Sharing the Gospel with Buddhist

In my recent post about sharing the Gospel both Laura and Paul comment with some interesting real life examples.  Laura touched on some of the things I’ve thought about when looking to put together some type of servant evangelism projects.  As we reach out as a church to build and help people out in some way how are we going to share the Gospel?  Are we even going to share it?  Is the evangelism part missing if we dont’ share the Gospel?  I agree with Laura that we need to say “something” when were helping hurting and lost people.

Paul called into Greg Koukl’s program Stand to Reason explaining how he talked about Christ to two women on an airplane.  That’s a very bold move considering just how close you’re stuck with those folks for the remainder of the flight.  It was an awesome story though.  Listen if you can. 

I want to share something that recently happened to me.  I am recalling this the best I can since it happened about two months ago.  It was a normal Wednesday at the office.  I had my Bible sitting on my desk in my office and one of my new co-workers dropped something off to me and noticed it.  She asked if I was a Christian and I said I was and that I was going to Bible study that night.  Then she had a few questions for me which lead to an interesting conversation which I was able to take to the Gospel.

She started to ask me if I liked a certain popular book whose title she was trying to remember.  I stopped her and asked her if she was religious and she said she was buddhist.  Then I told her that I wanted to guess which book she was talking about.  I guessed Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life and she was amazed that I got it.  She asked me how I knew.  I told her I would get to that in a moment.  I asked if there were any others and she mentioned a guy who is on TV alot and a female “preacher” who is also popular on TV.  I correctly guessed Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer.  Her eyes got really big and she asked, “How did you know?”  Since I was batting 1000 at this point I thought I should explain.

First, I made sure what I understood she believed as a buddhist in doing “good” to others and such.  I asked her about denying herself in order to then reach the stage of nirvana which exalts the self.  She chuckled and told me she doesn’t really follow buddhism that precisely, but she did believe she should try to do good to others and it would come back to you.  Karma, I think it’s called.

So now I’ve laid the ground work so I told her my secret.  I told her that I guessed those folks because they are popular and that they seem to have a message that basically says what she believes as a buddhist.  She agreed and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t appreciate their “ministries”.  I clarified with her that Rick Warren isn’t exactly in the same category, but that many have claimed that PDL would fit.  Our conversation on PDL was that the book made her feel good and motivated.  But it did not motivate her to move toward Christ.  I mentioned that moving toward Christ should be the purpose of a pastor writing a book about life.

I then explained to her that what she hears Meyer and Osteen preach about is being a good person to better yourself.  And why you don’t hear is about sin.  She nodded in agreement.  I had to then explain that I am not against doing good in the world and treating others well, but that I do those things only to live for Christ.  I explained that all of our good works can never get us into heaven and that only through Christ can we overcome sin because He overcame it for us.  I told her that the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of what God expects and requires of us.  I asked if she has heard Meyer and Osteen teach that?  She hadn’t.

As our conversation was coming to a close I explained what the Bible says about Christ.  First, by telling her that as a Christian the Bible is what I am to follow regardless if things like sin make someone feel bad.  And that I can talk to a person in a kind way about it just as I was doing with her.  We went through how babies are sinful as seen in their selfishness without being taught.  Explaining that we are all sinful and that on our own we cannot make it to heaven.  I asked if she’d ever heard those folks talk in this way?  No, she said.  I went on to tell her that only by Jesus Christ, God the Son, the Son of God, dying on the cross for sinners like she and I, defeating death and being resurrected to life on the third day can anyone be saved through faith in Him and His work on the cross.  I said that God calls all to repent and believe in Jesus Christ and only through Him standing in our place came we be forgiven of our sins and live eternally with God. 

She didn’t repent and believe, but we’ve had this conversation once more.  I still need to find a good book to suggest she read.


in Culture,Evangelism

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeannette Hudson December 1, 2006 at 8:03 pm

Brian Flynn has a book that may help. Running Against the Wind. He tells of his experience in “spirituality” and gives examples in Buddhism, Hinduism, New Age, etc.. and how he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and realized the truth behind all that “spirituality, ie. Satan. It certainly helped me as a Christian to be able to understand where these beliefs are from and how to communicate Christ to the unbeliever. He also shows how this “spirituality” is infiltrating the church through Rick Warren and others.
I recommend it highly.
Jeannette Hudson

2 Janai Marshall December 16, 2006 at 12:29 am

There is a similar book that i recommend by Ravi Zacharias called “Jesus Among Other Gods”. In it he gives his testimony about his upbringing in Hinduism, the transformation of his life upon salvation in Jesus, and a thorough cross examining look at the major religions and bibical Christianity. Very well done book!

—J. M. Marshall

3 TimG December 31, 2010 at 10:47 am

A good book, I recommend you give her a bible. The seed has been planted, watch it grow in good soil.


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