Buddhism vs. Christianity – Can Both Be True?

The Bible says

“There is a way that seems right to a person,
but the end thereof is death” (Prov. 14:2)

Some people say that there are many ways to God, and that Christianity, Buddhism, and other religions are just some of the many paths to God. There is only one big catch with this assumption. Every religion or “way” makes its own truth claims, and these are in contradiction to those made by other religions or “ways” to God. The fact is, many religions contain some bit of truth mixed in with false claims – but all religions or “ways” can’t all be fully true, or paths that lead to God and eternal life. Jesus made this plainly clear when He stated one of the most outrageous claims ever made:

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No man comes to the Father except through Me.“ (John 14:6). 

Jesus didn’t claim to just point the “way”, or teach the “way”, He claimed that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. No other holy man or spiritual teacher has made such a claim, and ONLY Jesus backed this up by rising from the dead (see our article on the Resurrection).

The religion of Buddhism is a case in point. Although one can find many good teaching in Buddhism, many of its assertions of truth are clearly false. Many of these assertions of truth by Buddhism are in direct contradiction to the truths proclaimed in the Bible, modern scientific facts, and the core doctrines of Christianity.

For example, here are just some of the truth claims made by Buddhism, vs. Christianity:

  • Buddhism claims “there is no almighty God”; Yet the Bible proclaims that there is only One Almighty God who created the heavens and the earth (ie., the cosmos), and there is no other God besides Him. Consistent with modern scientific evidence, the Bible asserts that there was a First Cause to all things, that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1). Both of these claims cannot be true. Either these is an Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of all things, or there isn’t. The Bible states there is, and modern scientific discoveries support this truth claim (ie., that there was a beginning to all space, time and matter).
  • There is no recognition of a need for salvation in Buddhism, no concept of a fallen mankind, who rebelled against their Creator, and sought to define truth on their own. Buddhism stresses that each individual must on their own behalf work to attain perfection, as one works through countless re-births to one day eventually achieve “enlightenment”. In contrast, the Bible says that “all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God.” All are in need of a Savior.  In the Old Testament God proclaims Himself as Savior of His people:  “I, [even] I, [am] the LORD; and beside me [there is] no Savior” (Isaiah 43:11). In the New Testament, it becomes clear that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled God’s plan of redemption for any and all who would believe on Him (John 3:16).
  • Buddhism emphasizes the need for one to take personal responsibility to “liberate oneself” – to rely on one’s own abilities, self-discipline and “striving” to improve, end what is see as a life of “suffering”, and to free oneself from an endless cycle of re-birth – eventually to become “one with the universe”. Christianity recognizes the world is in a fallen condition, and that the Fall resulted in the corruption (“sinful nature”) of all creatures, and stresses that one cannot “wash away” their own impurities. There is no endless cycle of re-births, and no amount of self effort will empower one to “liberate” themselves. These truth claims are contradictory – either one is able to liberate oneself from impurities, or not (and is in need of redemption); either reincarnation is true, or it is not.
  • While Buddhism teaches that life is but an existence of suffering, the Bible teaches that while there is suffering, life can also be full of joy for those who accept God’s provision of redemption, and ask Jesus into their hearts (John 3:16). Jesus said “I am come that they might have life, and that more abundantly (John 10:10). These truth claims are contradictory – either life is just suffering and and endless cycle of re-births, with the goal of liberating oneself from life, and becoming enveloped in the universe; or it is gift, to be lived once, with the opportunity to accept the free gift of eternal life, which is in Christ Jesus the Lord. And with that, receiving an abundant life in this world, joy, peace, and suffering, but joyous life in the world to come.
  • Buddhism teaches that there is an endless cycle of re-births, until one is able to free oneself from this suffering life. The Bible, in contradiction, clearly states that “all are appointed to live once, and then comes judgement” (Heb 9:27). Jesus also taught that all are given one life, and after that each person will meet their Maker and give an account of what was done with the life they were given. Either we are subject to an endless series of re-births, or we are not. Both claims cannot be true.

These are just some of the claims Buddhism makes, in contradiction to what the Bible teaches, what Jesus taught, and what Christianity espouses. Because many of the core claims of Buddhism are in direct conflict with the basic truths of the Bible, one cannot claim to be a Buddhist and a Christian. You must make a choice. That is why the Bible states that only by trusting in Jesus, believing in Him, and receiving Him into your heart by faith, can you be saved; for “salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).

One key fact I didn’t mention is that the Buddha, while he did teach many truths, he died and was buried in a grave. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, really died, but really rose again from the grave! He is alive today, in Heaven – waiting to return at the appointed time, before the end of the age. And He gives His Holy Spirit to anyone who would believe in Him, and receive Him into their heart. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most earth shaking fact in history – so much so, that this event split history into BC and AD. Make no mistake – Jesus promised to return for His bride, the “church” – the body of people that believe in Him and have given their lives to Him. As we approach the End Times, we are so very close to His return. Be ready, and accept Him while there is time!

>> To read the full article on Buddhism vs. Christianity, go to https://evidencetobelieve.com/buddhism-vs-christianity/