Thursday, February 17, 2011

Karma and Christianity

Jesus: The Teacher Within
Karma should be one of those points in my post 'Spirituality of the Everyday'. Karma is something which most people have a pretty good understanding of without a 'religious' background. At its simplist if you do good then good will come back to you. Likewise if you do bad it will catch up with you.
A constant theme which comes up with my reading of Laurence Freeman's 'Jesus, the Teacher within' is the idea of Karma and how it interacts with Christianity.

The sacrificial love of Jesus highlights the moral meaning of the universe, the gift of unconditional love that awaits us at the heart of reality. In contrast to the mechanistic view of sin and punishment based on karma, love transcends the dichotomy of reward and punishment. this is the 'scandal of the Cross', its affronts to the rational mind. We cannot perceive its moral meaning without also seeing how all-pervading is the activity of sacrifice throughout the universe.

On reflecting upon this I can see the more extreme forms of Christianity such as fundamentalism  and some pentecostals are more about Karma.  If you follow our rules and hang out with us then you are in, and will get to heaven. If you don't then doom will prevail and you will end up in hell. Like wise there prophesies. If the government supports same sex relationships then drought and bushfire will await. They are all based around idea of Karma.

Yet Christianity has, as Freeman calls it the 'scandal of the Cross', which brings about unconditional love or another word for it grace. It breaks Karma. The thing about a sovereign God is that often when we expect karma to strike, grace abounds. It is not for us mortal beings to know when or how the formula works. Unlike Karma.

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