6.3.4 Buddhism And A Personal God
Buddha denied the existence of a personal God but was monistic in his view of the Absolute as an impersonal force made up of all living things. The Bible teaches of a God who rules the universe, and cares for man in a personal way. Psalm 46:10 states: " Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted among the earth" .
Buddha claimed to be the one who shows the way to Nirvana, to a time of future bliss. Jesus claimed to be the way to God (Jn. 14:6). There is a subtle difference. Jesus pointed us towards a living relationship with the one personal, Almighty God. Buddha offered a philosophy intended to give the follower the highest level of personal happiness. This, surely, is nothing but selfish. Buddhism is all about self power. This effectively leaves God out of it. He has no part to play, no power. We are alone with ourselves, and yet it is surely evident that humanity of itself cannot save itself. The Bible teaches that God is the source of all power, and that this power, or Spirit, created and sustains everything. And it is this Spirit power which through His word, the Bible, can transform human life in practice. There are times when the heart of man becomes so evil that he himself cannot even fathom how evil it is (Jer. 17:9). If we look within, there is simply not enough positive self power within us to transform ourselves. This is why Buddhists, if they are intellectually honest and objective in their self examination, will have to die disappointed men and women. Jesus Christ is described as “the Lord the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17), to whom all power in Heaven and earth has now been delegated by God (Mat 28:18). God through Him has the power to change lives. It is not in any man who walks on earth to direct his own steps (Jer. 10:23). We can’t transform ourselves unaided. And this accords with the honest self-examination of every human being.
The personal God of the Bible, the Father of the Lord Jesus, is seeking to glorify the things of His Name- that is, the principles which make up His own personal attributes. Buddhism is almost obsessed with seeking to alleviate human suffering, just as, say, mistaken Christian groups like Pentecostals teach false doctrines like ‘name it and claim it’, offering personal material benefit from their religion. This is what makes standard religions all seem so essentially selfish. But the true message of the Bible is that this one true personal God seeks to glorify His Name, His true and righteous characteristics, in a community of eternally redeemed men and women.