How to flip your Karma

KARMA is the notion that we all get what we deserve. If that’s reality, we’re all screwed.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, if the concept of a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye is real, the whole world would be toothless and blind.

At the opposite end of the spiritual spectrum is grace – God’s free gift for the undeserving. It’s a gift of love that can take us by surprise.

Grace is the notion that God gives us what we don’t deserve. And doesn’t give us what we really do deserve.

It’s radical and shocking for many people because it upsets the “natural’’ balance in which we believe something good we have done in our lives merits the good things that come our way.

It also encourages the thought that those who act badly can get off the hook too easily. It sounds like a miscarriage of justice.

If something like karma is powerful, we are captive from birth by the hand dealt to us from a celestial pack of cards.
From a Christian point of view, it is not the major factor in our lives.
God’s grace, if we let it in, cancels every debt; every shameful thing in our lives.

Grace is free, but it’s not cheap. It works best when we acknowledge the source.

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12 thoughts on “How to flip your Karma

  1. As you sow, so shall you reap. The concept of karma can be found in various bible passages. Reading outside the bible, tnere is the idea that our mistakes cause us unpleasant lessons, our success in learning them brings reward.

    Because initially we make many mistakes, are slow to learn, we need (according to this theory) more than one lifetime for our lessons. Even in a single extra life there may be too many unpleasant lessons to bear, and God’s grace metes out a few and defers the rest for again another lifetime. In the meantime, our learning successes can ameliorate those future unpleasant lessons.

    Whatever, there is a lot more in the balance than our ‘good’ or ‘bad’ actions in our present lifetime. God’s grace is real.

    The book ”Reincarnation for Christians” makes very interesting reading, but I can’t remember the author.

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    • Thanks Strewth for your contribution here. Some months back, Bryan’s blog tackled the idea of Reincarnation and Karma, after some discussion of it took place in our postings.

      It appears to me that in contradiction to Bryan’s description of the Doctrine of Reincarnation and Karma being a ‘doctrine of despair’, it is rather fundamentalist Evangelical Christianity that promotes a doctrine of despair. It is indicated in the Gospels that the path to heaven is straight and narrow, with FEW finding it. Despite the much touted huge numbers of Christians in the world, and the numbers of new converts, only a small minority of those numbers are actually true Christians after all we are warned. And as a corollary to that, it is only God Himself who knows each individual’s heart, and thus no-one can be certain of the state of any other individual person’s soul. What an incredible waste of human souls is suggested with the vast majority heading for hell.

      That doesn’t sound to me like a Gospel of hope, at all. Evangelical Christians claim to be very sure about the specific qualifications needed in order to be saved; and all sorts of traps and failings determine the status of the individual in God’s eyes. I think of my own dear old dad. Sure, he was a very devout and revered Protestant Lay Preacher who lived very much in accord with his ideals. This part of it would be hopeful, as one might say. But he was also a devoted high ranking Freemason and that would totally damn him in the eyes of many Evangelicals. Also, with regard to his brand of Christianity, he was never what might be described as an Evangelical preacher. So you never heard him delivering sermons of Salvation, – of Heaven and Hell you might say. But sure, he did point the way towards Christ, and I have no doubt whatsoever about his devotion there.

      Now in the eyes of Evangelicals, would he be seen as ‘saved’ or not? He died as he had lived, presumably in a state of Grace. But was he damned for not conforming to the demands of all the Reformation Bible message? If he, like loads of other apparently good faithful Christians cannot be slotted clearly and with certainty into the heavenly rolls of the sanctified, then just what sort of hope and conviction can any of us have about whether our loved ones have succeeded in ‘getting to heaven’? Just what hope or expectation can any bereaved relative have concerning their departed intimates? Simply no guarantees! I recall Monica’s interesting comment on this, was that she carried a conviction that the God would simply be fulfilling what is right in regard to each departed soul.

      But anyway, with the traditional huge multitudes of the unsaved being kept out of heaven, how can that be any doctrine other than despair? For me, Reincarnation and Karma make much more sense, and offer a deeper message of hope, of reuniting with loved ones either in the intervening heaven world, or in future lives. Oh and no sense there of Reincarnation preventing the thief from ‘being with’ Jesus after the Crucifixion. Jesus didn’t indicate that the thief would be in paradise non stop with him for all eternity.

      cheers, Rian.

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      • But reincarnation does not remove sin, Rian.

