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On Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh and Plum Village.

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by TruthSeek3r, Jan 1, 2022.

  1. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    I'm struggling to have a definite position on the eternal destiny of non-Christians who seem to produce very good fruit.

    Take as an example Zen Master Thich Nath Hanh:
    And Plum Village, Europe's largest Buddhist monastery, founded by Thich Nath Hanh:
    I can't help but only see good fruit coming out of Thich Nath Hanh and his ministry.

    Is Thich Nath Hanh, as well as all the Buddhist monks and lay people that follow his teachings or similar teachings, going to hell?

    How would you go about winning Thich Nath Hanh to Christ?

    How would you convert a Zen Master to Christ?


    For those interested, here is Thich Nath Hanh's view on God:

    What is God? | Thich Nhat Hanh answers questions
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  2. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good is only truly good if it honours God.

    While many non Christians do remarkable and praiseworthy good deeds, as they do not do them for God, they are worthless.

    We are saved through faith in Jesus, not by doing good.
     
  3. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    How about answering my other questions?
    • Is Thich Nath Hanh, as well as all the Buddhist monks and lay people that follow his teachings or similar teachings, going to hell?
    • How would you go about winning Thich Nath Hanh to Christ?
    • How would you convert a Zen Master to Christ?
     
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they are not Christian, they do not join him.

    God said that those who seek will find.
    If they truly are seeking enlightenment, they will find God.
     
  5. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Any concrete examples? Do you know the testimony of a former Zen Master who encountered Christ?
     
  6. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi @TruthSeek3r

    Friend, the first thing that any believer needs to come to grips with is that the salvation that God makes available to all of us, is not earned by good deeds. Yes, there are many, many, many people across the globe that, from a human perspective, do good things. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, build housing for the poor, help little old ladies across the street. But none of that is what God asks of us to gain His salvation. It is what God expects of us once we do come to know Him and love Him and understand that we're all part of His great creation, and trust the sacrifice of His Son. Please remember that Jesus gave us two laws to follow. We can't do either one separately apart from the other. We are to love God with all that is in us AND we are to love others as ourselves. We aren't going to please Jesus by only keeping one of them.

    So, the answer to your first question is that yes, apart from loving God with all of one's heart, soul and mind AND loving others as ourselves, in God's sight, a person is not good. No matter how many people are fed, clothed and housed by their good works.

    The man that you mention is only a man. No matter how big and grand and glorious you may hold that person to be in your estimation of men, again in God's sight, they are only another man. I personally will likely never have an avenue to preach the message of the good news of Jesus to that man, just as I will likely never have an opportunity to preach to many, many other millions of men and women across the globe. However, that man, and any person, will be won for Christ by the proclamation of the gospel, if he is to be saved at all. I think it is also a fairly clear point of the Scriptures that not all will be saved, but if your heart goes out to the man that you mention, then you need to find a way to open his eyes to Jesus.

    So the answer to question number 2 is that someone needs to preach to him the gospel...and yet he still may not accept the gift of God and receive His salvation.

    As for your final question. Someone who has set their heart and life goal to live according to a belief that is a lie, may not ever come to know the salvation that God affords to us through faith in His Son. But they would be converted, if it were possible, in the same way as explained in question number 2. We are all just people. People created by God. As we go through this life we make choices as to what we believe is the truth of spiritual things. In all of Scripture there has never been a time, shortly after Adam and Eve, that all people knew God or believed God. Jesus seemed to describe the way of God's salvation as being a way that few would find.

    If you have a heart that is burdened for a particular individual to know God, then it should be your goal to try and reach that person. Pray for them. Write them a letter. Call them. But, let me caution you against thinking that because some person that you believe on the earth to be a good person likely isn't going to be saved, therefore God is not good,...is a bad position. As I have read through the Scriptures, it seems to me that God's word is true. He is building a priesthood of people, that He is culling from among all the people of the earth, who will love, believe and trust Him. He has made a way that those people, and only those people, will be given His gift of eternal life of peace and security and His everlasting provision and protection. Just as the parable of the wheat and the chaff explain. When the angels sort through all the people who have ever lived upon the earth, they will separate the wheat from the chaff. The wheat will be stored in God's storehouse and the chaff will be burned in the fire. Good deeds, while living upon the earth, is not the bellwether of 'who' will be put in God's storehouse. Faith and trust and love in and for God is what God is looking for in any of us.

    God bless and may He richly bless you this New Year,
    Ted
     
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  7. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    "The Struggles by Non-Christians is a forum where non-Christian members (see list under non-Christians at the bottom of this link) may share struggles of a personal nature, of understanding about God, requests for prayer, and similar topics may be posted here."

    As you are already a Christian, you can look for answers in the Controversial Christian Theology forum.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  8. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    What does it mean to "know God"?
     
  9. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess the next question would be Who is the King in the Kingdom of God? As Christians we know He is Jesus Christ of Nazareth,. To a Buddhist I am sure he would say you are.
    As far as conversion, the master can not serve himself and God, he would have to surrender himself first.
    Blessings
     
  10. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi @TruthSeek3r

    To study the Scriptures which tell one all about Him. To have a relationship with Him of deep abiding love. To feel the comfort of His daily protection and provision for yourself. Deuteronomy 7:9

    God bless and enjoy the blessings of God this new year,
    Ted
     
  11. Irkle Berserkle

    Irkle Berserkle Member Supporter

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    Would it be fair to say you're obsessed with Thich Nath Hanh? How many threads about him are you going to start? This is at least three.

