CultureWatch

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Politics, Religion and the Dalai Lama

Jun 15, 2011

A lot of, well, weirdness, has been taking place in regard to the Australian visit of the Dalai Lama. The spiritual leader of Tibet has been touring Australia recently, and there has been a lot of rather confused thinking surrounding the event – both in political and religious terms.

The Prime Minister refused to meet with him. I suppose as an atheist that would be expected; and also because she does not want to upset a major trading partner: China. But even more bizarre was the reaction of the Greens’ leader Bob Brown.

He was quite irate about Ms Gillard not meeting with him. He met with the spiritual leader, and said, “There is more to this place than simply people with big money.” The inference is that maybe such things as religion are also important – which would be a strange admission coming from Bob Brown the atheist.

Of interest is all the immense attention paid to the spiritual leader when he comes here – or to other parts of the West. One simply cannot imagine a high ranking, Bible-believing Christian getting so much adoration and attention. Indeed, quite the opposite would be the case.

But the Dalai Lama gets invited all over the place, has plenty of media attention and appearances, meets with all sorts of VIPs, and basically gets a free ride in terms of being allowed to do and say anything that he wants. He is given rock star status alright. He is right up there with Hollywood celebs and other big cheeses.

But why is this? He is obviously a very nice guy, has a great sense of humour, and does not get involved with controversial subjects too often. He of course still seeks a Tibet free of Chinese occupation, pushes various popular causes, such as world peace, and does offer advice and counsel to world leaders and others.

He is quite readily referred to by his title, “His Holiness” – even by secular people. His widespread popularity, avid reception, and near universal acceptance in the post-Christian West is an interesting phenomenon. Why does everyone seem so happy to embrace him and his thoughts, even though so much of the contemporary West is thoroughly secular and anti-religious?

Much of the answer lies in the fact that he is a Buddhist who is also heavily into interfaith dialogue. This is not the place to enter into an extended discussion of Buddhism, but a few general points can be made about it. There are of course different varieties of Buddhism, but it must be recalled that God is not at all central to Buddhism.

Indeed, it is sometimes referred to as a secular religion. Thus this religion or philosophy in one sense offers few demands on people. Unlike biblical Christianity, one has no transcendent being that one is accountable to, and will one day stand before.

Basic concepts of sin and salvation are not found in Buddhism or the Dalai Lama’s thought. No wonder it is so easily digestible. It makes no pressing demands on anyone, and posits no need to be reconciled with a holy and pure God.

Thus the messages of sin, the Cross, salvation, and so on are not found here. There is no need of a Saviour as we are not sinners. There is no need of repentance and turning to God. There is no talk of a final judgment or a lost eternity. There is no hell and the wrath of God.

When all that is dismissed and vague talk of being happy, being at peace, and being nice to each other is instead the message proclaimed, then no wonder everyone in the secular West wants to get on board and embrace people like the Dalai Lama.

Such a message will always be welcome. Sinners can be quite comfortable with that. In contrast the Christian faith tends to repel people as much as it attracts them. Indeed, we often read in the gospels how Jesus divided the crowds by his words, and how many people decided to stop following him because his words were too hard and demanding.

Jesus did not come preaching an easy word, a popular word, a smooth word. His message was very confronting, challenging, and provocative. Indeed, so polarising and difficult was his teaching that the world hated him, and eventually sent him to a horrific death on a cross.

One can simply not imagine how the Dalai Lama would ever provoke such a negative reaction. One cannot envisage angry crowds wanting to string him up because of his radical and unpopular teachings. One will unlikely ever learn that he has become a martyr for his faith.

Thus the simple reception – or rejection – by the masses tells us a lot about the content of one’s message. The message of the Dalai Lama draws the masses, pleases the crowds, and offers hope – albeit false hope – to many. Indeed, it is misleading to refer to him as “His Holiness”.

No one but God is holy. We are all unholy, unclean, impure and saturated in sin. That is why the true Holy One, Jesus Christ came. He came to rescue us from our fallen, sinful and guilty condition. He came to restore us to a right relationship with a holy God who cannot look upon evil or countenance sin.

And the amazing thing is, when we come to Christ in repentance and faith, turning from self and sin, we receive not only his forgiveness, but a right standing with God as well. We in fact become saints. All true followers of Christ are declared to be saints, that is, those who are set apart, sanctified, holy.

