January 18, 2021

Dalai Lama, Marcion and Adolph Hitler

April 20, 2011
By James C. Stephens

I just opened a pdf someone sent me about the Dalai Lama’s visit to University of Arkansas in Fayetteville this May and read another take, from someone who claims to be one of us, a Christian lecturing us on how great the Dalai Lama is. My background?  I seriously practiced Buddhism for fourteen years (1970-1984) and converted fifty four individuals before my conversion to Christianity in 1984 during the Summer Olympics here in Los Angeles. Here’s the text regarding the upcoming visit of the Dalai Lama to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, by Lowell Grisham, a local “Episcopal” priest,

“I know that there will be some in our community who will decry the visit of the Dalai Lama, that he can only be false and lost because he is not a Christian. Some will even go so far as to imagine that their God would condemn a loving, compassionate person like the Dalai Lama to eternal hell and punishment simply because he is not a Christian. That’s a monstrous notion of a genocidal tribal god. Why would anyone believe in a god who is less moral, than they are?”

Stephens’ response:: No doubt, Mr. Grisham you may have studied heresies in the early church while in seminary. Your statement about “a monstrous notion of a genocidal tribal god” provides further proof that ancient heresies have not disappeared, but are moving back into the mainstream church with all their accumulated heretical baggage. Adolph Harnack, a German theologian agreed with Marcion when he suggested in the 1930’s that it was time to throw out the Old Testament. It made Adolph Hitler very happy. Marcion was declared a heretic as it did not square with Holy Scripture.It was Jesus Christ of Nazareth who said in the New Testament, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).”

Grisham: “For a day, it will be a joy to sit at the feet of one of the great religious sages of our lifetime. I expect to hear the Dalai Lama speak of many of the same values that I treasure as a Christian, but I hope to hear of them in the fresh, less familiar language and metaphors of Buddhism. In the language and metaphor of my own tradition, I expect to see Christ manifested in him, as I see Christ in so many other people of good spirit.”

JCS: The prophet Isaiah proclaimed a warning to God’s people,  “O My people! Those who guide you lead you astray, and confuse the direction of your path.”  (Isaiah 3:12b). A beginning religions student would recognize that you are preaching Hinduism as they believe in avatars and that everyone is a christ, or Krishna, or Brahma. It appears that you’re a disciple of Clark Pinnock’s dogma. In any case it is troubling to us as orthodox believers in Yeshua, Jesus Christ of Nazareth as you seem to proclaim your special private label brand of pluralism, publicly and profess to be a Christian. If you had honestly expressed your doubts, anyone can live with that. I understand why it is that Buddhists are confused about Christianity. If the messenger is confused, so is the hearer. Reminds me of the old Television game show, To Tell the Truth. Q: Would the real Jesus please stand up? I’m Jesus, No I’m Jesus, No I’m Jesus.”

As one great wise King once said, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its  path leads to death.” I’ve studied the Dalai Lama for over twenty one years and I’d recommend doing a bit more homework about your guest.http://www.worldviews101.com

Finally, I recall a difficult experience I had confronting a UCC pastor in California who publically issued a statement in the Pasadena Star News that he was going to take Buddhist vows and continue on as their pastor. We were shocked as he likened himself to the great reformer Martin Luther. Sadly, he believed it.  Recently,  I  watched a program on one of the major networks that focused on pastors who were  preaching from the pulpit every Sunday in this nation, but without faith.  Some of them  had enough spiritual integrity to publicly admit their doubts and leave their post.  It may be that you have come to the crossroads where you will need to seriously answer the question, “Who will you serve? Baal or YHWH?’


James C. Stephens



About jstephens

James C. Stephens was a graduate of a Buddhist Study Academy and a Buddhist leader for fourteen years (1970-1984). In 1978, he married Elizabeth, a Jewish Buddhist at a Buddhist temple. Following an accident in Japan in 1981 while on a Buddhist pilgrimage followed by an intense three year spiritual search through various other faiths and practices, James and Elizabeth made the decision to become disciples of Jesus Christ. James graduated in 1999 with a MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller School of Intercultural Studies and in 2010, launched http://www.worldviews101.com/ which offers a twelve week course "A Christian Perspective on the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism."

He and his wife enjoy Landscape architecture, gardening, making kombucha and kefir, film, screenwriting, literature, and music.