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Evangelicals hope to 'reach' Buddhists
Sun-Times ^ | April 4, 2007 | STEFANO ESPOSITO

Posted on 04/05/2007 5:05:09 AM PDT by Daffynition

If you're a Tibetan Buddhist or you're leaning that way, you may not know it, but you need Jesus.

That's the thinking behind a series of Christian evangelical workshops -- including one later this month in Wheaton -- that will coincide with the Dalai Lama's trip to Chicago and other American cities this spring.

Interserve USA is putting on the workshops to teach Christians how to talk to Buddhists and, perhaps, to win converts.

"We welcome the Dalai Lama here, but we also want to have a chance to reach Tibetan Buddhists with the gospel," said Doug Van Bronkhorst, executive director of Interserve, an international missionary group based just outside of Philadelphia.

The online announcement for the upcoming workshop offers this enticing hook: "Tibetan Buddhism. It's ancient. It's complex. It's trendy. And its leader, the Dalai Lama, is visiting your city this spring."

But Van Bronkhorst said in a telephone interview Tuesday, "We are interested in people, not notches on a belt."

That's not quite how it sounds to the head of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, which includes bishops and leaders from most of the largest Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups in the area.

"I'm speaking without knowing anything about this group," said the Rev. Stan Davis, acting director of the council. "But my sense is that their goal is to try to convert to Christianity. Our goal would be to enter into a dialogue with them, to find out about their faith in a two-way conversation."

'He's a very thoughtful man' So does Van Bronkhorst think Christians can learn something from the Dalai Lama and his teachings?

"Oh, sure," Van Bronkhorst said. "He's a very thoughtful man. He has a lot of good things to say about peace in the world, and he's quite knowledgeable about other faiths, including the Christian faith."

Van Bronkhorst says his organization has no plans to send Christian evangelicals to greet the Dalai Lama during his American tour. "Of course that's up to [individuals] if they want to do that," Van Bronkhorst said.

The Rev. Patti Nakai, a part-time minister at Buddhist Temple of Chicago in Uptown, says Buddhists in general may not disagree with the Bible, just the evangelical spin.

"Most Buddhists would not have a problem with what is written in the gospel," said Nakai, who does not follow the particular practices of the Dalai Lama's sect. "It's what evangelical Christians say -- the idea that you have to be saved in a certain way or you're doomed to eternal damnation, that's what we have a problem with."

The Dalai Lama is due to travel to Chicago in early May, making his first public appearance in the city since 1999.

The spiritual leader is expected to stay on the 24th floor of the Palmer House Hilton in the presidential suite, where amenities include three bathrooms.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: buddhism; buddhist; chicago; christians; dalailama; evangelicals; evangelism; india; proselytizing; tibet
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1 posted on 04/05/2007 5:05:09 AM PDT by Daffynition
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Sounds like a religious smackdown!


2 posted on 04/05/2007 5:06:17 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Please leave these people alone!

They don’t push their religion on anyone....go pick on the Muslims...they need some religion.


3 posted on 04/05/2007 5:08:59 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: Vaquero

I believe there is one way to heaven, through the person and work of Jesus Christ. I believe that God wants me to make saving faith available to every man, woman and child I can. I think there are different ways for me to present this saving faith but I must present it or I will be guilty of their going to hell in the same way that a guard who doesn’t warn of an approaching army is guilty for not sounding an alarm.

I wish you and I did not disagree on this point, but it appears that we do.


4 posted on 04/05/2007 5:15:27 AM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ "The objective is to get the liberals to cave to our premises." Gen Limbaugh)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Maybe Interserve USA should send their members over to win converts in Red China—heck of a lot more souls to be saved over there, I mean true Christians aren’t afraid of a llittle adversity are they?


5 posted on 04/05/2007 5:23:40 AM PDT by Natchez Hawk ("Truth: the anti-drug war")
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To: Jemian
I don’t like prosthelytization by members of any religion or cult.

I find it quite distasteful....especially when they go door to door....I have absolutley no patients for that.

6 posted on 04/05/2007 5:25:16 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: Jemian

You are 100% correct my FRiend, and need to give no apologies for your faith. We are commanded to share the Gospel message of salvation through Christ alone to a lost and dying world. That includes ALL who are immersed in cult religions, be they hindu, buddhist, muslim, etc.

