Buddhist Salvation - RR136J17

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Buddhist Salvation
Course: Course - Salvation and Godly Rule
Subject: Subject:Doctrinal Studies
Lesson#: 17
Length: 0:51:00
TapeCode: RR136J17
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Salvation and Godly Rule.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

I have loved the habitation of thy house and the place where thine honour dwelleth. I was glad when they said to me Let us go into the house of the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song in his praise in the congregation of saints, for the Lord taketh pleasure in His people. He will beautify the meek with salvation. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, with joy and thanksgiving we come into thy presence, delighting in thy government and in thy grace, thanking thee that underneath all the experiences of life are thine everlasting arms. Bless us, our Father, in the days ahead, and by thy grace, prosper us in thy service. Give us joy in thy worship, and make us ever grateful for thy bounty. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our scripture is Zechariah 10:1-5, and our subject: Buddhist Salvation. “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.” [03:03:01]

It is important for us to understand the Buddhist plan

It is important for us to understand the Buddhist plan of salvation, which really is a plan of escape, because it is a very present factor in Western civilization. We not only have amongst us a great many young men who, wearing yellow robes, can be seen at street corners and shopping malls, but even more, the frame of mind that is essentially Buddhist, saturates our civilization. The young men in yellow robes are only a small handful, numerically, but the people who have the Buddhist mentality are in the majority.

It is necessary for us, therefore, to analyze and understand the Buddhist plan of salvation or escape.

Its essential faith can be thus summarized from a Buddhist document of centuries ago. “All existence involves suffering. Suffering is caused by desire, especially the desire for continuance of existence. The suppression of desire therefore, will lead to the extinction of suffering.” In brief, what Buddhism holds is that the will to live must be suppressed so that man can be delivered. For the Buddhist, evil is not sin. It is suffering, and because suffering arises from living and the desire, the will to live, the will to live must be suppressed. This is why Buddhism is suicidal. This is why in Buddhism, there is no charity towards one who is suffering, and there is total toleration and approval for those who take their lives.

Buddhism, of course, arises from Buddha. Gautama Buddha, a prince who was born to luxury. He lacked for nothing. He was brought up in the midst of unbelievable wealth, and when he was a young man, he suddenly realized that in this world people get old. They age. They die, and that to him was an impossible, an insufferable fact, and therefore, he felt that the world was without hope, life was meaningless, any God who might exist was really demonic that He allowed such things to happen, and so he formulated Buddhism, a religion which believes in nothing except that because all life involves suffering and ultimately, death, then the best thing to do is to renounce life and the will to live, and he left his princely estate, withdrew from the world. Both he and his culture regarded the world as an illusion or at best, illusory, life as a burden to be escaped, not a joy. The major fact in the life of Buddha was an overwhelming self-pity, because life involved the possibility of suffering. [00:07:24]

Some years ago, during the Korean War, I remember a

Some years ago, during the Korean War, I remember a case of a young man who was really without faith and without character, return from the Korean War very badly shaken up. To him, it was inconceivable that people could be allowed by any God that lived, to have the low income, the low standard of living. Why, it could happen to him, and the result was he suddenly became filled with an enormous self-pity which, of course, is basic to many of our crusading so-called reformers. The idea that suffering and depravation can exist was for Buddha, and for all Buddhists, intolerable, and therefore, life must be renounced.

For the past two centuries, we have had the same impulse in the Western world. It was very prominent in Rousseau. It was also very prominent in a young revolutionists named Dostoevsky, and as a result, he was able to write about it in very biting, savage terms, because he had the known this disease in himself, and in The Brothers Karamozov, in the Grand Inquisitor section, the preface to it, he has “I then, Karamozov, indict God and life,” and what does Ivan do? Ivan has collected clippings and stories endlessly, about every little child who has suffered anything, about every helpless person, prisoner who has been tortured. He has been building up a case against God. How can God allow these things to happen? This is his case, and Ivan declared, and Dostoevsky quotes him: “Listen, I took the case of children only to make my case clear. Of the other tears of humanity with which the earth is soaked from its crust to its center I will say nothing. I have narrowed my subject on purpose. I am above it, and I recognize in all humility that I cannot understand why the world is arranged as it is. Men are themselves to blame, I suppose. They were given paradise. They wanted freedom and stole fire from heaven, though they knew they would become unhappy so there is no need to pity them. With my pitiful, earthy, Euclidean understanding, all I know is that there is suffering and that there are none guilty, that cause follows effect simply indirectly, simply that everything flows and finds its level. That that’s only Euclidean nonsense, I know, and I cannot consent to live by it. What comfort is it to me that there are none guilty, and that cause follows effect simply and directly and that I know it. I must have justice or I will destroy myself, and not justice in some remote, infinitely time and space, but here on earth, and that I could see myself.” In other words, while Ivan says, “Oh yes, man may have been guilty originally,” why is the little child suffering? I will not accept the world when it is that way. [00:11:43]

