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Hoa Hao

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Dao Hoa Hao or Hoahaoism is a modern Vietnamese religion whose founder is  Huynh Phu So.

To start with there are several problems within this movement such as their identifying themselves as Buddhist when they disregard traditional Buddhist values with its past history of violence as an armed group with an emphasis on Vietnamese nationalism.

It also preoccupies itself with the importance of “self” making it a completely different creature or perhaps at best a distorted hybrid to Buddhist thought and philosophy. Moreover what sets it even farther apart from the earliest and most reliable forms of orthodox Buddhism is that its followers pray to and worship the Buddha even though Siddhārtha Gautama himself was atheistic in his belief and by his own admission as a supposed enlightened individual has disqualified himself as being removed from any kind of honorary role towards deification.

Another controversy with Phat Giao Hoa Hao or PGHH is that their leader whom they classify as a prophet made a series of prophecies about the political future of Vietnam in which He said that the “true king” would return to lead Vietnam to freedom and prosperity, which caused most Hòa Hảo at one time to support the idea of Marquis Cuong De as becoming their emperor which never came to pass. According to the present day expectations of this prophecy it is awaiting the avatar of Huyh Phu So to come to earth which like Marquis will only prove to be no more than wishful thinking. In summary this is a very common theme among many new cults and religions as having millenarian and apocalyptical ideas to emotionally rally people around a concept and a person towards a brighter future yet without any real sustenance or basis for their beliefs which continually leads to failure not fruition towards these numerous end time counterfeit movements.

Questionably when a small religious fringe group overconfidently declares themselves to having the answer to ultimate reality with a localized or marginalized mindset within a gargantuous world and universe then this should be a red flag of warning as it denies the transcendency of God as limited to such a small spacial time dimension as representing a minute portion of all life throughout all ages of time. Thus it will behoove any individual as to look beyond themselves, their community and their country as to obtain a higher knowledge with a more universal application to reality. To do otherwise may only lead one to succumb to the proverbial saying of creating a god after their own image and likeness which is really only a god of their imagination and thus no god at all. Conclusively if we find ourselves faithful to just to our little part of the world then we can simply become infected with an epidemic of a localized religion which medicates itself as dulling the senses towards obtaining a cure to a religious dilemma as becoming susceptible to the local peddler who markets their fraudulent snake oil remedies.

Anyway there are also various psychological factors and benefits that makes this movement attractive or alluring to having emotional and social attachments without consideration for objective reality. To begin with it is regarded as a common man’s religion instead of it being an elitist sect of monks as a pragmatic approach to salvage religion. This inclusiveness is an opportunist and entrepreneurial way of doing religion in making it more accessible to the masses without the commitment of it being a full time monastic order or career. So in essence it is a very practical approach for the working and married person who can have the best of both worlds in regards to a religious devotion while maintaining a secular position in life without all the painstaking rituals that can be both time consuming and expensive. Thus it is driven to reach a target group through the means of popularity versus truthfulness as to find a philosophy with the ingenuity of adapting to the felt needs of others apart from objective truth. Thus it becomes a religious pilgrimage without the right road map as providing a vehicle that accommodates the average driver with the hopes of arriving at an unfounded and fictitious final destination.

Moreover the dilemma to such a journey comes when they find something like this that seems to scratch their itch with a subjective form of relief as possessing a unique treatment to cure their hurts and pains. However it becomes malpractice and quackery when they are offered a feel good prescription when there is no evidence to support its healing claims.

The other factor that further complicates this crisis or ailment is that it has established its own religious support group to counsel and encourage, through like minded philosophy, in giving the illusion that they are special as an elect or chosen group of individuals. This helps to satisfy a sense of identity through an ideology with the chief goal of giving them security and comfort as to make them feel better about themselves and the life they lead. The danger of this self affirming witness in sharing these mutual goals and dreams is the danger of shutting oneself off from the voice of the outside world through selective listening as only paying attention to those who tell us what we want to hear so as not to leave us vulnerable to our doubts and fears. This defensive approach for survival may be a coping mechanism in life but does not necessitate the truthfulness of ones condition.

Anyway the predicament comes as realizing that truth is independent of personal tastes or choices and is beyond our control as it works alone much like how certain natural laws behave regardless whether we are ignorant or disbelieve them. Thus an authentic seeker should be willing to face and follow the facts in allowing truth to become the agent of revelation as leading oneself on the right path even if it is in the opposite direction in which you are going or intend to go. In other words we should not have a need to be right about our beliefs but rather what is right should direct the way concerning how we think.

So a good starting point would be to take a serious look at the credentials of an organization and then search for the real motive to why you may adhere to such a religious framework of thought. You might even ask your self if you would be willing to change if you knew you were wrong. I think these are some of the preliminary steps in recognizing a fallacious belief system.

In closing mankind is made innately or consciously aware of the superlative reality of God through the moral compass of the soul and by means of the created order in leading to a general revelation about God however this witness or process was never meant to abandon us in giving humanity permission to develop a random religious expression or path as putting god on a leash. Rather this knowledge was intended to be instrumental in guiding us on the journey towards a fuller revelation of God apart from any localized venture which I think can be summarized through an intercontinental phrase with a  “God so loved the world” motif.

Which leads me to my next point as showing how Christianity which began as an Asiatic and Eastern religion has transformed the landscape of our world by embracing many people groups as to reach every tribe, tongue and nation through a tangible relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Therefore I am sending you a link of my personal testimony and that of many others who have been radically changed and personally touched through the powerful ministry of Jesus who removes all guilt and shame from our lives through his work of redemption and who call us to freely receive the gift of His salvation according to the outworking of His mercy and grace. These testimonies are about a freedom of which Christ has set us free in paying our debt which we could not fully pay thus securing for all who call upon his name an inheritance of eternal life.


Acts 2:21

21  And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’


My testimony with Jesus


In conclusion it is Jesus who is portrayed as the King of kings and Lord of lords, 1 Timothy 6:15, who will one day return and finish His redemptive work as ridding the world of evil and the evil one in establishing His kingdom on earth as He reigns as the Prince of Peace in bringing salvation and prosperity as to benefit mankind.


Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”




How to have a relationship with God

How to know God

Other links




Religions of the world: a comprehensive encyclopedia of beliefs and practices/ J. Gordon Melton, Martin Baumann, editors; Todd M. Johnson, World Religious Statistics; Donald Wiebe, Introduction-2nd ed., Copyright 2010 by ABC-CLIO, LLC. Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2007