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Is Buddha in heaven?

Postby Horrible » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:08 pm

Supposedly the man lived like a saint, but he clearly didn't belive in god or christ at the time since 1)christ wasn't born yet and 2)jewism wasn't prevalent in China at the time. So, would he be in heaven or hell? Lived like a saint, advocated love for all living things, forgiveness, patience, virtues in general, but didn't believe in god. Similar can be asked a about other supposed good people that weren't christian, but none come to mind for me.
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Re: Is Buddha in heaven?

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:15 pm

First of all, the main thing you need to understand is that going to heaven has nothing to do with whether or not you are a good person or do good things. Those who have the nature of Jesus go to heaven, and those who remain in their sin nature don't. No one can earn their way. All of his virtues are meaningless to that end. So he wouldn't get into heaven by being such "a saint."

Secondly, since he didn't believe in God and was essentially an avowed atheist, that doesn't make his prospects look good. Ephesians 2 is pretty clear. Those who are "saved" are the ones who will see the "heavenly realms". Those who are separated from Christ, "without God in the world" are not reconciled and don't have access. Buddhists believe that religion has its origin in fear, and therefore the concept of a personal supreme being is at best unimportant, at worst an oppressive superstition. With that kind of "theology," it doesn't speak well for him gaining access to fellowship with God in heaven.

Third, people who died before Jesus was alive will be judged on different standards than those who came after. In the book of Romans (5.13), Paul says people will only be held accountable for the information they had and what they did with it. They will not be judged according to a law they didn't have, and we can also assume they won't be judged because they didn't know a person they had no possibility of knowing. There is a principal of reasonable accountability. According to Romans 5.13, people are not held accountable for what they had no possibility of knowing or knowing about. In Deuteronomy 1.39, the children who were too young to make a realistic decision are not judged, but are shown mercy; their level of accountability was directly related to their moral awareness. Isa. 7.15-16 teaches the same thing: God deals differently with people based on their knowledge. So we're getting a sense of the fairness of God, and that he takes many things into consideration as he makes his perfect decisions. So people who had no way of knowing Jesus because of where they lived, or people who were prior to Christianity, will be judged according to a fair standard.

Since the Buddha had information about God (Romans 1.20) but chose to deny that information, it doesn't speak well for him gaining access to fellowship with God in heaven.

Obviously God will be the only judge in this matter, but to answer your question, I would think not.
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Re: Is Buddha in heaven?

Postby Horrible » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:49 pm

Christianity hadn't even existed during Buddha's time, and jewism was non-existent in China and India at the time, so how would Buddha know of god without either of those 2?
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Re: Is Buddha in heaven?

Postby jimwalton » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:37 am

Gautama Buddha lived in about 500 BC in Nepal and India. He would have been well aware of theism via at least some strains of Hinduism. It's also possible to discern God through observation of nature and its patterns (regularity, order, complexity, balance, purpose, consistency, and beauty). He wouldn't have had to know anything about Judaism or Christianity to understand the probability of a God.


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