Of course the “interfaith” leader in the article doesn’t see that, but that’s the natural side-effect of the ecumenical movement in the first place. It seeks to blur the very clear division lines that Christ drew. Sheep or goat, wheat or tare, hot or cold, all of us will be one or the other. “I am the way the truth and the life and NO ONE comes to the Father but THROUGH ME”.

I had to laugh at this comment:

>>”Most Buddhists would not have a problem with what is written in the gospel,” said Nakai, who does not follow the particular practices of the Dalai Lama’s sect. “It’s what evangelical Christians say — the idea that you have to be saved in a certain way or you’re doomed to eternal damnation, that’s what we have a problem with.”<<

Ummmm...being saved a certain way, or else being damned to an eternity in hell IS what is written in the Gospel. That’s the whole point.


7 posted on 04/05/2007 5:26:20 AM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow ("All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.")
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To: rainbow sprinkles
If you're a Tibetan Buddhist or you're leaning that way, you may not know it, but you need Jesus.

It's the other way around - the massive, profit-driven, ego/mind cult that American Christianity has morphed into could take many lessons from the Dalai Lama and Buddhism. And Jesus, whose teachings echo Buddha's in many particulars, would agree.

8 posted on 04/05/2007 5:26:34 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: Natchez Hawk

There are Christians, I don’t know if it is Interserve USA people or not, who are in Red China working to evangelize. There are Christians in Indonesia, Viet Nam, France, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ecuador, Malawi and many, many other countries. Many of those Christians do face adversity. It just doesn’t often make the headlines.


9 posted on 04/05/2007 5:29:18 AM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ "The objective is to get the liberals to cave to our premises." Gen Limbaugh)
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To: Vaquero
You are absolutely right. There is nothing at all wrong with Buddhism. IN fact while the poster who posted after you (and I respect his views)believes that there is only one way to heaven (his). The fact is that Christianity is largely Buddhism attached to Jewish platform. The gospel stories, parables and teachings came from Buddhism and that is in fact where Christianity comes from.

I personally believe in all religions and that they are linked together by an esoteric thread. Even Islam which is now dysfunctional due to all of the hate that has been stored up in the group soul could also become an effective religious experience. But, right now Islam is bringing down the Muslims.

10 posted on 04/05/2007 5:30:47 AM PDT by bilhosty (Rudy in '08, Jindal in '16)
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To: ItsOurTimeNow
Ummmm...being saved a certain way, or else being damned to an eternity in hell IS what is written in the Gospel. That’s the whole point.

which gospels....the ones in the bible now? or the ones removed back in the first and second century???

please, give me a break.

11 posted on 04/05/2007 5:33:19 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: bilhosty

I would like to clarify a few things. Jesus is the one who said He was the only way. God says in the Ten Commandments that we should worship Him and no other. So, when I state that Jesus is the way to reach God, I am repeating what has already been said.

Further, there is no way that I could possibly compel anyone to believe in a particular fashion. That is way beyond my powers and abilities and I am not going to break my life by trying. I will present Jesus Christ and Him crucified and then leave the results in God’s hands. If He wants to bring about conversion, that is between Him and the other person.

I like to think that I do respect other people even when I disagree with them.

And lastly, a minor point in this conversation, but a major point to my children. I am a woman.


12 posted on 04/05/2007 5:37:30 AM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ "The objective is to get the liberals to cave to our premises." Gen Limbaugh)
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To: Jemian

I’m sure there are—and those who put themselves at risk for their beliefs definitely earn my respect


13 posted on 04/05/2007 5:39:39 AM PDT by Natchez Hawk ("Truth: the anti-drug war")
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To: Vaquero

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - but in truth ALL of the completed 66 books of the Bible point to Christ.

Your acceptance or disavowal of the truth does not make it any less true.


14 posted on 04/05/2007 5:42:29 AM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow ("All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.")
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To: ItsOurTimeNow
I know, and besides, it’s not like Christianity is the only religion to claim exclusivity.
Watch the DUmmies, upon reading about this, start calling all the Christians “Nazis” or something.
15 posted on 04/05/2007 5:43:16 AM PDT by Chewie84
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To: rainbow sprinkles
Evangelicals hope to 'reach' Buddhists

The good news of Buddhism: There is no God. People suffer because they desire. Desire enslaves one to the circle of existence, causing the rebirth of a set of tendencies to exist (not transmigration of a soul). Continued existence=continued desire=continued suffering.

Solution: train oneself to acquiesce to extinction without remainder. So, for example, if you happen to trip while going down stairs, you can just give up in midair and not try to save oneself and increase the likelihood of dying without the possibility of rebirth.

