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Bringing Eastern Spirituality to the US


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#16    ChloeB

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 05:08 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 02 July 2013 - 05:38 AM, said:

Yes, Christians don't mind breaking the law if it gets in the way of God's work.


Which is also why they think they are entitled to complete ignore and disregard separation of church and state.  You may think this idea of sneaking missionaries in where they aren't wanted is a positive thing, but that mindset has repercussions that extend much further and lead to negative consequences.

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#17    Paranoid Android

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:07 AM

View PostChloeB, on 02 July 2013 - 05:08 PM, said:

Which is also why they think they are entitled to complete ignore and disregard separation of church and state.  You may think this idea of sneaking missionaries in where they aren't wanted is a positive thing, but that mindset has repercussions that extend much further and lead to negative consequences.
I'm all for separation of church and state.  This is a secular world, we should allow it to be run under secular rules.  The Bible even supports this by telling us to obey earthly authorities.  However, the command to preach the gospel to all nations overrides that, so if a country makes it illegal to preach, then breaking the law is warranted.  In the same way as hiding Jews during the Nazi regime was breaking the law, but many Christians did it anyway.

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#18    Frank Merton

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:39 AM

Those who self-select to become missionaries tend, in my experience, to be an unfortunate group, with a bit of a persecution complex, a lot of arrogance thinking they are doing "God's work," and of course the self-righteousness I already harped about.

I fully understand that making proselytizing illegal is an infringement of freedom of religion.  So also is making human sacrifice to the gods illegal a similar infringement.  To be sure, one is a worse offense than the other, which is why the penalties are more severe.  The point is all rights have limits and these limits are largely up to the authorities to set.  If they find that an activity is disruptive to the society, they have not just the right but the obligation to restrict it.


#19    redhen

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:44 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 02 July 2013 - 04:42 AM, said:

I've noticed this pattern also. Eastern philosophy is becoming popular as society moves away from religiosity. Possibly it's a palatable alternative to atheism as people turn away from the Christian majority.

A pattern I've also noticed is that in Eastern countries such as China and Vietnam, Christianity is on the rise ...

Any unfamiliar religion and associated culture could hold an exotic attraction. But I think large scale immigration to the West has played a big role. Here's some pictures from various temples in Toronto.

The Taoist Tai Chi center just north of the city.

Posted Image

They adhere to all big 3 native religions in China, that's why the Guan Yin statue is there.


The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple

And this Amazing Hindu temple. There's no steel in it, all stone. It's as if it's been transplanted from India. Check out the exterior and interior galleries.

Posted Image

Oh, and here's a Buddhist temple in British Columbia, another beauty.

Posted Image


Posted Image


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#20    Frank Merton

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:52 AM

Thanks for the pictures.


#21    third_eye

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:25 AM

I love the really really old temples and its such a shame that many are now being 'brought up to date' with new renovations ... if they must, cant they at least 'restore' them to its former glories ... I hate seeing the modern electrical appliances humming away in some corner ... it just seems so out of place.

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#22    redhen

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:23 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 03 July 2013 - 08:25 AM, said:

I love the really really old temples and its such a shame that many are now being 'brought up to date' with new renovations ... if they must, cant they at least 'restore' them to its former glories ... I hate seeing the modern electrical appliances humming away in some corner ... it just seems so out of place.

That's a shame. If they can build new "ancient" temples in Canada, why can't they maintain the genuine ones in their original home lands?


#23    third_eye

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:04 PM

View Postredhen, on 03 July 2013 - 11:23 AM, said:

That's a shame. If they can build new "ancient" temples in Canada, why can't they maintain the genuine ones in their original home lands?

Thing is 'craftsmanship' is a lost art ... and the old ones can't work as well and is mostly retired ... and the young contractors ... they just can't be bothered I guess.
Not to mention the really talented ones are all head hunted out throughout the world ... funnily enough to the middle east mostly ... the carpenters, carvers, the tilers ... masons

Here in Malaysia even the gazetted Historical structures needs the foreign laborers to fix them up ... from the original homeland ... like China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh ... and more recently Myanmar who got themselves into a mess with the unrest there spilling over here ...

