Another Western Buddhist Monk's site

recent discussion with a Christian

Are you creating your own religion?

= LOL. Yes, but I’m trying not to. It seems to me we all are, unless we are following the Truth 100%, I think we will be interpreting and bending things according to our imperfect understanding.

Do you have an authority that directs you in your life?

= yes, lived experience, as it says in the Bible, test all things and keep what is good. it is the testing in life which seems to me to be the best authority. As it says in the Bible, God’s might is seen in creation, so they have no excuse. There is also the idea, of “actions speak louder than words”, which may be related to the verse “they will know you are my disciples if you love each other and your neighbour”. “love” for me is not only by thought, but also word and deed.

Do you have faith in something outside of yourself or your beliefs?

= yes, the Truth, which can be seen in lived experience. I believe it can be seen by anyone at any time. To me: it is far superior to belief; belief is not the same as Truth; our beliefs change over time, the Truth does not. Hopefully we change our beliefs over time to more accurately match the Truth, which will be evidenced in lived experience.

Where or how would a higher being or God direct you?

= through quite reflection on my (and other’s) action, you can call it prayer, or meditation. To see if those actions harm myself or others, in the short or long-term.

= and to give up those that do and commit to not doing them again, that can be expressed as, “conform my life to the example of Jesus” or “give Jesus kingship”. “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”, this is how I see it works practically.
I asked you once if you believed in a creator God and your answer was no.

= yes, I remember. That hasn’t changed, but I think that is not a very important belief. Previously I did, now I don’t. Whether I do or not, I still harm myself and others. I still sin. So that belief itself does not keep me from sin. Therefore, I don’t consider it as a core belief. If I did and when I did, it formed a barrier to loving unconditionally others, who did not believe it.

I feel and relate to a loving creator God.

= Glad to hear it. I wonder if there are any feelings you have that I don’t.

What is your view of salvation?

= “love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself”

As man is in need of a saviour from ourselves.

= yes, I think/believe MOST men do. It would seem Jesus, a man, did not. So I challenge your absolute statement, your belief expressed as an unquestionable truth, to be only PARTLY true. The Devil uses half-truths to capture the foolish. I think man needs examples of and encouragement to love and Jesus was such an example and gave such encouragement. “No greater love has a man than he gives up his life for a friend.”

= many beliefs can be taken as the core of salvation, but I think love is. Love, for me, is much more (powerful) than belief/s. The first fruit of the Spirit is…. love… not belief.
Do you think Jesus sacrifice and blood is our redeeming substance?

= no. I think Jesus love is our redeeming substance. “Love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself” it was because of his love, that he sacrificed himself. I don’t follow the Old Testament way of blood sacrifice, any kind of sacrifice will show love and may save, depending on how stupid/arrogant people are. If they are very stupid, people die.
If not how would you explain Jesus sacrifice and its value?

= his action was an expression of his love
One core belief I can’t escape, a major truth that is unchangeable is…

= belief is not Truth, for me, but it seems we disagree = you believe otherwise. Belief is a mental action that happens in our heads, a type of thought. I wonder if you disagree with that. When we stop believing, Truth does not end or change, in my opinion.
That there is no other name by which we are saved (from sin), but by the name of Jesus.

= Yes, this is a belief I don’t accept as core. It contradicts other things in the Bible, which seemingly show there is another way, or, there is a way without knowing Jesus name: “God’s might is seen in creation, so they have no excuse.” If you think everyone MUST hear and use Jesus name, I think you will judge those that don’t do so, as somehow not saved. But JUDGEMENT is not ours to do. It is the work of Jesus on JUDGEMENT DAY. Do you wish to assume his role, his place, his duty?

= I see, this is the effect of taking fringe beliefs as core beliefs, which I have given up. It stopped me loving fully, which is the summary of the law: “love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbour as yourself”. This, for me, is essential and core. Whatever stops me doing so, must be given up, no matter how hard it is, due to my attachment to men’s traditions/teachings.

= I formerly wanted to belong to a community, I had low self-esteem, but now, I am willing to give up all. I can lose brother, (father, mother, sister), friend. I have already sacrificed personal sexual relationships, because I see the Devil uses them to pull me down. As I see him using them to pull Michael down too. I think we must not get into sexual relationships due to low self-esteem, we should grow up first, become adults, mature.

= Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light, no one comes to the Father, but by me.” If you really believe that, when I say I follow the Truth, then that MUST mean to you, “I follow Jesus”. If it does not mean that to you, then you do NOT really believe Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light, no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

= you can dismiss what I say as the work of the Devil using logic, if you wish. That’s up to you. That’s what ego/the Devil likes. You can continue judging and not fully loving others. For me, logic is God-given and I should use my gifts well. Men’s traditions (various religions or branches of religion) also use logic to justify their interpretations, but they use it partially, unskilfully.

= Another problem I see with believing Jesus’ name must be known and used, it makes the Truth cultural and therefore changing with time and place, which for me, is impossible. Surely one must not need to speak English to be saved. Jesus is the English form of a Hebrew name Yeshua, Eashoa in Aramaic and Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous) in Greek. The Hebrew could also be read Joshua.

= If you think any form of the name would be fine, then I think the belief should express that, “(I believe) any form of Jesus name must be known and used” and maybe the original absolute statement should be changed from: “That there is no other name by which we are saved” to “Only Jesus’ name, in whatever language, can save us”. So the original statement turns out to be also a half/partial truth.

= Foolish dogma, beliefs taken as Truth, have to have so many workarounds like this. For me God’s Truth does not need that, vis the Sermon on the Mount, it is pure and simple, but deep.

= In any case, I don’t believe Jesus name saves us, it is his life and death which was based on love. If Jesus name saved, then we just have to recite his name, as the Hare Krishna’s believe, reciting the name of god, will save one. Hare (praise) Krishna (name of god), hare (praise) Rama (name of god).

= What I think IS important, is to reflect on the QUALITIES of God, to develop awe and respect and that doesn’t require knowing his name. Those qualities can even be seen in nature.


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