Helping Christians "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).
Comparing Christianity and Buddhism
What the Bible says about God:
What Buddhism says about God:
There is one true and living God, who exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; John 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:13; 1 Peter 1:2). God is personal and is to be the only object of worship (Ex. 20:2-3; Isa. 43:10, 44:6; Matt. 4:10).
Buddhists do not worship a God who created and sustains the world. Theravada Buddhism considers the concept of God irrelevant; it is basically atheistic. Mahayana Buddhism worships the Buddha as a god, along with other gods. Other forms of Buddhism add shamanism and elements of the occult.
What the Bible says about Jesus:
What Buddhism says about Jesus:
He is the virgin-born Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:35). He is the eternal God, the Creator, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit (John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:1-13). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), rose physically from the dead (Matt. 12:38-40; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and is coming back physically and visibly one day (Matt. 24:29-31; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-16).
Jesus was a great religious teacher who may have achieved enlightenment. Even so, he was one among many and therefore not unique.
What the Bible says about salvation:
What Buddhism says about salvation:
Christ’s death at Calvary completely paid our sin debt so that salvation comes by grace alone through faith in the person and work of Jesus (John 3:16, 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
The goal of life is to achieve nirvana, or the cessation of suffering.
What the Bible says about the Bible:
What Buddhism says about the Bible:
The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, and is His sole written authority for all people (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
The authoritative writings for Buddhists are the Sutras and the Tripitaka (The Three Baskets). The Bible contains good teaching but is not authoritative.
What the Bible says about man:
What Buddhism says about man:
God created man in His image – with a human spirit, personality and will. A person’s life begins at conception and is everlasting, but not eternal; that is, our lives have no end, but they did have a distinct beginning (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 139:13-16).
Buddhists embrace the concept of anatta (no self). In traditional Buddhism, “no self” means there is no permanent identity to continue from one moment to the next. The human personality is made up of five skanda, or parts, which are only momentary, but they group together to give the illusion of permanence, like the flow of a river or the flame of a candle.
What the Bible says about sin:
What Buddhism says about sin:
Sin is a violation of God’s perfect and holy standards. All humans are sinners (Rom. 3:10) and are under the curse of sin – spiritual and physical death (Gen. 2:17, 3:17-19; Rom. 3:23). Only faith in Christ and His work on our behalf frees us from sin and its consequences (John 3:16, 5:24; Eph. 2:8-9).
There is no such thing as sin against a supreme being. The human condition is suffering, caused by attachment to things and the cravings / desires accompanying the attachment.
What the Bible says about death and the afterlife:
What Buddhism says about death and the afterlife:
Physical and spiritual deaths come upon all people as a consequence of their sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:1). A person becomes spiritually alive when he or she is “born again” by the Spirit of God (John 3:3-6; Eph. 2:4-5). At physical death, our souls and spirits separate from our bodies [which go into the grave to await resurrection and final judgment] and enter an everlasting state of blessedness [for those born again] or torment [for those who die in their sins] (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:8).
Buddhists believe the cycle of death and rebirth, known as samsara, has been going on since time without beginning. Their goal is to end this cycle by attaining nirvana, a state of being that is realized through eliminating desire. Nirvana comes at two moments: at awakening or enlightenment, and at parinirvana, when the fire of personality finally flickers out (final death). The path to nirvana is divided into eight categories of disciplines that are meant to avoid bad karma that leads to dangerous and difficult forms of rebirth.
Hell is a place of everlasting conscious existence, where the unbeliever is forever separated from God (Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 14:9-11, 20:10). As for Heaven, all believers have God’s promise of a home in Heaven, will go there instantly upon physical death, and will return with Christ from Heaven to earth one day (Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 19:14).
There is no heaven or hell as understood by Christians.