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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Is it ok to believe in Karma?

Karma is a far eastern religious practice in Buddhism (Buddhism was started by Siddhartha Gautama in the sixth century B.C. It’s an offshoot of Hinduism), and Hinduism. Karma’s main ingredients are the laws of cause and effect and reincarnation. By the adherent performing good deeds (good Karma) in this life, it will guarantee a better life when one is reincarnated (brought back to life in a nobler form if one was good in the prior life). An action good or bad, will result in a subsequent reaction. Bad Karma is obviously negative and keeps one in a endless circle of reincarnation and suffering. Reincarnation is the process where the disciple of the religion has to continue to suffer and divest themselves of bad Karma, the world, and it’s evil attachments through multiple life cycles and counter that with good Karma. So in essence the initiate gets countless “do-overs” until they get it right. This would seem to be their equivalent of eradication of sin since Buddhists do not believe in original sin, only good and bad Karma – cause and effect.

The core doctrine of the Buddha is called the Dharma – the truth and order of existence which consists of four noble truths:
              The reality of suffering
2.       The cause of suffering (craving/desire)
3.       The cessation or end of suffering (nirvana)
4.       The “middle way”

These are followed the by an “Eightfold noble path” which are:
       Right understanding
2.       Right thoughts
3.       Right speech
4.       Right actions
5.       Right livelihood
6.       Right endeavor
7.       Right mindfulness
8.       Right concentration

The main purpose of the Buddhist is to reach Nirvana (salvation), that is the graduation past endless cycles of reincarnated lives and overcome suffering; become one with Brahman if one is Hindu, their chief deity and life force.

I guess only the Buddhist can determine when they have passed the Dharma stage of learning; it’s subjective.

Nirvana is ultimate enlightenment where the person has broken the cycle of reincarnation and suffering through continuous good Karma. Nirvana it appears makes the Buddhist a Buddha themselves (an enlightened one).

This is how Siddharta became enlightened (i.e. the Buddha) when he sat under a Bodhi tree in India and this “revelation” came to him – he was successful of ridding himself of bad Karma; overcoming suffering.

There are several problems with Karma .

First, reincarnation is impossible and unbiblical. The scripture clearly tells us it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). One can not go through multiple life cycles to try to reach nirvana (salvation).

Secondly, Karma is a works righteousness religion. It predicates salvation on man and not God who Buddhists do not acknowledge making them atheistic (Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1).

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves (italics added for emphasis). It is the gift of God not of works (italics added for emphasis) lest any man should boast.”

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death (not reincarnation), but the free gift of God is eternal life (i.e. salvation) through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Titus 3:4-5a says, “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works we have done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…”

We must all be constantly reminded that salvation is a gift from God. No one can earn a gift last I checked.

Thirdly, Buddhists teach that a person eventually goes into non existence after nirvana; a sort of annihilationism which is called sunya ( great void), the emptying of all things.

This is also untrue. The bible teaches us that the spirit of man will exist for eternity; with or without the Lord.

Daniel 12:2 talking about the end times said, “And many of those who sleep (a euphemism for death) in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Jesus said in John 5:28-29, “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

Everyone who has ever lived will be raised from the dead and will be judged for how they have lived their lives good or bad. Building on this truth, we go to Revelation 20:13b, “and they were judged (the wicked/unsaved dead) each one of them according to what they had done. Verse 15 says, Anyone’s name was not written in the book of life was thrown (alive) into the Lake of Fire.”[i]

The Lake of Fire is the final non-resting place for all who died in their sins by rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ while they lived on the earth.  The beast, false prophet, and devil will dwell there for eternity also (Revelation 20).

So, there is no going out of existence as Buddhist/Karma teach. All experience either eternal life or the second death (Revelation 20:14).

Concluding, no doubt many see Karma (cause and effect) the same as the law of sowing and reaping. That’s not true. Karma’s end is anything like sowing and reaping because of it’s ultimate end, mainly nirvana and non existence. Karma is legalistic and religious; sacrilegious to the gospel of truth. The law of sowing and reaping is an inherent force that God has put in the earth (like gravity) to govern men’s actions. In today’s vernacular we regard sowing and reaping as, “What comes around goes around.”

Karma is far more that just sowing and reaping. It exists because of the religion of Buddhism.
Christians must reject the practice of Karma. It deifies man because it ignores God.

It’s a religious lottery crap shoot. One is depending on luck and chance to find ultimate peace.

[i] It’s very important to note that the saved and the unsaved are judged separately in God’s end time plan. The Christian is judged in I Corinthians 3:13-15 and II Corinthians 5:10. It’s called the “Bema” seat; means pace, step, or foot room. Speaks of a raised platform like one sees in today’s Olympic competitions. We’re being judged for what we did as believers, not to determine if we’re saved. Salvation has already been guaranteed because we believed in Jesus unto salvation. This judgment is for obtaining rewards and honor from God. When this event occurs the writer is unsure; perhaps after the rapture of the church before the great tribulation in heaven. The unbeliever is judged at the GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT. They’re not judged to see if they are eligible for heaven, they’re resurrected out of hell, judged guilty by the Lord, and cast into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone. Their names are not written in the book of life.

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