Oct 07

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The word of the day, present day America, is that one religion is as good, or no worse, than any other! This is called, “pluralism.” If you look this word up, you will find several meanings; therefore, it is best that I define how I am using the word. I also believe that this is the real meaning of the word as used today. Pluralism is the teaching that one religion is just as good and no worse than any other one. It carries with it, the idea that one god is just as good as another god and that one “teaching” is equal with any other “teaching.” It, by its nature, denies that there is but one true God.
What are some of the religions, which are claiming, to be just as good as the religion of the God of the Bible? Let us start with Buddhism. How about these points:

  1.  “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.”
  2.  “Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.”
  3.  “Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.”
  4. “Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.”
  5. “Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.”
  6. “But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

More than likely, many would agree with these! However, if you read carefully number six; here is a question for thought. It is based on human determination as to what is “good and benefit of one and all”! Therefore, we would have to turn to Buddha to know the answer. Or else, we would be left without any means of knowing what is of “good and benefit of one and all!” There is another possibility; that each one is left to determine what is “good” and a “benefit to one and all.”
Buddhism is essentially a non-theistic religion and there is no one sacred text or book that Buddhists follow but Buddhists practice meditation and mindfulness. It might be of interest to you, that there are currently about 376 million follows. It is the fourth largest religion; following “Christianity,” Islam and Hinduism! It is older than Christianity, but not as old as Judaism. It was founded from 563 to 460 B.C. (This is questioned in some writings. Such as this, Buddhism first originated in India in the first century B.C.) In researching the subject, it was learned that Buddhism is making major inroads in America! One of the reasons for this, is that many people have immigrated to America who have brought with them, Buddhism!
The term “Buddha” is generally used as an appellation for the ancient Indian figure, Siddhartha Gautama, who is believed to have lived sometime between 563 B.C. and 483 B.C. “Buddha” is a Sanskrit term meaning “the awakened one.” (new world encyclopedia.org) This would appear to confirm that Buddhism does not have a Deity!
Therefore, when we pose the question, “Is one religion just as good, and no worse, than any other?” A godless religion, means that the religion is of human origin and Buddhism does not really deny it. It is no better than the human mind is capable of thinking and leaves us with the opened question: “Is there one human mind that is better than all other human minds?” I am reminded of the words of the “weeping” prophet: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). Buddha cannot quote any words like Moses wrote: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

Frank R. Williams

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