What practical steps could be taken to build a relationship with a follower of this worldview who might be a co-worker, neighbor, etc.?
Religion-precipitated tragedies, like the holocaust, taught the world one critical lesson. That instead of focusing on the level of difference or the legitimacy of one belief over the other, people should always seek to find the principles, beliefs, and customs that unite them. Buddhism is one of the world's religions, and it possesses numerous beliefs that might appear new, strange, or incompatible with the other religions and more so Christianity. When interacting with believers of Buddhism, the first step is to respect the autonomy of their religion. It would be uncouth to employ stereotypes and heresy when interacting with them. In cases that do not necessitate the incorporation of religious aspects, it would be crucial to avoid it. Christianity is not a complete religion, as it has loopholes, prejudices, and sometimes controversies. There are certain aspects of Buddhism, and more so, the principles of self-denial, spiritual meditation, and practices that demand personal responsibility (White, 2018). Therefore, inquiring about these aspects, and appreciating them eliminates any conflict regarding the superiority of one religion over the other.
What barriers/hindrances would exist with presenting the Christian gospel to a person from this worldview? Scripture, course content, and/or research must be included and cited properly in your response this question.
The primary barrier, when presenting the Christian gospel to a Buddhist, would be their belief that there is no personal God. However, this is the founding belief of Christianity. The Christian gospel often seeks to amplify the message of a living God, existing in the trinity as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The story of the beginning of the world, as depicted in the New Testament in the gospel of John, confirms the existence of God. John 1:1 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The purpose of the gospel is to get people to know God. Therefore, the Buddhism belief of the nonexistent of God would be a significant barrier. Another barrier to sharing the Christian gospel to Buddhists would be the limited knowledge that Christians have towards their religious beliefs and practices. Other than the general facts about this religion, many Christians lack insight into their core beliefs, the practices they adhere to, and their customs and traditions. Many Christians do yoga, but they do not know that this is a spiritual activity for Buddhists. With this limitation, it is difficult to establish a common ground that can permeate the preaching of the gospel.
What personal challenges might you have with presenting the gospel?
As a young Christian, one challenge I could have in sharing the gospel would be a limitation in the scope of the Bible. I am not very conversant with most of the Bible verses, scriptures, and messages, and this could, therefore, limit my message to the target audience. The Old Testament, in particular, is a challenge to me, particularly the law books. I also tend to take the message verbatim without looking deeper into their spiritual meaning. A superficial message about the Bible could be misleading or even blasphemous. In some instances, the audience could challenge my preaching, and this could upset me, more so if I do not know the answer.
The Holy Bible. New International Version. (2011). Biblica Inc.
White R. (2018, February 26). A way Christians and Buddhists can be friends. Circle of Hope. https://www.circleofhope.net/rodwhite/way-christians-buddhists-can-friends/
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