Now that does not mean we attain perfection and full holiness in this life. But in the evangelical scheme of things, we have a three-fold state with God in Christ. First, we are fully justified by what Christ has done for us on our behalf. In that sense we are seen as holy and righteous in God’s eyes, because he looks at us in and through Christ.

This declaration of righteousness is then worked out in what is known as sanctification. The rest of our Christian life is spent becoming more like him, and less like our old selves. With the help of God’s Spirit, we grow more into the image of Christ, and gradually weed out the old sinful life.

Finally when we meet him in eternity, we experience glorification. A new resurrection body is part of this glorification process. All this is part of the saving work of Christ on our behalf. That is the good news we all need to hear, and it is not the message – regrettably – that we will hear from the Dalai Lama.

So while we can appreciate some of what he does and some of his humanitarian concerns and activities, there is only one person who we all must turn to, and only one person who truly deserves the title His Holiness: Jesus Christ.

[1163 words]

34 Responses to Politics, Religion and the Dalai Lama

  • Dear Bill, My heart froze when men of this passing world, introduced his holiness, the leader of Tibet, the Damai Lama. I recoiled considering Isaiah’s, Holy Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts (Isaiah 6). Where is the Damai Lama’s piety, his purity, his devotion to the Lord, his sanctity?
    He must recognise he is a sinner, under the judgment of a thrice-holy God, the blood of Whose Son was shed for the remission of his sin.
    Harrold Steward

  • The Dalai Lama is probably spiritually in tune with the world, but he is not spiritually in tune with God. Let’s hope that he turns to the only one person that can help him, but I fear that he is so blinded by his religious convictions that he is spirtually deaf and blind.
    Hans Brammer

  • I too am offended when sycophantic journalists and others refer to Mr Lama as “His Holiness”. I can find no good words to describe him as he is a false prophet and is deceiving many. Since the Bible describes as “fools” those who say there is no God, and since he is now 75 years old, I think a more appropriate title to be “old fool” than “His Holiness”!

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • Bill,
    Buddhism is not a religion per se in that they do not believe in the existence of a God. So athiests do not necessarily have a strong objection to them.
    But what is more worrisome is that many evangelical pastors, teachers and churches are embracing the Buddhist, Hindus, and other oriental meditative techniques and ‘christianising’ them in their time of ‘quiet and solitude ‘. The practice is not just found in the emergent churches but is spreading dangerously fast to many orthodox churches and seminaries including Dallas theological Seminary. Seminars that teach Richard Foster’s contemplative prayer to Dallas Willard’s spiritual disciplines (including quiet and solitude R. Foster’s style) are now common. The ecumenical and interfaith leanings of welknown teachers like Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Rick Warren etc have certainly played a role in making the “christians’ more ‘open and broad minded’. Looks like christians are left to fend for themselves and unless we know the word and sound doctrines well, we will be equally swept away by the new trend.
    Barry Koh

  • It is interesting to note that ideas of hell and post-death suffering for bad ‘karma’ are indeed embedded in Buddhism, but these ideas are kept very quiet in a Western context.
    Any Google search of ‘Buddhism’ and ‘Hell’ leads to interesting revelations that are missing from populist ideas that Buddhism demands no post-death accountability for past sins.
    Sandra Lyne

  • Thanks Sandra

    As I said, there are various strands of Buddhism, but those which do speak of hell of course differ fundamentally from the biblical conception. It is seen as part of samsara (the cycle of birth and rebirth) which is of course connected to the concept of reincarnation which many Buddhists hold to. The teachings about karma and the like are not at all similar to biblical thought.

    Buddhists reject the idea of the Fall and original sin. They reject the Christian doctrine that we have only this life to get right with our creator God. They do not believe that we face final judgment from the personal God whom we all must stand before, to then enter eternal life with Him or eternal punishment apart from Him. So again, there really is no similarity here between the two religions.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,
    Thanks for your example of using the Dalai Lama’s visit as an opportunity for sharing the Gospel. In response to Barry, I don’t think that Foster’s practice and teaching on prayer comes out of exposure to Eastern mysticism. My study of his work leads me to believe it is influenced by early Christian teachers and practitioners of prayer who were not influenced by Western materialistic thinking in the way that we are. Any further thoughts?
    Dale Skewes

  • Hi Dale,
    It will be too long a dicussion and needing me to go into many references to explain what I said. It’s best you do your own research and read other views, not just what Richard Foster says. I am an evangelical who holds on to ‘sola scriptura’ and therefore the Bible is the only plumbline I use to distinguish biblical truth from falsehood. So the best way to convert my thinking to yours is to show me the exact scripture verse or verses that spell out the exact meditative techniques taught by R Fosters and his guru Thomas Merton who is so very into oriental meditative practices and religion.

