Wednesday, January 08, 2003


On what do you base your belief system? Apparently a number of folks look for spiritual insight and inspiration from Richard Gere and Tina Turner. Buddhism and other Eastern religions have been on the rise in large part because various celebrities have signed on. The value of celebrity adherents is evident with such kook 'religions' as Scientology, which has Tom Cruise, John Travolta and that model of stability, Priscilla Presley in its stable.

What these human philosophies have in common other than Hollywood star power is a promise of personal control over one's life. Now I'm in favor of personal responsibility and all, but what we see here is a desire to in charge, to be the center of the universe:
Gidget Hawkins of Kansas City, Mo., converted from Christianity more than a decade ago, inspired by her grandmother.

"She had read about Buddha, and all I can remember her saying was that chanting will bring whatever one wants in life," Hawkins said.

"What strongly attracted me to Buddhism was its teaching that we have the power to change our lives," she said. "I also liked the emphasis it placed on one taking personal responsibility of his or her life.

"I used to look upon other people, including my family, to steer my life. But Buddhism has taught me that I can determine my life direction."

The appeal of the gospel is that man is an utter failure in determining his 'life direction'. We need direction from Jesus Christ. That doesn't do a lot for man's vanity; the core of the Bible is humility before God, not 'self-actualization'. As Paul tells us 'that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many that no man may boast before God.'

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