A few years ago the My Name is Earl TV show resurfaced the old Eastern religion concept of karma. The basic idea of karma is embodied by the phrase "what goes around comes around". According to the wiki:
Through the law of karma, the effects of all deeds actively create past, present, and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain and joy it brings to him/her and others.The bible deals with this idea of cause and effect a bit different in the sixth chapter of Galatians when it says:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.Now some take this scripture and skew it into a Christian-like karma taking the idea of sowing and reaping to formula-like proportions. I know many sincere believers who buy into it lock, stock and barrel. Oral Roberts made a lot of money 30 years ago or so when he sold this idea and called it "Seed Faith". The fallacy I see in this karma like concept of faith is three fold:
- It embodies the notion that God always responds in formulaic fashion to our actions and giving.
- It creates a carnality in giving and causes people who embrace it to feel that they earned blessings.
- It causes people who experience hardship to blame themselves.. much like the thinking that Job and his friends embraced.
The good news of the Christian gospel is that we do not get what we deserve. We have escaped from judgment by the blood of Christ. It is not karma that causes us to prosper.. it is the Holy Spirit.. and sometimes "prospering" has little to do with the temporal aspects of life :)