Christian Buddhism

Galatians 5:16-18, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” Christianity does not center on what man does, but what Jesus has done; our command is that we live out of His work. “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5b) and “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:20). Christian Buddhism is very simple to describe; it emanates from the tree of good and evil as the religion of lists. Its directive is to do the good and not do the bad. It takes a variety of forms and is easily understood by the carnal mind, because, frankly, it is based in the carnal. Let me give an example. I can be a Cat Christian or a Dog Christian. Cat Christians are all about themselves, and Dog Christians are all about God. Well, amen! There is something true there. The problem I have is in the “how to” of moving from a cat to a dog. Not only can a cat never be a dog (I push the illustration too far), but also, the solution to becoming a dog lies at the believer’s feet. So the teaching comes full circle. A Cat Christian is consumed with self, but in the power of self a Cat Christian is expected to transform into a dog! Self will never improve self. At first the believer is consumed with what self can take from God, and then he is encouraged to move to being consumed with what self can give to God. Again, any teaching that ultimately ends at man’s feet is some kind of Christian Buddhism from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, any teaching that ends at choice, and the choice is Jesus, comes from the tree of Life. There are no Cat or Dog Christians; to prefix the word Christian is to nullify the word Christian. Like an oak that is 3 inches tall or one that is 100 feet tall, both are fully, in all ways, a complete oak. The little oak does only think of self. It cannot give shade or fruit and needs to receive constantly from God. As God tends the little oak, it will begin by only thinking of itself. The day we believed in Jesus, we only thought of ourselves. However, God is the glory, and He must be the ultimate goal. He will then begin to put us in situations that we cannot handle so we will turn to Him and discover “how great a salvation” that we have. Each day that we simply choose Jesus–as opposed to choosing to be like Jesus—we are brought out of ourselves and to a place where He is all that matters. Soon we will find ourselves naturally saying, “I count all things as rubbish in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” We have not gone from being cats to dogs, but rather, we have grown in the revelation of what we have been from the first day we believed, the temple of God. We are not the focus; it is not about us. He is the glory. We do well to remember that the flesh or humanity (our being under the influence of something other than Christ and our attempt to play God in that condition) will never depart. It is God’s stronghold that keeps us near to Him. Flesh and humanism simply present us with clothes to wear that we no longer can comfortably wear. There is always the potential of walking in the flesh and looking just like an unbeliever, ALWAYS! In abiding life, we make room for the reality that at times believers are not abiding. The residue of the old man (part of the flesh) never goes away. If you live long enough, some day you could be lying in bed shouting, “Where is Eddie? He took my puppy. I hate Eddie!” The younger relatives will be asking, “Who is Eddie?” The old ones, though, will remember Eddie. “Oh, he lived next door to him on the farm.” You might even be yelling something much worse, for, in your senility, you are not able to activate your choice to bring your mind in subjection to Christ. There is nothing wrong with this condition; it is the way of things. My point is that the residue of the flesh never goes, and subduing it requires the activation of the will, choosing Jesus. I like it all. I like the way it all works together. You will act like a cat, only thinking about yourself, when you have the door to His life closed. You will act like a dog, wanting Him, when the door is open.

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