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DWx
KF Sensei
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Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Christian and following Zen? Reply with quote

Scott_LIFE180 wrote:
Traymond wrote:
So as a Christian my church does not believe that I should follow the arts of Zen, but even the Lord says that we should honor all religions, how can we truly honor them without truly understanding them? IO have studies Zen Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Daoism, many other types of Christianity, and now my church believes that it is a sin to try to study Zen...

What are your beliefs on Martial artists and using Zen in their arts...whether you are Christian or not I want you input.


Traymond, greetings. I would like to pose a few questions and thoughts to you. The first is, can you quote chapter and verse as to where it says we should honor all religions? Don't get me wrong, I know that we are to love everyone, but honoring their religion does not (at least in my mind without knowing the chapter and verse) seem like something Christ would say, or the apostles.

However, can you learn about Zen philosiphy? Absolutly! If you want to study Zen I would have to ask what your personal definition of study is. Are you learning about Zen in hopes of improving your MA skills? Are you learning it to find truth? Are you just curious about what the Zen philosiphies teach?

Speaking from a strictly Christian world viewpoint, all religions that seek truth, seek Christ. However in error they are. As Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the light. No man comes to the Father except through me." [ emphisis added ] So from a Christian world viewpoint, one could argue that all religions that seek truth have an element of Christianity in them. But here is the thing, you can't get there from here. In other words, you can't get to Truth by any other means, so why study a map that wont take you where you need to go?

If you want to learn about other religions and cultures that is great. However it is important to remember that there is only one way to go.

Now if you don't have a Christian world viewpoint, then the above is moot, but Christian to Christian it is quite valid.

I went to a Catholic school and actually had to do a paper on that subject. I think somwhere in John, Jesus is quoted as saying something along the lines of "there are many rooms in my Father's house". We were told to interpret that as "there are many ways to get to God / heaven". There are also a number Catechisms that tell you to respect other religions, #843 for example.
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Scott_LIFE180
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Joined: 06 Mar 2009
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Location: Joplin Mo
Styles: American Kenpo

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Christian and following Zen? Reply with quote

DWx wrote:

I went to a Catholic school and actually had to do a paper on that subject. I think somwhere in John, Jesus is quoted as saying something along the lines of "there are many rooms in my Father's house". We were told to interpret that as "there are many ways to get to God / heaven". There are also a number Catechisms that tell you to respect other religions, #843 for example.


I would strongly (yet respectfully) disagree with the interpritation of that verse (John 14:2) the context of the verse doesn't even remotly suggest that there are many ways to get to God/Heaven. The context is saying that Jesus will go and prepare a place for us with him in heaven. Now take into account that just 4 verses later Christ says "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father excpet through me." (NIV)

I'm sorry but contextually that interpritation makes no sense.

I'm not Catholic, and thus my knowledge is lacking, but to my understanding Catechisms are not scripture. I'm not saying that they have no merit, just that since they are not scripture, they should not be treated as such.

I also do not believe that Christ would condone being disrespectful to other religions either. When Paul was in Athens he did not mock the Athenians for their many gods, but instead used their desire for spiritual truth to teach them about the one true God and what He had done for them. So, yes it is good to respect all religions, but resepct does not mean accepting them as true paths to God.

Indeed as the 843rd Catechism said they can be used as preperation for receiving the truth (I believe the example of Paul's visit to Athens is a prime example of such).



[edited for a typo]
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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
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Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I am mistaken then. I don't know. Its been a long time since I looked at anything like that so I will have to go dig out my old work when I'm next at home.

Indeed Catechisms aren't scripture but they come from the Pope himself so surely that merits some weight behind them. They're also supposed to be an interpretation of the scripture/faith by the Vatican.

As for the original debate you could also cite catechism #848.
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Scott_LIFE180
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx, this is my life, I'm a Bible College student, so interpritation is a big thing.

Respectfully,

Scott
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DWx
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott_LIFE180 wrote:
DWx, this is my life, I'm a Bible College student, so interpritation is a big thing.

Respectfully,

Scott

Well then you probably know a lot more about the subject than I do. All I have is what I studied when I was younger.
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tonydee
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Styles: 24 yrs kong soo do, 3 yrs hapkido, bits of others

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Christian and following Zen? Reply with quote

Traymond wrote:
So as a Christian my church does not believe that I should follow the arts of Zen, but even the Lord says that we should honor all religions, how can we truly honor them without truly understanding them? IO have studies Zen Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism, Daoism, many other types of Christianity, and now my church believes that it is a sin to try to study Zen...

What are your beliefs on Martial artists and using Zen in their arts...whether you are Christian or not I want you input.


Sorry to be joining the discussion late, as a newbie to the forums....

I think your Church's concerns are potentially rational, and therefore it is reasonable for your Church to disapprove of your involvement with Zen. The reasons for this:

Zazen is a method of clearing the mind so that deeper awareness or experience of the nature of existence may manifest; experiences of the intellect, faith, emotions etc, and potentially revelationary in nature. Such realisations tend to inform your subsequent attitudes to things like spirtuality, philosophy, and religion. It's quite easy to imagine your Church will have other methods of practice that they feel more reliably produce realisations in line with their Christian practice (e.g. prayer), whereas they may feel creating a receptive "space" for these moments and not being actively "tuned in to Christ" at the time is inviting some latitude for erroneous or irrelevent revelations.

If your Church even suspect Zazen is likely to produce realisations inline with Buddhist philosophy (e.g. the courses of suffering), then they'd naturally be worried as following these ethical principals is absolutely at odds with being a Christian. Buddhism is a consequentialist ethical system ("right" action is determined by predicting consequences), while Christianity is deontological (right action is defined by absolute rules from God). They couldn't be more different. That's not to say that you can't promote one over the other, and be say first a deontological Christian, and then a consequentialist Buddhist in any wriggle room or matters on which Christianity expresses no view.

Still, I would suggest that if you already have a mature and reasonably complete context for understanding your role in and expectations of life, then you have no need of Zen. Trusting that whatever happens is your god's will is just as useful and practical a way to fight courageously as believing "self" is impermanent and integral with the universe. Presupposing of course, that you believe God is ok with fighting to begin with, but that's a separate discussion.

( FWIW, I personally embrace the Buddhist ethical/psychological framework as supplying the proper logic for reasoning about such things. Still, I don't accept all the premises that guide application of that logic: most significantly, I do not have a basis for opinion as to whether reincarnation is real. Consequently, I do eat meat, though I guess I'd prefer not to if nutritionally equivalent alternatives were as easily available and physiologically satisfying. I have never been a Christian. )

Cheers, Tony
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BlackFlag
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Joined: 25 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buddhism, in practice, does not worship any deities, so I think your good.

edit: wow I didn't realize how old this thread was when I replied.
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Tzu-Logic
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread was a great discussion to read through...

a lot of well thought out responses.

respect
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dwarf2
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Joined: 30 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think a person has to worry about the religion thing in martial arts , no matter what you do for protecting yourself you are going to have to learn how to put your weight into it to hit hard and to do good ground fighting you would have to know about leverage so the religion thing is something else. I don't see anything about hurting people as religion.
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Shotokan_Tigress
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see that this thread has been started ages ago, but since it's been brought up again, I'll post a reply. I am a Muslim and my father is a clergyman. Just like Christians, we believe in God and the fact that there are certain ways to tread upon. BUT, it is my humble opinion that there's nothing wrong with taking from other religions the good things that do not oppose your own.
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