Monday, September 30, 2013

Do You Believe in Karma?

Recently when a well-known college football coach was terminated from the university where he was serving, I began reading and hearing from a good number of people that, "He got what he deserved." Other phrases like, "What goes around comes around," and "Poetic justice" were also used. Listening to the radio I heard one sports commentator say, "I am afraid to celebrate someone else's bad karma, because I believe in karma and I don't want to suffer from bad karma myself."

My first response to the whole situation over the firing of the coach is that I should never be glad over the failure of others. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, why should I ever glory in someone else's loss? This type of attitude develops a warped heart and mind. I want to be like Christ. Christ wept over Jerusalem. He died for His murderers. He lives to sanctify sinners. Lord, help me to be like You!

But I also want to address whether or not one should believe in karma. Karma has its roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, and other ancient eastern religions that are false. It is the idea that certain actions and deeds precipitate cause and effect. While some of these religions teach that the "cause and effect" of karma is independent from any involvement of deity, the theistic views expressed by others basically say that "God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve."

The problem with karma is plain. The Bible teaches that God does NOT give us what we deserve. This is also known as grace. Although God is just and must punish the wicked in order to satisfy justice, God has extended His everlasting love through the opportunity of grace. While giving the Ten Commandments to Moses, God said about Himself, "...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:5-6).

There is no doubting the fact that actions have consequences. The Bible says clearly that, "Good understanding gains favor, but the way of transgressors is hard" (Proverbs 13:5), and, " sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). We could list a hundred more verses that deal with the reality of actions and consequences. But the problem with believing in karma is two-fold. 1. We are embracing a doctrine that has no root in God. 2. We are speaking for God when we say He is doing something that He has not necessarily revealed.

I am thankful that there is no such thing as karma. I am thankful that I am not coming back as something else in "another life." I am thankful for grace. God reigns far above the religion and concepts that men have invented. His love is everlasting. His truth endures to all generations.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

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