get from Christianity that the moment an individual becomes “born again,” then the Holy Spirit resides in that person and hence the person becomes changed. Therefore, Christianity is simply believing in Christ and knowing the sins are forgiven through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Contrast between Buddhism and Christianity H
First and foremost, Christianity and Buddhism differ greatly on the existence of God as a creator. Buddhists do not utter anything concerning God as a creator. When we look deep in Christianity, the idea and the concept of emerges largely. Looking back to the Old Testament, there is the appearance of God in all dimensions and he is the one who gives life. Also, according to Christians, divide justice was given by God at the time of Old Testament. On the side of Buddhism, this idea of God as a Creator misses largely.
Prayer and meditation
In Buddhism, the core belief is centered on mindfulness and meditation. For example, we see clearly that when Buddha fled away from the royal enclosure, he went and met with people he had not interacted with before. While he was sitting under a Bodhi tree, he was only meditating and reflecting on his life experiences and at that juncture, he was fully enlightened. On the other hand, Christianity does not believe in meditation rather, great emphasis by Christian id made on prayers. Christians believe that it is through prayer that one can communicate with God the creator. This makes prayer to be much stressed in Christianity.
Personal effort and grace
On the side of Buddhism, great emphasis is laid on personal efforts. Buddhists argue that it through the personal efforts that one is able to develop spiritually and that through the same personal effort, one is able to attain a profound insight into the real nature of life. On the other hand, a great emphasis is in placed on prayer by Christianity and for the prayer to go through grace must be sufficient (“Differences between Buddhism and Christianity |”, 2018). Christians believe that the only way to communicate to their creator is through prayer and it is by grace that their prayer is answered. This is evident because, when Christians pray, they make there will be known to God. They believe that whenever you ask anything from God, it is answered after you make a request through a word of prayer.
This is a religious concept in which the followers of a given doctrine believe that life can begin afresh after one has died. The idea that one can still start living in a new after each subsequent biological death. When we focus on Buddhism, they put a clear emphasis on unending birth cycles such that when an individual dies, he or she is rebirth, hence emphasizing the idea of reincarnation. According to the teachings by Christianity doctrines, everybody has only one life to live. Christians stress that there is only one chance that an individual has on this earth. Therefore, Christianity disagrees with the concept of reincarnation.
Salvation and Liberation
The concept of salvation is greatly emphasized by Christianity. They believe that a person can acquire salvation only through accepting that Jesus Christ is his or her personal savior. It is also a belief by Christians that those have faith and trust in Christ Jesus, he or she is entitled to eternal life. They also believe that there is the existence of heaven where the righteous will go and live to eternity after they die here on earth (Paz, Neto, & Mullet, 2007). In contrast, the emphasis by Buddhists is different from that of Christianity. They believe that a person must work in order to have personal liberation. This liberation is taken by Buddhists severally in one’s lifetime. Buddhists also claim that believing in Buddha must also be accompanied by seeking the experience of nirvana in oneself. This is done when the seeker transforms his or her nature as well as stilling the mind of the Buddha.
Belief of God
Christian’s belief that there is the existence of one Supreme Being called God. They recognize the existence of trinity which includes “God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.” They trust God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient (Tsai, Miao, & Seppala, 2007). This belief is rejected greatly by Buddhists. According to Buddhism, there is no supreme being who created the universe. As far as Buddhism is concerned, the entire religion is built under the Buddha’s life and teachings. On the other hand, Christianity mainly focuses on the teachings of Christ Jesus as well as His life. Christians base their argument of the life of Christ. Again, Buddhism does not lay any belief in the existence of a supreme being like God. In this case, Buddhism is said to be a nontheistic religion. In contrast, Christians have a strong belief there exists of a supreme being whom they call God. In this case, their religion is monotheistic. Another fact which makes these two religions to differ is concerning their origin. For example, Christianity is believed to offshoot from Judaism and the religion is Abrahamic. Buddhism is believed to originate from Hinduism and hence it is said to be a Dharmic religion.
Place of worship
The places of worship of Buddhism is in either shrines, monasteries or even in temples. Christians do worship in church others may worship in the cathedral as well as a chapel. Other Christians may worship in their personal dwellings as well as in-home bible study.
Buddhists do practices such as meditation, right action, right concentration, right effort and also practicing the Eightfold Path. For Christians, they entirely practice things like prayer, they read the Bible always, some Christian belief in sacraments as well as communion (Tsai, Miao, & Seppala, 2007). Buddhists are saved when they reach Enlightenment or after reaching Nirvana. They do this by following the Eightfold Path which is highly regarded as noble. Christians are saved through the passion of Christ, in essence, through the death and the resurrection of Christ.
Christians have one book which they use as their scripture. This book is called The Holy Bible. This scripture is highly valued and recommended by the Christians. The scripture of Buddhists is known as Tripitaka. This a vast canon consisting of 3 sections. The 3 sections include the Discipline, the Discourses as well as the Commentaries.
According to Christians, marriage is a Holy Sacrament. In contrast, marriage is not a must. They do not regard marriage as a religious duty. For example, the monks and the nuns are not allowed to marry but instead they lead a celibate life.
This is another difference between the two religions. In the case of Buddhism, their priesthood or ministry is based on the Buddhist Sangha, which is made up of bhikkhus who are the male monks and bhikkhunis who are the female nuns (“Differences between Buddhism and Christianity |”, 2018). Lay Buddhists supports Sangha. On the side of Christians, the clergy is made up of bishops, priests as well as the ministers.
Like any other religion, Buddhism has fundamental beliefs which include reincarnation, whereby they believe that once a person dies he or she is reborn. The primary beliefs of the Buddhism include the “Three Universal Truths, the Four Noble Truths and finally the Noble Eightfold Path.” On the side of Christianity, the common beliefs include believing in God as the Father at the same time believing Jesus as God’s son and the Holy Spirit. They also believe that Christ died and resurrected and they still wait Christ to come for a second time. In this regard, the two religions have diverse beliefs and hence they have quite clear differences.
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