20140717

The Buddha is My Christ (satire)

It is a flawed theology to fear a non-Christian would go to Hell practising their own faith, be it Buddhist, Islam, Judaism or any religion other than Christianity that promote moral conduct.

In assuming that if I don't believe in Jesus, then I'll go to Hell, the conservative Christian is endorsing a religious opinion that is based on flawed logic.

In my opinion, this is the devilish nature of that assumption: condemnation of non-believers and fear of non-Christian faiths.

Whether or not I go to Hell is not determined by what I believe, but by how I conduct myself. This too is true in Buddhism. Indeed, both faiths require their members to repent from immoral conduct.

Therefore, the religiously faithful of any religion who follow the tenets of their religion will not go to Hell by practising their faith.

Thus I question the condemnation of unbelievers by any religion. Though, Buddhism endorses us to not to blindly accept what the Buddha said but to test everything that is Buddhist.

Perhaps this is why I like Mormonism. While the history of the Mormon is complex, the willingness of Mormons to be open to limited religious pluralism is a good sign. It shows the ability to adapt to the influence of post-modern eucheminism on Mormon thought.

Because I know that unconditional love is the root of Buddhism and Mormonism, I am sure that it will be possible for me to moderate my Buddhist ideals with Mormon ideals. Yet it is unlikely that the mixing of the different flavors of both faiths will lead to strengthening of my core belief about unconditional love.

For that Love empowers both Mormons and Buddhists to improve their lives for the better.

As I grow in my experience as a neophyte Buddhist Mormon, I hope to disprove the assumption by naïve conservative Christians that the syncretism of Buddhism and Mormonism will condemn me to Hell.

In Mormonism, a member eventually will be reborn in one of three kingdoms, the Celestial, the terrestrial and the telestial. Yet the afterlife is not of this world. Even so, the metaphor of the Mormon afterlife can be applied to this life.

If you follow the moral code of Mormonism, then it is possible to achieve the glory of the Celestial kingdom. If you follow the moral code of a non-Mormon religion, then you may achieve the glory of the terrestrial kingdom. If you follow your own moral code, then the telestial kingdom is for you.

In contrast, if you slip up but stay faithful to the Buddhist precepts of moral conduct, then you may achieve Nirvana, which is freedom from the cycle of birth and death in the Six Realms of Desire. If you just follow your own moral code, then you will live your own life.

Whatever my destiny is as a Buddhist Mormon, my depth of faith in unconditional love determines the strength of my moral code which determines my moral conduct. Through meditation and prayer, it is possible to live by my moral code and improve my moral conduct.

Although I am not perfect, I hope to improve my life by abstaining from caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and dangerous drugs. By doing so I plan on improving my health so that I may live long enough to be of service to other people, which is a core Buddhist tenet.

Since Mormonism is dedicated to service to other people, I find that it is amenable to my core Buddhist beliefs.

In Jodo Shinshu, the Japanese Buddhism that is the faith that I was born in, it is said that its founder Shinran Shonin once said, "I gladly will follow my master Honen to hell."

If conservative Christians might condemn me to Hell for "serving two masters", then that is based cherry picking Biblical quotes to support their religious opinion.

So, I certainly do not believe I am going to Hell. Although I have once stated that the Buddha is my Christ in jest, in all seriousness it is the foundation of the spiritual aspects of my life.

By declaring that "the Buddha is my Christ", I am only confirming the influence of the Buddha and the Christ on inspiring my life as a Buddhist Mormon.

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