Monday, June 23, 2008

My trip to the church

So last Saturday, I went to the church, FGA, to attend a seminar/talk on creation, i.e. how the world and the universe came to be.

So I entered the church wearing my chain with the Goddess of Mercy pendant(Kun Yam)
Before the seminar started they started to sing a song, and it does make you feel humble when everyone sing, praising the lord, knowing that there is a supreme entity up there looking down on you and loving you.
So they started singing 'Praise the lord', 'I'm in awe of all of you', etc. etc.
I didn't although the song was very pleasant and I just clapped along.

Basically it's based on the bible. God created the world and all that's in them in six literal days. It is against what human scientists believe.

The bible says the world is approximately 6000 years old.
Human scientists say the world is 4.6 billion years old, calculated by analyzing the oldest rocks found.

So the seminar is basically pointing out that modern human scientists carbon dating techniques, etc. etc. are wrong/inaccurate.

Before the speaker, Reverend Albert, talked about creation, he first gave an overview for the purpose of the seminar, why men rejects God and so on.

Basically, he was talking about what I was.

In the work book he states 3 destructive philosophies.

1. Individualism - Live for myself.

And I do have this destructive philosophy, I remembered once my auntie borrowed me this book, the purpose of life, I didn't know it was based on god first, it wasn't stated on the cover.
After reading a few pages and then they slowly start to say we live for God, our purpose is to live for God, I got discouraged straight away.

My rebellious nature was thinking, why on earth do I have to live for an external factor??

Nobody affects my life but me. I am my own god. This is called individualism.

The second destructive philosophy is Secularism, i.e. God is unnecessary, because at the moment, I do think so that god is unnecessary, again because he is an external factor.

The third destructive philosophy is relativism, that there are no absolutes in life. I forgot what he said about this.

One part of the seminar talks about Christianity being under attack. The real issue is, is there a god??

So what people should do is, begin with God as he is truth. And to reject all lies and atheistic humanism lifestyle.

Now this sounds familiar right my Buddhist friends?
Buddha was a prince, he was a human. He meditated and got enlightened and preaches about his teaching to all.
Buddhists do not believe in a creator god.

So Buddhism is an atheistic humanism lifestyle, and according to Christianity, is not the truth and is not the way to live.

This leads me to another question. If those that did not believe in Jesus, they will perish and be sent to hell.

What about the people that were not exposed to Jesus and his doings at that point if time?
What about the people in India(for example) who know nothing about it, are they going to hell because they are not exposed to Christianity.

Another question, Buddha, where is he now?
Of course Buddhists will know that he is enlightened and has free himself from the cycle of rebirths and has achieved nirvana. He is in peace, eternally.

But Buddha did not believe in a creator god, so according to the bible, Buddha is in hell then?
He with all compassion and has relieved many of their suffering is in hell?
I'm not trying to create a controversy here, I apologize if I do, I'm just mentioning the questions that came up in my mind.

The creation seminar states that evolution is wrong.
Science is:
1) observable
2) repeatable
3) demonstrable

if evolution is true, then why aren't the monkeys in the Zoo turning to humans?
People there were laughing when they heard this statement.

To sum it all up, it's all based on the bible , and the bible is the truth of all things as it is god's words.
At the moment, human calculations, and it's factors and variables may be wrong, hence, contradictory to the bible.

I also found out that Adam lived for 930 years, and then when he ate the fruit he is not supposed to, he has sinned and decay started. Before that, there were no deaths and suffering, after Adam ate it, he sinned so all of man has sinned, and that was the start of decay, deaths arose.


So the things I learned,

According to Christianity, religions like Buddhism, derived from man, are false religions.
They do not like Aethists, because they deny the lord, the creator, the author.
Buddhism, is wrong, because all it's teachings are from MAN, not GOD.

I think it all boils down to, whether you believe in a creator-god.
If you believe him, then worship him and live for him.


I wonder if it is ok to have both.
believe in a creator god but still practice Buddha's teachings.

