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Tag: Worldview

Nirvana or Transformation?

Nirvana or Transformation?

I just read a beautifully written post about Buddhism here: http://thistimethisspace.com/2012/05/08/finding-my-path/

I wrote the following response:

Greetings Timethief.

First of all let me say that British Columbia is without a doubt the most beautiful place on earth, and I’ve seen much of the earth. I suspect that there are a few places I haven’t been (some of the mountains of New Zealand for example) that could match it, but I haven’t seen those places.

🙂

I want to share a thought about one thing you said and then listen to your response.

You said: “Unenlightened life is suffering. Suffering is a result of attachment to wrong thinking that results in greed, hatred, and ignorance, which return as suffering (karma), while compassion toward others who suffer reduces the effects of karma. Cessation of this suffering through meditation and mind training is the primary goal of Buddhism– to reach Nirvana (a state of wherein the craving desire within is extinguished), to end cycles of rebirth through enlightenment.”

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I teach in India sometimes on the topic of “worldview.” I teach the topic from a Christian point of view. I like to wrestle through the benefits and consequences of different worldviews with my students.

My observation is that peoples who have embraced similar philosophies to the one you have mentioned have created basically miserable societies. (I know that “miserable” is a strong word, and I do not use it with intent to offend, but that is what I have seen.) On the other hand, peoples that have embraced “love your neighbor as yourself” and “follow God’s Law” (meaning Christian Biblical Law) have tended to create societies that are imperfect but that mitigate human suffering far more effectively.

My theory is that this is because in actual practice participants in Eastern Religious Worldviews seem to be focused on personally escaping the cycle of reincarnation as opposed to loving one’s neighbor by making the world a better place.

I am not saying that “all people” in one culture are bad and “all people”” in another are good. I am suggesting that there are general (and significant) tendencies within those cultures that produce very different results.

In other words “ideas have consequences.”

Ironically, as Christians in the “West” have deserted an “all of life” view of Christianity and have moved towards a “my personal salvation from hell” emphasis the effect has been a decline of the good kinds of Christian influence on society. “It’s all going to burn anyways, so why try and do anything about it?” In other words, many contemporary Christians seem to have embraced an “escapist” view of spirituality like their Eastern human brothers.

But real and historical Christianity pushes a Loving Intervention into the lives of one’s fellow human beings based on the belief that God wants to change the world through His People, both now and in eternity. Charity towards one’s fellow man is not a means of escape for the Christian, but is rather a Core Purpose for Living.

So what do you think about this idea that Eastern “the universe (God) is One and I need to escape the illusion around me” has created one type of society while “love your neighbor and Intervene in and Disrupt the cycle of evil” has created another type of society?

Come on over and join the discussion (but be nice!). I am “ThirstyJon” in the comments. — UPDATE 5/14/2012 — Perhaps it would be better to NOT go over and join the discussion. The author doesn’t seem to like my comment or the fact that I posted it here. Bummer.

Jesus – The Lord of Spirit, Soul, Body and MIND

Jesus – The Lord of Spirit, Soul, Body and MIND

Whose “2 cents” worth matters?

For my entire Christian life I have been hearing this: “we need to be more relevant to the world to draw the world to Jesus.”

Usually this is expressed as a change in style of music, style of church service, etc. “We are the ‘cool’ Christians. We’re not like those other stuffy religious bigots. Come to our church.”

Much of my ministry career has been spent involved to some degree or another with World Missions. Striving to “contextualize” the Gospel into another culture is a challenge, but a necessary one. We want to see every people group in the world hear about Jesus in a way that they can understand!

This is just as true in America. We want everyone to hear the Gospel in a way that they understand.

I remember reading in an essay on contextualizing the Gospel about how challenging it is to present the Gospel in a relevant way without compromising exactly what the Gospel is!

Here is one key element of the Gospel that seems to get missed in America: Jesus is Lord!

He is the Creator and Originator of all things. He is the boss. The head honcho. The big cheese. The final say. The judge.

What He says is true – is true. What he says is false – is false.

Jesus is Lord of all opinions of truth!

