The question occurs, what about other religions, such as Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, do they experience ETERNAL PRISON because they are not white, American Protestants. Is it the "Lord's despised few" that are included, and all others left out.
Daniel 7:l4 -
And there was given him (the Son) dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that ALL PEOPLE, NATIONS, AND LANGUAGES should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
It seems here that "all" refers to Africans, Arabs, Chinese and etc. The problem is that in these countries Buddhism, Islam and etc. predominate. So there's a conflict here.
Buddha got his start at the Neranjara River where "he meditated, cross-legged and motionless, for many days and nights until, one night towards dawn, he achieved enlightenment and entered nirvana (The Great Religions, by Richard Cavendish)." What happened to him, we don't know. We do know he started a worldwide religion. The first verses of the Dhammapada (the most famous portion of the Buddhist scriptures) tell a story:
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
Quite possibly, Buddha received this concept from God (Blessed are the pure in heart). Buddhism deals with Karma, similar to sin, and achieving nirvana, similar to paradise. What pure Buddhism does is to prepare an individual to let God into the heart. However, the birth and rebirth doctrine is angel of light and so makes it a little harder on the Buddhist to "open up ('behold I stand at the door and knock')". Pure Buddhism is not going to get anyone into paradise, even with its moral teaching. Buddha urged men to cleanse their minds: to avoid extremes of austerity and of sensuality. Buddha taught: "overcome evil with good...Purify your hearts...Self is death, truth is life." There is a story of the mustard seed in Buddhist literature. With approximately 350,000,000 Buddhists, it's hard to believe that GOD would damn them all to eternal prison.
The Catholics have 900,000,000 members worldwide. They are basically Christian with one problem. They have a cult where they venerate the Virgin Mary. In Thunder of Justice, by Ted Flynn, she is called "the queen of heaven". Who is "the queen of heaven"? Jeremiah 44:l7-l8,20-22 -
But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of food, and were well, and saw no evil.
But since we ceased to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have lacked all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying,
The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them, and came it not into his mind?
SO THAT THE LORD COULD NO LONGER BEAR, BECAUSE OF THE EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS, AND BECAUSE OF THE ABOMINATIONS which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and a horror, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.
GOD was furious with ancient Israel for venerating "the queen of heaven". This same evil is done by the Catholics to this day. But, if the Catholic lets the spirit of the God of the universe in his or her heart, and doesn't venerate "the queen of heaven", they are on the right path. The Catholic Church is not all wrong. "In this assembly, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we wish to inquire how we ought to renew ourselves, so that we may be found increasingly faithful to the gospel of Christ. We shall take pains so to present to the men of this age God's truth in its integrity and purity that they may understand it and gladly assent to it (2nd Vatican Council)." This is to fulfill the Great Commission. Unfortunately, so much of man's tradition has crept into the Catholic Church, such as purgatory, that the Catholic Church has lost its power
There are approximately 1,500,000,000 Moslems in the world today. When he was about forty, Mohammad had a revelation. He saw a being who held a text written on silk and commanded him to read it: "Recite in the name of your Lord who created man." Mohammad obeyed and the complete text is sura (chapter) 96 of the Koran. Mohammad was doubtful about this trauma at first, but subsequent revelations convinced him that he was a prophet inspired by Allah, whom he identified as the God of the Old Testament. Perhaps the quintessential sura, the one that distills the message of the whole recital of Mohammad's career, is this one:
In the name of the merciful God, the Lord of mercy. Let us praise God, the Lord of all, the merciful Lord, the Master of Judgment Day. We serve only You, and to You alone do we come for help. Guide us on the straight path, the way of those You bless. Keep us from the path of those who displease you and the path of those who go astray."
The Koran puts people in touch with God, BUT they must also let God into their hearts. The Moslem creed says: "I BELIEVE IN GOD, HIS ANGELS, HIS BOOKS AND HIS MESSENGERS, THE LAST DAY, THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, PREDESTINATION BY GOD, GOOD AND EVIL, THE JUDGMENT, THE BALANCE, PARADISE AND HELL-FIRE." This of course is similar to Christianity.
Pentecostals, and others, condemn Buddhists, Catholics, Moslems, and many others to eternal prison, so convinced that their way (come to the church, submit to the pastor) is the only way to God. By conservative estimates they have attempted to damn well over two billion people to hell.
