The Similarities Between Christianity And Buddhism

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Like many religions, similarities between Christianity and Buddhism can be found. Both faiths encourage regular devotions, compassion, mindfulness, and self-discipline. In addition, both acknowledge the concept of a spiritual journey. Christ-followers aim to grow in relationship with God and continually go through sanctification while Buddhists aim to reach nirvana. There are also several defining differences. The more interesting of these lie beyond doctrinal contrasts. For example, the types of people that are Buddhists usually range from uneducated lower-class people to upper-class intellectuals. It seems to appeal to all socio-economic groups whereas Christianity usually attracts upper and middle-class members. These types of differences …show more content…
Both have a defined service order. However, what differentiates the two was exhibited in the chanting service I attended. People could come and go to this service as they please and join in on the ritual. However, the amount of focus and order in the room made up for the seemingly free flowing nature of the service that I preconceived. The monks lead chants and songs while ringing bells and banging on a large bowl and drum with a mallet of sorts. Every member of the congregation had a book of the chants and songs similar to a hymn book so they could follow along. After every song or chant, everyone would get on their knees, bow on their face, and open up their hands and then repeat the cycle. Every so often they would all get up and walk around the room during a song in a synchronized manner. Everyone knew exactly what they were doing and were moving in unison. A monk was taking incense outside to a statue and walked right by me without saying a word or even looking at me. The same went for the congregation. They did not greet or speak to one another. Once the people entered the sanctuary, everything else was put aside. Nothing else mattered in those moments but them dedicating their time to …show more content…
My favorite of all of these occurred when I started to walk through the building and exploring the many different rooms they had aside from the main sanctuary. Some of these are classrooms, a library, prayer rooms, and a big dining room. All the prayer rooms have signs in front of them urging devotees to remove their shoes before entering and all statues in the open spaces have a stool to kneel. There is a very interesting concept that I really liked about the temple. Unlike Christian church which has one or two Sunday services available, this temple had a space set up for worship at all times. If you didn’t want to participate in the chanting service, you could maybe take a knee in front of a statue of go into the healing room. There are lots of different options and it is very individualized. I have found this to be true about the faith in general. Buddhism is very much an individual religion. There is not evangelizing like in Christianity or an “iron sharpens iron” philosophy. It is very much about the pursuit of reaching your own personal nirvana. That is explicitly named “the greatest goal” of the temple, according to their website. As I was exploring these things I realized that the defining differences in attending a temple or church service for a Christian versus a Buddhist. The point of going to a church for a Christian is to grow closer to God, but mainly to be in

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