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Buddhism Is Inherently Inward

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Posted by Harvey on July 3, 2003 20:00:11 UTC

Aurino,

My understanding of Buddhism is that it stresses humanity versus God and does so in an inward mindset. I'm not interested in an inward mindset, nor am I interested in not focusing on God. God must be our focus as human beings, otherwise we are like ships tossed about without anchors. I perceive Buddhism as inherently 'selfish' (not in a material way, but in the inward way). Don't get me wrong, I still see Buddhism as 'inspired' and motivated to exist because of God, but Buddhism, perhaps more than any other religion, is in strong need of Christian influence. Anyway...

Well, at least you have to realize that "Christian framework" is too vague a concept. If your faith does not depend on anything particularly significant about Jesus' life, I honestly have no clue what the object of your faith is. My best guess is that you have faith in the ultimate goodness of the universe, and that you have chosen to express that faith through Christian language just because you happen to live in a Christian society.

I just don't agree with this. All my conceptions of what I believe are Christian induced. I didn't come to my way of thinking by aborting my Christian faith, and then rediscovering it, or by patching it in at the last second. Rather, I came to my present understanding by studying Christianity intensely. I reviewed over and over the core of what it means to be a Christian and sought to remove the diversions. That is, I didn't want to be distracted by all the meaningless issues that get clogged up in the core of the Christian faith.

After years of studying both Christianity and other fields of study (e.g., philosophy and science to an extent), I began to see parallels between a core Christian perspective and a philosophical perspective that I think goes a long way in answering the crux issues. Issues such as why is there evolution, why does God take a minimal route in creation, why does the universe appear to be meaningless, why is it that there are many religions and how is that preference should be given to one, or five, or ten, etc.

I don't claim to have figured it all out. That has not been my intention. My only intention is to advance my understanding and to see if my Christian perspective is left standing after the dust settles. Granted, I'm slanted toward Christianity because this is where I began my little journey, and I have remained committed to those roots. However, I feel that the dust has settled a bit, and I see no reason to be less of a Christian in the process.

My argument for Christianity (and other religions for that matter) is that just as nature evolves according to certain simple laws, so also certain religions evolve in human society. The further we advance along our evolution, the more similar our religions tend to converge. Eventually religions meet, and they start influencing and uniting with each other. Maybe someday we will have just one religion that has elements of each, but it is for God to decide how religion will evolve and if it is to unite. Until then, we should continue to understand the religion that provides the most meaning for us, and look at other religions with an open mind for meaningful propositions. I've seen a number of meaningful propositions of other religions, and I feel that they are very influential to me. Similarly, I think this process of religious evolution will continue to determine the nature of future religions or consolidation of religions.

Christianity has a tremendously simple framework that I have come to rely on more so than the words or events of the bible per se. The framework is in the bible, but like I said, it is possible to be distracted from the framework and concentrate on other items.

The basic framework of Christianity is that the Logos (or Logic) is from God and that God created all things through this Logos (Logic). This Logos is continually influencing the evolution of society in a small scale manner to elicit large scale effects. As crisis builds, the systems become more eratic and flexible to change, and the Logos is there to take advantage of this flexibility in the system to re-direct the system's evolution in the direction that God so chooses. And, what is the main purpose of the Logos? I think it is to save. I think Logos is Jesus (which literally means God saves) and that this is the purpose of God.

This framework is a Christian framework and I don't know of any other religion that says this. There are other interesting and profitable frameworks in other religions, but what I enjoy about this basic Christian framework is that it provides real hope for humanity. If God Saves, then maybe there's hope for all of us.

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