Is Buddhism as evil as people make it look. In Buddhism, A History, by Noble Ross Reat:
On the basis of agreement between the Salistamba Sutra and material found in the Pali canon, one may say with confidence that the essence of the historical Buddha's teaching was the four Noble Truths: l) Mundane existence is suffering. 2) Desire is the cause of suffering. 3) Nirvana is the cessation of suffering. 4) There is a practical method for realizing this awakening. This method is the Noble Eightfold Path comprised of right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. No form of Buddhism denies the authenticity of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
What the Four Noble Truths say is that to live life is a waste. The waste is caused by people desiring more. Getting the assurance of paradise at death is the "cessation of suffering". And the practical method: basically living by a proper moral code. But the Buddhist has the same rule as anyone else: he or she must let the spirit of the God of the universe into his or her heart.
In the United States, at the year 2000, Christian businessmen and businesswomen, not all, are self-indulgent. They exploit their workers. Many times these business people have workers that don't even have a car, or a place to stay. They don't care...the only thing they care about is money. Clergy are busy molesting the needy and building buildings.
In one sense, the term Middle Path refers to the spiritual discipline taught by the Buddha, a moderate practice mid-way between the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification (ibid).
In the Middle Ages, in the monasteries, people would practice self-mortification. Everything in society was considered evil. Everything in society isn't evil. The Middle Path teaches Christians how to live. NOT self-indulgence whether it's an evangelist teasing a whore, or self-mortification, a monk hiding in a monastery. These idiot Christians won't listen to Jesus, maybe they will listen to Buddha.
In the American church world, compassion is lacking. In a small town in South Dakota, an individual is living on a small farm with no running water. When having difficulty finding a job in a drought and recession the pastor's comment was: "I don't care where you've worked." When a parishioner's son died in a car accident this pastor's comment was: "Judgment for your sin." No compassion was shown in either case. The eastern religion that people condemn makes it clear "...that compassion for one's fellow beings is an integral part of Nikaya Buddhism (ibid)."
"The Sutta Nipata, a very ancient Theravadin text, summarizes admirably the basis of all Buddhist morality: 'As I am, so are they. As they are, so am I. Comparing others with oneself, one should not harm or cause harm.' - verse 705 (ibid)." Here Buddhist literature again refers to a proper moral code. More details on this code are: "l) avoidance of violence toward anything that breathes, 2) not taking that which is not freely given, 3) false, harsh or harmful speech, 4) sexual misconduct, and 5) abuse of drugs or alcohol (ibid)." Verse l83 of the Pali Dhammapada sums up the essence of the Buddha's teaching:
Avoidance of all evil,
Cultivation of the wholesome,
Purification of one's mind.
What is that church member going to do when he or she stands before God having committed every abomination in the book, and that poor Buddhist comes before God having let the spirit of the God of the universe into his or her heart, lived by a proper moral code, and exhibited compassion toward his or her fellow being. When God looks at that church member and says: "Depart, ye cursed," and then looks at the Buddhist and says, "Come ye blessed, inherit the kingdom of my Father which is prepared for you," the laugh is really on the church member then.
The Catholic church has been universally condemned by the Protestants. The Pope has been accused of being the "Antichrist". Are these people as evil as they have been made out to be. We look at the predecessors to the Catholics, they were condemned as well:
The Roman historian Tacitus (AD 54-ll9) wrote this about the emperor Nero who attempted to burn down the city of Rome in July of 64: "To squash the rumor Nero charged and viciously punished, people called Christians who were despised on account of their wicked practices. The founder of the sect, Christus, was executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. The evil superstitution was suppressed for a time but soon broke out afresh not only in Judea where it started but also in Rome where every filthy outrage arrives and prospers. First, those who confessed were seized and then, on their word, a huge number were convicted, less for arson than for their hatred of the human race." (The Catholic Heritage, by Lawrence S. Cunningham)
The Romans condemned the early Church, and the Protestants condemned the Catholics in the 20th century. Julian of Norwich lived in England, as a Catholic, in the l4th century. Listen to her words:
"In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it; the second is that He loves it, and the third is that God preserves it. But what is that to me? It is that God is the creator, and the lover and the protector. For until I am substantially united with Him I can never have love or rest or true happiness; until, that is, I am so attached to Him that there can be no created thing between my God and me. And who will do this deed? Truly, He himself, by His mercy and His grace, for He had made me for this and blessedly restored me." (ibid)
This sounds like a person who has let the spirit of the God of the universe into her heart.
Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross pushed for reform through the Camelite Order, but for the whole Catholic church, in the l6th century. Even when the Catholic church was corrupt, there were voices for reform. "Both Teresa and John were the target of church suspicion coming both from within their order and from the Inquisition. Even the paranoid church authorities, however, recognized that internal reform of church structures was as important for church stability as was repressive discipline (ibid)." However, in the 2lst century, the Catholic church needs to show remorse for its mass murders committed five hundred years earlier.
In The Catholic Moment, by Richard John Neuhaus, Jaroslaw Pelikan "stepped back to a nineteenth-century figure and wrote: '...a complete subjection of reason to authority, a weak preference of form to substance, a childish passion for mummeries, an idolatrous veneration for the priestly character, and above all a merciless intolerance.'" Evangelicals in the 2lst century have a habit of subjecting reason to authority and having a merciless intolerance. Father Carl Peter, a theologian at Catholic University, put it this way: "The temptation of Protestantism is to blasphemy; the temptation of Roman Catholicism is to idolatry (ibid)." Luther got himself in trouble coming against the established church:
Luther was not filing a job complaint against unfair employment practices. His Ninety-five Theses of l5l7 were not an act of defiance but an invitation to theological debate and were framed in a manner exceedingly deferential - by today's standards, almost servile - toward church authorities. But after his concerns were roughly and relentlessly rejected, he would reach the point of declaring the Roman authorities in question to be apostate and claiming that they had become the enemies of the truth. And that was the biggest difference, namely, the truth at stake (ibid).
Surveying the state of the church in l972, Pope Paul VI remarked: "I have the feeling that the smoke of Satan has penetrated the Temple of God through some crack or other (ibid)." Pope John Paul I was trying to do something:
When John Paul I was installed into his sadly brief pontificate of little more than a month, the remarkable thing was that he was installed. He was not crowned. He did not receive the papal tiara, which since the Middle Ages all popes had worn. The tiara signified, among other things, terrestrial or temporal power (ibid).
The Koran is quite a book. It is filled with wisdom and guidance. Witness three passages:
There are some people who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day" yet they are not true believers. They try to deceive Allah and the believers. However, they deceive none but themselves yet they do not realize it. (2:8-9)
O believers. Do not make your charity worthless by reminders of your generosity or by injury to the recipients feelings, like those who spend their wealth to be seen by people and believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. (2:264)
Surely Satan is your enemy: so take him as an enemy. He is inviting his adherents toward his way so that they may become companions of the blazing fire. Those who disbelieve shall have a terrible punishment, and those who believe and do good deeds shall have forgiveness and a magnificent reward. (35:6-7)
In the first passage, the Koran makes it clear that some people pretend to be "true believers", i.e. people who have let God in their hearts. This passage makes it clear that they are only deceiving themselves. The second passage deals with the problem of doing something for God and then gloating about it. The third passage makes it clear that Satan is not to be toyed with.
Islam has its problems. In Islam, by George W. Braswell, Jr., Moslems have difficulty letting the spirit of the God of the universe into their hearts:
One may have a knowledge about Allah concerning his nature and law, but one does not have experiential and personal knowledge of Him. One Moslem viewpoint is that Allah is unique in all his powers and attributes. On occasion one may discover a resemblance between the attributes of a thing or person and some of the attributes of Allah, but the resemblance is only apparent and superficial.
Without allowing God into the heart, the Moslem is simply out of luck. Moslems believe right:
Moslems believe that as God created all, so God judges all. Life is preparation for bliss in heaven or damnation in hell. There is an end of the world, a day of resurrection, a time of judgment, and an assignment of one's rewards (ibid).
The Koran has a moral code - Divine commands
1) Worship none but Allah,
2) Be kind and obedient to parents,
3) Give to relatives and the needy,
4) Do not be a miser or a spendthrift,
5) Do not kill your children for fear of poverty,
6) Do not commit adultery,
7) Do not slay without just cause,
8) Do not say anything without knowledge,
9) Do not walk arrogantly on earth,
10) Safeguard the property of orphans.
(Koran - Introduction to Chapter l7, by Mohammad Malik)
#l - Worship none but Allah is similar to the first, great commandment of the New Testament. #2 - Be kind and obedient to parents is very important to American children and their relationship to their parents. #3 - Give to relatives and the needy is the basis of sharing. #4 - Do not be a miser or a spendthrift teaches people to be generous. #5 - Do not kill your children for fear of poverty teaches people, especially Americans, not to leave their children in dumpsters. #6 - Do not commit adultery - this is epedemic in the United States. #7 - Do not slay without just cause is part of American law. #8 - Do not say anything without knowledge means don't run your mouth. #9 - Do not walk arrogantly on earth, unlike American clergy, "He that critisizes me blasphemes God." #l0 - Safeguard the property of orphans - meaning just to care about people in general. This is a proper moral code.
