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Easy to say, difficult to do: of course a Christian, rightly prepared in the Word of Truth, can listen to a Buddhist lecture. There are conditions that have to be met, though, to ensure that the process is not merely one of falling for the same old line that Satan always uses. The worm always slightly twists something we know is true to cause us to question the truth and in so doing question God. We have to be prepared to meet that challenge. First, of course, is Paul's admonition to Timothy: "15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene." 2Tim 2, ESV. All we have to do is read this passage and let God's word sink in: irreverent babble spreads like gangrene and foments ungodliness. So before we go to any lecture of some non-Christian faith, we also have to prepare with the Armor of God and, above all, realize as certainty that the Lord has equipped us with the power of discernment. "11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. " Eph 6, ESV. And, in the next few verses we see the major pieces of armor we need for a Buddhist, or any other, lecture: Breastplate of Righteousness Shield of Faith, and Helmet of Salvation If you, as a follower of Jesus, feel ill equipped in any of these protections, then NO, you are not ready to go listen to the presentation of a false but tempting religion. Finally, although for me the most important qualification is one that is frequently overlooked, poorly understood and ineffectively used by, in my observation, most Christians: DISCERNMENT. The author of Hebrews warned all of us: "12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." Heb 5, ESV. Milk is for the learner, solid food is for the mature. Pushing the analogy, it might be like giving a green chili burrito as the first solid food to a just-weaned baby if you carry a poorly discerning heart into a den of untruth. Here is an obvious, true, but hard to explicate statement: There are a number of Bible studies out there that address discernment; some of them are good, some of them are not so good, all of them are better or worse for each of us on individual bases depending on our current understanding and the function of the Spirit in our Faith Formation. It is up to YOU to know, by the power of the Spirit, that YOU have the ability to discern, and to KNOW that you have the discernment necessary for any specific situation. In the words of Peter "count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 2Pe 3 ESV
My opinion is no, a Christian should not listen to a Buddhist lecture. Like the bible has explicitly made clear, "What accord does the Temple of God have with an idol, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?" Every Christian is a temple of God, so the first question is: What benefits will the lecture offer when its sole foundation and information is antichrist? For example, Buddhim denies the sovereignty of Christ Jesus as the sole means of salvation for mankind. For me, it's like a Christian attending a jihadist lecture to learn how to defend the Islamic beliefs. The bible also instructs us to test all spirits to check if they are of God, and that any spirit (religion, practice) that does not accept Christ Jesus is not of God. For whatever reasons a person might have in going to hear a lie, whether it's beautifully constructed or outrightly violent in nature, under the name of a religion, it is not right either for the Christian or for unbelievers or non-Christians around such a person by passing a wrong signal to them that it's okay to seek out different opinions even though you claim to be a Christian. Let's remember that we are the bible that those around us read; we, like our Heavenly Father, should reach out to Buddhists with the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus in love by evangelism, prayer and charity works and let the Holy spirit do the conviction, because no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy spirit. If you have time to spare for a lecture of lies, use it wisely to pray for those who are already in the bondage of Buddhism, or go preach to them the love of a sweet Savior who loves them. Shallom, Racheal Lagos, Nigeria
If you want to study other religions to see similarities in truth, fine, but you better have studied the word of God thoroughly first. You see, God the Father has given mankind a new and living way through Jesus Christ and it is our responsibility to present it to all the world and to those who choose to listen. The spirit of confusion is always present when a lecture or sermon is being taught or spoken about false deities or false Christianity being presented. Satanic deceiving spirits will be present ay such a lecture. Don't be deceived. Our God will not be mocked. You can even encounter a false peace there but that peace will lead to bondage. The teaching will all be the same follow and practice x, y and z and you will evolve. Man is imperfect, even in Christ Jesus. God's word tells us to strive for perfection but that Jesus Christ was the only perfect person who ever walked on planet earth. My righteousness is as filthy rags. His righteousness has become my righteousness by accepting Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God the Father. Christianity is the only way to salvation or evolving after death has occurred. He is God the Father's only way, door or bridge to eternal life after death. I studied all the false Christianities for two purposes when I was first born again. For two purposes- to know the truth and be set free, and to help those who have been deceived. I have found out time and time again that they choose not to listen. Even though my motivation and appeals were driven and demonstrated with love. When you search on a personal and individual level for truth, you will find it. But Jesus Christ is the only way to it. Jesus Christ is truth. The word of God is Jesus Christ revealed. Bad company can lead to damnation. Hope this helps someone be delivered from the snare of the fowler (Satan).
Here is an alternative view. I am going to be bold and say you should listen to the lecture without any conditions. If we don't then we can't expect Buddhists or any others to listen to the Christian message either, and to learn of the truth. Only those religions, who fear their followers may be persuaded by others, ban them from listening to other religious perspectives. Some not only ban their followers from listening to and reading other religious material but also order those who leave their religion to be killed for doing so! There are two fundamental reasons for listening to other religious perspectives. (1) Their explanations may make us seek answers from Christianity that we may have not considered up to that time. (2) Our own faith in Christ's messages becomes stronger when we begin to understand the depth of those messages. Take the concept of 'reincarnation' in Buddhism, born and reborn over and over again until a being reaches Nirvana. In these rebirths being born as human is a higher form of birth than of being born as an animal, insect, reptile etc., some to be eaten by others. The form of births and rebirths are dependent on a person's own karma (sins) committed in previous birth cycles. As Buddhism does not believe in an Almighty God I started to ask myself as to how and who ensures these births take place and that mistakes do not happen in a person's birth cycles? How is an insect going to pay back for its previous karma in its current life? Since the world population has been growing at a phenomenal rate now at 7 billion and soon on its way to becoming 9 billion, does it mean that an ever increasing population of beings have been paying off their karma to escape their insect, animal, reptile lives to be born human? If so why do they commit ever increasing violence, atrocities and karma in this life! These questions led me to a fundamental discovery. That is, while all these religious founders had reached a higher level of human reasoning when compared with us to give us plausible explanations as to how the next world looks like and how we could enhance our spiritual lives to reach it, none of them was divine. Jesus is the only religious founder who is divine, who created the very world we live in (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1). Accordingly, Jesus created this world we live in and will be in judgement of all of us when we die. He is the only one who knew what the next world was like for He came from there. In contrast, all other religious founders informed their followers about the next world and what we need to do to reach it without experiencing it themselves at the time they preached. Even after their deaths no one ever came back to confirm, revise or deny their previous explanations. Being divine, only Jesus knew the exact truth and that is why He said 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6)'. Unfortunately, this does not mean that all Christians believe in the truth. In fact even in the Christian Church we have many vicars, priests, bishops and even archbishops and popes who do not believe in Jesus' divinity and some of His teachings in the Bible. The essence of my message is that we must expose our Christian beliefs to others' perspectives, for in so doing we can learn more about our own religion that we may not have given a thought up to then. If we put our faith in God to reveal to us the truth then we do not need to fear Satan or anyone.
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