Our cohort had the opportunity to sit at the feet of a Buddhist monk this afternoon. He taught about how the greatest obstacle is our ‘monkey mind’—that is, how our mind is always swinging from place to place. The discipline of meditation, he explained, allows us to begin to control our monkey mind.
Earlier in the day we visited the Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC) headquarters and got to talk through their vision for ministry in Burma. It was an incredible experience—they appear to have such a healthy view of the Gospel and church. Two of their six mission points had to do with MBC’s interaction with other faiths:
My experience at the Buddhist Monastery and at MBC headquarters left me wondering about interfaith relations. Many of my fellow students have spoken about how surely God won’t reject the Buddhists who are so adamantly trying. Yet Buddhism appears to me to leave no space for the need of God—my limited conversations have given me the impression the religion is a solo pursuit of enlightenment that involves helping others and self-discipline but ultimately is a path people take by and for themselves.
Does the work of the Gospel of Christ need more workers or more surrender to our need for God? I’m honestly not sure. It seems to me there is a place for interfaith relations—I am open to dialoging and learning from others as well as teaching them. Perhaps there is even a time to work alongside them. I can see how peace has a greater hope if we are able to work together. Yet at the same time I truly believe the answers to the world’s problems can be found in none other than Christ. Only He can free us from sin. Only He can lead us to life to the full.
My mind swings back and forth…God help me as I meditate on this.
My joy is to see followers of Christ actively engaged in using their gifts, and blazing trails in effectively reaching the world with the transforming power of the gospel. As a servant leader of Christ’s church, I want to do for others what my leaders and mentors did for me: facilitate that transformational connection between life on the ground and scripture/theology.
I see the Christian faith as a journey, a way of life. Many people can affirm that “church” is the people, not the building, but were that to become a reality in how we actually function, the church would be transformed. I’m fond of using the designation “follower of Christ.” As I read the gospels, the essence of the call of Jesus is action: going, sending, doing.