Author Topic: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents  (Read 10354 times)

satir

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Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« on: June 26, 2011, 06:41:55 PM »
I hope you can help with this dilemma.

I have been reading about buddhism recently. I have often thought about becoming a Buddhist as I believe in karma and have always loved animals and all other living things. My parents and family are all Christian. They have always believed that I have been Christian all along, even though I have been atheist for a longtime. I told my parents that I want to change my religion, and they are going crazy.

I don't know what to do now. Its as if I'm being told off for having my own opinion.

MyDigitalpoint

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 06:37:02 PM »
Parents are supposed to understand and support your decisions, but if it's not that way simply follow your heart because we have the right to make your own decisions and decide the pathway to follow in life.

Jeff Wilfahr said, "You choose with whom to associate, you choose your creed, you choose your politics; ... These choices each of us make as humans."

My family is Catholic and it was expect I would be Catholic myself, but at age 15 I was kinda atheist too. Therefore I felt the need to seek a spiritual pathway capable to fulfill my inner needs. I tried Buddhism so many other religions too, until I found I could be pagan and take the best of all them to build my own creed.

Go ahead if your heart says Buddhism will bring you the enlightening you are looking for, and talk to your parent about your freedom of choice. If they don't understand at first, sooner or later will do it unless thy are fanatical Christians.
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qiwoman

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 03:24:00 PM »
Faith is something of personal choice but alos with it comes the understanding and tolerance that perhaps others, who mainly fear chaince including parents might always not see eye to eye with what we percieve as real and true to us. The more I delve deeper into faith, the less and less I put a label on it. I think that when you go to your parents just enjoytheir company and keep your own faith more private. Show it more in your compassion and udnerstanding than in an outward display of ritualistic expression. Most people who are set in their ways find it harder to accept their kids changing as they fear it will take their children away from them in more ways than one. It is an insecurity issue more than even a faith issue. There are many sides to being a Buddhist or Christian or Hindu or Muslim and in this case all you need to show is the side of Avalokiteshwara or the Compassionate One. Just accept their reaction for now and soak it up, don't fight it. Eventually it will wear off as long as you can show them the love and Compassion that comes with becoming enlighjtened on a specific path.

WordGoddess

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 10:22:33 AM »
Your parents are probably afraid that you'd turn into a totally different person and stop being the person that they raised and loved all these years.  Be patient with them, and in the process of trying to make them accept your decision and understand Buddhism, remember at all times that it's only your welfare they're concerned about.  I'm sure it'll help if you explain to them that being a Buddhist is going to make you a better person and cite which specific areas of your life are going to undergo the biggest changes. :)

zararina

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 02:00:59 PM »
I guess you are old enough to decide for yourself. As long as your new chosen religion would make you a better person, i can not see anything wrong about it. I believe that we just call God in different names but it is still the same God who created all.

catowoman

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2011, 10:44:57 AM »
I would also say follow your heart. Change is sometimes viewed differently especially when your love ones would see a drawback. Like I always believe, religion should not be something to be argued about but a way to understand one another. Better explain to them why you are choosing to be a Buddhist but still with respect to their religion. Sometimes their disapproval is cause by having no knowledge of what you believe in. Let them know of the light that you see. If they won’t listen or turn their back, give it time. Anyway, eventually they would see it in your practice how your chosen faith helps and guides you as a person and then, hopefully, they would understand and accept.

R. Paradon

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 06:45:21 AM »
Faith is something of personal choice but alos with it comes the understanding and tolerance that perhaps others, who mainly fear chaince including parents might always not see eye to eye with what we percieve as real and true to us. The more I delve deeper into faith, the less and less I put a label on it. I think that when you go to your parents just enjoytheir company and keep your own faith more private. Show it more in your compassion and udnerstanding than in an outward display of ritualistic expression. Most people who are set in their ways find it harder to accept their kids changing as they fear it will take their children away from them in more ways than one. It is an insecurity issue more than even a faith issue. There are many sides to being a Buddhist or Christian or Hindu or Muslim and in this case all you need to show is the side of Avalokiteshwara or the Compassionate One. Just accept their reaction for now and soak it up, don't fight it. Eventually it will wear off as long as you can show them the love and Compassion that comes with becoming enlighjtened on a specific path.

