Buddism: A Religion of Slavery

Have you ever watched the sitcom series, “My Name is Earl”? In this series an ex con artist named Earl, due to a set of unusual circumstances, decides that karma is against him. The series centers on Earl’s attempt to fix his bad karma by making up for his previous evil deeds by righting individuals he has wronged. Karma, in this series, is presented in a humorous manner and no doubt causes multitudes of people to laugh, yet most of these individuals probably have no clue that the idea of karma is actually based on the biblical principle: what you sew you shall also reap. The difference: while the Bible teaches that you will reap what you have sown, Karma, as taught and practiced in the Buddhist religion, is the foundation for the belief of reincarnation and is no laughing matter. In fact, it has destroyed the lives of many.

When my daughter (Mary) approached me about traveling to Thailand for three months, a foreign country whose entire culture is centered on the Buddhist belief of karma, I cringed. Of course, my first concern was for her safety. With the evil enterprise of slave trafficking on the rise, a tall, slender and beautiful American visiting a country where slave trafficking is the norm was most frightening. I had to keep reminding myself that Mary was safer in God’s will in Thailand than out of his will at home.

From her experiences, I have learned much. First, I was appalled to discover that these precious souls were usually sold into this evil enterprise by their own families yet blame it on karma. As Mary wrote, “If she were born a boy, serving in the temple as a Monk for a few weeks would earn enough good karma to outweigh a lifetime of bad and would bring unfathomable honor to the family. But, as a woman, in a family that is either poor or simply wants more wealth and prestige, duty, honor and Buddha require the ultimate sacrifice, a life of abuse and slavery to provide for those very ones who are so demanding and yet so ashamed of her existence.”

Second, Buddhism destroys lives. Again Mary wrote, “Today, I witnessed tragedy in the eyes of a young prostitute as she wept before Buddha, begging health for her family who sent her to work the streets and forgiveness for her wretched state and cursed life. Society looks down upon her and even her family despises her. But this life is payment to Buddha for the bad karma earned in her previous life. She believes—because Buddhism teaches—that everything that happens to her has been earned by her own hand and is deserved. There is no such thing as mercy, only debt. In her mind, the only chance for peace and redemption lay in selling the one possession she has, her body, to take care of her family.”

“Or, maybe she is a wife whose husband wants more money, so each day she slaves to take care of her family and each night she is dropped off by her husband to work the street. It is not the status of the girl in a family that determines her fate, it is the desires of others and the status of a gender Buddha did not consider worthy of value or honor.”

Mary worked with these precious girls each evening. She said, “. . . they are animated and sweet. Then when they have to get up and dance on the stage naked or mostly naked with bright neon lights and mirrors filling the entire room, with all the men saying and doing various things, their faces turn into masks. . . . vacant eyes stare out from the faces that pray they will please Buddha enough in this life to have a better spot next go around . . . We see Buddha’s everywhere with food, drinks and incense surrounding them. The girls pray to be purified constantly and for forgiveness for the lives they are living.”

Don’t ever believe that all religions are the same, that it doesn’t really matter which one you follow because every religion leads to God. Buddhism is a religion straight from hell. Can you think of any worse type of slavery than to believe you must submit to sexual abuse for your religion’s sake? These ladies, oppressed and scorned by the world, pray and worship the very deity that enslaves them.

Mary commented, “I weep for this people who reject the Alpha and Omega for a tottering statue decorated by the creative mind of man. I smiled as I saw the foundations of the temple were cracked and God’s nature was peeking through, eager to overtake and pull down the lies and schemes of man. All this will pass away. Every lie will be exposed. Every idol built up by man, especially those built on the sweat and blood of others, will fall.”

“One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess who is Lord and it will not be Buddha. One day . . . truth will reveal every lie and each falsehood will be destroyed. The innocent, weak, and poor will be oppressed no longer . . . but until that day both the oppressed and the oppressor need the love and grace of Christ for both are enslaved.”

In closing, thank God for organizations who carry the gospel to these precious souls who are living in darkness and abuse so they can hear about the God who loves them.

