Skip to comments.Evangelicals hope to 'reach' Buddhists
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.
Sounds like a religious smackdown!
Please leave these people alone!
They don’t push their religion on anyone....go pick on the Muslims...they need some religion.
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.
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 find it quite distasteful....especially when they go door to door....I have absolutley no patients for that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
which gospels....the ones in the bible now? or the ones removed back in the first and second century???
please, give me a break.
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.
I’m sure there are—and those who put themselves at risk for their beliefs definitely earn my respect
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.
Gunga galunga...gunga, gunga-galunga.
yes, written by men.....
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.
"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."
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