Rev. Ted Na Thalang
LHF Coordinator for Southeast Asian projects
In general, it’s part of Thai culture that to be a good Thai, you have to be a Buddhist. Growing up in Thailand, I was taught to appease the spirits and try to do good works so good things would happen to me. Thai people are very afraid of ghosts and evil spirits.
Inside Thai Buddhist homes or properties, there need to be images of Buddha or of Buddhist monks. Some people have many images so they can feel more secure. One will protect against this; the other will protect against that.
Buddhism is a life of work, work, work, and trying to do good things. You’re never really sure whether you will receive blessings from that. It’s a big burden at the end of the day, not knowing. The yoke is heavy.
But in Christ, we have freedom! He lifts off the bondage and gives us the freedom to really live our lives without fear of all those bad things. He gives me joy and confidence in what I do, because it’s not what I do – it’s what Christ did for us, that He died and rose again. Wow! That’s a great religion. Who wouldn’t want it? It’s a free gift!
This is God’s message for the Thai and for all Buddhists, found in the books LHF translates and publishes: Jesus Christ broke the cycle of karma. Now, eternal life can be ours through faith and baptism. I don’t have to do anything to earn my karma or my salvation. Christ has done it all.