In brief, the universe must accept Ivan’s standards

In brief, the universe must accept Ivan’s standards, because Ivan’s autonomous mind reserves the right to pass the ultimate judgment on all things. For Ivan, there should be no suffering in the world, especially no suffering for any innocent child, and he continues and says, “What do I care for a Hell for oppressors? What good can Hell do since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony if there is Hell? I don’t want the mother to embrace the oppressor who threw her son to the dogs. She dare not forgive him. Let her forgive him for herself if she will. Let her forgive the torturer for the immeasurable suffering of her mother’s heart, that the sufferings of her tortured child, she has no right to forgive. She dare not forgive the torturer even if the child were to forgive him, and if that is so, if they dare not forgive, what becomes of harmony? Is there in the world a being who would have the right to forgive and could forgive? I don’t want harmony. From love of humanity, I don’t want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony. It’s beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it, and so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket (that is, to Heaven), and if I am an honest man, I am bound to give it back as soon as possible, and that I’m doing.

Now, Ivan wants ultimate harmony and harmony also all the way along. He wants no suffering, no pain, no death in the world. He wants justice, but he wants no hell. He wants no forgiveness of sins because he wants no sin ever to occur, no suffering. If God allows any sin to occur, any suffering, then both that sin is beyond forgiveness and the God who permits it. Ivan professes a love of humanity, but the reality is that it is not a love of humanity that characterizes him, but self-pity. He rejects his ticket to Heaven, he says, as though he ever had it. [00:15:08]

Now, Ivan Karamazov is a reality in our world today

Now, Ivan Karamazov is a reality in our world today. People want a perfect world handed to them, and they will not forgive God if sin is possible, if suffering and if death are at all possible. This is the essence of Buddhism. In Buddhism, there is a holy drama performed, or until the communist took over at least, it was performed in Tibet. You might say it was their Passion Play. The name of it was Surimi Kundan{?}, about the central figure, Surimi Kundan, who was a Bodhisattva. Now, a Bodhisattva is a future Buddha, someone on the way to perfect knowledge, someone who was going to become a god-like man. The only gods of Buddhism are men who have become living Buddhas, or Bodhisattva’s, who have set the standard for man and if any god exists, he knows how he ought to behave. He should look at Buddha and all the Bodhisattvas. So, the living Buddhas and the Bodhisattva’s give us their idea of how God, if he were ever wake up if he exists, and look at man, who is setting the example, should be. [00:16:52]

Now, who was Surimi Kundon

Now, who was Surimi Kundon(?)? Well, according to the play, the king of Nepal, centuries ago, was a great ruler who had sixty kings under him. He also had 500 wives and 1500 other {?}. A son named Surimi Kundon was born to him and very early, from the time he was a small baby, he gave evidence of being a Bodhisattva, a future Buddha. How did he give evidence of this? Well, as soon as he was able to articulate ideas, he declared that he would never refuse the wish of any living creature. Well, that was his gospel. He would never refuse the wish of any living creature, not only of man, but of beast. Well, of course, almost immediately, he surrendered the entire kingdom to the enemy. After all, he had taken a vow never to refuse the wish of any living creature, and he went on his merry way, feeding children to tigers when the tigers wanted them, and when somebody wanted to take his eyes, he allowed himself to be blinded, and he went on doing this. Finally, he ended up in the desert, which was a very good place for him, far away from everyone except one disciple because he was a menace wherever he was, and he spent a long time in the desert, trying to become the blameless one who never asks anything for himself. [00:19:06]