    The earliest knowledge of christians into such practices were by desert hermits and monks in monasteries in the 3rd/4th century and NEVER was it something taught in the New or Old Testaments. Did God forget to have them written in the Bible so that He must reveal them to the church through the monks and now Richard Foster and gang.

    Also Richard Foster himself warns us of encountering DANGER in this meditative techniques and ask that we start with a prayer of protection. What danger is that? What kind of meditation is this that is fraught with danger and requires prayer of protection first. Protection from whom or what? He is so uncertain himself. Where is all this taught in the Bible? A likely invention of his and a dangerous one (from his own warnings) or borrowed from other sources.

    Barry Koh

  • Caution, the Pope is also titled, His Holiness…
    John Angelico

  • Thanks John

    Yes, and as a Protestant I differ on that one as well, but at least he is a Christian, whereas the Dalai Lama is not. So perhaps we can leave it at that for the moment.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,

    The Dalai Lama gets some media attention, but nowhere near the amount of attention a visit by the Pope would get. And there really aren’t any other commonly recognised “ranking” Christian leaders.

    As for why “his holiness” gets respect, can I surmise that it is because his central message is human happiness? The message that mostly comes from Christianity is human misery, e.g. we have to endure pain and suffering in this life because of some ancient sin that was supposedly redeemed anyway. With respect, that proposition may make sense to you, but it sure seems ridiculous, unjust and illogical to an outsider. Combined with the fact that there is no real evidence that God actually exists, it may explain why religious belief has trouble maintaining traction, or getting respect, in today’s world.

    Ron Kennedy

  • Thanks Ron

    But it is apparent that you know little about either Buddhism or Christianity. The very heart of Buddhism is the issue of suffering. The Four Noble Truths are all about suffering, while the Eightfold Path is about how to overcome suffering.

    Christianity also speaks to suffering, but in a much different manner. Sin is the ultimate cause of our suffering, and Jesus came to deal with the sin issue.

    As to your rationalistic scepticism, I can equally say that I have no real evidence that you actually exist. But that is another debate.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Barry I have been told that the “only” was an addition by, I think, Luther in his transcription/translation of the text in question. I’m not a Scripture scholar (though I have read the whole Bible at least once and much of it, of course, many many tlmes) Can any scholar who reads the original Hebrew or Greek kindly clear up this point for me without causing offence or controversy?
    Anna Cook

  • Thanks Anna

    If you are referring to the phrase “Sola Scriptura” it is not found in the Bible but it is an inference from the biblical data. It was part of the thinking of Luther and the Reformers in their dispute with church authorities of the day.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Sadly to say that this man is in reality a advanced spirit medium, and I mean evil, demonic spirits. There is nothing holy about this man. He is a deceiver and perhaps himself deceived.
    Bill Kother

  • Thanks Bill, if there were a Facebook “like” option on here, I would just click it.
    Carl Strehlow

  • Thanks Carl
    Actually there is, just under the article!
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Well put Bill. I must admit that I could not understand all the hype surrounding his visit.
    Peter Coventry

  • Mr Lama is just a man, and if he does not believe and receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior, then he is unsaved and going to hell!!!
    I wonder when those of us who are “Ambassadors for Christ”, will be received with the welcoming and pomp of ceremony, that is given to Mr Lama??? I’m still waiting – for the diplomatic immunity, the residence, the other ambassadorial privileges???
    Barb Hoc

  • Unholy Old Fool?
    Daniel Kempton

  • Yes, the Dalai Lama is just a man, and I too was pretty amazed at how journalists fussed over his every word. It amazes me that the general public is so interested in everything this man has to say and in what he does, but then I remembered how (in the 1950s) Billy Graham was similarly feted. The big difference is that the people Billy Graham reached are (on the whole) till practicing Christians today, whilst the Dalai Lama will most probably be remembered only with a fond smile.

