Buddhism

Discussion in 'Missions / Witnessing / eVangelism' started by USMC71, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. USMC71

    USMC71
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    Just wondering if anyone has been able to reach a Theravada Buddhist with the Gospel. If so, what approach did you begin with? Well, Mahayana or Theravada, different schools of thought, but I guess the same approach would be used.
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I strongly suggest you get this tape of workshop given at a 2001 conference I attended (and where I also did workshops). The speaker gave excellent and insightful information on talking to Buddhists about the Gospel.

    Go to this link:
    http://www.emnr.org/forms/2001tapes.htm

    The title of the talk is "Explaining the Gospel to Buddhists: the Message of Ephesians." This page is an order form you can print out.

    Contact info for getting the tape:
    Evangelical Ministries to New Religions
    913 Huffman Road
    Birmingham, AL 35215

    Phone: 205-833-2858
    Fax: 205-833-8699
    Email: [email protected]


    [The workshop leader is an Eastern Orthodox priest, and I have big issues with that particular theology, but that does not come into play at all in his talk]. He had spent several years in Asia and knew what he was talking about.
     
  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, USMC71.

    I've tried to comment on this twice. The first time, several days ago, the old "server busy" bug killed it. Then earlier today our power went out.

    Anyway, I've seen Buddhists saved over the years, but Japanese Buddhism is no doubt quite different from what you are experiencing. They do everything differently here. Japanese Buddhism is typically simple ancestor worship, and the average Japanese couldn't say a sutra or a Zen koan to save his life!

    Tell me more about the Theraveda Buddhism you are seeing there and I'll tell you if I see similarities. :type:
     
  4. Rippon

    Rippon
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    Most of those claiming to be Buddhists here in South Korea are also nominal . Adults say that their grandparents are ( or were ) devout , but the majority of so-called Buddhists here are just in name . I have noticed that some Americans have become Buddhists and have a platform to air their errant beliefs on TV for the edification of none . The nonsense they spout is truly appalling .
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Going through some computer files, I found this that I had written to someone in a letter a few years ago. Maybe it will help.


    Reaching Buddhists


    In many ways reaching Buddhists is just like reaching other people groups in that it is spiritual warfare and we need spiritual weapons. (Eph. 6:12) The most important weapons for evangelizing Buddhists are: the Word of God, which can pierce the hearts of Buddhists as well as anyone else (Eph. 6:17, Heb. 4:12); the fullness of the Holy Spirit, Who is the one who works on Buddhist hearts for salvation (John 16:7-11); prayer (Eph. 6:18), without which no one will be won to Christ, much less Buddhists; the Gospel itself, which has tremendous psychological power as well as spiritual power (Rom. 1:16).

    Beyond the directly spiritual things listed, I do find there are other things we can do that are effective. The primary help is to know Buddhism. It is hard to reach people for Christ if you do not understand their thinking, in particular where they are spiritually. Therefore, anyone seeking to reach Buddhists should know at least something about Buddhism. However, the problem is that there are so many sects in Buddhism (as in Christianity), and even the sects differ according to country, that it is impossible to know.

    Because of this, my approach has been three-fold. First of all, I have read much of the supposed writings of Buddha himself, collected by his disciples centuries after his death. Very few Buddhists have done this, so thus I am able to intelligently teach them about the founder of their own faith and compare him to Jesus.

    Secondly, I have studied the Buddhist doctrines of Heaven and Hell, and am thus able to make the link from Buddhist doctrine (which says very little about how to get to either place) to the Gospel. Thirdly, I have studied the various festivals and ceremonies which are common to virtually all Buddhists, which helps me to witness intelligently to Japanese Buddhists who are only cultural Buddhists.

    An example of how this works is Mr. Ueno, who was baptized on Sunday. His wife died in March. She was a Catholic, but had not been baptized, and so was not allowed to be buried in their cemetery. We were able to arrange for her to be buried in our church grave, which was a great comfort to Mr. Ueno. Then when I explained the Bible doctrine of Heaven (and compare it to the Buddhism he knew), and that his wife, if she truly believed in Jesus Christ to forgive her sins, was at rest in Heaven, he was greatly moved. This is what led him to Christ.
     
  6. USMC71

    USMC71
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    Dealing with Theravada Buddhism is dealing with staight Atheism. Noconcept of a personal God, creation,etc... There is no ancestral worship like in Okinawa (Shintoism). There is a strict adherence to the Dhamma, the Tripitaka, and the teachings of the Bhikkus. The worship of the Boa Tree and all the relics. There is much dealing with stars, Astrology, Tarot cards. I have seen some Buddhists come to the Lord as well. But, each I approached based upon their seriousness with Buddhism. Me experience is, that if you can teach them creation and they can grasp that with an open heart, salvation is not far off, IF, they are willing to depart from their family traditions. Over here, if you convert from any religion, you are an outcast and loss all rights to your family. Sadly, many will not get saved because of that. Anyway, that is in brief what we are dealing with.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Japanese Buddhist doctrine is quite different, influenced by Confucianism to worship the ancestors, by Shinto to worship nature and even by Nestorian Christianity in China centuries ago to have a Paradise and Hell in some sects.
    Japanese are also quite superstitious. In a sports store in our town they sell WWJD bracelets, calling them a Christian "amulet!" :rolleyes:
    Same here. Japanese face ostracism in many cases if they become Christians. I was thrilled the other day to learn that one of our families has finally told the wife's parents that their kids will not worship at the family shrine and they will not receive the shrine when it is handed down. This took great courage! :praise:
     

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