Contrasting Christianity with Buddhism (Part 2)
Here’s 3 more differences between Christianity and Buddhism:
No Final Judgment Vs. A Final Judgment:
In Buddhist thought there is no final judgment or accounting for how we live our lives. We will never have to explain our moral failings before God. Instead, there is an endless cycle of reincarnation and progress toward an indeterminate goal. If we wrong another, there is no final justice, but just a warrantless hope toward progress. Christian thought rejects this and declares that there will be a final judgment before God who knows all and is fair and just. Progress in one sense is futile–all of us are slaves to our own selfish desires. We need a Savior. We need God to change us and make us right with Him. In the end, everyone of us will appear before God in Judgment–this reality is not a scare tactic used to instill fear or manipulate people, but is staying true to the facts which God has revealed about what will take place. Everyone of us will have to give an account before our Maker for why we broke His laws. In the end there will be justice. We all want justice and it is the Christian who can account for and satisfy this longing.
No Difference Between a Snail and a Human Vs. Distinction Between Humans and All Other Animals:
In Buddhist thought humans are of the same worth, dignity, and nobility as the rest of the animal kingdom. They believe that we are all living creatures and have the same value and worth. If given the hypothetical situation of saving the life of a fish or a human, the Buddhist cannot affirm that one is better than the other. If a human baby was starving and could eat a fish to survive, the Buddhist cannot affirm that this would be a moral act–in fact it would be immoral. Christianity rejects this and teaches that humans and the rest of the world are all part of God’s good creation, but that humans alone are made in the image of God. This sets us apart and gives us a worth, dignity and nobility distinct from all of creation. A human life is incomparably more important than a fish, snail, or any other animal–I believe all of us know this deep down and that the Buddhist tries to suppress this truth, even though they live as though it is true. Humans really are different from all of the rest of the animals, and this is not just an advancement of thought or evolutionary progress, but a uniqueness that places us in a category of our own. But the Christian believes that this nobility does not give us a pass to manipulate or abuse other creatures. Rather, we are given a responsibility to care for creation and rightly steward it and rule over it–something no other animal has been. God has placed humans in a unique position to rule over creation for His glory.
Foundation-less Ethics Vs. Objective Morality:
My Buddhist friend claims that all are responsible to obey the Golden Rule, ‘Do unto others as they would do unto you.’ He believes this is the morality we should all live by. The problem is he cannot tell me where this came from or why it is ultimately morally right or wrong, expect to base it on situational ethics. But while he can claim that this morality is common sense–everybody knows it is true–the fact is that many reject it and view it as immoral. One thinks of Ann Ryand’s morality of pursuing the happiness of self at all costs or the Nietzsche’s ‘might is right’. With their worldview, it can be immoral to pursue the ‘Golden Rule.’ How do we know they are wrong? Or that Stalin or dictators are wrong? Where is the foundation for morality in the Buddhist worldview? I believe that if there is no God who has given us rules to follow, then all of our attempts at morality are relativistic and not one of them can be considered superior to the next. The Christian faith teaches that there is an objective morality because God has spoken and told us how we ought to live. He has given us a conscience and every civilization recognizes it, even if they reject the God of the Bible. He has also spoken in human language and told us how we out to live. God Himself has given us the Golden Rule–along with the command to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength.