Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
KiwiNFLFan
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Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by KiwiNFLFan » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm

I'm an ex-Christian who is now a Buddhist. I was involved in all three branches of Christianity over the years - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

I'm curious as to what other Theravada Buddhists think about the god of Christianity. Does he exist?

To recap, the god of Christianity is an insanely jealous being who created two naive humans, put them in a garden with a tree they weren't allowed to eat from, then kicked them out of the garden when they did eat from it, and cursed all their descendants with mortality because of it. In order to reconcile mankind to himself and let them into his presence, he had to become man (Jesus), live a sinless life and be brutally killed as a sacrifice to himself. But only those who believe in Jesus get to be with god after death. All unbelievers will go to hell where they will be tortured forever.

These are the options I can think of:
  • Doesn't exist
  • A hell being
  • A hungry ghost
  • An asura
  • A deva
  • A brahma
  • Sakka (Venerable Hsuan Hua taught that the Christian god was Sakka)
  • None of the above

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DNS
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by DNS » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:02 am

I'd differentiate between the Jewish/Hebrew god and the Christian god.

The god of the garden of Eden is the Hebrew god, Jehovah. I'd say he's an asura or a deva. Even the Hebrew bible calls him the "god of Israel" implying that there are other gods for other nations and peoples.

The Christian god is Jesus and he was a man who fashioned himself somewhat of a guru, possibly Gnostic - Essene sect.
He was a Jew, at least on his mother's side. :tongue:

(an old Jewish joke, since there are many Jews who identify as Jewish even though only one of their parents is Jewish, in this case, it's Mary for Jesus)

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:10 am

A medium level god, but still low enough to lie to his followers about being #1
Last edited by JamesTheGiant on Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

santa100
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by santa100 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:15 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:These are the options I can think of..
Probably just Kamma personified into an old dude with white beard. People are naughty? "He" will send the flood. People behave? they'll get to enjoy all the good stuff up there with "Him". When some really bad thing happens to some really good decent people, well, "He" works in mysterious ways. Now simply substitute "He/Him" with Kamma and the meanings stay pretty much the same (ok, maybe not the last part, for kamma does explain why good decent people still have to face some really sh...y situations, but its exact mechanism still indeed very much "works in mysterious ways").

chownah
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by chownah » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:47 am

A fabricated dhamma....or maybe the omniscient and omnipotent creator and ruler of the universe.....how am I supposed to know since I've only got six sense media which do seem to be entirely inadequate to know something like this???

God said to abraham "kill me a son"
Abe said "man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say "no"
Abe say "what?"
God say "you can do what you want abe, but the next time you see me comin' you better run"
Abe says "where you want this killin' done?
God says "out on highway 61".
chownah

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DooDoot
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by DooDoot » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:50 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
I'm an ex-Christian who is now a Buddhist. I was involved in all three branches of Christianity over the years - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.
Whilst I never considered myself ever to be a Christian, I suppose I am glad my parents culture was Catholic & Orthodox rather than Protestant.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
I'm curious as to what other Theravada Buddhists think about the god of Christianity.
To me, the Christian god is the same god as in the Buddhist Tevijja Sutta; as explained below:
1 John 4:7-21

God Is Love

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=ESV
:candle:
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
To recap, the god of Christianity is an insanely jealous being who created two naive humans
The above sounds like the Hebrew God rather than the Christian God.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
put them in a garden with a tree they weren't allowed to eat from, then kicked them out of the garden when they did eat from it, and cursed all their descendants with mortality because of it. In order to reconcile mankind to himself and let them into his presence, he had to become man (Jesus), live a sinless life and be brutally killed as a sacrifice to himself. But only those who believe in Jesus get to be with god after death. All unbelievers will go to hell where they will be tortured forever.
The above mixing of the Hebrew (Jewish) God & the Christian God sounds like the Protestant influence.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
  • An asura
The Hebrew God i would nominate as an asura, due to its propensity to attempt to govern man using violence & punishment. Refer to SN 11.5, which distinguishes between how 'asura' & 'deva' govern man.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
  • A brahma
I nominate the Christian God is a Brahma ( as I originally posted). One meaning of 'Brahma' is literally 'The Father'.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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cookiemonster
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by cookiemonster » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:51 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
I'm an ex-Christian who is now a Buddhist. I was involved in all three branches of Christianity over the years - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

I'm curious as to what other Theravada Buddhists think about the god of Christianity. Does he exist?

To recap, the god of Christianity is an insanely jealous being who created two naive humans, put them in a garden with a tree they weren't allowed to eat from, then kicked them out of the garden when they did eat from it, and cursed all their descendants with mortality because of it. In order to reconcile mankind to himself and let them into his presence, he had to become man (Jesus), live a sinless life and be brutally killed as a sacrifice to himself. But only those who believe in Jesus get to be with god after death. All unbelievers will go to hell where they will be tortured forever.

These are the options I can think of:
  • Doesn't exist
  • A hell being
  • A hungry ghost
  • An asura
  • A deva
  • A brahma
  • Sakka (Venerable Hsuan Hua taught that the Christian god was Sakka)
  • None of the above
I was also a Christian who is now a Buddhist.

I believe the Christian deity - the "Father", if he exists - is possibly a nimmanarati deva, or a Brahma (as taught in DN1 https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/DN/DN01.html#dn1sec5) - is possibly under the influence of a Mara, and operates under various degrees of ignorance, attachments, and aversions, and possessing a mixture of beneficence & maliciousness.

I believe that the "Son", if he exists - was a man who might have achieved jhana and the supernatural powers that comes with it, recalled "Brahma" (as also taught in DN1), and then sought to reform his native religion with what he personally experienced.
Last edited by cookiemonster on Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pitakele
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by pitakele » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:52 am

Whatever Christians (or other theists) believe their God to be, they will have strong clinging to that belief.

It could be said that theists aspire to return to or merge with the Creator, whilst (dedicated) Dhamma practitioners aspire to be free from the Creator (i.e. ignorance & craving).
now here = nowhere

confusedlayman
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by confusedlayman » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:54 am

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
I'm an ex-Christian who is now a Buddhist. I was involved in all three branches of Christianity over the years - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

I'm curious as to what other Theravada Buddhists think about the god of Christianity. Does he exist?

To recap, the god of Christianity is an insanely jealous being who created two naive humans, put them in a garden with a tree they weren't allowed to eat from, then kicked them out of the garden when they did eat from it, and cursed all their descendants with mortality because of it. In order to reconcile mankind to himself and let them into his presence, he had to become man (Jesus), live a sinless life and be brutally killed as a sacrifice to himself. But only those who believe in Jesus get to be with god after death. All unbelievers will go to hell where they will be tortured forever.

These are the options I can think of:
  • Doesn't exist
  • A hell being
  • A hungry ghost
  • An asura
  • A deva
  • A brahma
  • Sakka (Venerable Hsuan Hua taught that the Christian god was Sakka)
  • None of the above
I think bible is written by humans without seeing any other non human being. its based of imagination depending on emotion to make people live peacefully? I am not sure as I never read bible but I'm just speculating.
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
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Sam Vara
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:01 pm

KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:50 pm
I'm an ex-Christian who is now a Buddhist. I was involved in all three branches of Christianity over the years - Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.

I'm curious as to what other Theravada Buddhists think about the god of Christianity. Does he exist?
She might do. I guess it depends on what we conceive her to be.

befriend
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by befriend » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:55 pm

"Be still and know that I am God" sounds like God is awareness or Nama the knowing aspect of the mind. The bibles weird but there's a lot of universal truths in it. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Sounds like craving is the root of evil. The lord is my shepherd I shall not want. The only problem I have with practicing Christianity which I have dabbled in recently is that when you pray to Jesus your sense of self gets more solidified as opposed to being seen as impermanent.
Take care of mindfulness and mindfulness will take care of you.

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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:56 pm

It seems to me the one creator "god" of Abrahamic faiths is the combination of folklore, mythology, human constructs, and some descriptions of supernormal experiences with different Asuras/devas.

SarathW
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by SarathW » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:34 pm

I'm curious as to what other Theravada Buddhists think about the god of Christianity. Does he exist?
This is something like asking what is Nibbana.
You have to follow the Christian or Abrahamic Religion Path to understand God.
Whether Buddhist, non-Buddhist or Athiest we all follow the Eight Fold Path.
Only true Buddhist follow the Noble Eightfold Path to realise Nibbana.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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cappuccino
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by cappuccino » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:52 pm

you don't have to do only 1 religion

it's called syncretism

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Will
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Re: Who/what do you think the Christian god is?

Post by Will » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:48 pm

Sakka (Venerable Hsuan Hua taught that the Christian god was Sakka)

From an old thread at Dharma Wheel:

https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?t=27243
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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