Now, here are the two articles of his creed

Now, here are the two articles of his creed. He is trying to be a living Buddha, to set the example for God to follow, never to refuse the wish of any living creature, and to be the blameless one who never asks anything for himself. I think you begin to get the picture why our age is so Buddhistic. Give everybody what they want, but God never asks anything of any man for yourself. This is the kind of world that Ivan Karamasov was asking. After eleven years in the desert, his disciple, who was getting weary of eating nothing but bugs, or whatever they were able to eat, says, “Let’s go back to Nepal,” and so Surimi Kundon says, “If you wish to return, return. I will remain until the hour strikes twelve. Thus I have sworn. I have to drink the chalice to the dregs. I have no fear of death. What is composed of parts will not endure. I shall not give away what I have wrought from countless incarnations, for I to listen to the smallest, selfish wish just now, the fruit of all I have endured would be at once forfeited,” and because he says the last I will ask nothing for himself, then magically, everything falls in his lap. He gets back the kingdom of Nepal, he gets his eyesight back, and even the enemy who took the kingdom away from him says, “You are the reborn Buddha. Blessed be he yesterday, today, and in eternity. You are the way that leads all creatures on the eight-fold path of redemption. You are the light that fills the world. You are the chariot that carries man from life to life. You are the sword which shall destroy the six transitional stages of existence in becoming. Oh thou, whose is the power and the glory and the kingdom I worship thee.” Surimi Kundon, in other words, is now Bodhisattva. He has set an example for God. God knows now how to behave, to the very last to give every living creature everything they want and never to ask anything for himself. [00:22:23]

Now this is very obvious in its humanism

Now this is very obvious in its humanism. It is total humanist. It asks for a god who will make all things possible for man, and asks nothing for himself, but it never looks at the fact that when Surimi Kundon was doing all these things, he destroyed what he had, he destroyed the world that he knew. He reduced the kingdom to ruins and himself to blindness, and precisely because in our world today, the Buddhist idea of salvation is the idea of salvation that churches and politicians and schools have, our world progressively is being brought to anarchy. God must be remade, these people say, in the image of man, and this was the basic impetus of Romanticism, of Rousseau as we saw, and of William Blake. There is a famous poem of William Blake’s which puts all of this in poetry, and in biblical language, but it’s total humanism. The poem, “The Divine Image,” really says that man is god:

“To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

All pray in their distress;

And to these virtues of delight

Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

Is God our Father dear,

And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

Is man, His child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,

Pity, a human face,

And Love, the human form divine,

And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,

That prays in his distress,

Prays to the human form divine,

Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,

In heathen, Turk, or Jew;

Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell

There God is dwelling too.” [00:25:05]

Total humanism. Here is no sovereign God, but a god made after man’s imagination, in terms of man’s self-pity and his sense of need in terms of that self-pity. Now, as a {?}, humanism begins by declaring that man is his own god, and ends in self-pity and of a fear of life.

Now it is precisely to this kind of mind, this frame of mind that Zechariah the prophet was speaking. The people had returned from captivity. They felt that they, at least, were God’s chosen people and shouldn’t God do everything for them. They were ready to let God be the judge of the ungodly, but now we are the Lord’s people and we went through captivity, and now we’ve come back here and shouldn’t God do everything for us? How can God refuse us? So, they were, in effect, agreeing with the basic premise of Surimi Kundon, that God should not refuse the wish of at least any of His people, and that He should be the blameless one who never asks anything of himself, but God begins by declaring through Zechariah, “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” Why was there no rain? Why was there drought? Because of God’s judgment upon them. They were to ask, but they could not ask of God without first of all repenting of their sins. “For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.” The sin of Israel had been that they had followed after idols that spoke a lie, that gave comfort when there was no comfort, that said what the people wanted to hear, that offered them a god that never refused them.