Since Buddha is man and God created man, he should be proud to see what his child, Buddha brought to the world!

I truly believe in the Buddha and his teachings and the way to end suffering.
The bible does say we are not allowed to believe in other god's as he is jealous of his relationship with you.
You only worship him.

But the thing is, Buddha is not a god, he is a man.

Is this a loophole? can we worship the creator-god, and practice Buddha's teachings?(e.g. meditation)
If can, than that would be ideal.

oh during the seminar, he quotes alot of proverbs from the bible, John what what, Corinthian, Romans something something.
This is all to state things that contradicts to what human scientists believe today.

So at the end of the seminar during the question and answer session I wanted to ask him,

"What if the bible is wrong?"

but of course I didn't as everyone would go *GAAASSSSP!!!* and look at me with huge round eyes.

"YE AVE SINNED!!! THOU SHALL PERISH ETERNALLY!!!!"

Doooooooom~~~

haha.

of course the bible can't be wrong to Christians, but
so are the palis and sutras to Buddhists.

for now my mind is open, I can accept Christianity but I am all for Buddhism. Maybe I should ask a Christian pastor about this.

Worshiping god and practicing Buddhism

and also a Buddhist monk, practicing Buddhism and worshiping a creator-god.

But hey you know what, if I can contribute to mankind by being born into the world again and again and to help free others from suffering, I'm all for it, instead of accepting Christ and go into heaven eternally...I will choose whichever way that is more selfless.

If both doesn't satisfy me, I would have to read the Quran! lol

so what do you think?
I welcome all comments, whether you're a Buddhist or a Christian or a Muslim. But please keep it friendly and respect other religions and faiths.

13 comments:

izso said...

I really despise how religions denounce science all in the name of their god. It's insulting. Proof of existance, proof of age, proof of everything is all there, yet they deny the facts and insist on their own truths.

In the case of christianity, their proof is their bible and that was written by a man. Down the centuries re-written and different versions were released, so the final scripture now is after revision dunno-how-many-hundred. So who's to say they aren't wrong?

As for our monkeys turning into humans, easy answer for the good reverand : Evolution. Evolution didn't happen in a year, 10 years or even a 50 years. Maybe 100 years you might see a slight difference but it took millenia for the human race to exist as it does today. If you want to see the monkeys in the zoo turn into humans, wait for a couple thousand years and its decendants might.

If one of these days a true and true scientist announces his faith in religion because he's/she's found proof of existance, that'll be the day the world changes.

Dr. Tan said...

My memory of FGA:

"I was once a Buddhist, but then I left the sinning life and embraced Christianity" - Pastor, end 2005.

Some churches are cool though.

footiam said...

Hey, Kenneth, you can believe in a Creator God and practise anything your heart permits. I have a friend who likes this concept: You accept him and you go to Heaven. You accept him and your sins would be cleansed. Pretty easy and cool, don't you think. You can sin and be cleansed by just believing. You can go to Heaven even if you don't deserve it. You don't have to be responsible. You can live a carefree life. Why not? The sad thing about it all is my friend just can't accept it. His heart does not permit it. He told me , I want to accept that, but I just can't. How great would it be if I can just accept it. Now, how about you? If you can accept that, it's great.But you seem to me to be such a responsible person. And I guess it would be sufficient in such cases that you should just be responsible for yourself, your thoughts - If others can accept a creator God, good for them. Most probably, your conscience won't allow you a crutch. But you can be happy for them. It makes life the all simpler. But then again, you can just be happy for them; it'll be harder for you to be happy to be them. I don't know about you; some people find it suffocating to live with such overly simple minded people.