Problem: seeking after this acquiescence for the purpose of ending one's suffering is itself an example of grasping desire that keeps the whole thing going. Although advanced meditative techniques can be used to get around this, simply training oneself to give up when faced with life-threatening situations can be helpful because the habit of acquiescence can help you to encounter death without the desire to stay alive and, thus, break the chain of desire and existence.

This was all in a little Chick-tract-like booklet called "Extinction Without Remainder" given to me by an evangelical Buddhist friend from Thailand.
16 posted on 04/05/2007 5:49:41 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Gunga galunga...gunga, gunga-galunga.


17 posted on 04/05/2007 5:51:40 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

yes, written by men.....


18 posted on 04/05/2007 5:54:34 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: Jemian
I would like to clarify a few things. Jesus is the one who said He was the only way.

That is an allegorical statement, refering to the internal struggle of the soul to know itself, overcome the delusions of form and the ego-mind, and to reconnect with God. Jesus and Buddha were on the same page - theaching about the inner struggle against fear and delusion - but humans misunderstood a lot of what they taught and warped their words into tools of vengeance for one collective ego-mind cult to use against another. We are seeing the Islamic ego-mind cult's particular misunderstanding of the Truth peaking at the moment.

Mistranslation and misunderstanding rendered "I am the only way" into a "literal truth" allowing the Christian ego-mind cult to kill anyone who didn't believe that, and got a lot of people burned as witches and heretics.

19 posted on 04/05/2007 5:55:53 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: rainbow sprinkles
"Most Buddhists would not have a problem with what is written in the gospel," said Nakai, who does not follow the particular practices of the Dalai Lama's sect. "It's what evangelical Christians say -- the idea that you have to be saved in a certain way or you're doomed to eternal damnation, that's what we have a problem with."

Ha ha ha, the same old canard. I guess Patti hasn't actually read the Bible. The gospel according the Jesus:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

20 posted on 04/05/2007 5:58:00 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

Your blind acceptance of some questionable sayings by 2000 year old goat herders does not make it truth either!


21 posted on 04/05/2007 6:04:37 AM PDT by hurly (A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds!)
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To: Natchez Hawk

“Maybe Interserve USA should send their members over to win converts in Red China—heck of a lot more souls to be saved over there, I mean true Christians aren’t afraid of a llittle adversity are they?”

I will guess that they already have some in China. Of course, Buddhism is not the principle religion a missionary faces when serving on the Chinese Mainland. The god of Fa-tsai is the principle religion. Fa-tsai means wealth/wealthy.


22 posted on 04/05/2007 6:05:43 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

Your blind acceptance of some 1000+ year old questionable sayings by goat herders does not make it truth either!


23 posted on 04/05/2007 6:07:21 AM PDT by hurly (A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds!)
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To: rainbow sprinkles
Christ commanded his followers to preach the Gospel to all people. The Buddhists are not singled out. Christ made it clear that He is the only way to heaven and those who do not receive him as Savior will spend an eternity in Hell. That message has been the same for almost 2,000 years.
24 posted on 04/05/2007 6:08:31 AM PDT by MBB1984
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To: rainbow sprinkles; Gamecock; Alex Murphy

I once set up an evangelical hot dog stand in a Buddhist community. They kept asking me to make them one with everything.

When they asked for change, I said “change must come from within.”

I’ll be here all week.


25 posted on 04/05/2007 6:09:22 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter-Thompson '08)
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To: Jemian

i think in reviewing my last post that I came across as a little bit harsher than I meant to. I want to make it clear that I respect your views. But at the same time I think it should also be stated that ancient religions including Christianity had different levels of meaning. Many of the early Christians emphasized “the Mysteries”. St clement and Origen pointed out that if anything seemed to harsh by God look for a deeper meaning. I think that Christ as a symbolic representation as the higher self in a person is in fact the way to spiritual evolution. And that is also true of the other religions who use a symbolic God like form to represent their higher selves.

I think Christianity has been a good fit for this country it is a system that works by causing the evolution of the Character. I think it got that from it’s Buddhist roots.


26 posted on 04/05/2007 6:10:48 AM PDT by bilhosty (Rudy in '08, Jindal in '16)
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To: Mr. Jeeves

I don’t think I will convince you when I propose my disagreement with your statements. But for the sake of others who may be reading these posts I will attempt to present an alternative.