    Joan Davidson

  • Thanks for your reply Bill.
    Anna Cook

  • Hi Bill, one doesn’t need to be a Christian to be good, you know. So the Dalai Lama and you are on different paths, I don’t think he minds that you’re a Christian…
    Paul Stredwick

  • Wow… and here I was thinking that the lesson of Jesus was to have an open heart and to love others as you love yourself… perhaps the comments on this page reveal more about their authors than they do a person attempting to bring love and enlightenment to the world?

    I can not reconcile why Christians with such immense faith can be so frightened of someone with different views? For me having faith is about an open relationship with God, and I am never afraid to consider a different view point to my own. After all, if you have faith in your relationship with God, what is there to fear?

    Suzanne Stredwick

  • Thanks Paul

    I of course nowhere said that a non-Christian cannot be “good”. Because we are all moral beings living in a moral universe created by a personal moral God, then yes we all have moral motions, and can do limited amounts of good. But that is not enough. Our sin and selfishness separates us from a perfect holy God, and from each other. Until the sin problem is overcome, our mere goodness will not get us very far.

    And of course he would not mind – at least to some extent – my Christianity. In the relativism of Eastern thought, there are no absolute truths, and no logical contradictions. In such a system, everyone is right and no one is wrong. Such relativism seems to work in theory, but it never works in the real world. The Dalia Lama can speak all he wants about living in a world of maya, or illusion, but if he is standing on train tracks with a train bearing down on him, he will all of a sudden admit to absolute truth, and jump off the tracks.

    Truth matters, in other words, and when Jesus said he was “the way, the truth and the life’ he meant it. If Christianity is true, as it claims to be, then of course Buddhism cannot be true. Indeed, is a false religion leading people to hell and away from God, not to God.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Suzanne

    Actually the lesson of Jesus was not at all a sloppy, sentimental and watered down version of love in which everyone and everything is just peachy thanks. You clearly have not read the gospel accounts. The clear message of Jesus is that we are all alienated from God because of our wilful sinful condition. Unless we repent and turn from our sin, we are headed for a lost eternity. Indeed, Jesus spoke more about judgment and wrath to come than anyone else in the Bible.

    Wherever he went he caused division, enmity and anger – so much so that he was crucified for his efforts. That does not sound like a message of “love and enlightenment” to me, as you rather unhelpfully put it. His was a hard word which many rejected. But you want to turn him into a tree-hugging hippy who would not hurt a fly. So if and when you read the gospels for the first time, I suggest you also read the book of Revelation where we read about Jesus returning with sword in hand, blood flowing, to judge mankind, based on whether they accepted or rejected him.

    And this of course has absolutely nothing to do with being “afraid” as you impishly suggest. It has everything to do with standing up for truth in a world of relativism. And the most loving thing a Christian can do is tell others about the truth of Jesus. And that truth includes the fact that those who reject his truth claims and refuse to acknowledge that they are sinners deserving of judgment before a holy and righteous God will face his full wrath on judgment day.

    Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost – which is every one of us. A true Christian will also proclaim that message, and will not ramble on about vague, content-less and unbiblical notions of “love”.

    In the same way the most loving thing a doctor can do to a patient riddled with cancer is not ramble on about love and acceptance, but to tell him the truth: “you have horrible cancer which is killing you, and unless radical measures are taken, you will surely die”. The patient desperately needs to hear the hard truth here, not some sugar-coated message about how he is just alright the way he is and everything is just fine, and to “just be happy” as the Dalia Lama would put it.

    By the way, is this a family affair, with you and Paul ganging up on me as you push your relativism, syncretism and mushy sentimentalism?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Oh Bill…

    Both Paul and I found the link to your site through a mutual friend – I’m afraid there is no ‘ganging up’ here, just two individuals, capable of independent thought who happen to think that hatred, small mindedness and intolerance are not ok. In fact, I wasn’t aware that Paul had posted his comment when I posted mine. So no ganging up from our end Bill…

    I am the first to admit that I am not a biblical expert, but I have read the bible – I obviously just got a very different message from the teachings of Jesus. And just in case you’re wondering, I’m not a hippy, and neither is Paul.

    Each to their own Bill. I think it wonderful that there can be a healthy debate on such topics. For me, life is about learning, and hearing your views on this have taught me a great deal.