Buddhism: A Religion of Slavery

Anton Power / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Have you ever watched the sitcom series, “My Name is Earl”? In this series an ex con artist named Earl, due to a set of unusual circumstances, decides that karma is against him. The series centers on Earl’s attempt to fix his bad karma by making up for his previous evil deeds by righting individuals he has wronged. Karma, in this series, is presented in a humorous manner and no doubt causes multitudes of people to laugh, yet most of these individuals probably have no clue that the idea of karma is actually based on the biblical principle: what you sew you shall also reap. The difference: while the Bible teaches you will reap what you have sown, Karma, as taught and practiced in the Buddhist religion, is the foundation for the belief of reincarnation and is no laughing matter. In fact, it has destroyed the lives of many.

When my daughter (Mary) approached me about traveling to Thailand for three months, a foreign country whose entire culture is centered on the Buddhist belief of karma, I cringed. Of course, my first concern was for her safety. With the evil enterprise of slave trafficking on the rise, a tall, slender and beautiful American visiting a country where slave trafficking is the norm was most frightening. I had to keep reminding myself that Mary was safer in God’s will in Thailand than out of his will at home.

I’ve been posting her Thailand blogs for several weeks now without comment, letting her experiences and thoughts speak for themselves, but now I would like to conclude this series with my own thoughts.

First, I was appalled to discover that these precious souls were usually sold into this evil enterprise by their own families, yet blame it on karma. As Mary wrote, “If she were born a boy, serving in the temple as a Monk for a few weeks would earn enough good karma to outweigh a lifetime of bad and would bring unfathomable honor to the family. But, as a woman, in a family that is either poor or simply wants more wealth and prestige, duty, honor and Buddha require the ultimate sacrifice, a life of abuse and slavery to provide for those very ones who are so demanding and yet so ashamed of her existence.”

One paragraph in particular that speaks volumes concerning how Buddhism destroys lives reads, “Today, I witnessed tragedy in the eyes of a young prostitute as she wept before Buddha, begging health for her family who sent her to work the streets and forgiveness for her wretched state and cursed life. Society looks down upon her and even her family despises her. But this life is payment to Buddha for the bad karma earned in her previous life. She believes—because Buddhism teaches—that everything that happens to her has been earned by her own hand and is deserved. There is no such thing as mercy, only debt. In her mind, the only chance for peace and redemption lay in selling the one possession she has, her body, to take care of her family.”

“Or, maybe she is a wife whose husband wants more money, so each day she slaves to take care of her family and each night she is dropped off by her husband to work the street. It is not the status of the girl in a family that determines her fate, it is the desires of others and the status of a gender Buddha did not consider worthy of value or honor.”

Mary worked with these precious girls each evening. She said, “. . . they are animated and sweet. Then when they have to get up and dance on the stage naked or mostly naked with bright neon lights and mirrors filling the entire room, with all the men saying and doing various things, their faces turn into masks. . . . vacant eyes stare out from the faces that pray they will please Buddha enough in this life to have a better spot next go around . . . We see Buddha’s everywhere with food, drinks and incense surrounding them. The girls pray to be purified constantly and for forgiveness for the lives they are living.”

Second, don’t ever believe that all religions are the same, that it doesn’t really matter which one you follow because every religion leads to God. Buddhism is a religion straight from hell. Can you think of any worse type of slavery than to believe you must submit to sexual abuse for your religion’s sake? These ladies, oppressed and scorned by the world, pray and worship the very deity that enslaves them.

Mary commented, “I weep for this people who reject the Alpha and Omega for a tottering statue decorated by the creative mind of man. . . . One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess who is Lord and it will not be Buddha. One day . . . truth will reveal every lie and each falsehood will be destroyed. The innocent, weak, and poor will be oppressed no longer . . . but until that day both the oppressed and the oppressor need the love and grace of Christ for both are enslaved.”

In closing, I want to thank God for organizations like Beginnings where precious souls living in darkness and abuse can hear about the God who loves them.

Eye of the Storm

Stuck in Customs / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Lighting rolls across the sky as thunder roars on this dark starless night. In the very heart and eye of the storm there is peace to be found. In this age, and in every age before and hence, tragedy, injustice, strife and turmoil ripple across the land.

Today, I witnessed tragedy in the eyes of a young prostitute as she wept before Buddha, begging health for her family who sent her to work the streets and forgiveness for her wretched state and cursed life. Society looks down upon her and even her family despises her. But this life is payment to Buddha for the bad karma earned in her previous life. She believes—because Buddhism teaches—that everything that happens to her has been earned by her own hand and is deserved. There is no such thing as mercy, only debt. In her mind, the only chance for peace and redemption lay in selling the one possession she has, her body, to take care of her family. Buddhism places little value on women and teaches the ultimate good a woman can do is to care for her family at any cost.

