Buddhist gods embraced by church
Sep 28, 2011
LAGUNA BEACH Prayers for compassion filled the Neighborhood Congregational Church this week, taking the form of an intricate sand painting and a butter sculpture.
Buddhist monks from the Gaden Jangtse Tsawa monastery in Southern India visited the Laguna Beach church to share the culture of Tibet and their artistic form of prayer.
Last year, a group of monks from a different monastery also created a sand mandala, a sacred design that represents a prayer. It was an interfaith experience that proved fulfilling to church members, pastor B.J. Beu said. This year, the monks also are working on a colorful butter sculpture, which is an offering to a god.
“To have them in our sanctuary blesses our worship,” Beu said, adding that he was personally inspired by the monks' commitment to prayer.
I am certainly a peace advocate, and I do believe that we should love and show kindness to Buddhists and all other religious groups. However, I find it difficult to believe that we ought to bring Buddhist gods into the church and then claim that their gods bless our worship.
Dr. Stephen Jones