...pure religion travel blog

i had a very humbling thought today after i witnessed a buddhist monk reach under his robe and pull his cell phone from its holster to take a call. as i watched him, i was thinking "isnt his goal as a buddhist monk to rid himself of desire? he sure doesnt appear to be doing that." after all, a cell phone is certainly a material thing to be desired. i had also seen monks taking pictures of each other with digital cameras or wearing fancy hiking boots.

at that moment, i was guilty of questioning his devoutness (?) by observing his behavior and deeming it "not very buddhist". i realized these thoughts are judgements made by a western'er who is ignorant of the lives these monks lead and the beliefs they hold dear. it also dawned on me that i have been in that monks shoes - or hiking boots. i have had discussions with people who discount the truth or validity of the christian faith by finding fault in a person who claims to be a christian. "he cant be a christian if he does that, christians arent supposed to act that way." well, that simply isnt true. not all christians behave the way the bible instructs them to behave. i think this opinion comes from a lack of proper understanding of christianity. it is sad that many people are turned off to Christ by the behavior of a believer (even if some of them are just looking for the slightest reason to call christianity false - which is where i found myself when observng the monk). it should motivate us, believers, to act the way the bible instructs us. Ghandi was asked about christianity and said "i like their christ, but i dont like their christians." that cuts deep.

when i realized how the tables had been turned, i was grateful and just had to laugh. i couldnt believe it. i hope that these experiences continue to expose the dark side, so that it can be brought to the light.

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