Research Paper: Islam and Christianity

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Buddhism and Christianity

Buddhism

"Religion is not some dry rational idea but rather a fundamental viewpoint of life: a person hears a teaching that makes sense, finds via familiarity that it relates to their psychological composition positively, gets a real taste of the same via practice and adopts it as their spiritual path" (Faure 11). This is a saying by a famous Buddhist leader called Lama Yeshe. Buddhism originates from the 6th century BCE, where it originated with the delivery of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, in Lumbini, Nepal (Faure 11). Buddhism is among the oldest religions still in existence today. As it evolved, it spread through from the Northeastern side of the Indian subcontinent, to the Central, Eastern and South East Asia. The history of this religion has visible features such as the development of movements, schisms and schools.

Beliefs about the divine

Most people associate the meditating monk with Buddhism. This indicates and emphasizes that Buddhism has its foundation on practices rather than divine beliefs (Faure 35). It is true that, in Buddhism, the right practices are imperative. However, their faith depends on the correct understanding of the human nature and the ultimate reality. Their divine believe is that, there is no Divine God who created the world; neither is there a God who rules the world. However, this belief does not implicate the religion as atheistic. According to the religion, the universe has several celestial buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deities that guide and assist the Buddhists practitioner. Among these are Kuan Yin, the Buddha of medicine, the laughing Buddha and Green and White Taras. In this religion, these are significant figures of divinity in the religion.

Among other of divinity beliefs, is the belief on reincarnation and the afterlife. Buddha once said, "Life is a journey, and that death is a return to the earth" (Conner 76). Therefore, the soul is an eternally living substance, with spirituality nature, and; therefore, it moves from one form of the body to the next during rebirth. Additionally, a person does not need to join the temple to be a Buddhist; however, their spirituality is dependent on the spiritual community of the person. Therefore, if a person is in an agreed meeting with others, and they have similar beliefs and objectives, they then build their spirituality. Thus, their divinity is not depended on the temple.

Beliefs about the word suffering

In the Buddhism beliefs, the sole purpose of life is to end the suffering. Since they do not believe in a divine God, they also do not relate suffering to a god or evil, but rather to the individual themselves. In his teaching, Buddha taught that the reason humans suffer is that they strive for things that do not give lasting fulfillment and happiness. Therefore, this is the foundation of Buddhism teachings. The emphasis of the teaching is on the truth and practical approach to life and spirituality. Therefore, Buddha emphasizes on the people achieving practical knowledge to eliminate the suffering.

Among their meditation practices, suffering is the key aspect that the religion focuses upon, and intents to eliminate. When a person meditates, they become mindful of their surrounding, and thus, they get the insight to engage in the real life to eliminate suffering. The belief is that everything has its origin from the mind, from speech to all actions, and, therefore, suffering follows when a person acts with a negative thought.

Beliefs about liberation

The Buddha in this religion has the name "Enlightened One." Being enlightened means that a person gains some knowledge that they did not have (Conner 81). The person develops a new understanding and adds quality to their bank of knowledge and reasoning. In his teaching, he focused on liberating the people. Therefore, this is among the most basic basis of the Buddhism religion. They have beliefs that center on the liberation of the people.

Their forefront belief about liberation is that, the way to eliminate suffering begins with a clear and concise understanding of the true nature of the world. As Lama Yeshe said, the spiritual path that a person chooses depends on whether it resonates with their psychological makeup positively (Conner 43). Buddha urged his followers that, the only way free themselves is by focusing on the Four Noble Truths. Therefore, their belief of liberation depends on practical knowledge rather than dependence on God.

Reflection of these beliefs in the religion worship, practices, and spirituality

In understanding the worship practices and experiences, I managed to visit a temple. The environment of worship is remarkably calm. Observing the people, every one of them was at peace. This experience makes a personal feeling of the worship experience as they are connecting and tapping power directly from a supernatural power. They do not practice preaching with passion and noise, but rather do it quietly and calmly, although they do not have a book of religion. They rely on literary books written by the Buddha or other spiritual leaders (Edelglass & Jay 43). As you sit, you can feel the happiness hovering in the space, the people connect even though they do not know the issues of the other. Thus, the self-centeredness of the spirituality of Buddhism reflects from this worship experience.

Christianity

In logic approach, "the law of the excluded middle" asserts that a thing is either is or not. A line is either straight or not, hence Christianity cannot have a middle ground. It is either divine or human. The religion originated from the Abrahamic faith (Hanegraaff 41). The foundation of the Christian religion is on faith and basis its teachings from a historical chronology from the creation of the universe to the last era of the key apostles and teachers of the Christian faith. There are several Christian segments in the world today, however, despite the minor differences they indicate, they have many similarities, and their beliefs are more or less the same.

Beliefs about the divine

The divine nature of religion is clearly visible from their practices. Christianity religion is a strong believing system in a single and all-powerful God. Despite the different Christian denominations, the doctrines presented in Christianity are same. They all practice and belief in teaching from the divine book called the Bible. This carries and outlines the expectations and characteristics of religion, and it's God. There is only one divine and all-powerful God (Hanegraaff 41). There is the aspect of trinity, which encompasses three forms of God in one God. The divine God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, sovereign, holy, and righteous and just, true, love and spirit. He is the sole creator of the entire universe and everything. Above all, God is infinite, eternal and immutable as the religion teaches. Christianity also practices spirituality in the divine nature of their God. The belief in trinity outlines that, God took the human body in the form of Jesus Christ, which is evident today in the form of the Holy Spirit; and he is the Father, architect of heaven and earth.

Beliefs about the word suffering

It is a common practice to hear people cry out saying, "Why, God, Why?" When there is a disaster or a bad thing happening. The Christian religion has its foundation on the belief of a loving God. In essence, God is Love as Christians believe (Wright 65). Therefore, the religion continues to try understanding the term suffering in relation to their loving God. Some of the proficient Christian's scholars and spiritualists strive to teach that God's goodness is also compatible with the suffering of the innocent. However, other views indicate that suffering results from a cosmic law of moral cause and effect. Christian faith relates the suffering to that of their savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died, despite being innocent. Therefore, they believe that God can allow suffering to bring out a greater good. This indicates that suffering in Christianity is an acceptable aspect of life that transforms, to bring out the goodness of God.

Beliefs about liberation

The foundation of Christianity is on the aspect of sin and salvation, in addition to blessings and good life. The greatest case of liberation recorded in Christianity is the story of the demise of Jesus Christ on the cross. He gave his life to save the people (Hanegraaff 41). Therefore, the salvation and liberation of the people is an essential aspect of the Christian religion. The liberation comes from faith in Christ the savior, and God is the source of all freedom, salvation and liberation from any form of suffering.

Reflection of these beliefs in the religion worship, practices, and spirituality

The Christian religion is extremely spiritual, with a conspicuous preaching zeal. The environment of the church is calm and peaceful, and the faith of the people helps them and guides them as they pray. There are individualistic as well as collective prayers. They pray to God for provisions, blessings and thanksgiving among many other reasons. When they pray, it is a way of connecting with their God.

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