Buddhism is a way of life that is continuously growing due to a variety of reasons. The word, Buddhism, derives from “budhi”, which means “to awaken” (White, 1993). There are various, diverse types of this philosophy. The Dhamma or truth, which is the core of this instruction, is the only constant (White, 1993). This is one on many worldviews prevalent in today’s society. This particular worldview, Buddhism, will be compared and contrasted with the biblical worldview. The Question of Origin According to Genesis 1:1 (English Standard Version), God created the heavens and earth from the very beginning.
From the biblical worldview, all that exists is created from God. Another example that supports this truth is from John 1:3 (New International Version) stating, that all that is made is made through God. The similarities between these world views are the themes of ethics, lawfulness, and love found throughout the Buddha’s teachings and the Word of God. Also, what is also known as the “Golden Rule” is shared between the worldviews. It is the fundamental rule of behavior of how we should treat each other. In contrast, Christians believe in Jesus Christ, as their personal Lord and Savior.
From the Word of God, that all humans are in need of a personal savior whose crucifixion allowed us to have salvation. Salvation is not up to us nor achieved through good works. It is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8 New International Version). The Question of Identity The biblical worldview upholds that God ceased from what He was doing and created man. All else, God declared into actuality, but with man He had taken on a more involved role, created him from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into him (Genesis 2:7 New Living Translation).
Man was given ule over all earthy creation. Even though the last to be created, man is first of the earthly hierarchy. Above all, the only to be designed in His image. Being appointed to rule over creation, meant to take care of it as well, which included the animals (Genesis 1:28-31 New International Version). The biblical worldview upholds that God ceased from what He was doing and created man. All else, God declared into actuality, but with man He had taken on a more involved role, created him from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into him (Genesis 2:7 New Living Translation).
Man was given rule over all earthy creation. Even though the last to be created, man is first of the earthly hierarchy. Above all, the only to be designed in His image. Being appointed to rule over creation, meant to take care of it as well, which included the animals (Genesis 1:28-31 New International Version). The appreciation of life in everything is supported by both worldviews but not the equality of it. Man was made a “little lower than the angels” and crowned with greatness (Psalm 8:5 New International Version) and this verse did not mention animals.
Nor is the belief of the equality of the life of an animal to the life of a human is mentioned anywhere in the Bible. The main concern is of a man’s eternal soul is similar but that is where it ends. The belief of reincarnation of a soul after death. How life is lived is based upon actions. Due to one’s own efforts, negative or positive, dictates the rewards given. This is contradictory to Christianity, of when a person dies, the soul is returned to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7, New International Version). The Question of Meaning/ Purpose.
The meaning of our lives is to exist to display God. To display God is to reveal the way God is through our behavior. When others observe us, their response should be one of joy because of the greatness and realness of God we serve was shown to them. The best example shown is to be happy in Him. God is not sad about who He is nor about His Greatness, so why should we? Since both views life as real, not a deception nor fantasy. A key element to Buddha’s teachings affirmed the seriousness of discontinuing the existence as a person to avoid suffering.
Jesus provided the assurance of a heaven where there would be no misery. To receive the assurance of this heaven, is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This belief is in direct opposition of nirvana. This is the fulfillment of the Buddhist is being unoccupied or without. So the importance a god does not exist. The Question of Morality. The “go to” for the answers to ethical questions and daily living for Christians is the Word of God. From the biblical worldview, God’s holy principles are what to abide by. Prayer is also used as a tool in helping to guide man on the narrow path.
James proclaimed about us lacking wisdom about anything, we can pray to God for it (James 1:5 New International Version). Since both worldviews supports knowing what is right and wrong and living a life of honesty, truth, integrity, love and justice, the differences began where to look to as the reference. The Buddhist’s perspective is there is a right action, but it is decided at the moment of acting. So right and wrong is abstract and conditional. It is under man’s rule, which is ever changing. Because the Bible is God’s Word, it is consistent, never changing truth that applies to every area of life every time. No question.