“What goes around comes around,” ”everyone gets what they deserve,” or “karma is a b**ch.” We have all heard statements like these, even by people who are not very religious. There is a general idea today that everyone gets what they deserve, that those who by their good life earn a good reward, will get it. And those that by their bad life, earn punishment, will get it. This idea, called karma, is the very basic root of all religions in the world. In fact, this is one of the biggest distinctions between Christianity and literally EVERY other religion in the world. Christianity doesn’t teach in karma. Every other religion, from Hinduism to Islam to numerous Pagan or Shamanic religions promote some version of karma.
‘SOWING AND REAPING’ IS A NATURAL LAW
Often the confusion some Christians have is that they have heard of the concept of “sowing and reaping” from the Bible and replace this ‘natural law’ of consequences with a divine spiritual doctrine of karma. The Bible indeed often speaks of sowing and reaping (Job 4:8, Psa 126:5, Hos 10:12; Gal 6:7). Throughout history all people have planted seeds, and as a natural consequence they reaped a crop of whatever seed was planted. This is a “natural law” of actions and consequences, not a mystical or magical law of karma. Plants don’t grow because of the universe magically “correcting everything,” they grow because God created a world with rules, and seeds grow “by the rules.” In this way, all real actions we “sow” have real consequences that we “reap.” If you drink gallons of beer, you will get drunk and have liver problems. If you kill someone out of anger, you will get arrested and sent to jail. If you attack someone you will get attacked in return. If you lie to everyone, they will get angry and stop trusting you. There are consequences for our actions.
This can be further extrapolated into a “spiritual law” of consequences. If a person “sows” sinful behavior, that person shall “reap” the consequences of sin, primarily death and separation of God. That is definitely true, someone who sows sin, shall reap ‘punishment’ which is hell. But on top of that people think, even after someone becomes a Christian, they will still have to suffer and pay retribution for the sins they committed. That they will be cursed by karma to repay the debt their sin accrued. I often heard things like “if you sin, even when you repent, you will still have no blessing.” This is completely untrue, here is why.
KARMA IS NOT A SPIRITUAL LAW
1. Bad people get good things.
There are people living today that everyone knows are “bad,” yet they have only “good things” in their life. For example Kim Jong-il, the former dictator of North Korea. He lived a full 70 years, in a lavish lifestyle of wealth, adoration, and privilege, never having to suffer. At the same time, he forced millions to live excruciating poverty and hardship. Many, by his command were beaten and killed, tortured and abused, dying in their early twenties and thirties. (And his soldiers who did the torturing, get medals and live in luxury). Jong-il lived until 70 years of age. Karma, you really messed up there. Why did such a bad man get such good things? What about the richest people in the world? Why are those who make billions of the sweat and blood of the poor never hit by karma? Why do men who own skyscrapers live long lives in luxury and privilege? Why, karma, why? Because Karma is a lie, earthly blessing and curses are not directly proportional to your badness.
2. “Good people” get bad things
Those humans whom everyone thinks are the best amongst us often get the worst in this life. While the Bible says no one is good, some humans appear to be a bit better and nicer, or at least more defenseless. Meet Anne Frank, a 15 year old girl who from starvation in a concentration camp. She lived two horrible years of hiding from the Nazis, and was betrayed, and sent to her death. Generals, dressed in fine suits, living in mansions, eating from exuberant tables, ordered her starvation and death, among millions of others. Why did they live long, and why did Anne, only a girl, die thin and bruised, laying on a dirty mud floor? While old rich men sit in mansions, millions of kids starve in Africa. How can this “Karma” BS be true? Rich perverts buy child prostitutes, whom they abuse and kill, and they continue living in lavish mansions. Why, karma, why? Because Karma is a lie, blessing and curses are not earned by your goodness.
The only way all these injustices can be corrected, if if there is a just judge, outside of “Karma” and outside of this world.
3. The most Perfect Person got the worst thing
And far worse yet than every other crime. There was a truly perfect Person. He was gentle like a Lamb, quiet as a Dove, a peaceful protector, a rich Prince who gave all his possessions, even Himself, to his people. Yet, he was rejected, he was hated, he was beaten and bruised. Upon this perfect person was heaped the totality of my curse and shame. In a fiery display of complete unfairness he was crushed and destroyed. He was perfect and deserved nothing, yet he received the worst punishment the universe could fathom. He was Christ Jesus, the one who made the universe, who ruled it, yet he was beaten in it, destroyed for its sins. Karma, if there was one person who deserved no curses and only blessings, it was him. Why, Karma, why? Because Karma is a lie. Christ suffered for us and in his climactic moment of death, he paid all my debt, he took on the totality of my curse, and now there is no condemnation, from karma or otherwise.
Now to all the Christians who believe in this “your curse will follow you even as a Christian” BS, if Christ paid the penalty for my curse, why must I still pay? If Christ was accursed for my sin, why do I still find the curse on me? Is Christ not sufficient? Is his price not enough that I must also add to it? Jesus paid every debt, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1).