Note: The question is quite long. The answer is about five paragraphs
down the page

How does Christianity justify its staunch and abusive criticism of so
called “Pagan” Religions in the light that it developed well after many
other religions that were also the belief of many people before it? Too
often “pagan religions have been accused as “evil” or in league with Satan
or the devil. May I point out in this case the concept of the
manifestation of evil as an excuse for the “wrong doing of individuals”
into such a person is indeed in itself a Christian concept. Most Pagan
(multifaceted or polytheistic) religions promote peace harmony, and
co-existence without fear of reprisal or Judgment, but inevitably evil or
wrong doing is the fault of the individual not as a result of the
influence of any particular singular representative of “evil”. Why is
Christianity so inclined to denounce other religions that promote more
than one God, pray tell what is the fault of this in view that the
specific religion or Faith teaches love, acceptance, forgiveness
responsibility and kindness to our fellow humans?

May I also point out a few misinterpretations. You mentioned that Islam
sees Jesus as a Prophet this is true, however he is not simply placed as
the same as all the other prophets, but he was the second prophet after
Mohammad. Islam does not dispute the death of Jesus on the cross this is
accepted, what the main difference is is that Jesus (and Mohammad) were
not recognized as the son of God. Islam also recognizes the intent of
Jesus for a second coming. The Q’uoran is also accepted as the Word of God.

Your interpretation of Buddhism is incorrect. In its Purist form
(Buddha’s Teachings) There is no explanation of the creation of the world
nor any symbolic representation of God. Buddhism allows individual
interpretations. Buddhism is simply a faith of passed on Dharma
(teachings) from an individual who became enlightened on the nature of
suffering, there is no “Holy text” nor prayers, just simple reflections
and meditations. Buddhism is a highly non-judgemental religion and doesnt
require the practice of its faith in the confines of any church ot temple.
Temples are simply the product of individuals requiring a focus, and a
complete devotion, but are not required as there is no “Law” or scripture
commanding its followers.”

Can I attempt to answer your following Marker points for “scripture” if
in context with Buddhism: 1. Is the teaching consistent within
itself? A: Absoluteley Core Buddhist Dharma remains exactly the same
as the original Teachings from Sidhartharta himself. 2. Does the
teaching work in the lives of those who actually follow it? A:
Infinitely, Refer to world figures on spread of Buddhism and the accounts
of the lay and ordained community 3. Are there internal marks of
inspiration, such as fulfilled prophecy and the like? A: Claimed
enlightenment in thousands since Buddha’s own revelation to Nirvana. 4.
Is what is contained in the scripture accurate when compared to what we
know from other disciplines such as science and history? A: All core
Dharma is traceable to the origin of Buddha’s Teachings. 5. Is the
revelation confirmed by supernatural events which occurred in concordance
with its being revealed A: Buddhism does not claim the occurrence of
“supernatural events” to do so would be contrary to Buddhist teaching, as
the cycle of life and death is within the realms of the spiritual Soul of
the individual within their own concurrent lifetimes. There are Buddhist
stories in which Buddhas can manifest in several forms, but these are
simple tales to expressthe ethic, not claimed actual historic accounts of

Finally I understand that this is an evidence for Christianity site, but
it appears in my opinion most condescending and irrelevant to encourage
“Purchases” of books perhaps a free online forum may be more pertinent.


It is impossible to justify abusive criticism of any religion based
on Christian teaching. In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter admonishes disciples of
Jesus to “always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to
give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness
and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak
maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their
slander.” Unfortunately, many who call themselves Christians have used
abusive forms of argument and have spoken maliciously about the heart and
character of the individuals who would adhere to other religions. This
would not agree with the spirit of gentleness and respect which God
commands in his followers. I hope and pray that at this web site, we do
not behave in this way, but I cannot prevent others from doing so.
Whether staunchness is wrong would depend on the context of how you might
define staunchness. I would say that those who believe that Jesus is
indeed God in the flesh and who accept his message to be the truth need to
be ready and able to defend their faith and to explain it clearly and even
forcefully in a loving way to those who do not know Jesus Christ. If such
a defense is not given in love, it is best not given at all.

I would tend to differ with your point about pagan religions. First
of all, the claim that pagan religions tend toward peace, harmony and
co-existence without fear is questionable at best. I would say that it
certainly is true that many who do not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and who
follow other religions may exhibit a relatively “good” moral and ethical
life–that sometimes individual practitioners of Wicca, for example, might
be nicer than some individual practitioners of Christianity. The message
of Jesus Christ is that all men and women are sinners–that in order to
come to know God and to live a godly life, one must come to God through
Jesus Christ to be regenerated and to take on the character of Jesus
Christ. It is not that followers of Jesus are inherently “better” than
others, but that they achieve forgiveness of sins as well as the ability,
through the influence of God in their lives, to live a godly life and to
change to become more like God in this life.