    However, that doesn’t mean I agree with you.

    As you’ve so eloquently stated, the message of the bible has been the subject of debate for some time now, and it’s unlikely that is going to change any time soon – even Christians can’t agree what the bible is really about can they? Or we wouldn’t have so many different flavours of Christianity. Would we?

    But like I said Bill, I’m no expert.

    Suzanne Stredwick

  • Thanks again Suzanne

    But please tell everyone how exactly it is that to tell others that Jesus is the only way to eternal life, and people are lost and heading to a miserable eternity without faith and repentance is somehow to engage in “hatred, small mindedness and intolerance”. Those who are clouded by worldly – and false – notions of tolerance and acceptance make such silly claims, but not those who follow Christ.

    By your rather fuzzy understanding about these matters, Jesus himself was obviously guilty of “hatred, small mindedness and intolerance”. After all, he is the one who time and time again said that he was the only way to God, and that all others were liars, thieves, etc. Try reading such passages as the following:

    John 10:8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
    John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.
    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
    John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

    The gospels are full of such exclusive truth claims made by Jesus himself. Yet you evidently regard such claims as nothing more than bigoted hatred and intolerance.

    Yes it is clear that you are no expert on the Bible. But you need not be. You – and all of us – do not need a dozen degrees in theology. We simply need to read Scripture in an open, straight-forward fashion, accepting what it has to say, and submitting to its authority. We are not to read Scripture through the contaminated lenses of secular humanism, relativism, and wishy-washy moralising.

    Yet sadly that is exactly what we are getting from you again. When you rather glibly say “Each to their own Bill” you are perfectly reflecting the spirit of the age which says that truth is relative, and that anyone’s opinion is as good as another’s. That is exactly what postmodernism says, but it is the very opposite of what biblical Christianity teaches. There is real objective truth out there, and that means that those who oppose such truth are in fact promoting falsehood and deception.

    Why do you think Jesus time and time again warned about false teaching, false prophets, and even false Christs who would come in his name, if the sort of relativism you are promoting was in fact his viewpoint as well?

    It is still not even clear that you are claiming to be a Christian here, but if you are, then the first indication of your Christian discipleship is to submit to the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus, instead of heavily imbibing in the relativistic, truth-denying wisdom of the surrounding secular culture.

    So I again urge you to go back to the gospels and seek to read the teachings of Jesus as he presented them, and not through the darkened glasses of relativism, syncretism and postmodern scepticism. It really does not matter a hill of beans what I think, or what you think about what I think. What does matter – and eternally matter – is what we do with the teachings of Jesus

    But thanks for sharing.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,

    Thanks for indulging us in posting our thoughts, despite our obvious differences. I think our exchange highlights the fundamental problem with faith, and with organised religion as a concept. A person without faith can at least retain the potential to accept they were wrong, whereas a person of faith cannot generally accept that someone else’s view may be right – that’s how faith works.

    And for all your passion that God is the truth, there are just as many people of faith who would argue their own god to be the truth – shouting it the loudest doesn’t make it so; the simple fact is that you all, whether you’re faith is Eastern, Abrahamic or animist, can’t be right, but you will all decry the other as wrong, ignorant, uneducated, even impish! Faith is divisive, even amongst Christians, Bill, as you point out. It is possible of course, that you’re all wrong – the Sun was at the centre of our solar system for a long time before people started to believe it – so there may be a larger truth out there, that none of us on Earth are yet open to.

    All I can say with certainty, is that as a person without faith, my viewpoint can’t possibly be right – and I’m quite OK with that. People of faith can’t be OK with the possibility they might be wrong. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter – while wars are fought over such things as faith and religion, there are people of all faiths throughout the world without access to clean water, without enough to eat, and without hope for their future and that of their children. Bickering about who’s version of the truth, is the truth, doesn’t help anyone. As you say, it’s what we do with the teachings of Jesus that matters. God is Love. Love thy neighbour.

    Thanks again for the opportunity, Bill

    Cheers,
    Paul Stredwick

  • Thanks Paul

    Sorry but I am just not buying it. Indeed, I need to call your bluff in numerous areas.

