6.3. 7 The Problem of Sin In Buddhism
We have earlier commented how Buddhism fails to address the problem of sin. It denies that human wilfulness is the root problem of wrong behaviour, and by doing so takes the focus away from what every honest human being knows is our essential problem. Buddhism discounts the whole issue of origins, dismissing the Biblical record of creation: “The aim of Buddhism is to develop wisdom and compassion and thereby attain Nirvana. Knowing how the universe began can contribute nothing to this task”. This means that the focus is only upon the present. Yet take a read through the Bible. It starts with the record of creation, and the entire Bible is filled with allusion back to the early chapters. There is a far greater internal harmony within the Bible than within Buddhist writings. The fact that God is and was creator was what inspired the faith and prayers of men like David and Jeremiah. The New Testament speaks of a new creation being worked out in men and women, after the pattern of the physical creation, in order to make men and women into the image of Jesus Christ, the one we are to follow. Buddhism claims to focus upon understanding; and yet by discounting origins, understanding can never be reached. And because origins are overlooked, the whole problem of sin has been ignored- even though this is the essential reason for suffering. Buddhism sees all existence as cyclic- no beginning, no end. Therefore the question of origins is ignored, with the result that God is not seen as creator. Yet if there was no personal designer and creator, we are left to believe in evolution, as many Buddhists do. It cannot be, even within the paradigm of human science, that matter came from nothing. There had to be a beginning. Theories of evolution only throw the questions one stage further back- where did the beginning and the evident design within creation come from? Existence isn’t just cyclical- it began, some place, some time. And was begun by some being. The very concepts of good and evil must have begun somewhere. Concepts have not just always existed. The Buddhist has to shut her or his mind to these difficulties. Yet in the Bible there is real and credible explanation. And there is in the Bible the clear teaching that Jesus is the “author” of eternal life (Acts 3:15), just as God was the beginner of natural life.