Anonymous said...

dude where did you go?

you should really read this book called "Genesis and the Big Bang: The Discovery of Harmony Between Modern Science and the Bible," by Gerald Schroeder (a physicist). Seriously. Most people don't believe the earth was created in 6 days or 6,000 years. Even Christians..thats very midwestern Bible-belt..but not correct..even by Christianity's standards. Read the book it will make more sense.
As for being Buddhist and Christian...you have to ask yourself whose teachings are you putting first in your life? Because that is who your god is. Also, while buddhism has a lot of nice philosophies about social justice and whatnot, the same ones are found in the book of Matthew, although i'd argue that Jesus was much more explicit about it than Buddhism ever was. Moreover its the Christian's duty to be active in social justice, not just on a national level, but a personal level as well.

Kenneth Tang a.k.a Fishbonezken said...

izso,
well that's not what the bible says, hehe. Now I'm on the fence between which to believe since both sides claim to be the truth. Or maybe I shouldn't even waste my time on this.

dr. tan,
hey i didn't know you went to FGA before...well yeah according to Christianity, we are all sinners and the 'only' way to repent is to accept Jesus Christ into your life and ask for forgiveness. Salvation!

footiam,
I actually want a very carefree life, I'm already counting the years till I retire. Sometimes I wish I had no family and therefore no responsibilities. But I'm born here as I am, and a carefree life isn't my choice to make.
I'm actually one of the simple-minded and irresponsible people...haha

anonymous,
where did I go?....erm...what do you mean?
I'm still here. :)
It's very difficult for me as well to believe earth is only 6000 years old when human scientists calculated it to be 4.55 billion years old.
The teachings I put first in life is Buddhism, well for now at least.


notes: Another Christian friend said, as long as you're good in your life, it doesn't really matter if you're a Christian, Buddhist or Muslim.

Oh I also asked my uncle if we did good but because we didn't believe in Christ, we go to hell, how does that makes sense

he told me nicely, that we may have done all the right things, but when you are to be judged after you die and God is the judge, whatever decision God makes, who are we, as humans, to comment or to question his decision when our mentality is not on the same level as his?

he does have a point, a point that is valid only if you believe in a creator god, and you were created by him, the author.

footiam said...

Ken - I am sure you can have a carefree life even now but I am not sure if it is sensible to be looking forward to retirement. You haven't even started - unlike me; I am more qualified for that = looking forward to retirement that is. I think even without a family, you have responsibility = to society, people around you, and especially to you yourself. You have to be responsible for your actions . For example, If you shit, you have to wipe your ass. Having a family is a privilege. Sometimes, our family hurts us with their insensitivities and then, we'll hear that in time of trouble, it is our family that we can turn to but then this is not always the case. Sometimes, our family is the one who betray us but then why delve into this negative thoughts. Our family may be wrong, everyone else may be wrong but that doesn't mean you have to be wrong too. I just read a poem 'if' by Rudyard Kipling - when being lied, don't deal in lies; when being hated, don't give way to hating. When our family is around, rejoice in them; it's hard; but well, if you think in terms of the mundane tasks they are doing, like keeping the house, particularly the toilet clean= well, you may thank your lucky stars. You can have a carefree life if you know how to detach yourself from all the unnecessary thoughts and for goodness sake, give yourself some credit. You may be simple minded but you do have a mind of your own and you are far from irresponsible. You have only to learn to accept yourself, all your strengths and shortcomings and don' bother so much about external factors which you have no control over- you are not the creator, not the author of life. In the poem if, Rudyard kipling, wrote - Trust yourself when other doubts you and give allowance too to the doubting s - be confident but just think over the criticism you receive from others; but you don't have to agree with them. You may even show him your Anaconda. Who cares!

izso said...

Kenneth : I think that anonymous is yapster. Anyway, the point of the matter is not whether you believe in what, it's what you feel at ease in believing. I'm not comfortable with the way Christians believe in their religion so I don't participate in their things, whether it's events or church outings or whatever. If you ever do catch me there, it'll be because of the hot chick who invited me or I'm there for the free food.

And footiam is one funny guy. His comments never fail to end in a funny note!

