Is Buddha the same as Jesus Christ?

Here is question posted in Pinoy Catholic and to which I shall reply here:

Question:

TPC that I know, in a way its wrong if that was said anyone would be upset.

But think about it openly if you put it on another view point its just giving respect to the other religion or belief.

In a sense its just right because the catholic church we love and cherish is also open for all. Just think about it Our Lord Jesus Christ as a universal church and one True God. In this world we have different religions and beliefs but all of them came from one and same origin pointing to Jesus Christ.

Its Jesus Christ represented differently among races just because of the traditions, beliefs, distance and those sort of differences like liberal, conservative or modernize that we know.

You mentioned the bishop called Buddha as equal to Jesus Christ but its because they are just one and the same interpreted differently, just like other God who is also Jesus Christ with a different name and teachings. The bishop might be right or wrong and even I might also but just think about it. He was just pointing out that they are the same one Lord Jesus Christ to us.

Why don’t we just pray and let God judge then decide who is right and wrong and it will turn out to be the best for all of us. I don’t mind whatever the outcome will be. Just don’t put to much into this one. You got many good articles here but of all the pointing out mistakes on certain people, priest or a religious head is one that am against. We are just humans after all we comment but never judge because the one that can is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Reply:

1.  Not all teachings of other religions point toward Christ

In this world, we have different religions and beliefs, but not all of them point towards Jesus Christ.  There are seeds of truth found in other religions which point to Christ Who is Truth, but the Evil One also sowed his seeds of falsehood:

The Church’s bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”332

844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

2.  Buddha is not Jesus Christ

Jesus is unique.  Jesus is not one of the reincarnations of Buddha.  The Holy Name of Jesus is not equal to Buddha:

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name* that is above every name,g10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,*of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,h11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,* to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11)

Buddha teaches reincarnation.  Reincarnation teaches that there is one soul which is reborn again and again until it reaches perfection.  On the other hand, Jesus teaches that we have only one life here on earth, and after Death is judgement: Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.  We have only one chance in this world before Judgement Day:

f “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,32g and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left…Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’45He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’46l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Mt 25:41-46)

There is only one Truth and Jesus is Truth.  If He does not teach reincarnation, then reincarnation is wrong, and Filipino-Chinese Catholics should not believe on reincarnation, Astrology, Feng Shui, and other things that were part of Chinese Culture but are incompatible with the Catholic Faith.  The Catholic Faith purges cultures as gold is tested in fire, so that what remains of that culture can be offered for the glory of God.

3.  On judging others.

I can’t say against priests and bishops, because they are my superiors.  And St. Ignatius recommends that things should be brought to higher authorities.  If the bishop appears to be in error, he can be reported to a higher authority like the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine and of the Faith), which is under the Pope.  Christ is a Just Judge.  But the Pope and the Bishops united with him were given by Christ  the authority to judge individuals and nations:

Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Mt 19:28)

Christ said to his apostles:

““Receive the holy Spirit. 23*n Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22-23).

And to Peter, in particular, Christ said:

Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.18And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.19I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:17-19)

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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