This is part two of our week-long series on Buddhism, and, quite honestly, we will have to come back and write more at a later date! There is SO MUCH to know if you are going to effectively reach the Buddhist world for Christ! Again, this information is from the app “Change The Map”, and it’s a good resource for learning, plus you can pray with others for Buddhists in your community and around the world. And, as it happens, “Pray4SouthAsia.com” is featuring Buddhism this week, and that’s where we got the photo above. Today, we will touch on “Karma” and “Making Merit”.
KARMA is the belief that the quality of our life today has been determined by the fruit of our past lives. According to the law of karma, if a person’s good works exceed his/her bad works, it is possible to reach a higher existence in the next life. The lowest level of existence is a demon in hell. The next levels move from insects to animals, to human beings, to angels in heaven. Ultimately the goal is “enlightenment”, escaping the cycle of death and rebirth completely. In some Buddhist traditions, people do not think they will reach enlightenment any time soon, but simply hope to attain a higher level in the next life.
MAKING MERIT is a religious exercise with the belief that you can earn merit in many ways, including visiting the temple, burning incense, meditating, giving gifts to a monk, being blessed by a monk, donating money, saying prayers, or ringing temple bells. Viewers of the Waiting World videos on the Gologs of Tibet and the Tibetans (https://www.thewaitingworld.net/home-page) may recall seeing men on their hands and knees prayer walking for miles, or the elderly lady ringing temple bells. These folks were all trying to “make merit”. This practice has been heavily influenced by culture. For example, in Thailand, Buddha images may be found in homes and businesses, and people offer flowers, incense, and other gifts as a way to earn merit.
Buddhists believe mankind is in a constant state of suffering. Please pray that they learn suffering came from disobedience (sin). Pray their hearts are open to the peace that only comes from an assurance that our sins are forgiven in Jesus Christ.