That is a well though out reply.  If a person is "forced" to go the church of their parent's there is no problem with that.  Learn all you can and you will find that Buddhism will just enhance your life.

Sandra Piddock

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 10:51:16 AM »
You say you have been an atheist for some time, which means you have not been inspired to belief, and now you feel you have found a belief system that reaches out to you. It is always better to have something to believe in, so I would agree with what others have said and, rather than fight your parents, acknowledge that they cannot support your decision and just learn more about Buddhism and take the principles to heart.

I am sure you will be much happier, and when your parents see this, they may come to accept and respect your choice. Just remember that it is your choice, and be true to yourself.

jackydragon

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 12:06:39 PM »
I hope you can help with this dilemma.

I have been reading about buddhism recently. I have often thought about becoming a Buddhist as I believe in karma and have always loved animals and all other living things. My parents and family are all Christian. They have always believed that I have been Christian all along, even though I have been atheist for a longtime. I told my parents that I want to change my religion, and they are going crazy.

I don't know what to do now. Its as if I'm being told off for having my own opinion.

Tell your parents to build a bridge and get over it. Christianity is their choice and if they don't like your choice perhaps they need to understand what it is you are choosing before going crazy. If they cannot be bothered understanding the Buddhist way then perhaps they might have to review what unconditional love is....that is supposedly taught by Christians.

gjkrtaew

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 02:18:47 AM »
My parents and family are all Christian.They have always believed that I have been Christian all along, even though I have been atheist for a longtime. I told my parents that I want to change my religion, and they are going crazy

R. Paradon

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 04:50:39 AM »
Tell your parents to build a bridge and get over it. Christianity is their choice and if they don't like your choice perhaps they need to understand what it is you are choosing before going crazy. If they cannot be bothered understanding the Buddhist way then perhaps they might have to review what unconditional love is....that is supposedly taught by Christians.

Hi jacky!

I have to laugh at your first line!  Telling a persons parents to get over it is not really going to work or in line with Buddhism!  Although compassion does not mean to simply go through life with no feelings towards self, and to be a pushover, there are many ways we can blend in with life. 

Atom Splitter

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 12:08:07 AM »
Rather than to feel at odds with your parents, you may wish to discover points of agreement that you share with them.  After all, Buddha and Jesus Christ were both benevolent figures.  The Bible says "meditate on the Word day and night", and the Gospel of John clearly identifies Jesus as the Word (which is also equivalent to Love).  Buddha's form of meditation, while avoiding intellectual sophistication, is surely grounded in Love.  People certainly don't revere Buddha for his powers of hate.  Love is something we should all be seeking to build up in one another.  I think that all of the unnecessary details that burden adherents of religion can often prevent the true and free expression of Love.

DiminishingInsanity

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 08:03:12 AM »
If your parents are concerned that you will burn in hell for your transgression into Buddhism, tell them that Jesus never preached about hell. Most of the Bibles coming out today have omitted the word "hell" entirely.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 09:24:54 PM by DiminishingInsanity »
Namaste

IsabelleChan

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 04:36:06 PM »
I understand how you feel. It must be really hard for you to confide in your feelings to your parents since you are born and raised in a Christian family. Most of my friends follow their parents' religion but I don't think you are wrong with having your own opinion. No one actually knows which God really exists. I'm an atheist myself and even people with religions differ from each other. So I think it's definitely a good thing for you to choose your own religion to believe in, and you'll have to confront your parents for that. No direct clash is needed, but a heart-to-heart discussion will be great to let your parents know how you actually feel. Make sure you tell them that it's neither their responsibility nor their fault for failing to turn you into a Christian, it's just you are more drawn to other religious beliefs and happened to have formed your own. Good luck on that!

writer811

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Re: Becoming a Buddhist with Christian Parents
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 09:55:09 PM »
Buddhism can't really be considered as a religion. There are no gods and no one set path towards enlightenment. Buddhism is more of a philosophy or lifestyle than a religion. There are Christian buddhists, atheist buddhists and Muslim buddhists. The whole philosophy boils down to this; Seek knowledge, be respectful of others and be happy. That's all you need to do to be a Buddhist.


 

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