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  • Ron Smith, M.D.

Into The Buddhist Mind

Dave and Laura Percy spent some fourteen years as Ethnos360 missionaries in Thailand. After returning from there, they created a unique event to expose the reality of life and thinking in the Buddhist world. It would be great to say they saw tremendous response among those hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. In reality, they saw only a half-dozen converts.

Why was the gospel so poorly received? The most effective defense against truth is a falsehood as close to it as possible. That is why Buddhism is so effective. Its captivating efficiency lies in the central dehumanizing goal that each individual should feel nothing. Knowing pain means they will likely have to return and live again having not reached nirvana when they die.

Nirvana simply means existence without feeling anything. In actuality, it means non-existence. Everyone lives their life to be worthy of reaching nirvana and thus feeling nothing.

Quite recently, there was an uncharacteristic armed attack on children in a daycare. The Thai struggle is not just the loss of the children, but that they feel the pain of the loss. For a Buddhist, this is not acceptable. If they feel pain, they will not reach nirvana.

The Thai mission field is hard. That means we must be ever more persistent in making disciples there.

"What an eye opening experience it was to hear Dave Percy speak at our church to give us insight into the mind of followers of Buddhism. Of the major religions of the world, Buddhism is the one I knew least about. Because of the vastly different way in which a Buddhist perceives the world, traditional methods of Western evangelism are not effective strategies to reach them." -- Gail Arnold

For example, the concept of lying is not wrong to them because they do not wish to appear foolish or lose face. So they will not readily admit to not understanding the gospel and, because Buddhism attempt to counterfeit Christianity in many ways, they will say they agree with us.

For them, life is just a repeated cycle of reincarnation until they get it right and cease to exist. What a challenge it is to share the truth with one who thinks in this way. For this reason, we need to be in fervent prayer for the young missionaries from HOP who will be going to reach such a people group.

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