Special Messages

Catholicism and Buddhism: Are They Really Similar?

As I read books, watch things, and learn, I have learned that a supposed branch of Christianity and a pagan religion in Asia are very similar. Catholicism and Buddhism are much more alike than the average person might know. I was shocked to learn how similar Buddhism and Catholicism where when I decided to start learning about Buddhism. Though I know this is not an entertainment post (and if I disappointed you I apologize I will post one tomorrow, promise), this is important. This post may also be considered by some to b offensive, if so I’m sorry, you can blame God for providing the Bible to contradict Catholicism.

 

Idols

Idols are rampant in both religions. The Buddhist bow before Buddha statues and statues of gods and goddesses may be in their temples. A Catholic home or church may have statues of Mary, crosses, or the saints. Though they are of different things, both religions may bow down to or worship these statues. The Bible condemns this in the Ten Commandments. I have heard that a Catholic may try to defend their statues and pictures by saying, “But the Jewish people were commanded by God to make statues and decorations for the tabernacle!” There are two problems with this. First God had specifically instructed them to make them. Any made by man, such as the golden calf, was greatly condemned. Secondly the Jewish people did not worship the images, bow down to them, or kiss them. They hardly even saw them since they were in the holiest place of the tabernacle where only the High Priest could go.

Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in earth beneath, or that is in the water below.

Temple and Church Decorations

Both Buddhist temples and Catholic churches are quite fancily decorated. Now there is nothing wrong or sinful about making the church of God look nice, as the temple was made quite beautifully, but there the elaborate churches and temples show emphases on the money going towards the now rather than the later. What would be more important, a church that was directed toward winning converts with money funded events or one that was more concerned with fine glass stained windows and tall fancy buildings? Also the Catholic Church gets this money by selling people indulgences and masses. If the Roman Church really wanted to free people from the unbiblical realm of purgatory, why charge money for it? Why not give these indulgences freely? Probably because they aren’t giving it out of the goodness of their hearts, but to fund their unnecessarily fancy church buildings.

Matthew 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 

Mother Goddess Figure

Both Catholicism and Buddhism have a motherly figure that is worshiped like a goddess. The Catholics pray to Mary, give her titles never given to her in the Bible, and build statues of her. The Buddhist have a mother goddess called Tara. She is also prayed to and has statues of herself that are worshiped. In the Bible God condemns Israel for worshiping the Queen of Heaven in Jeremiah 44. God is the only one to be worshiped and prayed to, not Mary or Tara.

Luke 11:27-28 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Monasteries

Monasteries are another thing shared by Buddhism and Catholicism. Both monasteries have people that are dress plainly, vow to never marry, and restrain themselves from things. There are a few problems with monasteries and convents. The Bible commands Christians to not be of the world, but it also says that we can live in the world and enjoy it. If people are sealed off from the world, how are they supposed to share their faith and change the world? You really can’t. Also the Bible warns about false Christians that would forbid themselves marriage and pleasure to an extreme.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

 

The Rosary

Both the Catholics and Buddhist have a rosary. This was the similarity that I found the most surprising. The Buddhist and Catholics both have a rosary, one is wooden and brown and the other white. The one prays to Mary and the other Buddha. Jesus Himself said we are not to pray repetitious prayers, as it is a heathen practice. I always found it ironic that it is right before Jesus sample prayer, which people recite all the time, even Protestants. God wants prayers to be original and personal, not mechanical and repetitive.

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

 

Works to Go to Heaven/Nirvana

Though the Buddhist and Catholics each have a different eternal destination in mind, they do err in a similar way. They both believe that works are necessary to go to their Paradise. Buddhists believe earning merit and good karma will give them either better place on earth through reincarnation or Nirvana. Catholics believe they must do the sacraments to avoid hell and work even harder to avoid purgatory, eventually going to Heaven. Both religions promote joining a monastery, saying prayers, and giving money for this. God clearly says in Romans 3:26-28″Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” To go to Heaven all one must do is repent and have faith, the thief on the cross probably did none of the sacraments, but Jesus counted his faith for righteousness.

Romans 9:32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Conclusion

Though Buddhism and Catholicism are very different, one can see that they are close enough to make Catholicism look pagan rather than Christian. Since Catholicism was started centuries after Buddhism, it is likely that the Catholics took this from the pagans rather than the pagans took it from the Catholics. Buddhism is not the only religion to have these things, other pagan religions may have monasteries and idols, some of these things were probably in the pagan Roman religion. I ask if you are Catholic or know someone who is please leave this very pagan branch of Christianity. They are right in that “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” and that “For the wages of sin is death” but the Catholics are wrong in how we are redeemed.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Romans 3:24-26 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

This is how man is forgiven and saved. Not through the Eucharist, infant baptism, and confession. I beg you if you are a Catholic, please, consider what you have read and repent. God has been waiting and is eager to bring you into true and pure Christianity. I also hop that id you are a Christian Buddhist you will leave these ungodly, pagan practices and repent.

