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.

Everyone Matters, Through the Will of God

Just because your calling may not be to preach the word of the Lord, does noit make you any less worthy of God's attention.

Just because your calling may not be to preach the word of the Lord, does noit make you any less worthy of God’s attention.

It can be easy to set eyes on the authorities of the church—pastors and evangelists—and grow to assume that they contribute more than the average church-goer, who serves the ministry part-time around their other vocations, such as accountants, waitresses, nurses or teachers.  While this assumption can be an easy one to make, an article recently completed by The Christian Post God calls all followers to a variety of vocations.  By the pure will of God, a believer could be called to do anything.  Every individual has a job to do, in the eyes of God; He will lead the person towards their appropriate fate—what they are meant to do, the part they are meant to play.

Many can be drawn to believe that a call to preach is the highest calling imaginable; it is certainly easy to fall to the assumption that it is superior and higher than the individual’s own calling.  This can often lead to a sentiment of being a second-class citizen—less worthy of the attention of God than those whose serve full-time.  While it is true that to preach is a privilege—a very high calling—the article declares that no calling is higher than the one assigned to the individual.  The believer must show faith and be faithful in this calling—to acknowledge that, even if one can’t work in the ministry full-time, contributions are still possible, specifically through the individual’s calling.

This thought process maintains that not just those who are highly visible in the church are important.  Often, the assumption can grow that those seen regularly participating in services and addressing congregations are the only ones who are important and susceptible to the will of God.  However, this perfectly natural assumption neglects the fact that there are also many who are important in the eyes of God that the average individual overlooks or fails to recognize.  No one can declare who is and is not important in the eyes of God; it may very well be the individual who sits in church, doubting their own relevance.  Therefore, the article declares the believer must be who they are by the will of God and fate will follow.