Jay Rogers
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Former Buddhist Student Leader Becomes Christian

By Editorial Staff
Published January 2, 1989

Editor’s Note: Samuel Autman, a journalism student at the University of Missouri in Columbia, was once a student chapter leader in a growing sect of Buddhism known as Nichiren Shoshu American. Nichiren, which emphasizes world peace, boasts a membership of 17 million world-wide with half a million in America.

I’m Samuel Autman, a 22-year-old native of St. Louis. I want to share how the true and living God delivered me from Buddhism.

I had searched high and low for the “perfect teaching,” until finally I discovered a group of Buddhists who seemed happy. This sect believed that by chanting a specific phrase everyday, humans can experience true happiness. I attended one of their meetings and discovered that they were average people who chanted this single phrase rhythmically. The leaders told me to not believe in the chanting, only to try it and see what kind of results I got. I was instructed to make a list of things and chant to see if it worked. This was the measure they used to test the validity of any teaching.

Amazingly, I started receiving an incredible amount of material gain. I began to chant everyday and waited excitingly to see what kind of results I would get. I chanted for two years before I became a Buddhist. I joined the group in 1985 and got an altar, prayer beads, incense, and candles. I also received a ‘gohonzon,’ a scroll written in Sanskrit, which was my object of worship. The leaders told me that my gohonzon was a “driver’s license” to my own destiny, and that the power was in writing the chant on it.

Immediately after transferring to the University of Missouri I started a Nichiren Shoshu American chapter. I cultivated a membership of 20 students by going out on campus and encouraging people to chant so they could become happy.

Ultimately these chanters hope to attain world peace through individual happiness. I had gained a car, money, and jobs, supposedly from chanting. But I had no peace. I seemed confident, happy, and on top of things. But I would wake up at night screaming for help, and no one ever knew.

Meanwhile, I kept running into born-again Christians. When I spent my summer in Birmingham, Alabama, I met a Christian college student who said that she was praying for me. I hated her. When I returned to school, I met another Christian, Jim. He and I had two classes together so we decided to work on a project. I had no idea he was a Christian.

One night I called Jim and he answered, “Maranatha Christian Church, this is Jim.” My first response was to hang up. This must be a mistake – Jim is a nice guy. How could he be involved in that! I figured I’d study with him anyway just for laughs. He couldn’t do anything to me … all he could do was pray. What good would that do?

We completed our projects at the Maranatha house and I was impressed by the gentleness of the Christian young people there. Jim began to witness to me about holy living and walking with Jesus. Something happened inside of me. Jim spoke with such conviction and sincerity, and he never made me uncomfortable with harsh words. He later told me that he had been praying for me, and I became painfully aware that I was worshipping a false god.

I skipped an international Nichiren conference to attend a Maranatha church service that Sunday. I was impressed by the college students praising God! I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit and confessed Jesus as my Lord. Immediately after the service, I burned my altar, the false god, and about $200 worth of Buddhist literature.

When the Buddhist leaders heard that I had became a born-again Christian instead of going to the conference, they were furious. I had been taught that the gohonzon was the epitome of life and if I burned it, my life would be gone. Within that same month, the regional directors drove to the campus to visit me and to encourage me to continue my chanting. However, I’ve continued to walk with God.

I wrote a letter to all of the leaders telling them about my conversion and the deception of Buddhism. I’m now writing a tract in hopes that other students won’t fall into the deception that I once was in. I am free to serve the true and living God. He that the Son sets free is free indeed!

Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » On Campus

Your comments are welcome!

If I was ever convinced that Buddah was real, your tstimony did it for me! For years, I thought that being a christian would solve my mental problems. However, after having a near stroke in church, I realized that these cliche conversions have nothing to do with my walk with a living breathing Buddah that gives a damn about me!

Posted by Jerilyn Bridges on 05/25/2009 10:09 PM #

The Buddha was never a god, so you can’t expect him to save you! You can’t trust Buddha! You can only trust the ALMIGHTY GOD! Even according to the Buddhist texts the Buddha is not a mighty being. And remember, Buddha is DEAD! He’s been dead for thousands of years now, but God is ALIVE!

Posted by Ted Leonard on 04/26/2010 01:51 AM #

Burning an altar is not common sense and common sense is what Buddhism is all about. “One who refuses to seek the advice of others will eventually be led to a path of ruin. A mentor helps you to perceive your own weaknesses and confront them with courage. The bond between mentor and protégé enables us to stay true to our chosen path until the very end.” Daisaku Ikeda

Posted by Zelda on 07/16/2010 11:59 AM #

Buddhism is a false gospel led by satan and demons, and like a woman told me 22 years ago, only Jesus will lead me to eternity in Heaven, Buddha will lead me to a horrible agonizing eternity in hell!! Praise God for your freedom!!!

Posted by Joseph on 09/30/2010 02:40 PM #

@Jerilyn Dude, you don’t know what Buddhism is! Buddha never claimed to be God, he was only a teacher. True Buddhists don’t even claim to know the creator of this universe. It’s very impersonal. What they claim to know about is karma and the cycle of rebirth, which can be broken by achieving “enlightenment”.

I’m a Christian, and I learned this in just an hour right now while doing late night surfing on the Internet.

Jesus is the most trustworthy path, and true Christianity doesn’t involve any set of rules or rituals, barring the Ten Commandments. All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ, and you’re free. It’s ironic how people in the western world regard Christianity as the most strict belief system there is (no thanks to the church), when really it’s actually the easiest and most freeing.

Posted by Paul on 01/29/2012 04:35 AM #

My son was in prison and became a Buddhist and he started meditation. Once he began meditation he started hearing voices and supposedly peoples thoughts? The voices never stop and he is suicidal because they won’t stop. I admitted him to the mental hospital tonight. What are the voices? How does he stop them?

Posted by Tana Choate on 04/16/2013 03:13 AM #

Textile Help

The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

The Forerunner Channel on YouTube

Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...

View My Stats