Now, at this time, there was no open idolatry in Israel. They didn’t have graven images in temples, but they had created idols in their theology. They had tried to make over God into an idol who, because they were His people, would therefore, give them what they want. What was the matter with God? Didn’t God know that, “well, I’m yours, and how can you refuse me? This is what I want?” and the idea that God wanted something of them, they would not agree to, and so the idols, their ideas of God were vanity, and their false preachers were comforting in vain and giving them a lie. They had no real shepherd, and therefore, they were astray and God’s judgment was upon them. [00:29:55]

“Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and

“Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.” This is an odd sentence. It changes imagery several times, but its point it telling. God says mine anger was kindled against the false shepherds, the false preachers who were giving the people an idea about God that was imagination, that were giving them endless comfort when what they needed instead was the proclamation of judgment. God has visited them with judgment. “He has visited His flock, the House of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.” The imagery changes from the flock under false shepherds. Then God suddenly says He has made them as his horse for battle. The world is not going to be a world in which they are endlessly getting what they want, in which God never refuses them anything. It’s a battlefield, and God said, I have judged you because I have loved you and I have prepared you as the horse with which I shall ride into battle against my enemies and yours, and therefore, my blessing has been, in part, this judgment. It has been that I have denied you your every living wish, and I have prepared you.

“Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor.” This is a magnificent verse that states total sovereignty, total predestination. God ordains all things that come to pass, and God, having ordained all things that come to pass, man’s wishes, man’s desires never to be frustrated, to have his every desire fulfilled are nothing in the universe. Man only lives under God, and in terms of His law word. “And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.” Here is a promise of blessing. The blessing Buddhist salvation and the blessing the exiles who had returned from captivity wanted was a world in which God would never refuse the wish of any living creature, and never ask anything for himself. But God says, My blessing is that you should go into battle and you shall tread down your enemies in the mire of the streets and the battle. [00:34:03]

Now, battle is always a strenuous and difficult thing

Now, battle is always a strenuous and difficult thing, whether it be military battle, or whether it be battle against people spiritually, intellectually, a struggle in anyway. Sometimes the latter is more painful, but it is the only way to true blessing and to true peace and prosperity. And God says, when you forsake these idols of your imagination, when you forsake these false shepherds and accept my judgment and my discipline, and obey me, you shall be as mighty men which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle, and they shall fight because the Lord is with them.

A world in which no living creature is ever refused anything is a world of anarchy, of ruin. Those who hunger for such a world are asking for death, and it is no wonder that Buddhism is a religion ultimately of suicide. You withdraw from life, you wait for death, and death is the greatest of blessings. It’s the culminating privilege of man, but men who love life will seek their salvation of the Lord and in obedience to Him, be prepared for battle, and it is the blessed meek, those who are the tamed of the Lord, and it has reference ultimately, the taming, to being broken to harness, to being broken to being ridden. God hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Those who are broken to the Lord’s harness and to his riding in the battle, these, the blessed meek, shall inherit the earth, and they shalt delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of thy grace and mercy has called us to battle and to victory, who has summoned us to obey thy law word and to walk by faith, not by sight, we give thanks unto thee for the joy of salvation. Purge from our hearts every trace of a Buddhist hope, and confound, O Lord, by thy judgment, thy healing judgment, those around us who walk in terms of a Buddhist hope, that they may be redeemed by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, and prepared for thy cause, broken to thy harness, that they might become thy blessed meek who shall inherit the earth. Bless us to this purpose. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Are there any questions now, first of all, with regard to our lesson? Yes? [00:38:22]

[Audience] Did the aim of Buddhists and reincarnation

[Audience] Did the aim of Buddhists and reincarnation, what is their aim?

[Rushdoony] Their aim in reincarnation is finally no longer to be reincarnated. In other words, you, through progressive reincarnations, not only work out your Karma, but you also wean yourself progressively from a love of life and escape into Nirvana, which is ultimate and final absorption and death. Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience] {?}

[Rushdoony] Yes, you occasionally hear statements like that, that Chrysler and everything from Buddha, or during the so-called hidden years of our Lord, he was in India learning from the Hindu masters. Well, it takes a mind without any real understanding of systems of thought to say that, because the one is so contrary to the other, that it would be an impossibility to see anything of similarity between them, and it is amazing that people in our day lack so much any ability to discriminate. It’s like saying black is white and Heaven is Hell. It is a total contradiction. Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience] Are we commanded to pray for judgment upon ourselves and the ungodly? [00:41:17]