    First spare us this silliness that you as a nonbeliever are somehow easygoing and flexible, whereas believers are not. The truth is, you think you are right on this, and you think you have the truth on these matters. You would not even be coming here if you did not have certainty in your own beliefs. In fact, you are a true believer in your relativism. It is just that you are not consistent. If you really believed there was no absolute truth, you would not be seeking to press your case here. Indeed, if these are just your mere preferences, then why should anyone take any notice of you? Why waste your breath? You might as well come here arguing that your preference for vanilla ice cream is superior to my preference for chocolate ice cream.

    And also spare us this nonsense that you are somehow open to change, while people of faith are inflexible and rigid. You obviously know nothing of true biblical faith. Real faith is being open to change, being willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads. For all your protests to the contrary, it seems that you are the one who is closed to change and exploring views counter to your own reductionist naturalism and relativism.

    And just where am I “shouting the loudest”. All truth claims have to be evaluated and weighed up. When you buy a car you shop around and compare. When it comes to various religious truth claims, they can be compared and assessed. I am seeking to do that here. Yet you and your tag team partner consider it to be just “hatred, small mindedness and intolerance”.

    Why is it that when you come here pushing your own narrow intolerant agenda of relativism and naturalism you are not guilty of the same? Why is your attempt to push your worldview on us all sweetness and light, but when we seek to make the case for Christ, we are somehow just intolerant close-minded bigots?

    And spare us the old atheist canard that wars and fighting are somehow the exclusive domain of religion. Let me remind you that it was your secular and atheist buddies who killed more people last century than in the previous 18 centuries combined.

    And again I must call your bluff when you selectively start quoting the very Scriptures you clearly disdain. It is of course intellectually dishonest to cherry pick a few verses to try to bolster your case. I have offered numerous quotes from Jesus here, all of which you have conveniently ignored, because they do not square with your relativistic worldview.

    Jesus spoke so often about truth and the importance of it. So you are quite wrong again to claim “Bickering about who’s version of the truth, is the truth, doesn’t help anyone.” Truth is the only thing that helps people. As Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. You might as well argue that the truth of flying an airplane does not matter either. Anyone’s truth is as good as another’s when it comes to flying. If that is your view, then remind me to never go flying with you. I want to live, and that means flying with someone who has down pat the truth about how airplanes fly.

    And of course you commit another logical fallacy by seeking to pit truth against social action. In the Christian faith, truth is intimately connected with helping others. Christians for two thousand years who have been transformed by the truth of Christ have helped their neighbours, set up hospitals, fought the slave trade, fed the poor, helped women and children, taught literacy, set up schools, and so on. I am unaware of any major efforts like this coming from your secular and atheist buddies.

    So I am afraid you have been simply wrong on just about everything you have thrown up here. The only thing you got right in your comment is this: “it’s what we do with the teachings of Jesus that matters.” Exactly so. As he said most clearly:

    “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again… Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:3, 18-19)

    That of course has absolutely nothing to do with the “don’t worry, be happy” message of the Dalia Lama, or with your unhelpful relativism. Truth matters, and trying to stand on the sinking sand of relativism is fundamentally opposed to standing on this rock of truth as uttered by Jesus. Our eternal destiny is at stake, and when we stand before our creator and judge all our silly excuses about relativism and “tolerance” will vanish in a moment.

    As I said earlier, at the end of the day, it does not matter what I think. What does matter is what God thinks about us. We are either in right relationship with him through Christ or we are not. That choice is the most important one any of us can make. That is my prayer for you two. Thanks again.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill I am no debater – just ask my wife – but I think you have been very fair in posting Paul and Suzanne’s statements here. They seem like nice people who want people to be nice to each other and there is nothing wrong with that…
    Yes “what we do with the teachings of Jesus that matter” a good point. Sadly some Christians forget that. However the niceness Jesus demands from us might be too hard for some nice people. Acceptance of the fact that we are sinners saved by grace; repentance of our sins: taking up our cross and following Jesus through thick and thin trusting in Him. I think Christians in Pakistan, India and China are examples of tough faith.
    Wayne Pelling

  • Thanks Wayne

    And let’s continue to pray for this couple and others like them that they would really be seeking for truth, and that they would find the very fount of truth, Jesus Christ.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Nicely summed up Wayne. Well done.
    Dale Skewes

  • Thanks guys

    Here is something interesting on this topic. A Christian on Masterchef who is standing up for principle: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/a-dalai-lama-dilemma-in-masterchef-recipe/story-e6frf96o-1226095176780

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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