Monday, November 3, 2008

Christian Karma... meat or myth?

I would like to go a slightly different route today. I will do my best to address a teaching that is floating around Christendom today that I think is very dangerous.

This is the idea of Christian Karma.

I'm sure most of us have heard the saying "Be careful... you will reap what you sow..." (For me, it was mostly when I was doing something I shouldn't have done.) Either way, we're at least familiar with the idea of planting and harvesting. If you plant oranges, you're not going to grow tomatoes. Likewise, don't plant corn when you really want to grow lettuce. Seems simple right? Let's look at this verse in context:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." - Gal 6:7-8

This seems to be pretty straight forward. You will get back what ever it is that you put into life. but wait a minute, that sounds just like the principle of Karma. If I "sow" good things into the cosmic soup of life I will "reap" good things. Sounds like karma to me...

Well, it's not...

"Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor." - John 4:36-38

Jesus is very clear here that He sent the disciples into a field that they had not sown in order to reap a harvest. Others did the labor ahead of them. The key "buzz" word in both of these verses is "Eternal Life". We, as followers of Christ, are not living for the presents and pleasures of this world. We are living for a future Kingdom that will be ruled by the Righteous King. Our King is also the Lord of the Harvest. It is HIS crops that we are sowing and reaping, not our own. The concept of Karma is self-focused. The biblical teaching of sowing and reaping is Kingdom focused.

Yes, we can not escape the natural law of the seed. BUT we must not forget who placed that law into affect! Our crops should not be focused on ourselves and what we get out of it, but what the Master Land Owner is gaining in His kingdom and how many new souls are being added to it.

"Do not be deceived" the idea of Christian karma is NOT a biblical teaching. Christ should be the focus and centerpiece of our lives. Anything that exalts itself (or ourselves) to the focus of our life is challenging Jesus for his place, and thus becomes an idol. We should live our lives to reap a harvest in the Kingdom of God and Eternal Life.


wendalyn said...

Ok I guess Im not following this one....Don't you still reap what you sow? There's reap what you sow personally and then there's reaping what was in John when they were sent to reap a harvest that they did not sow. I mean if I do bad things aren't I still going to reap the conscience here? I guess what I trying to say is I see two different types of reaping and sowing in your me understand!

Melanie said...

I guess what I get out of it is the fact that if we were to truly get what we deserved, we would all be in line for death, hell and the grave. We have to conintually remember that our goodness is nothing compared to God's righteousness and every good thing comes from Him alone. There is a law of sowing and reaping, but you don't always get what you plant. There have been many times, when I plant something but don't cultivate it and never see the fruit, but that doesn't mean that someone else can't come behind me and reap the benefit from it. Karma suggests that I will receive the good I give, whereas the biblical concept is good will come from the good I give, it doesn't necessarily mean that I will be the beneficiary. We also need to remain focused on the goal. Are we being "good" to get or are we being "good" to please our Father?

Bill said...

And that is why I married her... I quit, Melanie can have the Blog.

KK said...

Don't Quit! This is awesome, Bill.

<3 ya