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Understanding the Buddhist
Entering their world
• Originated 2600 years ago in Nepal (about the
time of Jeremiah and Daniel)
• Scholars list 274 official kinds of Buddhism
• Dali Lama has popularized Buddhism today
• Buddhism has spread rapidly in west (Meditation)
• Will not hear: women cannot obtain Nirvana
• Will not hear: there is a Buddhist Hell
• Will not hear: must keep 227 laws
• Will not hear: there are 31 levels of existence
Origins/Expansion of Buddhism
The Buddha – born a Hindu price in Nepal
Three stages of his life:
A. Affluence – birth, marriage, crisis (29)
B. The great renunciation – 4 people
old man, sick person, dead body, ascetic
C. The time of seeking and inquiring – crisis to
Origins/Expansion of Buddhism
• Summary of his teachings: he taught the
Karma (cause & effect) of past lives result in
the constant cycle of birth, suffering, death,
and rebirth (reincarnation)
• The only way to free yourself from this cycle is
through your own efforts. No one can help
you. You must do this for yourself.
Origins/Expansion of Buddhism
• For 200 years it stayed locally in Nepal
• Within 1500 years it became a major Asian
• Some scholars say there are 1.2 billion
adherents to Buddhist teaching worldwide.
• A. Theravada – conservative kind found across
Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka
• B. Mahayana – liberal kind is found in East
Asia, Japan, and Korea.
Basic Buddhist beliefs
• The Four Noble Truths:
• A. Life is suffering because all is impermanent,
imperfect, and unsatisfactory
• B. Suffering is caused by desiring or craving
attachment to all forms of illusion or
impermanence and emptiness
• C. To escape suffering one must stop these
cravings and eliminate desires
• D. The way to end suffering and be freed from
desire is to follow the Noble Eightfold Path.
Basic Buddhist beliefs
• The Noble Eight-fold Path: 3 components and
eight actions
• Three components:
• A. wisdom -- developing spiritual insights
• B. Ethical conduct – restraining one’s body and
focusing one’s mind
• C. Concentration – meditation techniques to
control the though process
Basic Buddhist beliefs
The Noble Eight-fold Path: 8 actions
A. Right view – understanding reality
B. Right intention – removing wrong conduct
C. Right speech – avoiding lying, gossip, etc.
D. Right action – do no harm
E. Right livelihood – occupations – do no harm
F. Right effort – remove harmful thoughts and
• G. Right mindfulness – keeping alert mind
• H. Right concentration – peaceful inner calm
Basic Buddhist beliefs
• Sila – moral code. Help followers progress toward
enlightenment. Most Buddhists know these.
• A. Do not take life – kill no living thing
• B. Do not take what is not given – exploiting,
manipulating, stealing
• C. Do not distort facts – exaggeration, lying
• D. Do not misuse the senses – immorality, food,
• E. Do not use self-intoxicants – drunk, etc.
Other Buddhist beliefs
• The cycle of life – birth, suffering, death, rebirth
• Karma – drives the cycle of life. Intention as well
as action produce karmic results
• Rebirth and stages of being
• Heavens and hells
• Impermanence
• Concept of No self – no soul
• Nirvana – goal of Buddhism
Obstacles to Communicating gospel
All religions are valid
There is no God (so Christ is not God)
Man is not a spiritual being
Karma is the iron law of life
Sin has little consequence
Salvation is by your own efforts
Nirvana is the ultimate hope, not heaven
Forgiveness, grace, mercy – unknown
Buddha was born before Jesus
No knowledge or respect for the Bible
Obstacles to communicating gospel
• A cultural consideration: guilt verses shame,
which is right?
• Guilt – culpability for committing an offence of
• Shame – feelings of distress, embarrassment,
disgrace, regret
• Which approach does the bible use?
Bridges to the gospel
• Apologetic – ex. Creation
• Point of contact – stories from Buddha like “Blind
• Scratch where it itches – fear, healing, suffering,
• Power encounter – Luke 16 story
• Colombo approach – 10 burning fires of desire,
227 laws
• Personal testimony -- George as an example
Relevant bible stories
Rich man and Lazarus – Luke 16
Prodigal son – Luke 15
Paul & Silas in prison – Acts 16
Parable of “evil from within” – Mark 7
Elijah on Mt. Carmel – I Kings 18
Miracles of Jesus
“I Am’s” of Jesus
C2C for Buddhists
C2C presentation in 2 ½ minutes