    I've read almost all his works. He's now 95. You aren't going to convert him.

    God calls whom He will when He will. I guarantee you, Thich Nath Hanh is entirely familiar with the Gospel message. Apparently he has rejected it, at least to the extent of never making a declaration of acceptance.

    The world is full of atheists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and others who are exhibit more fruits of the Spirit than most Christians, but they aren't Christians. Being a Christian isn't about being a good guy. It's about confession, repentance, acceptance of what God has accomplished in Christ, and becoming a follower of Christ.

    As I said on one of your other threads, we can only trust that God will deal with people like Thich Nath Hanh in a way worthy of the perfectly holy, wise, just, loving and merciful Creator in whom we believe and whose eternal transcendent perspective is very different from ours. Whatever Thich Nath Hanh's eternal fate may be, I trust it will be one worthy of the God in whom I believe.
     
  12. Leaf473

    Leaf473 Well-Known Member

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    First some humor:
    At 1:40 in the video the blonde-haired boy gets up and walks away. Maybe he was going to go inhale somewhere else :)

    Having studied a good bit of Buddhism myself, a question always comes up for me when I hear a teaching like this. It's all well and good to talk about truly experiencing the wonder of nature around you when you are in a monastery or a forest. But what happens if we take Hanh, place him in an ordinary Western City, and put him in charge of supporting a family with a job on an assembly line or balancing financial sheets?

    But beyond that, his teaching reminds me of an idea also alluded to in Romans, that all humans have a basic knowledge of God's qualities born into them. And Hanh has refined that knowledge a great deal. I'd give him a high five.

    As far as witnessing to him, I think a person has to be aware of some kind of lack in their life to be receptive to the good news that Jesus offered.
    "Come on to me all who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest," says Jesus, and "If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink."

    As far as who's going to hell, I leave that up to God. He's able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. If God asks me about it, I'll say let Hanh into heaven. That's because to the merciful God shows himself merciful, and I want God to show me mercy.
     
  13. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    I'd probably start by reading his book "How to Love" to see what he was doing wrong, and if I didn't find anything, I wouldn't bother trying.
     
  14. Torah Keeper

    Torah Keeper Well-Known Member

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    • Judge not, lest ye be judged.
    • Personally, if it was my life's mission to convert Buddhists to Christians, I would spend time with them and discuss the unanswered questions of Buddhism, which are answered by Christ. Buddhism follows the golden rule and the 2nd greatest commandment. But they ignore the greatest commandment. It is a religion that promotes doing good deeds and being a vegan, but doesn't answer questions like the origin and purpose of man and the universe. There are some Buddhists who accept Christ in a distorted way, which is at least a step in the right direction. They even say Buddha talked about Christ. We had a neighbor in Hawaii and the family was Buddhist. But their daughter was Christian. Did our presence affect her conversion? Possibly.
    • See #2
     
  15. Taodeching

    Taodeching Well-Known Member

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    That is not up to us to say

    I wouldn't, Christ converts the heart. The most I can hope to do is live as a Christian around them. As someone said one "Preach the Gospel Always, and if Necessary, use Words"
     
  16. Alistair_Wonderland

    Alistair_Wonderland Active Member

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    Luke 9: 49-50 "And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."

    I often asked myself the same question about Gandhi. Famed Christian author C.S. Lewis commented on the idea in his final book in the Chronicles of Narnia, using his characters Aslan and Tash as representations of God and the Devil, and one young man who had fervently sought after Tash was admitted into Paradise because, as Aslan put it, he was in his own ignorance, truly trying to serve Aslan.

    It's a complicated subject, but all I can say is this: there is certainty in having faith in Christ, so we should try and convince others of it. All of the more complicated details God will deal with; it's not like our opinions matter when it comes to who gets in to Heaven, after all. He makes the final choices. We are all flawed; in the end, what matters most is whether we sought our own desires, or we sought the truth. For He is the Truth, and if someone casts aside a Westernized church culture in their search for the truth, I think God will understand that they were trying to find Him all along.
     
  17. Alistair_Wonderland

    Alistair_Wonderland Active Member

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    I personally see myself as a Christian Buddhist; I put the teachings of Jesus first, but I also follow many of the teachings of Buddha. After all, as this monk proves, just because somebody does not confess Jesus does not mean there is not something we can learn from them.
    As I have many Buddhist beliefs, I fully agree with you that they are at best only a partial right answer. I think Christians and Buddhists honestly could learn a lot from one another, but it goes without saying that Jesus provides a meaning for existence; Buddha merely provided some very good insights in how to manage that existence.
     
  18. Servant78

    Servant78 Well-Known Member

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    There is one thing that Buddha never realized, that all creature including human are designed by God and they just receive their body as designed. It was not created by law of cause and effects but by LOVE.
    John 3:16

    And at the rapture of the church the saints will receive new body that no more hungry or thirst as in Revelation 7 (the great multitude)

    And in Revelation 21 there Will be no more death or tears in the new heaven and earth.

    @Taodeching


     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2022
  19. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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  20. jacks

    jacks Er Victus Supporter

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    God can save whom he wills, it is not up to us.

    "When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
    But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
     
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