"It seems like the idea of karma is supported in the bible. Do you believe in Karma?", (Question from Ken Merceri).
The word karma gets thrown around a lot, and I'm not sure that there is a set definition for the word. The most basic meaning of karma is a kind of raw spiritual cause and effect; that the actions of the past have created the present, and the actions of the present will create the future. Generally, any notions of right and wrong, or divine reward and punishment, are implicitly denied. Karma is viewed as more of a law of nature, like gravity, as opposed to the wrath or blessings of a Creator. According to this definition I would certainly have to say no, I don't believe in karma.
However, I do believe in ultimate justice, because God is by his nature fair, and not a respecter of persons, "For there is no respect of persons with God" (Romans 2.11 KJV bible). In fact, God is better to most people than they actually deserve, "ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil" (Luke 6.35 KJV bible).
Many people (both believers and non-believers) have observed that in life, what goes around tends to come around. The betrayer gets betrayed, the thief gets robbed, and so on. However, it's also true that many people seem to reap tragedy that is greater than anything that they have sown, particularly in comparison with other people. The is why the operative term when it comes to understanding God's fairness is "ultimate justice". A nonbeliever's perception of the world is built upon life in the flesh, because they don't know anything else. This is how they reckon reward and punishment. However, the believer knows that life in the flesh is fleeting, and that it pales in comparison to the spiritual realities of salvation and eternal life. So ultimately, God deals fairly with everyone, but on his own terms, which are far more foresightful and comprehensive than man's.
"For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men...When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction." (Psalm 18.3-5,16-18 KJV bible).
Bob Jackson 27 Dec 2010, 16:28So many of my Christian family talk about Karma...i.e. what comes around goes around...Although not biblical...its interesting to seemingly observe this type of belief and how wide-spread it is...thanks for your insight..
Doug Buckley 28 Dec 2010, 15:19Hi Bob, yes the bible does seem to support "karma", in the sense of justice. Its different from the karma of eastern religion though, which I didn't really understand till I wrote the article. Good to hear from you.
Bob Jackson 29 Dec 2010, 13:07So...Karma is in there...and supported by our reading...The karma that deals with what comes around goes around...not reincarnation etc...?? I certainly believe in ultimate justice too...but sure have seen what I think is modern karma in action..I'm so glad I think to google questions like this...I love finding the different opinions out there...I try and learn something from everyone I meet..God is good....again thanks for your insight..
Doug Buckley 29 Dec 2010, 15:34Hi Bob, karma can be boiled down to the idea that what goes around comes around. However, the original eastern concept of karma rejects God, at least the biblical God, as having any role in this. I think they also reject the idea of blessings and punishment. They don't believe in any good karma or bad karma, just everyone has their own unique karma that is right for them.
Vijay Kumar Jain 25 Mar 2011, 07:45As per infallible laws of <A href="http://www.askvijay.com/Karma-Sutra/">karma</A> ... we reaped fruits of karma performed! Nothing in cosmic system happened of its own! If we suffered in present life... all owes its existence to bad karma performed by us in past or previous lives!
Doug Buckley 25 Mar 2011, 18:19My understanding of the karma in eastern religion is that there is no good or evil karma, its just the right karma for the person. It's similar to when Jim Carrey said that a brick in the face and winning the lottery are the same. However, I'm sure there's different opinions about karma in eastern relgions.
jackie chavez 29 Mar 2011, 23:19
jackei gribs 22 Apr 2011, 18:15there are people that i know and they say that if you believe in karma you aren't christian is that true or not because i believe in karma and i have looked in the bible hundreds of times and there was nothing about not being christian if you believe in christian
Doug Buckley 23 Apr 2011, 17:33Hi Jackie G. Is karma something Christians should believe in? In other words is karma biblical? The problem is that it depends on what is meant by karma. Pure Buddhist or Hindu conceptions of karma are not biblical. However, if karma is used to refer to a recompense for evil, or to say that people reap what they sow, then in those contexts karma is biblical.
