Listening to Evangelicals: Counterfeit Buddha

His hope is that you can explore other religions…as long as you come back to Jesus in the end. I was right along with the story up until the “white board of Jesus” came out.  Understanding another religion or path does not entail adding your own preconceptions upon it and calling it wisdom. Translating the first noble truth to mean “Life is characterized by suffering/evil” is a poor translation at best and misinformation at the worse.  Buddha rarely mentioned evil in the Pali Canon and it surely didn’t have too much of a place in the 4 Noble Truths.

This is my main issue with Evangelicals.  There is no desire for you to explore your spirituality or practice.  There are no other options and no acceptance of change or variety.  Judgement and derision is hidden behind pleasant, conversational smiles.  An illusion of hope and salvation is really just fear and group think.  I don’t mean to ride the Christians too hard here.  It applies to any Evangelical or fundamentalist of any religion or pattern of thought and philosophy.  Also, the Christian Evangelicals are by far the most vocal.

If you honestly want to learn about another religion then you need to immerse yourself, at least make some effort, and talk or read from actual practitioners. Calling a religion “counterfeit” and then saying you are learning from it is poor method of learning anything. It is almost as bad as learning about evolution abigenesis from a youth pastor – you are sure to get an open and balance discussion of a nuanced science there. 

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5 thoughts on “Listening to Evangelicals: Counterfeit Buddha

  1. I like how other religions are referred to as “alternative” religions, as if Christianity is the “default” religion. I’m 2:45 seconds in and I’m already pissed. Should I rub the fat guy’s belly? Sidhearta gowtama?

  2. @Adam ~ I made it to the white board and I began to be annoyed. Less out of insult but more out of concern that this is the lens through which Evangelicals view the world.@Shanon ~ Actually that was the only point pastor joe and myself agreed upon.

  3. Wow. This guy really has no idea what he’s talking about, and doesn’t seem to know that he doesn’t know anything. Just, wow. I could respect a well thought out evaluation and critique of Buddhism. This is just a joke. Ignorance masquerading as information. Check out the Dalai Lama’s book, The Universe in a Single Atom; The Story of Buddhism by Donald Lopez; River of Fire, River of Water by Taitetsu Unno.

  4. Thanks for this enlightening video. I now realize that all I needed was Jesus and everything else will be rainbows and unicorns and little birds singing in the trees.Nah, just kidding. I understand his thinking and where he is coming from a lot better than I’d like to admit. I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home and went to a Christian college and got a degree in religion and I was fully prepared to go to seminary and become a pastor much like the one in this video. However, I had an attack of rationality and slowly began to realize that Christianity didn’t have all the answers it claimed to have. You’re right in your characterization of evangelicals as being absolutely rigid in their thinking with no room for disagreement or other viewpoints. In the end they are absolutely positive that theirs is the only way and that God is on their side approving of all that they do. It leads to a lot of crazy and messed up thinking and justifies exactly what this pastor did by stating up front that this Buddhism is “counterfeit” and then claim to admire and learn from it.The best parallel that I can draw from is a story about life in South Africa during apartheid. When you went in to someone’s home, you saw their black servants: the maid, the cook, the handyman but you never paid any attention to them because they were second class citizens at best. That’s the way that evangelicals look at anything that doesn’t fit their narrow view: as a second class viewpoint that can be seen but not interacted with. I still have a hard time believing that I spent over 30 years of my life entrenched in that way of thinking before I began to realize that something was wrong. At least I know enough now to have experienced Buddhism for myself and found through my experience that it is a much better way.

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