Both Christianity and Buddhism are saying that the pattern of transformation, the pattern that connects, the life that Reality offers us is not death avoided, but always death transformed. In other words, the only trustworthy pattern of spiritual transformation is death and resurrection.
We were largely taught what to believe instead of how to believe. We had faith in Jesus, often as if he were an idol, more than sharing the expansive faith of Jesus, which is always humble and patient (Matthew 11: 25), and can be understood only by the humble and patient.
If God can use a woman with seven devils and a murderous religious zealot to be his primary witnesses, then we had best ask, What were they witnessing to? It was not just some new ideas, it was a new lifestyle, a life energy, a worldview that really believed in “liberty and justice for all.”
Nonattachment (freedom from full or final loyalties to man-made domination systems) is the best way I know of protecting people from religious zealotry or any kind of antagonistic thinking or behavior. There is nothing to be against, but just keep concentrating on the Big Thing you are for! (Think Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa.)
Privatized salvation never accumulates into corporate change because it attracts and legitimates individualists to begin with.
The crucifixion of Jesus—whom we see as the Son of God—was a devastating prophecy that humans would sooner kill God than change themselves. Yet the God-Man suffers our rejection willingly so something bigger can happen.
Christians are meant to be the visible compassion of God on earth more than “those who are going to heaven.” They are the leaven who agree to share the fate of God for the life of the world now, and thus keep the whole batch of dough from falling back on itself. A Christian is invited, not required to accept and live the cruciform shape of all reality.