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– By Andrew Fisher

Forward by the Webmaster: I was very surprised when my new cyberspace Christian friend, Andrew from the UK, told me he was with Soka Gakkai for nearly 25 years! I asked him to write up his story. I meet Soka Gakkai people from time to time and can tell you they are some of the hardest people to share my faith in Christ with. For one thing, they try to proselytize me when I’m trying to convert them!

I have recently received the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart.

For almost 30 years I was a practising Nichiren Buddhist and a local leader in the UK of the lay Buddhist organisation Soka Gakkai International.

As many people are aware, Buddhism is a godless, atheist religion. To understand why I gave up being a practising Nichiren Buddhist and member of SGI we need to examine why I turned to Buddhism in the first place.

Until I was about 21 years old I was a Roman Catholic. Like many other young Catholics I had bit by bit relaxed my religious practice to the point where I never attended church regularly, took communion or made a confession. The pagan, maybe even Satanic, influences of rock music in the late 60s and 70s such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath had slowly entered my consciousness and had begun slowly, but surely, to dull the soft words of the Lord.

As a child I recall speaking happily and directly to the Lord about everything in my life. But now as a young man I found myself one day in the confessional box. As I confessed to some minor sins, the priest absolved me as usual and gave me a small penance of 10 Hail Marys. As I silently recited the prayers, I was struck by the ludicrousness of the situation. Here I was chanting away to the Virgin Mary while in my heart of hearts I no longer believed in a God. The steady chipping away of my soul by Satan had finally worked…at least for a while.

I thought that Nichiren Buddhism held the answers to inner peace for me and began many years of sincere practice. I began to notice as I taught many people about Buddhism that I was saying something that no other Buddhists said (or at least dared to say):

“If this practice fails to work for me personally, then I will immediately give up the practice of Buddhism.”

Nichiren Buddhism essentially believes that everything can be achieved (all earthly desires are considered as enlightenment)by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (devotion to the mystic law of cause and effect). The universe is subservient tho this law and adjusts everything in harmony with the desire of the chanting Buddhist. Little did I know that there were challenges ahead of me that chanting could not overcome. As I slowly realised this was the case I began to acknowledge that chanting had not achieved my “earthy desires”.

So what happened to me? Simple! Like Paul on the road, but less painfully, I woke up one morning and I believed again in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord had filled the spiritual vacuum. I was that little boy once again being talked to in a comforting way with his dear heavenly Father. A natural and painless rebirth had occurred in my heart.

Now I found that there was a power infinitely greater than I had ever known before. Jesus was alive!

Over the next weeks and months, as I walked about in my new body, I determined to ask as many people as possible about their experiences of the Lord in their daily lives.

One of the first people I spoke to was my dentist. He told me that his grandfather had been a Methodist preacher in Argentina. He felt that, although many professed to believing in Jesus, in reality they lived godless lives.

A local young Muslim man who runs a grocery store near my home in Marbella and who has trouble finding the monthly rent and health insurance for his sick mother and brother showed me a YouTube video he was watching the as I walked in to his shop. The video was about the daily life of Jesus.

An experience that affected me profoundly and showed me I was truly walking with Jesus occurred one day as I spoke to my wife. My beloved wife is a practising Nichiren Buddhist. She often talks painfully about losing her dear brother to cancer when he was only 12 years old. For the 34 years of our married life I have often watched the tears roll down her face as she talks about the suffering of her brother as he died and of the pain of her parents as they cared for him in his last days in this world.

For years, answering as a Buddhist, I often spoke about her brother’s karma and reincarnation. Now, as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the first time in all those years, the correct words came into my mouth: “Don’t worry, my love. Your brother and your mother and father are in Heaven now. At rest and at peace.”

Her face lit up and said, “Thank you for that.” For the first time in our years together, I saw a peace finally descend upon her.

Praise the Lord and thank you!

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About James Arendt

Born in 1950 and raised in Chicago Illinois, USA.
Served in the USAF from 1970 in San Antonio, Texas, Biloxi Mississippi, Sacramento California and Asaka, Japan and honorably discharged in 1974.
Became a full time missionary for Christ and served in Russia, China and Japan for 44 years and counting.
Lives by faith in God's supply with no fixed job or income.
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Comments

Why I left SGI and Turned to Jesus — 11 Comments

  1. Thank You for clarifying my answers. Yes, I have been convicted that you can’t do Christian and Buddist SGI and I have been confused with this because the SGI members have been telling me you can do both. I am born again spirit filled christian and I should know better because there is only one true God to serve and that is the Lord Jesus Christ and not serve two at the same time. I will not be deceived for you can only devote to one, and to me the devil will not lead me away from the father I serve. I must come back and be faithful in finding all the answers in God’s word and not serve any other. Be careful that in the end times many will fall away from God and be mislead.

