Explore, Experiment, Discover

Grace vs. Karma or
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

"You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve."
--Kid Rock

"When we don't get what we deserve, that's a real good thing."
--The Newsboys

My wife's response to my last post got me thinking about karma. Karma is not just an Eastern religion thing; it is present in every false religion in the world. Kid Rock extols the idea in his song "Only God Knows Why." NBC's show "My Name is Earl" is entirely based on the idea of karma. On the other hand grace is supernatural, and overthrows karma. Rather than ramble about this topic, I'm going to quote from one of the most able expositors of the doctrine of grace that I've seen: U2 lead singer and songwriter, Bono. Here is a lengthy segment from the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas

It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…

You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff…

I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s***. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity…

But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: "Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you?" There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled… It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.


Xindaeltal said…
The amazing thing is Rick, I completely agree with you.
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Anonymous said…
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And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)