        “Jesus commissioned the apostles to teach and preach the Christian faith. In Heb. 9:27 it says, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” This verse alone shows that reincarnation is not true. Also, reincarnation negates the necessity of the Cross because reincarnation teaches you can have different lives in which to try to “get it right.” Not so in Christianity. According to the Bible, God gives us one chance to escape the clutches of sin and damnation. God has given us the Law which states that we are not to lie, to cheat, or steal. But, we all have. Therefore, we are all under the judgment of God, and He will execute His judgment upon sinners on the Day of Judgment.

        If reincarnation is true, then there is no Day of Judgment, no need of a sacrifice, and no need to trust in Christ.” CARM

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      • Hi Monica,
        You are quite right. Reincarnation in itself doesnt remove sin. But of course, no-one claims it does.

        That emphasis on sin as being a total corruption of the human being is not the only theory, and outside the three Abrahamic religions, it is not any sort of big and ultimate barrier to the heavenly spiritual world.

        Of course too, if you regard every word given in the Bible as being literally true, then that sentence in Hebrews is binding. But it was the personal opinion of the writer of the epistle, and doubtless of the Christian Fathers who included it in their sacred scriptures. There were other Spiritual Fathers who did not hold that view.

        ‘Oh Lord God, KIng of the Universe, the soul thou gavest me is pure’. (from the Hebrew morning Service.)

        Cheers, Rian.

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  2. What you sow so shall you reap.

    Nominal Christians have been sowing multi cultic celebrations for years.

    They never thought it through and still wish to lionize Muhammad as very recent post here indicate.

    I worked last Friday with a man who lives two doors down from this suicide bomber. He is afraid to say on camera what the boys were like for fear of being killed.

    But what’s five dead Shiites to a feel good intellectually deep multi cultics.

    Here is another Australian brother not afraid to say Allah hu akbar in celebration of Australia new multi cultic diverse life.

    WARNING FROM BRYAN> IF YOU GO TO THIS LINK BEWARE — THE PHOTOS ARE GRAPHIC

    http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/australian-muslim-poses-with-decapitated-heads-on-twitter/

    but the man with the severed head is diverse and this writer {me} is the bigot according to the new muti cutic faith mongers. Oh, and science, they have “science” – polls to go on no less.

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  3. U2 frontman Bono has this to say about karma:

    You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff….
    …I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity….

    …I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled . It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

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  4. Pingback: How to flip your Karma | Christians Anonymous

  5. TIRED OF BEING GOOD
    By James Young

    Functional Karma: a never-ending merry-go-round?

    AUSTRALIA is overwhelmingly a spiritual nation – over 70% of the nation considers itself spiritual. If you had to hazard a guess though, what would the leading spiritual belief be?
    Well, it’s not religion that has captured Australia’s attention but the spiritual belief of functional Karma. I don’t mean Karma in the sense of the Buddhist and Hindu construct of causality, as this is more of a Western knock-off version.

    Functional Karma shows itself in our language: you get what you deserve, what goes around comes around or as one ad put it recently, ‘you deserve to be rewarded for your hard work’. Essentially, life is all about what you do: work hard, be a good person and then life will surely treat you well.

    On the surface, this is one of the greatest ideas that has worked itself into cultural consciousness. I mean, when it comes down to it, the idea that good behaviour leads to a good life and evil will always find its come-uppance is genius in its simplicity that so many of us have subscribed.

    It’s only after deeper inspection that real questions surface and a deep-seated flaw is revealed.
    Functional Karma requires nothing less than perfection for us to confidently reap its rewards. You can work hard, be a ‘good’ person and have a positive impact, but how hard do you have to work for life to work in your favour, how good do you have to be?

    Functional karma, at the end of the day, will leave anyone trying to end on the positive side of the ledger exhausted. Look around, doesn’t that describe us as a people? The average person today has the same level of anxiety as a mental patient in the 1960’s. We are exhausted.
    So we make short-cuts and side-steps. We make ‘good’ and ‘bad’ subjective, so that anyone can be either as long as they believe it to be true. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a good person, as long as you believe it, right?

    That’s the problem though. I’m not a good person, not even a little bit. On the surface I look like one, having travelled the world, married young and likeable to many – but when it comes down to it, I am not ‘good’.