Kenneth Tang a.k.a Fishbonezken said...

sorry I took so long to reply guys,

footiam,
Thanks. regarding the carefree life, sometimes when I walk/drive past those grass cutters I tend to envy them and would rather be in their position. No family, no hassle, just me and my cutting grass job, I do my work, earn a living to feed myself,and be at peace.

izso,
yapster? which anonymous? the good or the bad? lol... but he can't be the bad one lah, I know him. Hey aren't you married already? :P what's this about going to churches if a hot chick invite you.

footiam said...

Ken- being a grass cutter isn't as carefree as you think. Cutting grass is hard job; you need a lot of energy and you may be bitten by anonymous snakes. You don't earn much and you have bills to pay! You can't be carefree by being a grass cutter or prime minister but by being yourself. And I believe you also have to let go. That meansd letting go unnecessary thoughts and not money and responsibility,ok. Cheer up, Ken! If you take each day as it comes; do what ought to be done; brush away insolvable problems; you may be on your way to leading a carefree life! Learn from your mistakes. Toe the line. You'll get the hang of it. Just don't delve in unnecessary thoughts unless you have ideas to spruce things up! Get ideas from the Four Noble Path and for goodness sake, smile!

Kenneth Tang a.k.a Fishbonezken said...

footiam,
bills to pay...money to earn... makes me look forward more to retirement...
ok sir I shall do as you advice.

footiam said...

Ken-is there anything wrong with earning money?

yapster said...

Long reply, I hope you guys dont take this offensively. With the limited knowledge on what i know,I have stated my opinions on certain matters posted.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have reason to believe that God’s timing is infinite. So one day to Him, may be a thousand years to us. This no one really knows. When they say He created the universe in six days, it not literally 24 hours X 6 but in time periods. What time scale is He on? I don’t think anyone would know that …

I’ll try to answer your questions:

“What about the people that were not exposed to Jesus and his doings at that point if time?
What about the people in India(for example) who know nothing about it, are they going to hell because they are not exposed to Christianity.”

Personally I do not think that they will be judged that way, but we Christians are charged with a command to “preach the Gospel” to the world and hence the urgency to tell it to everyone. (So that the people in secluded areas won’t die without knowing about God. Well not so much for my case la…must repent lol…) Due to my lack of my knowledge on this, I’m unable to provide you with a better answer but i will get back to you on this if when I get one answer. Sorry on my part. On the India case, there are established Christian churches there. We do what we can.

“He with all compassion and has relieved many of their suffering is in hell?”

No disrespect about Buddha but in my religion, we are saved by faith and not acts or works. Meaning you don’t go to heaven for doing good things or even going to church. You are saved simply because u have faith in God. That He is your personal saviour and you confessed and you know the rest la rite? (don’t wana be preaching)

I believe evolution isn’t true, adaptation is. People and animals adapt to their surroundings. Become stronger in certain ways to adapt. To accept evolution is to believe that there is no God. It is also to give yourself the glory that you managed to “evolve” into such an amazing state. A human being is not a very simple life form you know? I think you heard the watch example but I’ll write it out in case you missed out on it. A watch shows the time. Simple enough, just keep ticking. We know every watch design has a creator and to make a watch, to make it tick, engineering is involved to design the gears, to keep the pace etc etc and then you have all the other processes to make a watch. Now you think, if a watch needs sooo much attention and work to be done, how much more would you require to be created?


From a Christian stand point,

Religions like Buddhism, derived from man, are false religions. - Yes
They do not like Aethists, because they deny the lord, the creator, the author. – no, We do not agree with atheism, not the atheists. (as in the belief, not the person)
Buddhism, is wrong, because all it's teachings are from MAN, not GOD. – yes

Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me. – no loopholes this time Kenneth :)

No, we wont burn you on a stick -_-“ lol… Yeah what if the bible is wrong? I would really like you to prove it wrong. Many have tried and failed. Some tried and became Christians themselves…lol.. you should try too.