From my study of history and of the writing and transmission of the Bible, the translation of Jesus’ statement in John 14:6 as “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” is an acurate and faithful rendering of the Aramaic. We have enough of the historical record to demonstrate that the translations of both the King James Bible and the New American Standard Bible (published by the Lockman Foundation) are reliable and trustworth translation. So, given that Jesus made that statement, I have to decide to I believe Him or not. If I do believe Him, than I can choose to follow Him or not.

If I don’t believe Him, I can try to explain away the statement or think, did He really mean what it says on the surface or is there a deeper “metaphysical” interpretation. Or, I can just say that He was wrong and cherry-pick which of Jesus’ words I want to accept.

Hmm.

I chose the first option.

Now, to your point about “a lot of people burned as witches and heretics.” I do not disagree that this has happened at all. I do disagree that it is the normal method of evangelization. I don’t know the numbers but I believe that in the 2000 years of Christianity, the overall number is quite small.


27 posted on 04/05/2007 6:11:50 AM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ "The objective is to get the liberals to cave to our premises." Gen Limbaugh)
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To: bilhosty

I didn’t think that you were harsh. I haven’t felt that you, or anyone else on this thread has been rude. I think we’ve had a good exchange of thoughts.

The problem I have right at this moment is that I don’t live in the US, but in a country in SE Asia. It is late and I have responsibilities in the morrow. Unless the discussion has moved on to a point where my responses are moot, I will continue my part after 8 hours have been concluded. IOW, I’m going to bed. Good night.


28 posted on 04/05/2007 6:16:02 AM PDT by Jemian (PAM of JT ~~ "The objective is to get the liberals to cave to our premises." Gen Limbaugh)
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To: Vaquero
I truly doubt that a practicing Buddhist cares one wit about what an evangelical thinks. Which is why this is so funny ...as demonstrated on this thread so far.

That is why the Buddha laughs.


29 posted on 04/05/2007 6:17:56 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: rainbow sprinkles
If you're a Tibetan Buddhist or you're leaning that way, you may not know it, but you need Jesus.

Amen!

30 posted on 04/05/2007 6:19:19 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Vaquero
“Please leave these people alone!

They don’t push their religion on anyone....go pick on the Muslims...they need some religion.”


Robert Morrison (1782-1834) Christian missionary to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

Elijah Bridgman (1801-1861) Christian missionary to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) Christian missionary to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

Lottie Moon (1840-1912) Christian missionary to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936) Christian missionary to China and Korea; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

Eric Liddell (1902-1945) Christian missionary to China; preach the Gospel to Buddhists. Died in an intern camp in China.

Nelson Bell (1894-1973) Christian Missionary to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

John & Isabel Khun (1906-1966; 1901-1957) Christian Missionaries to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

David Adeney (1911-1994) Christian Missionary to China; preached the Gospel to Buddhists.

There are many more, including the famous John Birch, and Fred Donaldson.

Christians just cannot leave those people alone. We have a clear biblical mandate to take the Gospel to every creature (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; 2 Corinthians 5; etc.; etc) and that includes Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and Pantheists and Atheists, and Agnostics, and other religionists and non-religionists; EVERY CREATURE.

Some time ago right here here on FR I read posts of one man lambasting a Christian for stating that he would win Muslim young people. The critic of the Christian (a professing conservative) tried to state that trying to win Muslim’s to Christ was somehow a violation of the Muslims’ “freedom of religion.”

I also believe that Jesus Christ is THE [only] Way, THE [only] Truth and THE [only] Life, and that no Buddhist ever makes it to God the Father (the Creator) without abandoning Buddhism and going to Jesus Christ by faith, believing in the sufficiency of the work of Christ when He shed His sin-cleansing Blood

31 posted on 04/05/2007 6:32:11 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: John Leland 1789

crap......

.....dont come to my door or you’ll get an earfull.


32 posted on 04/05/2007 6:36:16 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: bilhosty

You’re betraying your ignorance of God.


33 posted on 04/05/2007 6:43:35 AM PDT by Theo (Global warming "scientists." Pro-evolution "scientists." They're both wrong.)
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To: John Leland 1789

I believe that if God is that narrow, I prefer to spend eternity in Hell.


34 posted on 04/05/2007 6:50:20 AM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian (WWGD -- What would Groucho do?)
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To: Celtjew Libertarian

“I believe that if God is that narrow, I prefer to spend eternity in Hell.”