Of course, God created each of us as unique individuals, so we can like chocolate-chip-cookie-dough ice cream over fudge ice cream. This kind of opinion is valid.

We each have different styles, giftings, preferences, etc. Sometimes there is no “one right way” to do things.

But sometimes there is only ONE right way. If Jesus says so. And don’t forget, when I say Jesus, I mean God. In other words, whether the Truth is presented from the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit it is still true.

Christianity is true whether you believe in it or not!

I have often wondered why there seems to be so little interest in Biblical Worldview amongst Christians. There seems to be a satisfaction with just getting “saved,” going to church, tithing, signing up for the usher’s list (or nursery, or bake sale, or softball team) and waiting for the end of time.

And of course, don’t vote for anyone who is for “special” rights for gays or pro-choice. Well, those two used to be sacred anyways.

But Jesus is Lord of All of Life, and His Opinion is Truth!

Here is my call to the Church of Jesus: Repent of believing whatever you want to believe and preferring whatever truth you want and instead surrender your Mind to Christ!

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind! Surrender Absolutely to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over your thoughts.

Think God’s thoughts after Him.

Ethics? Philosophy? Politics? Values? Leadership Principles? Work Principles? Financial Principles? In everything it is time to lay down our weapons and surrender to the One True God in the area of our opinions.

Lord help me! Help me see the world the way You see it! Get rid of my error. Show me the Truth. Teach me the Truth!

In the end, it doesn’t matter what my opinion is and it doesn’t matter what your opinion is. It matters what God’s opinion is on every issue.

It’s very hard to have real conversations about how the Gospel applies to All of Life unless we are all surrendered to and seeing the Truth of Jesus Christ as reveled to in the Bible and testified to by the Holy Spirit.

What do conservatives say? What do liberals say? What about Fox News? What about the Huffington Post?

???

What about the Bible!

Amen.

Does God Care About Dominion?

Does God Care About Dominion?

I have been participating in this post at American Vision.

Then I read Donald James Parker’s response:

I don’t think that God give’s a rat’s derriere about man’s fulfillment using his “gifts” to succeed in banking, truck driving, or whatever profession…  [Read More]

Here is how I responded to Donald James Parker:

God is into Beauty and Excellence and Life!

In 2002 I spent an extended number of months studying the entire Bible. I was surprised how much of it is about everyday life. I saw prayer, evangelism, and worship in the Bible; but there was a whole lot more about how to live, how to do business, how to treat your employees, how to treat your boss, etc.

If I understand your point correctly, I think you are way, way off. I think you have missed a huge chunk of God’s heart. Perhaps I do not understand you.

Philippians 4:8 talks about thinking on things that are “true,” “noble,” “right,” “pure,” “lovely,” “admirable,” “excellent” or “praiseworthy.” What about beautiful music or art? What about doing things with excellence? What about creative solutions to agricultural challenges? What about inventing things that improve the quality of life? What about taking dominion of the earth? How about improved sanitation ideas? What about cures for diseases? I wonder if we would have light bulbs or Pentium chips if Christians all thought like your statement above.

God wants us to do all things well
Even Milk!

I have some dairy farmer friends who once said to me “what do we raise these cows for and sell their milk for but to make money for missions?” I thought long and hard about that. If only spiritual things have value to God, why does He have us work for six days and rest for one? I want to say to my dairy friends that in addition to their missions giving, making safe, affordable, delicious, nutritious and excellent-in-every-way milk is also valuable to God! We need to lead people to reconciliation to Christ, but we also need to glorify God in every area of our lives!

If you think that is “New Age” than you really don’t get the Bible.

Again, maybe I’m misunderstanding you. Feel free to clarify.

Deuteronomy 4:5-8 talks about how God has given Israel excellent laws so that the whole world will see and wonder. They will see the Glory of God in the way the Israelites live.

God is into every area of life. It is impossible to make true disciples without teaching this. If one does not know this, one does not truly know God.

Salvation is only a start. Then? The World!

So… I don’t know Mr. Parker but I am interested in hearing his response to see if I have misunderstood. 🙂