Hmm…a very noble cause… I admire your selflessness…really a gem in you. But what makes you so sure that you will be born again as a good person like you are now? What if you’re born as a Hitler the Second?

note: Your other Christian friend is very wrong. In fact, is he/she in a cult? One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that there is only one God and no other God. So how on earth can it be okay “as long as you’re in a good life”??? Who’s this friend? Do I know him/her? Very VERY interesting Christian…
I for one know that God is not an “external factor”. He lives in me.


Footiam,
Yes it is that easy and cool, you will go to Heaven if you accept Him. But you’re missing the point. We don’t go on living “carefree lives” in such a way that we don't mind doing everything and anything that’s wrong because we do get punished for our sins. But yes, His love for us is never-ending and so He forgives us if we truly repent. But if that person really grasp the full knowledge of God, he wouldn’t want to sin. We believe that God allows temptation to come our way, He doesn’t control our choices. But the temptations that come our way are always bearable that we may stand under it and not fall for it because He gives us the strength to do so. We always have a choice to say yes or no to something wrong. It’s okay to be tempted, but to fall into temptation is wrong.

“But you seem to me to be such a responsible person”
It’s not about irresponsibility, it’s about grace. God died for us so that we may be forgiven. Here’s a big fact, nobody in this world deserves such grace. It’s hard to accept but it’s already there. It’s only whether we want it or not.
I duno how your fren is, but I hope he’s okay…


Izso,
I beg to differ and I shouldn’t justify such a statement with an answer. I’m sure Kenneth knows me better.

Kenneth Tang a.k.a Fishbonezken said...

(1) "No disrespect about Buddha but in my religion, we are saved by faith and not acts or works. Meaning you don’t go to heaven for doing good things or even going to church. You are saved simply because u have faith in God. That He is your personal saviour and you confessed and you know the rest la rite? (don’t wana be preaching)"

ohh I understand now, thanks for this answer. Okay, so if I have been very charitable, selfless to society and those around me, but I DENY God, and don't have faith in him, I will be condemned to hell?

(2) "Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me."

But Buddha wasn't and isn't a god. He was a man :). So can I have faith in god and yet practice Buddha's teaching?

(3) "But what makes you so sure that you will be born again as a good person like you are now? What if you’re born as a Hitler the Second?"

Buddha teaches us about karma. My karma determines which ever realms I will rebirth in and my conditions. And this is quite interesting, if I recall and not mistaken, our traits or personality we have in this life is effected by our previous lives. For example, this life I am a patient person, in the past life I probably have this trait as well. However if in this life I do not strengthen my patience and turn to rage and anger, in the next life I'll probably be a person that gets angry easily. If I strengthen my patience trait in this life, in my next I will be a more patient person. If I'm not wrong lah :P

(4) "note: Your other Christian friend is very wrong. In fact, is he/she in a cult? One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that there is only one God and no other God. So how on earth can it be okay “as long as you’re in a good life”??? Who’s this friend? Do I know him/her? Very VERY interesting Christian…
I for one know that God is not an “external factor”. He lives in me."

haha you know this very very interesting question, he's Sean Chua :P
hmmm that's a very good point that God lives in you, well maybe my perspective of him being an external factor to me will change in the future.

(5) “But you seem to me to be such a responsible person”
It’s not about irresponsibility, it’s about grace. God died for us so that we may be forgiven. Here’s a big fact, nobody in this world deserves such grace. It’s hard to accept but it’s already there. It’s only whether we want it or not.
I duno how your fren is, but I hope he’s okay…

You meant to say Jesus died for you right? hehe. Again' very good answer. I was wondering if you've looked into Buddha's teachings before, never mind where we go after we die. Can you read the four noble truths?. I'd like to know your opinion on it.

Here's the four truths.
(1)Suffering
(2)Cause of Suffering
(3)End of Suffering
(4)Path leading to the end of suffering.

if you could read the point a bit in depth I'd greatly appreciate it.

Don't worry if you don't have the time now, it's not urgent.
And don't worry if you don't want to :)