Are there many paths to God? It is common to hear people say:
· "I believe God taught that we can get to Him through a variety of paths, and the Buddha taught His followers one valid path."
Buddha's religion was very different. His goal was Nirvana not heaven. Here's what he said about it:
· “Nirvana is the area where there is no earth, water, fire and air. It is not the region of nothing at all, nor the border between distinguishing and not distinguishing, nor this world nor the other world; where there is neither sun nor moon. I will not call it coming or going, nor standing still, nor fading away nor beginning. It is without foundation, without continuation nor stopping. It is the end of suffering.” (Tripitaka)
In Buddha's Nirvana, we do not even retain the self. "We" are just one amorphous consciousness.
Besides, Buddha taught that we'd get there through mind-action control:
· "This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration."
All the religions of the world require us to be worthy of God or Nirvana. However, Christ became worthy for us, coming down to reach us where we are at, rather than expecting us to become worthy for Him, an impossibility:
· For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin [while He died on the Cross] who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Consequently, salvation – forgiveness and reconciliation with God – is an absolutely free gift:
· For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
To believe that we can attain to God is to embark upon a path of frustration, discouragement, and despair. If instead, we blind ourselves to our true lowly and broken status, we will become proud and arrogant and will look down on others who haven’t made it. Only in Christ can we experience that satisfaction of arriving without the arrogance of superiority.