  2. Nichiren Buddhism is demonic. I was raised Christian and it was so odd how I started chanting. I was approached three times and finally, I decided to give it a try. In the Goshos, which is like their ” Bible” , it mentions demons. In fact on the mandala, there are images of demons and SGI encourages one to chant to them and bring out the the positive or higher life conditions of the demons. First of all, anyone who is slightly spiritual will know that you go the other way , when demons are mentioned and accepted as some form ” god” in a spiritual practice. I started chanted in 2011 and by 2013, I had stopped chanting. The SGI leaders will tell you never to burn your Gohonzon, but that if you are to leave the practice, to return the scroll to the SGI. Well, in 2016, I finally grew the courage to burn the Gohonzon. I burned it along with the evil that it represents. Well, not even minutes, after I burned it, a coyote came to my door. I live by the mountains and never have I ever seen a coyote right outside my patio door. I chased it away. I have thrown away many of the books, I purchased from SGI and will keep throwing away any and everything I purchased whenI was a member of such a a terrible spiritual practice. It is demonic and as the Bible says, ” beware of the peacemaker. ” — The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy ” –John 10:10. There is only One true God and authority on Life and that is Jesus Christ. Not Nichiren and not Buddha. there is only one true living God . I have found peace in Christ and will not ever again depart from the teachings of the Bible.

  3. Leave from SGI , it is not the wAy to have a healthy fulfilled life; I burned the gohozon. I believe in One God and that is JesusChrist.

  4. I was inroduced to Sgi back in February 2010 by a then boyfriend . I chanted with the district members and was told that they were impressed how strong sounding my daimoku was! For someone who has never heard of NMRK and the practice,I guess I chanted and pronounced every word with zero difficulty. Immediately I was made to sign a membership form and was told I will be receiving my Gohonzon. They told me that it is a very rare occasion in a person’s life to encounter the gohonzon.
    Of course I was left with no choice but to be on my boyfriend’s good graces and so I joined and started practicing and chanting twice a day. As the months went along,I just chanted and attended meetings.2 years after i started my practice,my boyfriend started to show his true colors and started treating me with a lot of disrespect and belittling.
    I could not believe that a man who has been in the practice years can be such a manipulative self serving person! I continued practicing in spite of what was happening in our relationship just because.I started questioning why the practice seem to justify selfishness and wrongdoing done this man to me by saying that it is my karma and I have to overcome it! It left me with many doubts about the practice and questioned myself why I allowed this man and the members to make me sign that membership form and to start chanting more and more and to hold on to false hopes? I was raised Catholic,went to Catholic schools,but was not a “practicing” Catholic for years. I took it for granted,but now, I am considering to go back to being a Catholic once again. I found Sgi Buddhism to be a self centered,godless practice that justifies immoral ways and wrongdoing.I find it too uncaring and only concerned about reading Ikeda’s writing!

    • Dear Libby, thank you for sharing your experiences with us! I too was raised a Catholic and so was the person who wrote the article you commented on. Organized religion cannot compare with a direct relationship with God through His Son Jesus that is based on His Word in the Bible! It was only after reading the Bible for myself that I understood what true religion is all about. The Words of Jesus showed me the truth!
      How would you like me to get you in direct touch with Andrew Fisher who is the author of the article? He may be able to help you by sharing in further detail how he found the truth after leaving SGI.

    • This is what the author of the article has to tell you:

      Dear Libby,

      Thanks for your comments on the article I wrote Why I left SGI and Turned to Jesus. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience with SGI and I can only imagine that Jesus needed to steer you away from SGI and Nichiren Buddhism as quickly as He could to get you back to Him. The reason I rejected Nichiren Buddhism was because Jesus called me to Him. As Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone should hear My voice and open the door, then I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” In other words, we are literally called by Jesus today just as He called His Apostles so many years ago. I would urge you now, dear Libby, not to return to the Catholic Church but to start a personal one to one relationship with Jesus and to seek out other Born Again believers in your local community. God bless you always.

