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.

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Why Are You Here?

 

“Why are you here?!” I asked a couple of my troublemakers Friday.
“Fair question,” I thought to myself.
My expectation was that I would get the “right” answer – “to learn,” but of course the little stinkers gave me the real answer on their minds.
One said, “‘Cause they make me.”
Another said, “To eat and talk to my friends.”
Leave it to a teenager to be a smart alec. I guess I had it coming. Ask a stupid question…
Of course, I know teenagers, so I was ready with an answer when one of the little goobers asked me, “Why are you here?”
“Because you need me, that’s why I’m here,” I answered.
“Why ARE you here?!” I thought to myself.
I mean, I could be standing in a factory putting my one nut on that one important bolt over and over. That’s an important job. Why go through the stress of this job?
Of course, His still, small voice echoed what I said,”Because they need you.”

It’s a fair question to ask yourself, especially if you’re a Christian. Not because you don’t know the answer, but as a reminder. They need us.

That also got me pondering Jesus leaving His throne to walk with us in the flesh. He came simply because I needed Him. He’s here through the Holy Spirit to be here because we need Him. I’m always both perplexed and humbled by that thought.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 NIV

Enjoy your full life today!

Guest Author: Rebecka Michael

What Every “To Be” Minister’s Wife Should Know

When I mentioned the topic of this blog, “What Every ‘To Be’ Minister’s Wife Should Know” to my daughter (preacher’s kid for 30 years) and my sister, who was herself a minister’s wife for many years, they responded simultaneously with the exact same three words, “Don’t do it!” I laughed. We all laughed. “Really,” I said, “I want to write about the most important thing a ‘to be’ minister’s wife should know.” Again, they both teased, “Tell her not to do it.” I chuckled. They were funny, but realistically, telling someone who was called into the ministry to “Don’t do it” doesn’t work. The minister’s wife, just like the minister himself, is called by God to walk hand in hand with her husband in doing God’s work—ministering to and reaching souls for Christ.

So what advice would I give a “to be” minister’s wife? I would say, “Be yourself. Every member of your church will have their own idea of what your ministry should be, but you’ve got to ignore them and be the person God designed you to be. That’s the only way you will accomplish God’s purpose for your life.” Yet this same advice translates to all believers. God has blessed each of us with talents and at least one spiritual gift, and He has given us these talents and spiritual gifts for a reason. Those are the areas where He desired us serve, and only by serving Him in these areas can we fulfill his purpose for our life. For example, if He has given you musical talent, then make music. If He has blessed you with the gift of teaching, then teach; with organization, then organize; or with serving, then serve.

We should all—especially the minister’s wife because she can easily stumble into the do everything pit—be careful to not become too involved in the areas where God has not gifted us. This doesn’t mean that because our gift isn’t serving we should never help wash dishes or clean up after a church social. That’s just common courtesy. But it does mean that our focus should not be that area of service. Why? Because focusing our ministry in areas where we are not gifted, areas where we are not comfortable, will exhaust us both mentally and physically, and prevent us from whole-heartedly working where we do belong. This exhaustion will result in a ministry of meritocracy due to exhaustion, and someone else, perhaps that someone who was designed to do that job, will be forced to play the role God designed for us.

So my advice to the “to be” minister’s wife, as well as all Christians, is “Be yourself. You can’t do it all, so focus mostly in the areas where God has gifted you.” Only then will your church run like the well-oiled machine God intended.

Photo credit: State Library of New South Wales collection / Foter

Uncertain Times


Sean MacEntee / Foter / CC BY

We live in dangerous and uncertain times. We are being consistently told that terrorist attacks will soon hit the United States on a more frequent basis. Many years ago Evangelist Billy Graham made this statement, “Get into the Word of God deeply, for we are facing difficult times.” It certainly seems his prediction has come true, but those who study God’s Word knew his prediction was accurate because the Bible teaches the same thing. Second Timothy 3:12 tells us, “all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Today, terrorists are calling us infidels and using that for an excuse for murder, but who does the Bible teach are the real infidels? Jesus made it clear that those who know the Father will also know Him. John 18:37 states, “Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice.” John 16:2 says, “. . . the time will come that whosoever kills you will think he is doing God’s service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” According to the Bible, those who do not know Christ do not know the Father. Therefore, they are the true infidels—unbelievers.

If you watch the news you know that Christians are being attacked all over the world and in a variety of manners. Christian martyrdom is on the rise. One example, consider what is currently happening in Iraq. Christians, by the tens of thousands, are being tortured and killed for refusing to deny their faith. The devil has certainly stepped up his mission of hurting us, but thank God the story doesn’t end there. I love John 16:33 which reads, “Be of Good cheer. I have overcome the world.” In spite of all the devil’s tricks and efforts to destroy believers, we can rest safely in the arms of Christ. As in the story of Job, the devil has to gain God’s permission before he can do anything to a true believer. We are safe in God’s care. So rejoice, God is in charge of the world, and He is still in charge of our lives. Even if they kill us, all they have done is set our spirit free to be with Jesus forever. To God be the glory!  (By Wilma Daffern, author of Hidden in my Heart)

Life is Short

Thomas Leuthard / Foter / CC BY

“Life is short . . . Have an affair.” What? I thought as I skimmed down my list of new emails. I took a second look at the title of this junk email just to make sure I had read it correctly. “Life is short . . . Have an affair.” How sad, I thought. I figured whoever sent it must have the morals of a barnyard pig and might well have included a virus, so even though I wanted to see how they justified spreading such evil I refrained from opening it for my computer’s sake.