If she were born a boy, serving in the temple as a Monk for a few weeks would earn enough good karma to outweigh a lifetime of bad and would bring unfathomable honor to the family. But, as a woman, in a family that is either poor or simply wants more wealth and prestige, duty, honor and Buddha require the ultimate sacrifice, a life of abuse and slavery to provide for those very ones who are so demanding and yet so ashamed of her existence.

Or, maybe she is a wife whose husband wants more money, so each day she slaves to take care of her family and each night she is dropped off by her husband to work the street. It is not the status of the girl in a family that determines her fate, it is the desires of others and the status of a gender Buddha did not consider worthy of value or honor.

Today I witnessed tragedy, as a woman, oppressed and scorned by the world, prayed and worshipped the very deity which enslaved her.

Yesterday I witnessed injustice as a hundred voices raised prayers to ears that do not hear and petitions to eyes that cannot see.

Barefoot, before the most elaborate statue of Buddha, I stood in the greatest and wealthiest temple in all Thailand. The voices required me to pay homage to their great god, the idol made by the hands of man–standing for an unjust law created in the deceptive heart of man–to bow before him on bended knee and lift up my pleas. No sacrifice or respect will I grant to that false god enslaving billions and leading them astray.

Quickly I fled the temple, my only sacrifice is the tears I weep for this people who reject the Alpha and Omega for a tottering statue decorated by the creative mind of man. I smiled as I saw the foundations of the temple were cracked and God’s nature was peeking through, eager to overtake and pull down the lies and schemes of man. All this will pass away. Every lie will be exposed. Every idol built up by man, especially those built on the sweat and blood of others, will fall.

Is there a distinction between the strife of the poor, the blind, the deaf, the cripple and the turmoil that rages in the hearts of nations? Their cries echo in my ears as their seemingly hopeless plight reflects strange and horrible lights from their still vacant eyes.

One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess who is Lord and it will not be Buddha. Only One name will endure and it will not be his. One day tragedy, injustice, strife and turmoil will be no more, nor shall we weep ever again. Truth will reveal every lie and each falsehood will be destroyed. The innocent, weak, and poor will be oppressed no longer. No deformity will exist among men and there will be no more beggars for all will find healing and answered prayers at the One True Temple.

Until that time, love is the greatest gift we have to reach the lost, wearied and hopeless souls in this world. One day Justice will reign, but until that day both the oppressed and the oppressor need the love and grace of Christ for both are enslaved.

Peace is found in the eye of the storm, for Christ is the center of all things. In Him all is and all is held together. As the rain pours down on this dark night, I pray it is the tears of Christ washing and renewing this desolate land.

June 22, 2010

SlaveTrafficking: Rose-Colored Glasses (Part 1)

Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel” (Ronn ashore) / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I passed by a family sleeping on the road today. The little baby boy was running around naked. When he saw me he screamed and ran up to me with his arms held out. It broke my heart. I wanted to pick him up and wash him and clothe him. I was already passing by when he saw me and ran to me. He grabbed my skirt and clung to my leg. I smiled down at him but I could not take him with me.

We go to the bars every day and spend time with the girls. They squeal in excitement when they see us coming and we play several games of pool with them. Sometimes we bring them bread from the market. We buy them pineapple or orange drinks too. We have a great time but foremost in our thoughts are the masks they wear and the lives they are being forced to live.

Sometimes at night we go to the GoGo bars and walk around Nano Plaza. Hundreds of girls are there for sale and they walk around with numbers on. At some of the places the girls walk around upstairs without clothes on. All the men who buy them can see are the numbers on their boots from down below. They buy them without ever seeing their faces.

We talk to the girls at the bars and they are animated and sweet. Then when they have to get up and dance on the stage naked or mostly naked with bright neon lights and mirrors filling the entire room, with all the men saying and doing various things, their faces turn into masks.

Vacant eyes stare out from the faces that pray they will please Buddha enough in this life to have a better spot next go around. We see Buddha’s everywhere with food, drinks and incense surrounding them. They girls pray to be purified constantly and for forgiveness for the lives they are living. It is truly so tragic.

