Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What is Karma? Do Christians believe in Karma?

What is Karma?
Karma derives itself from Buddhism, back in 1827, and is related to the notion that, 'what goes around comes around'. Dictionary.com defines karma as an action that is, 'seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation'. Often we view karma and unintentionally define it as, 'What you bring to a situation, whether good or bad, will be brought back to you in a round about way'.

Do Christians believe in Karma?
The definition of karma, according to the above statement refers to bringing upon oneself results either in this life or in a reincarnation. Christians can flatly deny the latter part of that statement, as Christianity does not hold to a view of reincarnation, in the sense of coming back to life as a different being, or someone of a different substance or even an animal. From my point of view, karma in the sense of attempting to change circumstances in the now, that will inturn affect some sort of reincarnation in the future, is not biblical and not a sound philosophical argument.
Lets consider karma then from the former part of the statement, in relation to bringing upon oneself particular outcomes, whether good or bad, in this life... Can we justify that Christians believe in karma? The Christian Calvinist would argue that we do not have the free will to bring about particular inevitable results, that rather, it is the Sovereignty of God that predetermines the circumstances we find ourselves in. If we consider not only the Reformed Tradition viewpoint and think about other Protestant theological beliefs, there are questions worth asking, like:
  • Is it karma, if we give financially to people around us, and then God blesses us back with finances?
  • Is it karma, if we sin, and then there is judgment based on that sinful act?
  • Is it karma, if we treat our brother well, and then people treat us back in a kind way?
The big difference between the buddhist teaching of karma and Christianity, is that Christians believe that Almighty God (Yahweh), is the one who allows there to be reward for goodness, or punishment for wickedness; and God is the one that blesses humanity with the cognitive ability for us to love our neighbours and treat others with respect and dignity. It is not some altered state of reality conjured up by merely doing some sort of internal meditation, but rather the fact that life has a Creator, who is involved in creation, and through Jesus, people can choose to turn away from their own lives, put their trust in Jesus and follow him and then journey with Jesus to see where life goes to! 

Your thoughts?

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  1. will.. 7th in charge at sons of adam.November 30, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    basically, I think it is a bigger version of do unto others....you know the rest. fundamentally the same. Cheers

  2. will.. 7th in charge at sons of adam.November 30, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Basically, I think it is fundamentally the same as the do unto others speil.


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