Several days later the advertisement reappeared in my list of emails. “Life is short . . . Have an affair.” Now I was angry. Didn’t the person spreading this depraved nonsense know they were promoting the destruction of marriages and families? God’s Word teaches that from the very beginning of time one man was to be with one woman, and any time man disobeys God’s Word lives are damaged and destroyed.

This person is really brilliant, I sarcastically thought to myself. Life is short so why not destroy it by cheating on your spouse? After all, what are the consequences of having an affair? Let’s see, first, guilt will rule your life. You’ll have trouble looking your spouse in the eyes because you’ve got this dirty little secret of sleeping with someone other than them. Second, if your spouse learns of your extramarital affair your marriage may be over, and even if he or she chooses to forgive you they will never fully trust you again. The green-eyed monster of jealousy doesn’t die easily. Third, if your marriage is over your children will suffer the rest of their lives. They will wonder if it was their fault. Perhaps if they had been better mommy and daddy would still be together. Fourth, there’s always the possibility that you will bring an STD into your marriage, a disease you and your spouse will deal with the rest of your lives. How do you think your spouse will feel knowing the reason they have to suffer through some sexually transmitted disease is because of your unfaithfulness? And this is just a drop in the bucket to the devastation an affair can cause.

Yes, life is short so don’t throw it away by living wickedly. Instead, be all you can be by living your life for Christ.

Diggin’ up the Bible (The Bible and Archeology)

uair01 / Foter.com / CC BY

“The Bible isn’t a history book, it’s a theological book,” a famous talk show host recently stated in a matter of fact manner while mocking a comment a man had sent to his email. I shouldn’t have been surprised, because even though this man claims to be a Christian many of his beliefs are contrary to the Bible. Sadly, he is only one among millions who have claimed to be a Christian yet have carried beliefs contrary to Scripture. Like this talk show host, many individuals professing Christianity believe the Bible is only a theological book, not a historical book.

This host was correct in the first part of his statement, the Bible is a theological book, but he is wrong in his belief that it is not historically accurate. His ignorance, professed on a national platform, frustrated me for days. How can someone pick and choose what parts of the Bible are accurate and what parts are not? How can the Bible be a theological book inspired by God, yet fail to be historically accurate?

As this comment was made, my mind traveled back to a Bible class I sat in many years earlier at Dallas Baptist University. My professor was pointing out how thousands of supposed “biblical errors and historical inaccuracies” had been eliminated one by one due to archeological finds until, at that time, there were only a few hundred left. His argument was—after thousands of supposed historical errors were proven false—why were these biblical critics still adamant against the possibility of the remaining supposed errors being false as well?

So how are we “Diggin’ up the Bible?” With the release of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, most Americans have become more familiar with the historical science of archeology—the hunt for and study of ancient cultures. Like Indiana Jones, the hero of Raiders of the Lost Ark, an archeologist’s job is to carefully dig up relics and clues of the past in an attempt to reconstruct how ancient people lived, and although most Americans know what archeology is, many are unaware of what pushed this historical science to the forefront of this modern era. You see, archeology has been around for centuries, but it didn’t become a serious science until the 19th century, and regretfully, its main stimulant was to discover evidence in support of Darwin’s theory. Although archeology was thrust to the forefront with the purpose of proving Darwin’s theory true, many of its findings actually call the theory into question, and rather than digging up the missing link, one by one many of the biblical critics’ supposed errors and myths in the Bible are being eliminated.

It is also important to note that there are several rules that always apply when studying works of antiquity, and one of these rules is that the writing is always considered accurate until proven false. Yet when studying the Bible, this rule is not only eliminated, it is reversed. Everything within its pages are considered false until proven accurate. My question is, “Why is the Bible singled out and studied differently from any other ancient work, especially after so many of the people, places and events recorded within its pages have been verified?”

In the coming weeks I plan on writing about some of these supposed biblical errors and mythology that have been proven to be actual historical fact.

God’s Providential Care Revisited

Lel4nd / Foter.com / CC BY

I recently shared with you the story about how God’s providential care was seen in the lives of eighteen members of the West Side Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska—a real story originally told by Paul Harvey years ago.

While thinking about this church’s story, I recalled one of my own. A few years back my eldest son had a grapefruit-sized tumor removed from his stomach. In most cases this would have been no big deal, except my son has type O+ blood. The individual with type O+ blood can give their blood to anyone, but they can only receive blood from other type O+ individuals. Since the hospital where the surgery was performed stores all types of blood in its blood bank, they failed to do the “type of blood test” on my son until right before surgery began. Two hours into the surgery they received word back that his type O+ blood had two natural antibiotics in it which meant he couldn’t use just any type O+ blood, he had to have O+ blood that did not contain these antibiotics. The nearest blood that fit this requirement was over four hours away, which was an extremely serious mistake since this type of surgery usually requires the need for a good amount of blood replacement.

Where can God’s providential care be seen in this mistake? My son bled so little that the doctors didn’t need to use any additional blood, which was certainly God’s care since he could easily have bled to death before the right type of blood arrived.

What a great God we serve!