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#24    White Crane Feather

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:28 PM

Aaaaaa yes the spiritual pyramid scheme. Missionaries did great damage to the native Americans. Indeed missionary activity has been a dark blight on the world. To think that going into a country to convert people away from their traditional spirituality is considered a positive thing.

Missionary activity has always been the leading edge of political infiltration, invasion, and unrest. Every single native culture that has embraced missionaries with open arms and friendship has regretted it. One only has to look at history.

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#25    Frank Merton

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:39 PM

I have to say in all honesty that I love all sorts of religious architecture except those Mormon things.


#26    ChloeB

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:45 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 03 July 2013 - 03:07 AM, said:

I'm all for separation of church and state.  This is a secular world, we should allow it to be run under secular rules.  The Bible even supports this by telling us to obey earthly authorities.  However, the command to preach the gospel to all nations overrides that, so if a country makes it illegal to preach, then breaking the law is warranted.  In the same way as hiding Jews during the Nazi regime was breaking the law, but many Christians did it anyway.

Excuse me, no, it is NOT anything like hiding the Jews from the Nazis, they were keeping people from going to camps and being killed and tortured.  I just can't even believe you made that comparison.  Your sneaky missionaries are just going to gain followers and convert people.

You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.
― William W. Purkey

#27    White Crane Feather

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:54 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 03 July 2013 - 01:39 PM, said:

I have to say in all honesty that I love all sorts of religious architecture except those Mormon things.
In my experience they are nicer and more tolerant than most Christians. I have had many Mormon clients over the years. I like them very much. Only once did I get a respectful invitation to a temple. At least the Mormons for the most part are disciplined. I find this aspect laking in other religions. They also have a solid plan, vision, and leadership. They also take care of each other. There are very few unemployed Mormons, and you can be sure that there is a wealthy Mormon business owner who has a Job waiting.

They are as a culture also fiercely loyal and committed people.

I suspect Mormonism will spread into the future, and although I could never agree with their spiritual assertions, most Mormons live happy, strong and prepared lives. If I were to choose a religion based on what it does for its people Mormonism would be a fine choice.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#28    Frank Merton

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:59 PM

I'm talking about their architecture, not about Mormons as people.  I don't like their buildings -- all that whiteness and a tall spire with an angel blowing a trumpet on the top.  What a visual cliche!


#29    Frank Merton

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:06 PM

The pictures posted above of various North American Buddhist and Hindu architecture got me to thinking about it.  With maybe the exception of Caodai stuff in Vietnam (gaudy and reflecting an excess of Tao influence but still in its way wonderful in its galloping exuberance), Asian religious architecture is profound and varied and beautiful.

So is Islamic architecture, especially its colors and shapes (where the ban on depicting living forms brings out a need for use of geometrical imagination that is wonderful).  Obviously no one would ever question European Catholic architecture -- it is beyond that.  Even more modern church types like those of the Quakers or the simple New England-type spired churches are wonderful in their directness and sobriety.


#30    Paranoid Android

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:09 PM

View PostChloeB, on 03 July 2013 - 01:45 PM, said:

Excuse me, no, it is NOT anything like hiding the Jews from the Nazis, they were keeping people from going to camps and being killed and tortured.  I just can't even believe you made that comparison.  Your sneaky missionaries are just going to gain followers and convert people.
We are taught to spread the word.  And while I personally don't ever think I have what it takes to be a missionary (call me too worldly, if you like), those who do feel it part of their calling.  Jesus called us to preach God to all people.  That doesn't stop because an earthly organisation decides they don't want it.  I understand the differences in the analogies presented, but in theological terms, is it that much different?  The Nazi's only killed the bodies, those who die without God have to worry about their souls????!!!!!!????

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