Karma is a major concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism. It is NOT Christian. There is nothing about it that is Christian. According to the concept of Karma, if you do good things then good things happen to you. You do bad things and bad things happen to you. Karma is selfish. It isn’t about love. Christ is about love. If you are a Christian, you do good things because it is a reflection of Christ living in you.
The rock legend, Bono is a Christian. One of the reasons he does what he does is not for Karma, but because it is a reflection of Christ’s love in us.
“…My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don’t let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is. God is love, and as much as I respond [sighs] in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that’s my religion. Where things get complicated for me, is when I try to live this love. Now that’s not so easy….”
Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of the legendary evangelist Billy Graham, describes Karma as cosmic score keeping, which is not Christian. It is a form of Hinduism. I don’t know how much you know about the Hindu religion, but I prefer the love and kindness of Christianity. Hindu karma is entirely selfish. You give and you get. Christian love is about Christ. Christ taught love for his sake, not for ours.
It is no secret that the past few years have not been kind to me. Quite frankly, I’ve been living in financial hell. One of the cynical things I’ve learned is bad people seem to come out on top, and those of us who are good and decent seem to get the shaft in life. I’ve watched the people who cheated my father prosper, while we truly suffer.
“…On the opposite end of our natural tendency to moralize life and suffering stands the counter-intuitive affirmation of Christianity. Christianity affirms that Jesus severed the link between suffering and deserving once for all on Calvary. God put the ledgers away and settled the accounts. The good news of the gospel is NOT that good people get good stuff. It’s not that life is cyclical and that “what comes around goes around.” Rather, it’s that the bad get the best, the worst inherit the wealth, and the slave becomes a son (Rom.5:8)…”
This is where Christian forgiveness must rear its truly annoying head. Forgiveness is a bitch. Forget about karma being a bitch. Forgiveness is the real bitch. According to Christ we will be forgiven of our trespasses or sins as we forgive others. To me, that is the most terrifying thing in the entire Bible. For me to be forgiven, I must forgive. There are some who try to state that this passage, along with those who live by the sword die by the sword are all about Karma, but it isn’t. It is about turning the other cheek, and letting God do the dirty work for us.
I’ve been hurting. I’ve thought about all the people I’ve helped over the years. I think about my parents, and the good things they did for others. My father always loaned people money. He especially liked to loan money to people he did not like and wanted them to leave him alone. His theory was the best way to get rid of someone was to loan them money. They will avoid you rather than pay you what you are owed. (It was a joke of his). My parents always did for others. They almost wrote the book on Christian love and doing for others, who couldn’t possibly repay you. My mother specialized in helping those who were alone in their social circle, making sure they knew someone cared. They specialized in taking people out to lunch or dinner
If karma existed, the people my parents helped would be willing to help us. The people my parents wined and dined would do the same for me, when I need it most. This isn’t about karma, it is about a total lack of Christian kindness, compassion, and love.
According to Adam Crownoble, karma is not about mercy, love, or kindness. It is about helping yourself.
“…A key element of Karma is the idea that if you help someone in need, you are not really helping them because you are preventing them from paying off their bad karma. The Bible, however, teaches that we should love our enemies and do good to those who wrong us. Christ taught us to love all and to bless all, through outward expression of love. Karma on the other hand teaches its follower to only be concerned with himself. The purpose of good works is not to bless others but to do good works for personal gain in the next life. This type of Karmic good work is like the homeless man who washes your windshield to get some money out of you. His good works are not done out of benevolence, but out of his own need/greed.
Jesus stated that He did not come for the healthy but for the sick. Karma, however, is for the healthy. Christianity teaches that the first will be last. It lifts up those who are in the most desperate state. Karma’s function is quite the opposite. Karma suppresses those in need and exalts those who are already exalted….”
One of the problems we have today is that we live in an information world. That’s good. We should learn about other religions and philosophies. But, we need to have a strong grounding our own, in order to understand what is Christian and what isn’t. I think we would spare ourselves quite a bit of heart-ache if we do. Sure, I bitch and moan about my problems, but I understand it has nothing to do with punishment. It is about life. Life can suck, big time. Over the years, a tremendous amount of superstition has managed to find its way into the lives of even the most devout Christian.
Prayer is a strange thing. So is faith. I’ve had such interesting advice over the years, about how I’m praying, my attitude, or even sin which has not been confessed. I’ve heard about multi-generational curses, the sins of the fathers, and I swear, how we enter in to prayer. Prayer is a God thing. If we believe all things work for the good of those who love the Lord, then we suck it up and deal with the shit of life.
Like the bumper-sticker says, shit happens. It is not some great cosmic karma conspiracy. It’s just life. The solution is how we deal with the shit of life. My cousin Linda is amazing. She’s been handed more than her fair share of problems. Her attitude and her faith make me ashamed of how I deal with life. And no, she did not cause her problems. Karma says she should have, but like my situation, it just happened.
Karma is a bitch in that the concept enables a Christian to rationalize not behaving like a Christian. It enables Christians not to express love, and charity. Rather like tough love, if a person is going through financial hell, karma states that the person deserves it. Tough love then allows the selfish Christian to come up with a reason not to help those in need. It also enables them to but conditions on their so-called charity.
Maybe they need to remember the tale of the prodigal son.