Is Karma Real (Part 4)?

Continuing in this series on karma (part 1part 2part 3), we are looking at problems and contradictions of the doctrine of karma.

Karma is an often used phrased in western culture that has its origin in eastern or Asian religions. Unfortunately, karma is not biblical, and is quite contradictory and incompatible with the existence of God.

I have presented six problems with the doctrine of karma and showed why it cannot exist without using any reference to God or the Bible. I am now concluding, showing biblically the issues that karma creates.

Karma and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are polar opposites. The idea behind karma is that we all get what we deserve. Jesus provides the way for none of us (through faith in Him) to get what we deserve. Karma teaches that we must earn (somehow) good karma so we can have better life and future lives until we one day break the cycle of death and rebirth and become spiritual nothingness.

If the most famous verse in Sunday school “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16) is true, than karma cannot be. We do not have multiple lives, we have one life, and since it takes only one bad deed (or sin, which everyone has done), no matter how many good deeds we do, we are still separated from God.

God does not operate under retribution theology; meaning that He doesn’t “pay us back” for every bad thing that we do. If He did, Jesus would not have become a man, there would be no death on the cross, and there would be no resurrection.

All of this to say, we most certainly do reap what we sow, but reaping what you sow is much different than karma.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

-Ephesians 2:8-9

Karma is not compatible with the Gospel. Jesus died so that we as undeserving sinners may have a relationship with our Creator, and live forever in His presence once we die.

Karma thinks that you can save yourself, someday. The Gospel says you can’t, you don’t need to, and Jesus can save you today. Karma and the Gospel cannot coexist, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

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