News & Stories


Buddhist Relics

Recently a student at my seminary asked me about the 100,000 Thai Buddhists who had made a pilgrimage to a temple near our seminary in Chiang Mai to worship purported small pieces of bone left from the cremation of the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha 2500 years ago. These relics of the Buddha which are said to have miraculous powers were flown in from India and are being displayed in all parts of Thailand. I’ve explained to my students that unlike all other religions, Christian believers do not have to make merit by making pilgrimages to sacred sites. Nor do we have sacred relics to visit since God knows the tendency of man to venerate physical objects. I do encourage believers to visit Israel if they have a chance and I have been deeply impacted by visiting many sites there. However, as Christians we can worship God in any and every location. What’s more, Jesus was physically raised from the dead and ascended to heaven and thus we do not need physical aids such a religious relics to worship but instead are told to worship God “… in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
The dangers of pilgrimages to sacred sites to worship idols is well documented in the Old Testament account in 1 Kings 12:26-30, where Jeroboam set up gold calves in both Dan and Bethel. Gideon made an ephod which became an object of worship and eventually had to be destroyed (Judges 8:27). In 2 Kings 18:4 the bronze serpent (Nahushtan) of Numbers 21 also had to be destroyed because it had been a snare to the Israelites for over 800 years. Pray that instead of seeking merit by making a journey to a sacred site, that Thai people will begin a seek the Lord Jesus and begin a spiritual journey towards the one who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Written by Larry Dinkins

Larry Dinkins is an OMF missionary serving in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Among other things, Larry teaches at the Chiang Mai Seminary.

Share this post

Get Involved

Have Questions? Send us an email.

To help you serve better, kindly fill all the fields (required). Your query will be routed to the relevant OMF team.

Contact Form

By clicking Submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with the terms in our Privacy Policy.

You’re on the OMF International website.
We have a network of centres across the world.
If your country/region is not listed, please select our International website.