  5. I consider myself a Christian and Buddhist.
    First I was baptized a Christian and knew the commandment that Jesus left us: Love your neighbor. Then I met the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra (NMRK) as a path to liberation from suffering.
    So I think both teachings are complementary, and I believe in both teachings, Christianity and Buddhism.

    • The Bible says not to make any graven images. I see them at every Buddhist temple in Japan. The Bible teaches that salvation is through faith alone in Christ alone, not chanting a prayer over and over again. Sorry but I do not see how both teachings can be complimentary unless you compare Buddhism to Roman Catholicism. I would agree with you there, but not if you compare Buddhism to the Bible.

  6. Chanting Nam myoho renge know is not magic it is simply a tool to raise our life state to take the right action it is not Magic, sometimes it takes years to overcome and change obstacles and when the circumstance are right they do change. It’s all about the causes we make and the effects that take place. sometimes your early desires can be so wrapped up in delusion that maybe what you desire isn’t the best thing for your life. I was a Christian for 34 years and I have been a Buddhist for 7 and what has majorly changed is taking responsibility for my actions! Also accepting that I am a Buddha just as I am. I do not look outside of myself for answers it is all up to me and what action I take and that is hugely empowering and even when I’m in the midst of huge difficulty I know that it will change. The truth of the matter is none of us knows about after life what I do know is that our life force continues because scientifically it makes sense to me.
    Here are some interesting finds:
    One of the main differences between these two philosophies perhaps, is that “God” has a personified character in Christianity (and is referred to by a male indication),
    while in Nichiren Buddhism the “Universal Law” has non-personified character,
    (having also both male and female qualities).

    Christianity considers the spiritual aspect of life as the Ultimate Truth (God) whose existence is independent of the Universe. On the other hand, Nichiren Buddhism considers the Life of the Universe as the Ultimate Truth, having inseparable aspects: physical (matter) and spiritual (mind). The visible aspect of one’s current life and the dormant aspect of one’s future death are both inseparable phases of one cycle, eternally repeating. Based on this understanding of “Life” as the ultimate truth in Buddhism, the following may give a glimpse or a quick view on corresponding concepts in Buddhism and Christianity:

    Despite diversity of religious views, SGI literature maintains that it is possible to find the common thread of agreement between all religions. This can take place through creating a tendency for interpretation of various doctrines based on the perspective of ‘common humanity’. Humanism can offer a uniting rather than dividing approach for people in their search for spiritual life.

    “Everything in the universe, every plant and animal, every rock, every particle of matter or light wave, is bound by laws which it has no choice but to obey. The Bible tells us that there are laws of nature—“ordinances of heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 33:25). These laws describe the way God normally accomplishes His will in the universe.
    God’s logic is built into the universe, and so the universe is not haphazard or arbitrary”.

    The abovementioned Christian view comes very close to the Buddhist perspective on existence, a perspective which integrates the two concepts of “God” and “Law” into one existence of the: “Eternal Life”:
    “Life at each moment encompasses the body and mind and the self and environment of all sentient beings as well as all insentient beings in the three thousand realms, including plants, sky, earth, and even the minutest particles of dust. Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena and is revealed in all phenomena’. WND1 p 3

    Whatever you believe in as long as you are happy and are practisicing for self and others and are a decent person it doesn’t matter what you practice.

    • This is a reply from the author of the article, not me, the webmaster:

      Buddhism is nowadays an atheist philosophy. If you believe in a God then you cannot say that you are a Buddhist. If you believe in a God then you cannot simply deny him. During my 30 years as a practising Buddhist, I can honestly say that I was also an atheist. However, I awoke one day last year and suddenly believed in the existence of God and hence our Saviour Jesus Christ.

      That Nam Myoho Renge Kyo works for millions on a daily basis is evidence that God allows it to work.
      If Gautama (Shakyamuni) or Nichiren Daishonin had known Jesus then I believe they would have had no need to formulate the practice of Buddhism at all.

      As a humanist philosophy, Buddhism attempts to answer many of the problems faced by millions today. However, it is a luxury that we cannot afford in the world we live in now. The pains and sufferings of the world can only be removed by the one who created the world.

      Heaven and Hell are realities in Buddhism as well as in Christianity. The main difference is that both places are clearly defined in the Bible and are no more then vague concepts in Buddhism.

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