There are people who think that karma is found in Christianity. It is not. This article will explain the basics and describe why this can not be – and karma absolutely does not belong in Christianity.
In order to be able to apply the principle of karma, which is known from Buddhism, to Christianity, it begins with the fact that karma presupposes a reincarnation. Reincarnation is not foreseen in Christianity. The “rebirth” in Christianity is not comparable with the reincarnation… and therefore also the karma system connected with it.
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The simple reason why karma cannot exist in Christianity
The Western world thinks that karma works something like this. If you do something stupid, then something stupid will happen to you. That, however, is not the karma that is learned in Buddhism. In Buddhism, it is taught that the punishment for bad behavior in this life is as poor and severe in next life.
Since there is only one life in Christianity, this system simply does not work. While at first the karma system sounds like what most consider the reason to go to heaven – there is a catch. The fundamentals described here are derived from the Bible. Anyone who thinks they can find karma in the Bible is likely to be very mistaken.
In Christianity no performance is required, but in karma it is.
This hook is due to the fact that karma is a human thing – that is, a person must make an effort to fulfill certain conditions for the life “after”: By and large, it also sounds right similar to Christianity: be kind, not stingy, etc.
But with it the human being is in the focus of the event. The human being can reach a better life in the life “after” by own works – who has paid attention now a little bit in the Christian theology, with whom the word “works” should strike. Because here lies the big difference.
If you look at it very flatly (don’t worry, it gets more specific), both religions promise a better or worse life after death. The big difference in Christianity is the following: In Christianity, all people automatically wander is the worse life, because no man can work for the “better life”.
Thus, it is completely opposite to what karma prescribes: It is possible for a person to collect good karma through good works, which then leads to a better life in the next life.
If one wants to transfer the pure principle, the Christian principle would be rather like this: It is practically not possible to come to a kind of positive karma. Any way to collect such a karma would be useless. The only task is to accumulate as little negative karma as possible; whereby any existence of negative karma would equal negative life.
For this Jesus Christ comes into play – he takes (if we continue to speak in this image) all negative karma and books it on himself;- so that a person can appear before God who has done nothing “bad”.
The complex reason why karma cannot exist in the foundations of Christianity.
The next “flawed” thinking in karma (Besides reincarnation and one’s works) is the gradation of different karma “levels”. Depending on how much karma (or how little) has been accumulated in this life, the better or worse the next life will be.
For example, if you were a rich man in this life, you collected a lot of positive karma in the previous life. However, if this rich man has collected less karma in the present life, his next life may become a middle class housewife. (Now simplified)
This finely balanced rule of who-gets-what is not present in Christianity. It is rather binary: Either you spend eternity after this life in hell or in heaven with God. No second chance. Eternal assignment. It is all the more important that a Christian gets rid of all things that can be badly attributed to him. For only a man or mistake will go to heaven (That is why it is so important to trust in Jesus!).
Why the system of karma speaks against God
Let us come to a difference that has not yet been mentioned: Who or what actually decides how life continues after death?
In Buddhism it is the universe or some kind of “super justice”. It is more a principle than something tangible. It is also not quite clear (to humans) why certain social positions are above others and why – I say – a bark beetle has a different assessment than a ladybug. Depending on the karma the person lands on one of the corresponding positions. Whoever or however this order is determined.
In Christianity, it is God who sets the bar. It is even known what must be achieved (which only no human can achieve) and how it can be achieved. (Actually only through Jesus) The rules and the outcome is clear. We are not subject to any cosmic law- but to God. The big difference here is that God is a personality, while karma prescribes a kind of system.
Is Karma in the Bible?
Those who believe to find karma in the Bible have not understood the role of God, the concept of rebirth, and salvation through one’s own works. They may seem relatively similar on the surface at first, but they differ greatly in detail and function.
The mere fact that in Christianity there is only one life and no reincarnation does not take the principle of karma in any logical direction.
There is no meaningful way to find karma and reincarnation in the Bible without omitting or twisting major passages. Just because you want to read something in somewhere, it doesn’t stand there for a long time.