One Sunday morning I was headed to my office and I turned my radio on and the announcer said the song coming up was Amazing Grace by Tramine Hawkins, my first instinct was to cut the radio off but I decided to be objective and listen to the tune. After listening to the tune chills were running down by body and I got a rush. I said that I must write a Buddhist lecture about this famous Song “ Amazing Grace”. Amazing Grace is a song that is not only the heart and Soul of the African/American Church the song Amazing Grace is synonymous to the Christian religion . The song Amazing Grace is perhaps the most noted and famous Christian spiritual hymn in the United States of America. This famous song has transcended almost every culture in the American Christian religion. The African/American church taunts this song as its greatest spiritual Hymn. Other American cultures play this song at funerals using bag pipes, while the old time Southern Baptist have their version of this song. Most Christians would list Amazing grace as the most or one of the most important songs in the Christian Religion.
When it comes to the song Amazing Grace in the Black Church, Amazing Grace is the Signature Song or the song that is the foundation of the Black Church. In almost any Black Church in America if song properly, Amazing Grace will bring in the Black Church to “tears and jeers.” I do not have a very strong background in the Black Church but I would always remember this song and many in the Church would begin crying and often shouting. I could never understand why the old people would cry and shout when this song was performed. Whenever there was a funeral and this song is played the bereaved family will be guaranteed to go into hysteria. I wonder what has happen to be because I can really appreciate this song if song by certain people.
The question now becomes how a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist can lecture on the song that is the foundation of the American Christian Church? In researching this issue I listened to version of the song by Whitley Phillips, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and other versions of this song that has been performed by almost the entire top singing artist in the world and this song does invoke emotions.
This great song “Amazing Grace” is the pinnacle of the Christian Religion but such an idea is a great counter to the teaching of the “True Buddha” Nichiren Daishonin. This great song is like a collision course of two freight trains running into direct opposition to each other.
Amazing Grace A Buddhist Lecture
By Anthony "Amp" Elmore
John Newton a Slave ship Captain wrote the Famous Christian Song Amazing Grace