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Christianity and Buddhism: Similarities and Differences

Updated July 21, 2021
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Christianity and Buddhism: Similarities and Differences essay

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A person’s, spiritual connection to a higher influence is what helps mold his or her moral character. There are sacred writings that have molded a person’s culture and values. Each religion has its own moral map on how a person should live his or her life and treat his or her fellow brother or sister. Christianity and Buddhism both share a view of love and peace. Buddhism and Christianity are two different religions but are also quite similar. The existence of God is one of their most obvious difference.

Christians believe in the existence of one supreme God who exists in Trinity. The Trinity is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son so that we can have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Christ came from heaven to earth to show his people way to everlasting life. Christianity teachings on Christ Jesus begin with Christ Jesus born into a world of sin to his virgin mother Mary, and then being crucified on the cross so his people can have everlasting life. Christ personal suffering on the cross and him being risen on the third day gave his people the way to the kingdom by him dying for our sins.

Roman 10:9-10 says, “That if confess with your mouth,” Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified and is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. ‘ Christians believe that we cannot see the gates of heaven except through our love and faith in Christ Jesus. This event appears selfish; however, this event is the only way we can see our savior one day. Christians believe in good and evil, God and Devil, Heaven and Hell. We as Christians study the Holy Bible, which is our compass of life, and we observe our holy day on Sunday. We have ministers and preachers that deliver the word of God.

The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautama later became Buddha. Buddha was born into a wealthy family as a prince. Just like Christ Jesus, he was intrigued by suffering in this world. He decided to give up his high on the horse lifestyle and endure poverty. He sought a life without worldly pleasures. After six years of searching, found enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. He spent the rest of his life teaching others about how to achieve the spiritual state. (Buddhism) Buddhism seems to tend to be free spirited and allows people to believe more of whatever his or her heart’s desire. Buddhism does have people that they believe are more sanctified and spiritual gifted people that can help them, such as the Buddha himself, but nevertheless, they still try to maintain their personal salvation will only occur through their own individual effort.

In Christianity, the Bible says that the world was created by God in seven days. This creation was out of nothing, which is outline in the book of Genesis. God created mankind and all other living things in the world. Christians believe that they should strive to be more like God every day. There is no mentioning of a beginning in Buddhism. Traditional teachings of Buddhism do not mention the existence of God or any other supreme being. However, they can become a Buddha. Buddha is someone who’s removed all their shortcomings, corrected all their deficiencies, and realized all their potentials.

Every Buddha started out just like us, as ordinary beings experiencing recurring difficulties in life due to confusion about reality and unrealistic projections. They came to realize that their stubborn projections didn’t correspond to reality, and through a strong determination to be free of their suffering, they eventually stopped automatically believing in the fantasies their minds projected. (Everyone Can Become a Buddha) Christianity and Buddhism are quite similar in their teachings.

Both Buddha and Christ Jesus taught their disciples about the welfare of all human beings. They encouraged their followers to treat others the same way they would like others to treat them. Jesus and Buddha preached the importance of life morals and beliefs. Buddhism’s believe that the judgment of a person comes in the form of Karma. Buddhists understand karma as a natural law. Karma is the law of moral causation. The theory of Karma is a fundamental doctrine in Buddhism. This belief was prevalent in India before the advent of the Buddha. Nevertheless, it was the Buddha who explained and formulated this doctrine in the complete form in which we have it today.(The Theory of Karma) Karma gives the understanding that we are not bound by no one’s judgment nor may we pass judgment on anyone else. The only judgment comes from themselves and the law of the universe. It is by their own judgment that they know what is right or wrong. Both Buddhism and Christianity teachings lay emphasis on equal love for all humans. Similarly, Christians teachings are based on the principle of loving thy neighbor as thy love yourself. Matthew 22:37-40 says, “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This event is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Buddhism and Christianity worship with the use of crosses, incense, and performance of rituals. Buddhists and Christians worship through personal confessions, bowing before holy images, and mediations. Buddhists partake in Samskara their rituals whereas Christians take holy communion, such as bread and wine. Both Samskara and holy communion serve the similar purposes in both religions.

The word samskara is defined by Buddhists in many ways—volitional formations; mental impressions; conditioned phenomena; dispositions; forces that condition psychic activity; forces that shape moral and spiritual development. (Samskara or Sankhara) Communion is the way Christians time out and examine themselves. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” Corinthians 11:28 (The Holy Bible) Buddhists have special baths and have their heads shaved. This event is because they need to remove all the dirt before they put on robes worn by monks or nuns and start on their new, adult lives.

This event is also known as Dharma Day. This day marks the beginning of the Buddha’s teachings. The word Dharma can be translated as truth and is the term used for the path to enlightenment, or the Buddhist teaching. (Buddhism) Christians partake in baptism. Christian baptism illustrates, in a dramatic style, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. At the same time, it also illustrates our death to sin and new life in Christ. As the sinner confesses the Lord Jesus, he dies to sin. “So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. “(Romans 6:11). They are raised to a brand-new life.

“Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12). Being submerged in the water represents death to sin, and emerging from the water represents the cleansed, holy life that follows salvation. Romans 6:4 puts it this way: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”(What is the importance of Christian Baptism) Buddhism preaches eternal life after death, which is dependent on one’s present life on earth.

Buddhism also does not mention where eternal life is lived, whereas Christianity mentions that eternal life is found in Heaven, and it is for those who receive salvation and repent of their sins before death. In Christianity, the salvation comes as a gift for accepting Jesus in their life. It is a gift from Christ Jesus farther, God. It is believed that Jesus Christ died on the Cross so that Christians can be saved. Buddhists believe in the existence of many gods who perform various specific duties, for example, the god of love, goddess of fertility and god of harvest. In contrast, Christians believe in one supreme Good who performs a variety of responsibilities such as loving His followers, taking care of them, as well as providing them with both spiritual and material needs.

In conclusion, Buddhism, and Christianity may be two different religions, but their teaching of achieving specific goal is clear. Both religions were taught by a single man. Whether its eternal life in Heaven or hell for Christians or a life of enlightenment and reincarnation, people who follow these religions follow Christ and Buddha teachings of the same moral code and the same value of life. Even though worship and religious rituals are different Buddhism and Christianity, both find a way to be closer, the ones God or spiritual side. Steering away from the path of Christ or Buddha is never an option for their followers.

Christianity and Buddhism: Similarities and Differences essay

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Christianity and Buddhism: Similarities and Differences. (2021, Jul 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/christianity-and-buddhism-similarities-and-differences/

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