Karma and Christianity- Oil and Water- Just Words

Every now and again something will continue to catch my attention. Not really button pushers for me, just something that I cannot let stand.

 

In our culture and society, people have been building up common phrases and figures of speech since speech began I assume. I too have been one to use a figure of speech from time to time. However, I often wonder how much thought goes into the words that come out of our mouths. I mean, are we really thinking about what we are saying with the words that we are using?

 

Many times certain words or figures of speech may seem harmless or even simply something silly to say, when if researched, one might find the origin a bit offensive and the original meaning rude or even vulgar. Let’s take for example the seemingly popular style of men’s pants for example. The particular style I have in mind are most of the time really nice clean pants. The problem is that either the fitting room mirrors are broken or the manufacturers are not capable of making a size that covers the rear end of these gentlemen who purchase said pants. Yes I am aware that men and boys who wear their pants this way do so because of some cool factor or style. Not willing to accept the true origin of that particular style as coming from prison inmates making a statement to other inmates that I won’t go into at this time.

 

I digress. Also, I will get to the point. Often I notice on social media or even in person, believers attributing some event that happened to karma. Each time it makes me wonder if the person even understands what karma is and how it works. Do they know that it is a huge part of the belief system of the Hindu and Buddhist religions?

 

karma

ˈkärmə

noun

 (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

    • informal

      destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

 

 So on the surface level of these conversations, there seems to be a basic understanding with most people that karma is simply, what comes around goes around. For example; if I do something bad to my neighbor, something bad will be done to me at another time. Sometimes, this idea is even tied to “the golden rule”. You know, treat people the way you want to be treated. Although this seems like a nice thought, and makes sense on the surface, what is really being said?

 

Notice the actual definition from the dictionary. It states that the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. That means that the reality of karma is rooted in the belief in re-incarnation. Meaning basically, the way a person behaves now will dictate what will happen to them in the future and in other existences. Now if a person is a Buddhist or Hindi, well then karma is what it is all about.
However, for the Christian I don’t see how this idea of karma fits into who we are and who God is. After all if we believe in the creator God who is Lord of all and King of all, then how can we put so much faith in a person’s past actions to dictate or even have authority in any part of our lives. Sure, there are consequences and rewards for good and bad behavior and the whole cause and effect theory has some merit. Most of the problem lies in the idea of “previous states of existence.”

“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14

” Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,”– Hebrews 9:27

 

Karma is all about getting what is coming to you based on your previous actions. Christianity has something called grace. Grace is escaping what you have coming to you because of the actions of Jesus. We cannot live in the grace of God and accept as truth the ideas of other religions whose beliefs are drastically different from that which is found in the truth of God’s word. God will not be mocked.

 

“yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” – 1 Corinthians 8:6

 

I conclude that irresponsible use of words and phrases, although possibly used in jest but most of the time not, if they do not honor God are in fact sinful. I say that because even in James’ writings we see that the tongue is a double-edged sword. Guard your words that you do not harm yourself.

 

The truth is, words have meaning. None of us have the right to change the meaning of a word. We must accept the meaning of the words we choose and then choose the words we mean. In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say. Especially if you say that you are a Christian.

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