Mohammad was a little scared and confused about his experience with "Gabriel":
Moslem tradition reports that Mohammad reacted to his "call" much the same as the Hebrew prophets. He was both frightened and reluctant. Frightened by the unknown - for surely he did not expect such an experience. Reluctant, at first, because he feared was possessed and that others would use such grounds and dismiss his claims as inspired by spirits. (Islam, The Straight Path, by John Esposito)
He was given the "Straight Path" and it should be assumed that Mohammad had let the spirit of the God of the universe into his heart or else an angel could not have spoken to him.
What is interesting is that the Koran claims to believe in one God, yet many passages mention "WE" when referring to God:
Indeed We sent forth among every nation a messenger, saying: "Serve your God, and shun false gods". (l6:36)
It is He who sends the winds like heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy: when they have carried the heavy-laden clouds, We drive them to a land that is dead, make rain to descend thereon, and produce very kind of harvest therewith. (7:57)
If there is only one member of the Godhead, why does the Koran repeatedly say "WE".
Buddha said, "But seeking Truth I have discovered peace of mind," and "Not through hatred is hatred conquered at any time or in any place, hatred is conquered by love. This is an eternal law." (Buddha, His Life Retold, by Robert Allen Mitchell). If an individual does this and lets the spirit of the God of the universe in his or her heart, it is all that is necessary.
Joan of Arc lived in the fifteenth century in France. She had an internal vision:
The basic facts of Joan's short life are well known. Born to a peasant family in Domremy, a village in the Champagne area of France, Joan, around the age of fourteen, began to hear the voices of saints speaking to her. They insisted that she was to help drive the English from France (the Hundred Years War was in progress at this time) and see that the Dauphin be crowned the King of France. Some correct prophecies got her an audience with the Dauphin, who, impressed enough with her powers and her sincerity, allowed her some troops to help raise the English siege of the city of Orleans, a task she undertook with success. In the same year (l429) she tasted victory once again and also saw the Dauphin crowned as King Charles VII in the ancient cathedral at Rheims. The following year her military successes were nonexistent. She was captured by the Burgundians (who were in league with the English) and handed over to the English forces. Joan went on trial for her life at Rouen before a church court presided over by the bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon. Charged with witchcraft and heresy, Joan made a spirited defense in a court whose prejudices were open and whose verdict was already decided. After a short and ambiguous period of recantation Joan resumed her male clothing (the issue of her clothing was paramount in the mind of the judges) for which she was declared a lapsed heretic. Handed over to the secular powers, she was burned at the stake in thepublic square of Rouen on May 30, l43l. Witnesses say that she died a rather slow and agonizing death, crying out at the last for holy water and uttering the word "Jesu". Twenty-five years later Pope Callistus III reversed the church condemnation of Rouen and declared Joan of Arc innocent of the charges brought against her.
She paid the price for her convictions.
In the introduction to chapter 45, by Mohammad Malik, of the Koran interesting comments are made:
About the hereafter Allah says: "It is utterly against reason and justice that the good and the bad, the obedient and the disobedient, the oppressor and the oppressed, should be made equal ultimately. Just as you did not become living of your own accord, but became living by Our power, so you do not die of your own accord, but die when We send death on you. And a time is certainly coming when you will all be gathered together. You may not believe in this because of your ignorance today, but the time will come when you will see it yourself. You will be presented before Allah and your whole book of conduct will be laid open bearing evidence before each of your misdeeds."
Denial of the hereafter will cost you.
Buddha, founder of Buddhism said, "...hatred
is conquered by love." Joan of Arc, a Catholic, was willing to sacrifice
her life for something she felt
God had spoken to her. The Koran mandated punishments and rewards in
the hereafter. Are these religions "cults" because they do not fit into
of evangelical Christianity. Yes and no. If these people let the spirit
of the God of the universe into their hearts, live by a proper moral code,
and show a
little compassion, they have as much right to paradise as anyone else.
O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace.
My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad the honors of Thy name.
He breaks the power of canceled sin, He sets the prisoner
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing, by Charles Wesley