Several of the girls have responded to our invitations to check out Beginnings (a local Christian mission) and one even came home with us. Beginnings offers them a different chance at life away from the bars. They finish school and are taught trades. They are given allowances to send home to their families. It’s not much, but some of them don’t make much. They are basically indentured servants to the bars and all their pay goes to the bars. They have a quota of customers they must meet every month and most of the money they make goes to their demanding families.

Often, even if they would make more money at Beginnings, the families will not allow them to leave the bars. They still obey their parents even when they are 43-years-old and still prostituting at a bar half-way across the country.

Two girls we met (one was 36, but we refer to all of them as girls) have become Christians, but they cannot leave the bars because their families told them Beginnings might traffic them and they are not allowed to leave the safety or lifestyle the bar has provided them. Their families are hoping they will find foreign husbands who will provide for the families. When a Thai woman marries a man, he marries her entire family and it becomes his responsibility to provide for them. The girls asked us to pray with them and we did. They asked that we pray for their families—their parents’ health and for their brothers and sisters. They never mentioned any specific need they had or asked us to pray for themselves at all—just for others.

Posted by Mary Fordham at 4:06 AM                        

Slave Trafficking: What are we doing to our children?

Ira Gelb / Foter / CC BY-ND

My daughter, Mary, traveled to Thailand two summers ago to share the gospel with young girls, boys, and women sold into the slave trafficking business. Part of her job was to go into the bars of the city and develop relationships with these victims and, as the opportunity arose, share the gospel with them in hopes of steering them toward a rescue house where they could brake free from the bonds that enslaved them. The following blog is the first of many that I will share with you, writings that tell of young lives destroyed in the name of religion (Buddhism) and, hopefully, rescued in the name of Christ.

Posted by Mary Fordham at 8:22 PM

First Thoughts

For those who know Christ, every day is a new beginning full of hope and light. The slate is wiped clean. The old has been washed away and they are a new and transformed creature.
No past condemns us nor holds us in shame. Christ sacrificed all that we would live in the hope, joy and love of His eternal freedom. Life is a brief journey upon which we walk. The light surrounds us, guiding our steps that we will not fall.

But what hope have those who know not the light and love of our beloved Lord? Groping in darkness and struggling in chaos they seek from the world that which it can never give them. They long for freedom and yet in their ignorance and shame embrace chains. Wondering, whether aimless or purposeful is still wondering. Hope does not avail her face to these poor lost souls.

We see them. We recognize the pain and longing in their hopeless expression, for these burdens were once our own. We cringe at the burdensome chains they so desperately cling to and dream to take these from them so they may taste astounding depths of freedom and for the first time truly live. But these burdens are not ours to take. We are called to lives of obedience, to walk with God as Enoch did- to know and love Him. Wherever God has placed us, whatever strength He has given us, whatever passion so brightly consumes us, this is our personal mission from Him. Yet, no greater element exists than to know and walk with our Lord in obedience, love and truth.

We are silver in the hands of the Master Craftsman. Unpurified, dross contaminates us destroying all value. But, lovingly the Master Craftsman holds us into the most severe part of the fire to purge us of all dross. If He holds us a second too long, we will perish in the flame. But if He relieves us of the furious fire too quickly we will never have value because of the impurities which plague us. Our value, our worth, all that we are is found in Him alone. When He is done purifying, bending, breaking, molding and shaping us, He will hold us up to the light and behold His own perfect and beautiful reflection, crisp and clear, from the finished craft.
We are called to be as He is, hope to the hopeless and light in the midst of the deepest darkness. Behold the radiant beauty of the stars which we are called to shine even more brightly than! Although distant and surrounded by complete and utter darkness, their light pierces the darkness and has guided man since the beginning.

Darkness flees from light; it cannot stand. No power of darkness can hold sway to the Light. If our lives would reveal His light and loving reflection in this dark and chaotic world, the darkness would tremble and fall before us. May our light shine so brightly as to guide those groping in darkness, encumbered by chains, so that our light will pierce their blindness and they may know our Lord and choose to leave behind the chains they so desperately cling to.

The ultimate goal of life is to know God and to glorify Him. Follow Him and His light will shine through you in such a way that not even the world will be able to deny His brilliant light. He is the only Hope of the world, the Light of Life.