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“Unenlightened” by Cole Richards

April 11, 2021

Tian Tan Buddha (also known as the Big Buddha) on Lantau Island, in Hong Kong, Author Beria Lima de Rodgriquez @ Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

The following is excerpted from the October 2020 edition of Voice of the Martyrs Magazine:

“Buddhism is more than 2500 years old, but it came to widespread prominence in Europe and the US only about 50 years ago.  Since then, Buddhist thought has become deeply rooted in American popular culture through music, books and films.  Many Americans encounter the teachings of Buddhism’s founder, Siddhartha Gautama, when seeking a way to empty themselves of desire and attachment while embracing peace of mind through meditation.

Gautama is called the Buddha (enlightened one) by his followers.  The simple response God’s word gives to the notion of human enlightenment is that our Lord Jesus Christ is the true light and life.  Without Him, there is only darkness and death (see John 1: 1-13).

How enlightening is Buddhism?…Rather than offering its adherents truth with the power to save or set them free, it merely helps them marginally reduce the stress that overwhelms their peers who have succumbed to this world’s strivings and vanity.  Jesus sets us free for eternity…

People in the US…are…astonished when we describe the persecution of Christians…by Buddhists [in Tibet and Nepal].  But…young adults who come to faith in Christ are disowned by their Buddhist parents, and…Christian families are driven from their homes…All of this is done explicitly to appease and court favor with evil spirits we [Christians] know to be demons – the fallen angels who, like their master, work only to steal, kill and destroy (John 10: 10)…

[We ask that Christians pray for their] brothers and sisters [in the faith] who are willing to pay any price to see Buddhists set free by the gospel’s power.”

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1: 4-5).


  1. Most of us think we have the ability to see life and every event objectively and make decisions as if in a vacuum, unbiased. In reality our own wants and needs filter our decisions (no one needs to teach a young child how to lie) as well as a myriad of other filters we look through.
    Jesus sets us free as well as begins to heal our mind to see things as He does. True enlightenment.

    What a huge topic Anna. “Buddhism” is a cheap self help salve to the soul and is the difference between physical water quenching thirst for a while and living water quenching an eternal thirst within us.

    • I, by no means, consider myself an expert on Buddhism. I know, however, that Christ alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14: 6).

  2. What a powerful biblical insight into the subversiveness of Buddhism, if I may say so. I may have mentioned before that I spent some time in the heart of Tibet, in the Dalai Lama’s birth town of Xiahe and surrounds. I saw first hand the ugly side of Buddhism: the human striving for a false peace, mechanical prayer-wheels oiled and spun by young children, teenage monks and older people instead of heartfelt prayers to a living God, people crawling around the extended monastery perimeter on hands and knees to earn a better state of mind, ‘salvation by works’ like I’ve never seen in my travels abroad, etc. In a nearby city I met two outstanding believers determined to secretly further Christ’s kingdom among the Tibetans, via the arts and daily intercession on a mountain overlooking the city.

    Some time before that visit, a very reputable missionary lady to Thailand working with children told us how, following an extended playing-time in a large garden-park with a huge Buddha overlooking it, the children were having terrible nightmares and just couldn’t sleep. After heart-searching and prayer, they thought about the park experience, and realized that the bad dreams could have been the result of exposure to the demonic. To cut a long story short, they prayed over the children – guess what, no more nightmares from that night on.

    As the article indicated, the Church in the West is so spiritually naive, we have ‘believers’ teaching and practicing yoga, thinking it all harmless, etc. Btw, one the top selling ‘Christian authors’ in the US is Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, panentheist and universalist, author of ‘The Universal Christ.’ So many believers disillusioned with institutional Christianity are falling for his syncretistic New Age teaching (he’s great friends with Oprah Winfrey) and commendation of Buddhism and other world religions. I’ve researched Rohr’s roots which go back to Rudolf Bultmann’s existentialism, which denies the bodily resurrection of Jesus, promoting a ‘demythologized’ reading of Scripture and an inward ‘spiritual resurrection’ not founded on the historical Christ risen from the dead. Thus ‘spirituality’ is being divorced from well-documented general and Church history.

    Anna, please excuse my verbosity, but it’s a subject I’m passionate about as we see many younger and older ‘believers’ falling for these lies, instead of looking, as the article says, to Jesus, who is the Light of the World. And yes, we should be interceding far more for our brothers and sisters taking God’s Good News to those influenced by the lies of Buddhism.

    Thanks for choosing this topic, Anna. It is most relevant and timeous info.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your insights, Erroll. Sadly, Christians are increasingly being viewed as “hateful” for exposing these truths.

  3. Allan Halton permalink

    There was a time– my early 20s, the dark ages of my life– when I too was enamoured of Buddhism. Zen Buddhism in particular. That kind of thing was sweeping the West, and I had two or three books that I just ate up; I was so hungry for a spiritual reality. I can’t thank God enough that He knew what I really wanted, and needed, and led me into Christ the Truth Himself.

    • I devoured Hemingway, Sarte, and Hesse at that age. Like you, I am immensely grateful that God led me back to the truth in Christ.

  4. Long time I also was enamoured of Buddhism and have visited some places to be nearer to Buddha. But I also came back to the Truth in Christ.

    • The road to God takes each of us on a unique journey. Some journeys are more tortuous than others. My own journey was one of those. But God knows where we are on our journey, every step of the way — even when we may feel lost. ❤

  5. Thank you, Anna. I wish you the best.

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