    If I have to rely on my own excellence, my own goodness, then, by the very laws of functional Karma, means I am done. I will spend my entire life trying to live up to expectations that I will not meet and I will leave myself exhausted – bitter, twisted and alone. If good things happen to good people, good things will not happen to me because I am not good – no matter how hard I try.
    Grace, God’s undeserved kindness, is my only hope.

    Jesus is a divisive figure, but the fact of the matter is, unless Jesus is God – unless God intervened in this world, then this world is has nothing to offer.

    Unless God had sent His perfect Son into this broken, messed up world to set it free then this world will be shackled to broken philosophies like functional Karma – a never- ending merry-go-round of “work harder, do more and be better”, which only leaves us well short of where we need to be.

    Instead, seeing our predicament, Jesus entered our world to set people free. Jesus simply says: “whoever believes in my name will be saved” – saved from the bondage and consequences of sin and from eternal separation from God in hell. Not our efforts, not our excellence, nor our attempts to be good – because we’re not. It’s all up to Him.

    If you are exhausted from functional Karma, from the endless effort of being good, then this is the best news you will ever receive. Grace is the good news you have been looking for, you just need to accept it.

    CHALLENGE —The Good News Paper—July 2014 issue

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  6. “What does the Bible say about reincarnation?”

    The concept of reincarnation is completely without foundation in the Bible, which clearly tells us that we die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The Bible never mentions people having a second chance at life or coming back as different people or animals. Jesus told the criminal on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), not “You will have another chance to live a life on this earth.” Matthew 25:46 specifically tells us that believers go on to eternal life while unbelievers go onto eternal punishment. Reincarnation has been a popular belief for thousands of years, but it has never been accepted by Christians or followers of Judaism because it is contradictory to Scripture.

    The one passage that some point to as evidence for reincarnation is Matthew 17:10-12 which links John the Baptist with Elijah. However, the passage does not say that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated but that he would have fulfilled the prophecy of Elijah’s coming if the people had believed his words and thereby believed in Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 17:12). The people specifically asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah, and he said, “No, I am not” (John 1:21).

    Belief in reincarnation is an ancient phenomenon and is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Many modern pagans also believe in reincarnation as do some New Age movements, along with followers of spiritism. For the Christian, however, there can be no doubt: reincarnation is unbiblical and must be rejected as false.

    Got Questions Org

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    • Reincarnation and the Church

      By Kevin Williams

      It really shouldn’t matter much whether or not a Christian believes in reincarnation. Doctrines and beliefs matter very little in comparison to a mystical experience with the light of God. A multitude of near-death accounts affirm that God is not concerned about the theology that people profess; rather it is the inward spirituality that matters most. Whether reincarnation is true or not, near-death accounts reveal that it is the life we are currently living that is important. This may be one of the reasons that reincarnation was suppressed by the Church.

      Forgetting an existence before birth is also an important revelation from NDEs. Accordingly, people are required to forget their prior existence in order to not dwell on the “mission” they are to accomplish in life. It is also the reason why NDE experiencers are made to forget details of their pre-existent life when they return to life. Focusing on the life we are living also ensures that we are not so heavenly minded, we are no earthly good. While debating whether or not reincarnation was once a doctrine of the early Church is like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, reincarnation is certainly a concept that ties the other Christian doctrines together and solves many of the mysteries found in the Bible.

      Jesus affirmed that the way to overcome death and rebirth and attain eternal life is simply through the practice of love (Luke 10:25-28). Faith assumes the possibility of doubt; but knowledge implies certainty. Knowledge of God is attained through love according to John (1 John 4:7). When it comes to living a life of love, having faith in reincarnation does not give anyone an advantage before God. Reincarnation is a theory that, at most, explains the apparent inequities and apparent injustices between people and the dispensing of divine justice. But the spiritual life of love does not depend upon the particular creed one professes. With this in mind, the following information is an excerpt from Dr. Quincy Howe, Jr.’s excellent book entitled Reincarnation for the Christian.

      Table of Contents
      1. The Controversy About Origen
      2. The Theological System of Origen
      3. Objections and Rebuttals to Origen’s Theology
      4. Conclusion on Origen’s Condemnation
      5. Origen’s Theology on Human Pre-Existence
      6. Origen’s Theology on Reincarnation
      7. Other Church Fathers on Reincarnation
      8. The Christian Neo-Platonist Clement of Alexandria
      9. Biblical Support for Pre-Existence

      http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen07.html

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      • Quincy Howe, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of
        Ancient Languages, Scripps College, Claremont,
        California, has made a study of biblical sources.

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