Is the Buddhist concept of Zen compatible with the Christian faith?


Clarify Share Report Asked September 25 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Buddhist concept of Zen refers to a meditative state sought as a means of spiritual awakening and self-discovery. While practitioners of Zen claim that zazen ("sitting meditation") is compatibl...

September 25 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Mike-beckey Davis
Zen is a purely intuitive psychology.  In fact some academics have called Buddhism, itself, a religion of psychology.  Altered states of consciousness, in some eastern meditative practices, are primarily shifts of neurological energies within the brain; and/or chi flow through the chakra system. 

What many New Agers would say is a spiritual enlightenment experience is nothing more than these natural body energies shifting & moving through our neural net.  These pseudo spiritual experiences are deluding many sincere practitioners into thinking they're "enlightened".  Let's keep the vegetables separate from the fruit. Not all truth is on the same level. Paul said to the Athenians "truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness..." (Acts 17:30-31)

September 26 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Alex Harris
Zen is an off shoot of Mahayana Buddhism which developed around the 6th c AD. To answer the question we must explore Buddhism's origin and evolution. 

Buddhism arose sometime after the 6th c BC when Israel who were ordained the messengers of God to the whole world went into captivity. Since God reveled Himself thru the nation of Israel, the whole world staggered at this darkness and man sought alternative spiritual paths. After the 6th c BC, two religions evolved – Jainism & Buddhism. Scholarly evidence indicates that Jainism was formed first and then Buddhism. Jainism developed the concept of Reincarnation, which was then absorbed into the later developing Buddhism. Jainism and Buddhism were agnostic religions, and apart from these the land of India had a variety of worships. 

Buddhism became the dominant religion of the land of India. However, since it was an agnostic religion the people hungered for God. Then in the 1st c AD when the Gospel of Jesus Christ entered the land of India through the apostle Thomas and other apostles, early Indian Christianity developed as Saivism and Vaishnavism. Under the influence of early Indian Christianity, Buddhism then split in to Hinayana, the original form and Mahayana Buddhism. Mahayana Buddhism did absorb Christian concepts from Christianity - belief in a Bodhisattva or divine savior, Buddha statues with nail piercings, etc. 

Hence to answer the question, the Buddhist concept of Zen is definitely not compatible with the Christian faith, but rather, certain Christian concepts can be seen in Zen which are syncretism from early Indian Christianity. 

Many do not realize that the land of India was the most affluent in the 1st c AD – Angus Madison’s research. Also, the Sanskrit scriptures in Hinduism were all written under the influence of early Indian Christianity since the first evidence of Sanskrit is 150 AD. Details of this can be found at http://appiusforum.net/sanskrit.pdf.

September 26 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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