The problem with pagan religions is that they teach things which
simply are not true. Hinduism teaches that one is reincarnated and that
one approaches nirvana through successive lives in which one eliminates
karma and so forth. If Hinduism is true, then Christianity is a lie. If
Christianity is true, then Hinduism is a lie. It is literally impossible
for them to both be true. The current philosophical craze of
postmodernism wants to confuse this issue, but postmodernism
notwithstanding, these two religions are fundamentally in contradiction to
one another Either people are reincarnated after dying or they are not.
If they are not, then the entire premise of Hinduism is false. In that
case, it may be true that some followers of Hinduism may “improve”
themselves by practicing this religion, but in the end, they are following
a false and deceiving religion. I say, with respect, that the fundamental
teachings of Hinduism and Sikkhism, Jaina, Shinto, Native American
religions and so forth are “bad” because they are not true. Of course,
the same, in principle, could be true of Christianity. If Jesus Christ
was not raised from the dead on the third day, then Christianity is not
good–it is a bad thing. In some sense, it is an evil thing if Jesus was
not raised from the dead. That is essentially what Paul said in 1
Corinthians 15:12-20, where he says, in essence, that if Jesus was not

raised from the dead, then Christianity is a lie and we are still in our
sins. My claim that Christianity is true is the subject of the web site,
and that claim will rise and fall based on the evidence, but if it is
true, then other religions are false and in that sense are “evil” because
they teach a lie about the most fundamental of human issues: the nature
of God and our relationship with him.

There is a common misconception that being loving and accepting of a
person means accepting their behavior as good. Christians who are
following the example of Jesus Christ will accept people as they are, but
will call them in a loving way to put behind their life of sin, to repent,
to make Jesus Lord and to follow him. If I had a friend who had cancer, I
would accept him as a friend, but would very strongly suggest that he
attempt to change his situation by getting treatment. Telling a person
that they are wrong is not a condemnation of the person, but a loving act
to help them to become more like God. The wishy-washy definition of
acceptance which is to say that I am OK and you are OK, you do whatever
you like, everything is fine, we are all going to heaven is a destructive
and unloving path to hell for those whom we do not call lovingly into a
relationship with God. You seem to at least indirectly imply that loving
someone means you do not call them to do the right thing. I strongly
disagree with this assumption.

As to Islam’s view of Jesus, that is a somewhat complicated
question. First of all, your claim that Islam accepts the death of Jesus
on the cross is simply wrong. I have read the Koran and believe me, it
states in black and white that Jesus was not crucified on the cross. The
whole idea of one of God’s great prophets suffering such a shameful death
is anathema to Islam. Again we have a problem. Islam says Jesus was not
crucified on the cross. Christianity says he was. The crucifixion of
Jesus, his subsequent resurrection and the forgiveness offered through his
death are the absolute core fundamentals of Christianity. Islam
absolutely and unequivocably denies all these things. Islam and
Christianity are completely incompatible, even if they have some teachings
which, superficially, appear to be similar. The Koran’s attitude toward
Christians depends on which Surah you are reading. Muhammad began
believing that he was more or less, the prophet for the Arabs, as Jesus
was for the Jews. Later, after he had massacred hundreds of Jews, his
attitude toward Judaism and Christianity became significantly harsher. It
is true that Islam sees both Jesus and Muhammad as prophets. If the Bible
is true, then Muhammad is definitely not a prophet of God, and therefore,
his teachings are a lie. This is not being harsh. This is telling the
truth. I have many Islamic friends. I hope and pray that I am loving and
respectful to them–that I do not ridicule their beliefs, but that I
gently and with respect lead them to the truth, which is found in Jesus

Your statement about my “misinterpretation” of Buddhism is correct.
I am describing Buddhism as it is practiced by virtually all of its
adherents. In fact, I do not personally know of any individuals who
practice a “pure” Buddhism. All I have met are part of a Mahayana or a
Hinayana sect of Buddhism. For these people, I do paint a rather broad
picture, but I believe in the broad sense, my descriptions are more or
less accurate. As you describe the person Buddha, I believe you do a good
job of getting the essence of his teachings. I would say that the basic
life-advice which Buddha gave, independent of the religion which has been
built around the Buddha’s path for good living, is good advice, and is not
fundamentally in contradiction with Christian teachings. I would even go
so far as to say that it is possible to put into practice the basic
principles of the original advice of Guatama Buddha and to still be a
Christian. However, Buddha was just a man with a wise philosophy of life,
while Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. Having said that, my experience
is that Buddhism, as practiced by those I have met, is definitely a
religion with claims which are diametrically in opposition to the basic
truth of Christianity.

I will let your comments on Buddhism stand for themselves more or
less. It appears that your answer to question #1,2 is yes, while your
answer to question #3-5 is, essentially, no. I will simply state that the
pure Buddhism you describe does not exist in my own limited experience, as
an organized religion.

Lastly, I do not understand your charge that I/we are using the web
site to promote and sell books. The most I do is provide a link, for
those who are interested, to a place where one can buy one of my books. I
do not advertise the books at the site. We do not charge any fees or even
ask for donations at all. There is not a single advertisement there.
Besides, to date, I have not earned any net money from the hundreds of
hours I have put into writing these books. To accuse the site of
commercialism seems to me to be misplaced, but I appreciate your advice
and opinion on that.

John Oakes

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