1

Are there any contradictions between the Catholic Christianity and Buddhism(main stream)? Can someone be a Christian and Buddhist at the same time?

I am looking for contradictions. Would you specify the inconsistencies between the two ideas? Do these ideas logically negate each other? And besides, Are there any ritual or ceremonies in one system that are opposed in another?

  • There are already dozens of older topics tagged christianity and comparative-religion in which such a question has already been asked, including Can a person live by the Dhamma and have another religion as well? and Mixing Buddhism with other religions. and many others. I think I ought to close this question as a duplicate (the question has already been asked), or "too broad" or "primarily opinion-based". – ChrisW Jun 30 '15 at 7:09
  • It would be a broad (too broad?) question if you were to ask for a specification of the "inconsistencies" just between different schools of Buddhism; let alone all Semitic religions too. Also there are a wide variety of Christians too, of whom some don't believe in God or in rituals. – ChrisW Jun 30 '15 at 8:35
  • @ChrisW I tried to make the question narrower. Hope that makes it conformimg to the rules – Ormoz Jun 30 '15 at 8:42
  • Thanks and welcome to the site. Someone opened a meta-topic now about this question, which I hope you'll be able to make sense of, and which other users too might post their opinion/answers in: How should this “re-open”-post be reviewed? – ChrisW Jun 30 '15 at 15:27
  • @ChrisW Thanks, I put some explanations there. – Ormoz Jun 30 '15 at 16:07
2

From my knowledge, it night be quite difficult to practice both, but still might be possible. The Buddha had a few quotes that contradict the teachings of Jesus.

The Buddha said:

‘There are some monks and priests who believe that whatever pleasant, painful or neutral experience someone has, all that is due to a supreme god. I approached them and asked if they believed this and they said they did. Then I said, “So according to you, if someone is a murderer, thief, adulterer or liar, a foul-mouth, greedy, hate-filled heretic, all that must be due to a supreme god.” When someone falls back on a supreme god as the answer, there (should logically be) no will to do, no desire to do, no necessity to do this or avoid that. Such a person is confused, vulnerable and cannot honestly call themselves a true monk or priest. This is my rightful refutation to those who believe such ideas, such views.’ -The Buddha (Tittha Sutta)

The other one I know about is the following:

‘Why does God not straighten out the world? If he really is the Controller, the Highest, Lord of All Beings, why is the whole world in such a mess? Why did he not make the world happy? If he really is the Controller, the Highest, Lord of All Beings, why is there so much deceit, lies, pride and unrighteousness? If he really is the Controller, the Highest, Lord of All Beings, then he must be unrighteous and cruel because it was he who made everything.’ -The Buddha (Ja. VI,208

In the Kalama Sutta, the Buddha makes it clear of when a teaching should be accepted:

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything just because it is found in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been passed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis. When you find that anything agrees with reason and is conductive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." -The Buddha (Kalama Sutta)

Here the Buddha makes it clear that you must not believe in anything on faith, and Christianity takes a little faith, no? I am also sure that there are Bible verses, and denominations of Christianity that might not allow you to follow Christianity with other religions.

Now don't get me wrong. One could still follow the Eightfold Path that was taught by the Buddha while believing in Jesus Christ.

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right action
  4. Right speech
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration
  • 2
    I would argue Christianity takes not a little faith, but is predicated upon faith, without reality as its basis. Buddhism takes reality and experience as its basis, and takes faith not as a necessity, but as a supporting condition that arises when the teaching becomes realized for oneself. And I also would not agree and cannot see how a Christian could follow the Noble Eightfold path. How would they be able to attain right view while trying to reconcile reality with the Bible? – Ryan Jun 30 '15 at 6:34
  • 1
    Christianity holds that eternal salvation is achieved only through Jesus Christ being accepted into ones heart as a personal savior. Whereas right view in the Noble Eightfold Path holds the Four Noble Truths, which clearly state the path to the cessation of suffering to be other than Jesus Christ. Therefore, I cannot see how the two views can both be held. – Ryan Jun 30 '15 at 6:38
  • @Ryan let me explain what I mean. A Christian could still follow the Noble Eightfold Path. They can still develop Right View. Right View is the opposite of Wrong View. The Buddha taught that there are 62 types of wrong view dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=62_kinds_of_wrong_view Just as long as a Christian does not believe in those kinds of wrong view, sees the truth of suffering, and path to ending suffering, then they have right view. They will; however, drop some of their Christian beliefs because of their meditation insight. – user5380 Jun 30 '15 at 6:49
  • They accept Jesus Christ as a saviour because they want to go to heaven, not because they want to end suffering. So your second comment needs no further refutation. @Ryan – user5380 Jun 30 '15 at 6:52
  • In Christianity, heaven is more or less synonymous with the cessation of suffering. Christians want to go to heaven, because the alternative is an eternity of damnation and suffering. In this way, as the alternative to heaven is hell, the acceptance of Jesus Christ IS the Christians cessation of suffering. – Ryan Jun 30 '15 at 7:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.