David 24 Jul 2011, 02:43From what I know, karma means many different things in different religions, but basically it is concerned with a person doing things that he considers good in order that he may receive good things. However the scriptures say instead that we cannot do anything good at all (Rom 3:9-20, Psa 14, Isa 59, Eccl 7:20), and neither would we deserve blessing based upon anything we have done. Therefore by the grace you are saved through the faith, and this salvation, not out of you, is the gift of God, not out of works, so that not anyone might boast (Eph 2:8-9, see Eph 3:6-8). And in Christ alone God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. We worship and serve God not because we want to gain any earthly blessing but because he deserves our whole heart and our whole soul and our whole understanding and our whole might. Moreover we cannot even repay him for what he has done, having sent his only-begotten son into the world to be crucified by the world for our sins. Therefore let us set our hearts not on recompense but on that which we ought to do (Luke 17:10). For God will reward those who seek him with his loving presence.
Doug Buckley 24 Jul 2011, 18:00Hi David, I agree with what you're saying about Christianity and karma for the most part. However, the bible doesn't say that everything every nonbeliever does is bad, just that no one can be justified or vindicated and have eternal life outside the grace of Christ. I agree that salvation is absolutely not something we earn or can repay.
David 24 Jul 2011, 19:50Yes. Indeed those who truly seek God will manifest his law written in their hearts, and I believe they also will know and acknowledge their need for his salvation, and, like Cornelius, believing God and doing his will even while not fully knowing. I said that no one can do anything good because many people consider themselves good only according to their own standard, but God will judge according to his standard, of which we have come short (Rom 3:23). Also, according to Jesus himself, no one is good except one, God (Mark 10:18)! This does not mean that Jesus himself is not good, but it clearly means that no one is good in himself apart from God, who is the unique good one, who is the source of all good works. Jesus is also good because he does the father's will. Likewise only works that we work in God are actually good (John 3:13-21, Matt 7:21, Rom 12:2). Therefore let us do good works not for our sake but so that our father in the heavens is glorified (Matt 7:16), and let us seek to know the will of God so that we may walk in the good works that God has prepared for those who love him (Eph 2:20).
deceivenomore 30 Jun 2012, 16:02No
Tineka Nunes 27 Nov 2012, 01:16Hi there, I've had a problem with a family member that always throws karma in my face! I don't think the bible teaches us to wish bad things on one another nor does it teach us to judge. I think karma only comes into play once we have died, and the second coming of Christ has come. Judgement day! We will be judged on good and wrongs we have done in flesh and spirit. What do you think?
Doug Buckley 28 Nov 2012, 14:07Hi Tineka, yes we aren't supposed to wish harm on or judge people (the two are actually related). As I explain in the article it depends on what someone means by karma. Karma in its original eastern sense isn't biblical. But someone can certainly reap what they've sown in life, and it happens alot. Most of people's problems are their own fault, and if you want to think of this as karma then its karma.
Rev. Mike Eaton 08 Mar 2013, 16:15The basic nature of God's Justice is that we reap what we sow.
Thomas 20 Mar 2013, 10:32www.goquestions.org/karma.html
desmond 12 Apr 2013, 11:40hi bob' what language do i find this karma?
SJ 16 Apr 2013, 10:58The concept of "karma" is actually quite biblical... although it seems to be confined to this life or possibly to one's life to come (eternal life).
Doug Buckley 16 Apr 2013, 20:06hi SJ, those are good verses that suggest something like karma in the bible. The biblical writers observe that what goes around comes around and if you're up to no good don't be surprised if it blows back on you. I suppose one can call this karma.
June Lowther 30 Aug 2013, 04:03What you sow, so shall ye reap. This, I call GOD's Karma. God doesn't specifically call it "Karma".... but we all know what IS meant by "Karma" and YING YANG (where there is good there is evil) etc. all religions have their own name to it, but the concept is there in Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
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