Buddhist Christianity

Erik Cooper —  March 10, 2010 — 3 Comments

Like most of humanity, I watched the globally anticipated Tiger Woods apology press conference a few short weeks ago.  Never in history had a sports icon demanded such non-athletic attention (Wall Street trading actually slowed notably during his 14-minute statement!).  Unbelievable.

Many of you may have been surprised to hear Tiger’s Buddhist profession and his admission that he’d lost his way as it pertained to his faith.  But through a little research and a few conversations with people much smarter than me (those aren’t usually too hard to find), I’ve uncovered something:

I am a Christian that sometimes lives like a Buddhist.

Yep.  You can unsubscribe now, or you can hang with me (I’m hoping to eradicate some potential heresy, not promote it).  You just may find some of yourself in this, too.

By it’s own admission, Buddhism seeks to eradicate want, to achieve nirvana through freedom from all appetites. According to Buddhism, the only way to live well is to kill desire (and Tiger Woods has some misguided impulses he undoubtedly would like to bury).

As a Believer in Christ, I completely understand that perspective.  At my core, I’m broken and sinful. My motivations are self-oriented, and my life prone to inexplicable evil (I hope I never lose sight of that reality). But Jesus didn’t come just to kill my sin, He came to resurrect in me a new life.

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20 NLT

Some Christians are half-dead. Like Buddhists, they become focused solely on the eradication of their desires, and they never truly embrace the gift of resurrected life that Christ offers.  Efforts center on control and quickly spiral into a cesspool of religious death.  These people become like walking zombies, spiritual corpses with only a grotesque illusion of life.

Jesus didn’t come to suppress your desires, He came to redeem them. Yes, He calls us to die (“My old self has been crucified with Christ”).  But through that death He offers us life (“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”).

Real life.  His life.

Does your life reflect a focus on death or life?  Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb. I don’t want to live there either.

3 responses to Buddhist Christianity

  1. Great commentary… Wish more Christians were alive in Jesus instead of still struggling to simply get rid of their sins all of the time.

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