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Books

A Book Review of The Language Inside

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

The Language Inside by Holly Thompson

Type: Contemporary, Poetry

Basic Plot: Emma is a white girl that has been raised in Japan, but has moved to America because her mother is having surgery. Though she is disappointed, she learns to like America as well and starts to wonder which place she would rather stay in.

Quality

Plot: 3/5 Average: Though the plot was not boring and bland, the story had nothing special about it. The plot was based on things any person could experience and were not to extraordinary. Fortunately, most of the characters and events were realistic in being unique for each person as well. The lives were just not unique enough.

Writing Style and Setup: 3½/5 Above Average: I was surprised when I looked in this book as I thought it was a regular novel, but it was a book written in poetry form. For as few words as the author could use, the book was descriptive and told the story in an understandable way. Though it was written in poetry form, a lot of the time it felt like a book would. It usually had more of a “free verse” style than a poetic one.

Moral: 3½/5 A Pretty Good Moral: The moral of The Language Inside seemed to be that a person should focus on helping other people and adjusting to new surroundings rather than moping about it. Emma does volunteering to help people who are disabled as well as starting a program so she can make money to help tsunami victims in Japan. Though she does feel sad she isn’t in Japan, she learns how to be productive in her new environment. This is good advice for all ages, as we all go through the changes God puts in our lives and he expects us to adjust to them (though as Christian we have His help).

Overall: 3½/5 Above Average: This book is recommended quality wise for twelve or thirteen and older. Either gender may enjoy it, but it is recommended for girls. The plot, style, and moral were all above average, but unfortunately they were too realistic in an uninteresting way to be very inspiring or impressionable unless you are dealing with something similar to the characters.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2/5 Suggestive: Emma’s mom has breast cancer, and though the subject of breast is rarely looked at in an inappropriate way in the book, people may find it to be immodest. Emma does talk about how it will be removed in the book and to others.  The most immodest dealing with the subject in the book is probably when Emma and a lady write a poem called “14 Ways of Looking at a Breast.” In this poem the word “sexy” is used, other names for a breast are mentioned (though none would probably be consider extremely inappropriate), and lingerie is mentioned. “Sexy” is also used to describe a certain man. A poem is mentioned that has to do with a lady’s hips. A boy kisses a girl on the cheek, hair, and lips. Boys are said to act “flirty” in a dance.

Violence: 2/5 Light or Mentioned Violence: There is a tsunami and an earthquake, with people dying in the former. People hit each other on the head in a non-violent way and smack and punch each other that way as well. Emma hurts her leg. There is discussion of people who escaped from Cambodia in war times. Emma watches a movie called The Killing Fields which is about the subject of Cambodia and war. Two of the things the author recommends have “kill” or “killing” in their name. There is a ghost story that mentions suicide. There is also mention of a ghost breaking a person’s neck as a joke. A boy “head butts” someone. Metaphors and descriptions like “wound” are used.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 A Little Misuse of God’s Name: God’s name is misused four times and “Jeez” is used once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 2/5 Some Emotional Content: Emma is sad because a tsunami hits Japan and because her mother has breast cancer. This is never dealt with in a really dramatic and emotional way though. Crying only happens three or four times, and it is not done too dramatically. A man dies and there is mention in the book of people having died. Some people also are mentioned to barely escape death. Someone bleeds is mentioned once.

Religious Issues: 2/5 Suggestive: An amulet is given as a present. There is mention of “evil spirits” once. There is mention of a myth popular in India and Southeast Asia that includes false gods and goddesses. Buddha is mentioned, and a poem is written about a Buddha statue. There is mention of temples and shrines in Japan. There in mention of good luck charms. Halloween is celebrated. Incense is burned for people that died and one funeral uses cremation. There is mention of ghost. There is mention of “saints and priest.” Light is described twice as being “ghostly.” At the end of the book a book is recommended that references false gods in the title. A holiday called Obon is mentioned that has to do with the belief dead spirits return to earth. “Devils are mention once.

Magic: 1/5 Some Reference: For Halloween Emma helps a lady dress up as a mermaid and she thinks how she had considered dressing as a witch but didn’t. There is mention of wanting a “magic wand.” A boy is described once as walking like “Frankenstein.”

Others: White wine is used in cooking and sake (an alcoholic rice drink) is mentioned. A teenage boy says that he used to drink but does not any more and does not drink in the book. He does go to a party though and has to be persuaded to leave so he does not drink anything. It mentions that a boys father was an alchoholic.

Overall: 2½/5 Teenage Appropriate: This book could be viewed in either as morally fine or not. Part of this depends on how a person views the way the breast cancer in the book is dealt with. The subject is usually not dealt with in an inappropriate way, but it is also done in a way that is more direct than some people may think is appropriate. This book does have some things that are very borderline in it such as the poem, a teenager drinking in his past, and misuse of God’s name, therefore this book is not strongly recommended. If you do read it, I suggest fifteen or sixteen and older as being an appropriate age. (It may be good to mention that the book is more than five hundred pages long, which is why this is not rated horribly.)