Talk on Sunday about my Conversion to Christianity
(Background in Buddhism)
Natick Church of Christ 6- 29-03
1. My Background
a. Past: In my home there was not a lot of talk about God. We almost never went to church. I always knew there was a God. When I was around 19 I started the study of the Martial arts. The school I studied was Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. This was Japanese and was heavily influences by Mikkyo Buddhism, Yamabushi warrior monks and Shintoism. Mostly heavily influence was Buddhism. That’s how I got to know about Buddhism. I meet Ian McGuiggan at a pool game and we started to get together once a week I thought to training in the Martial Arts but he wanted to tell me about Jesus. After a short time he challenged me on some issues the one I had the hardest time with was right and wrong. At the heart of Buddhism they say there really is no right or wrong. I always knew that there was a right and a wrong so after about a month of study on the Buddhist idea of right and wrong I decided I needed to know if the Bible and this God were real.
b. Present: A few weeks past and my wife and I decided to get baptized and from then on I studied the scriptures and got to the point where I wanted to learn more so Ian and the rest of the leadership at Southbridge started up a program of study through Sunset International Bible Institute. I have been going thought the courses for about a year and a half. I work part time and school the other half.
c. Plans for the future: My plans for the future I want to tell people about Jesus whether it’s from the pulpit or on the street corner.
2. Basic Buddhism
a. 3 laws of the Buddha: (three major schools of Buddhism - Hinayana= "The Lesser Vehicle. Mahayana=“Greater Vehicle. Theravada is under the lesser vehicle.)
i. The law of impermanence
ii. The law of suffering
iii. No permanent essence or soul
b. The four noble truths
i. The truth of suffering
ii. The truth of the cause of suffering
iii. The truth of the cessation of suffering
iv. The truth of the path (there is a path that leads to the end of suffering 8-fold path)
c. 8 fold path
i. Proper view- see life as it is
ii. Proper thought- take charge of your thoughts they create reality
iii. Proper speech- say what you need to hear and communicate truth
iv. Proper action- Work constructively
v. Proper livelihood- Take responsibility for what is around you
vi. Proper effort- Make the right things happen, work to promote the positive
vii. Proper mindfulness- Awareness, use everything as an opportunity to grow
viii. Proper concentration- meditation, keep a centered spirit
3. Theravada Buddhism
a. Agnostic in view of God or gods. Don’t know can never know so let’s no talk about it.
b. Self centered. Meditation is a very big part of it
c. No real rituals or rites. Except mediation to gain insight and ultimately enlightenment.
d. Nirvana (Nibana) is nothingness. You are part of the universe. Like a glass of water poured into the ocean no longer exists separate so you become part of the whole.
4. What brought me to Christ.
a. Right and wrong
b. The state of people I knew in Buddhism and what my life was becoming (staying off in my room meditating not connecting with my wife or son becoming completely self centered).
c. God moving in my life. Ian encouraged me to pray to God and I did. If you’re out there let me know.
d. Search for truth. I was looking for truth. If someone is not really searching they may stumble upon the truth or they may lie to themselves.