Jesus and karma
I heard Mark Driscoll preach once on the difference between religion and the gospel:
Religions says that if you obey, God will love you.
The gospel says that because God loves you, you can now obey.
There are few better succinct summations of the gospel that that. We don’t earn our right to be loved from an ego-maniac God who gets his kicks playing hard to get. Scripture is clear on that. Yet for a long time, I still followed a sort of Christian Karma doctrine. It went like this: if something good happened, it was because I had been a good Christian – I prayed that right prayer or something like that. If I had a crap day and everything went wrong = well, it must have been because of that sin, or not praying, or being a bad Christian. Suddenly, its all about me again.
Karma and eastern mysticism have no place in living a life following Jesus. Our actions still pull consequences, though. The consequence from giving into a sin isn’t God waiting behind a corner like Batman to punch me in the face because I was stupid. But it can certainly effect my intimacy with God when I’m honoring desires that He hates.