You have that prerogative. I only ask that you don’t ask the Federal government to fund your religious position in the curriculum in public schools. Actually yours is kind o’ is the position of the public schools already.


35 posted on 04/05/2007 6:54:46 AM PDT by John Leland 1789
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

Well, friend, given Hurly’s and Vaquero’s posts to you, I’d say their respect for other’s beliefs just ended.

Except for Buddhism, of course. That’s different ;).


36 posted on 04/05/2007 6:56:45 AM PDT by mywholebodyisaweapon
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To: ItsOurTimeNow

Well, friend, given Hurly’s and Vaquero’s posts to you, I’d say their respect for other’s beliefs just ended.

Except for Buddhism, of course. That’s different ;).


37 posted on 04/05/2007 6:56:45 AM PDT by mywholebodyisaweapon
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To: John Leland 1789
You have that prerogative. I only ask that you don’t ask the Federal government to fund your religious position in the curriculum in public schools. Actually yours is kind o’ is the position of the public schools already.

Actually, my son goes and my step-daughter went to a private school. I don't ask the federal government to fund anything in the public schools.

38 posted on 04/05/2007 6:59:31 AM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian (WWGD -- What would Groucho do?)
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Isn’t Interserve the competing company in the movie Office Space that Innotech people went to work for after Innotech burnt to the ground?


39 posted on 04/05/2007 7:07:02 AM PDT by Sensei Ern (http://www.myspace.com/reconcomedy - Ann Coulter is My Press Secretary)
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To: rainbow sprinkles
the idea that you have to be saved in a certain way or you're doomed to eternal damnation, that's what we have a problem with.

Yes, you do have a problem.

40 posted on 04/05/2007 7:11:44 AM PDT by rabidralph
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To: Natchez Hawk

There are christians in China. Unfortunately, they cannot practice their faith openly. They are arrested and/or killed by the Chinese government. Christian missionaries and converts are practicing in many parts of the world and most times they have to meet secretly because of hatred toward Christ and his followers.


41 posted on 04/05/2007 7:14:11 AM PDT by rabidralph
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To: rainbow sprinkles
Tibetan Buddhists may not be intelligent enough to be Christians. Mr. Lama recently praised Islam, even though he and his Buddhists are infidels, and the Koran is clear about what happens to infidels.

42 posted on 04/05/2007 7:26:45 AM PDT by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: Mr. Jeeves
Bingo!

Our Western culture is steeped in the ego/mind and that "way" is out of control. The ego trys to stay in control and only produces resentmment, fear, anger and whole host of other negative by-products.

True freedom comes from the dimensions of peace found in your own inner space. To just BE.

43 posted on 04/05/2007 7:27:21 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: William Terrell
So you're saying you have to be intelligent to be a christian?

I think you have to be a llama to be a lama. So there.


44 posted on 04/05/2007 7:43:25 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: Mr. Jeeves
That is an allegorical statement, refering to the internal struggle of the soul to know itself, overcome the delusions of form and the ego-mind, and to reconnect with God.

"Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking. If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks. I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way. Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home."

Rumi

45 posted on 04/05/2007 7:54:25 AM PDT by ARridgerunner
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To: Constitution Day
"....on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."

HAHAHA! I was going to mention that that should be a t-shirt ... and it already is! LOL


46 posted on 04/05/2007 8:01:48 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: Jemian

And other religions believe that THEIR way is the only way to eternal peace, afterlife, reincarnation, paradise, whatever. To them, THEIR way is the only way. Once those who feel the need to convert others to a certain belief learn to let others have their own beliefs, and quit trying to force them to change their beilefs, the world will be a lot better off. Maybe we won’t hear about missionaries being kileed, kidnapped, etc. Going to another country to provide medical or educational help is great, wrapping it with conversion of one’s faith is wrong. Just my opinion.


47 posted on 04/05/2007 8:03:02 AM PDT by BritExPatInFla
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To: rainbow sprinkles

Sweet!

I have GOT to have that shirt. Caddyshack is one of my favorites!


48 posted on 04/05/2007 8:11:46 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Jemian
I believe that God wants me to make saving faith available to every man, woman and child I can.

You make your religion sound like a giant Amway pyramid scheme.

The world would be such a better place if people forced themselves to leave other people alone in these matters.
49 posted on 04/05/2007 8:16:19 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: Larry Lucido
LOL Same thing happens at my pizza parlor.


50 posted on 04/05/2007 8:16:41 AM PDT by Daffynition
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