[Rushdoony] The question is, are we commanded to pray

[Rushdoony] The question is, are we commanded to pray for judgment upon ourselves and the ungodly. Whenever we pray, we are, without saying so, asking for judgment, because we commit ourselves to our Father in Heaven, and thereby, we are putting ourselves under His will for judgment, for correction, for discipline, for all things. So that there is no need to pray for it, but what we specifically are asked to pray for is forgiveness of sins. Now, when a child goes to the Father, the child doesn’t say Give me one swat instead of three, or I think this is a three-swat offence. You see, that would be presumptuous of the child. What the child does is to confess that they have done wrong, and then the father judges. So, we go to the Lord specifically confessing our sins, and we leave the judgment and the forgiveness entirely in His hands, but we have a right to go to him, scripture tells us, for judgment against those who wrong us and against his enemies, and our Lord himself talk us the parable of the widow who went to the unjust judge crying Avenge me of mine adversary, and he said, finally to get rid of this widow who was hounding him day and night to give him justice, the unjust judge said, I’ll get no peace until I give in to her. So he settled her case, and he said, How much more so your heavenly Father? Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience] Isn’t the authority of interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and authority necessary or do you determine authority, or is everyone inspired to interpret scripture?

[Rushdoony] The question is with regard to the interpretation of scripture, Is there an authority or is everyone inspired to be his own interpreter? The answer is neither, really. There is a place for church synods and councils, and there is a place for private interpretation, but the basic principle has always been that scripture is its own interpreter, that we are to interpret scripture in terms of itself, that one passage of scripture throws light on the other and each reinforces the other so that the meaning is thereby brought out, so that we cannot give priority in interpretation to either the individual or to church synods and councils or various authorities. The authorities have their place, and the private interpretation has its place, but basically scripture interprets itself, and the more we read it, the more we find this to be true. Yes? [00:45:27]

[Audience] I was curious, is the scripture, it starts

[Audience] I was curious, is the scripture, it starts out {?} description of creation and the Fall, does it continue in {?} in continuity {?} interpretation?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Over and over again, there is this cross reference, and you see not only do we have the beginning, the creation, but then we have the theme of a new creation, we have Christ as the second Adam, and we have his resurrection at the beginning of a new humanity. We have in the closing of Revelation the statement of the Garden again in its fulfillment, and so on. So, it is sometimes spoken of as a seamless garment. It’s of a piece. Our time now is just about up, but I’d like to share a couple of things with you. The first is a quotation which is just along these lines. It is from G.K. Chesterton, who was quite prominent as a writer during the first World War and the twenties, a very distinguished and brilliant Catholic layman. He wrote:

“On the third day, the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place, found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways, they realized the new wonder. But even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth, and in assemblance of the gardener, God walked again in the garden, in the cool, not of the evening, but of the dawn.” Now, there’s an illustration precisely of what we were discussing a moment ago. The other is on an entirely different matter, but it’s a very amusing account of the fact that the government, when it passes a law, has two standards; one for itself and one for the rest of us. [00:48:28]

“If the truth in labeling laws were ever applied to

“If the truth in labeling laws were ever applied to the products of the United States Mint, not one U.S. coin would come close to passing. By today’s standards, even a penny saved is not a penny earned. The metals in the lowly one cent piece, 95% copper, 5% nickel, are worth about 1/3 of a cent. None of our other coins fare nearly as well. Here are the figures: our five cent coins, 75% copper and 25% nickel are worth about 2/3rd of a cent each. The sandwich dime, copper on the inside with a nickel outer layer is worth only .43 percent of a cent. Intrinsic worth of the new quarter is a mere 1.13 cents and the half dollar is valued at just 2.22 cents, and the metal in the Eisenhower silver dollar is worth all of 7.84 cents (this is not the real silver dollar). The Federal Mint estimates that by selling these nearly worthless coins at face value, it will realize a profit this year of $540 million. Little wonder that one wag has commented, ‘Only the Federal government could take a penny, flatten it with a hammer, cover it with nickel, sell it for fifty cents, and get away with it.’”

And with that, our time is up. Let’s bow our heads for the benediction.

And now go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you this day and always. Amen. [00:50:31]

End of tape

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