Dinner Conversation with Buddhist Prompts Contemplation of Worlds

A Buddhist scholar believed the inspiration behind John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” was Buddhism’s Heart Sutra.

A Buddhist scholar believed the inspiration behind John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” was Buddhism’s Heart Sutra.

According to an article recently completed for the blog of The Christian Post, a dinner conversation with a Buddhist scholar raised many questions for the Protestant Christian author of the blog post. The scholar declared that they believed the inspiration behind John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” was Buddhism’s Heart Sutra, which indicates that the Buddha Gotama discovered freedom depends on one’s own realization of Truth and not external power as a reward for good behavior.

From this topic of conversation, the author started contemplating on what songs created based in the Bible would paint a picture of. What type of world would these songs create? Instead of a world lacking materialistic burdens, these songs would focus on replacing a world of hatred and indifference with God’s unconditional forgiveness and love. This is all possible through Jesus Christ, through his actions, which broke the cycle of sin, indifference and hatred amongst the human race. While he hung on the cross, he asked his Father for forgiveness for those responsible.

This then raised another question for the author—an endeavor to imagine undergoing Jesus’s suffering, and still managing to forgive those responsible. Paul says that humans were God’s enemies, and He still managed to forgive all sins and hatred. It is only through realizing and appreciating the cost God expended in forgiving and accepting humans that we could forgive and accept others.

The author then applied this to the conversation they had with the Buddhist scholar, which evolved to discuss the responsibility of one’s actions. Karma, a prominent Buddhist belief, revolves around one action’s creation of a reaction. From there, a cycle is created, in which the believer is never truly free of their previous actions. Is this the world Lennon intended to pay tribute to? Is this the world the reader wishes to live in? Or would it be preferable to experience God’s grace and forgiveness? This very grace and forgiveness, in the author’s opinion, is what allows for the vicious cycle started by ideals such as karma to be broken. Through God’s infinite compassion, believers are able to create actions of love, instead of hate and indifference, creating a far more preferable world.

Worship Is More Than Music

peter rigo worshipI want to talk briefly about our life in worship. In our life, we often think of worship as being, for the most part,  just singing slow songs after singing fast songs. And we then say, “Well, we worshipped.” But that is not all worship is. Worship is a lifestyle of serving Jesus Christ.

But there are moments in life when you might lay on the couch and watch TV, and there are moments when that’s not appropriate because you’re supposed to be at work. Similarly, there are moments when you sit on the street car and you close into yourself and plug your ears into your music and you just ignore the world. And that’s okay. But there’s another time when you’re sitting in your office and your boss is talking and that isn’t going to work.

So we are different things at different times. But worship means total encompassed lifestyle of living for Jesus Christ. Now that’s really hard to understand because we associate it with music and singing. So it’s going to be really difficult for you to be sitting in your desk at your office in customer service with your hands up singing, “I am alive in you, I am alive.” Your boss is going to walk in and sing, “In me you are fired, in me you are fired. Get your things and get off the property…”

But when we talk about worship–it’s not just music, rather it’s a relationship. I’ll give you an example: I worship my wife, by which I mean I live in relation to her. I live to please her. And when I fail to please her I find ways to get forgiveness for not pleasing her. I have got to be in relationship with her on the boundaries and statutes and precepts and principles and the relational covenant that we agree with. It doesn’t matter what anybody else does, it’s about what pleases her and what pleases me, and we work together on that covenent and we exchange respect and love and build a strong relationship together.

Worshipping God is the same. It means to build a relationship with him based on the word of God, being led by the Spirit so it reveals to you what the heart of God and his nature is really saying in the Word. And that allows us to begin to build a life of worship together.