Enter the second part of my series that is at least somewhat about karma! Alrighty, this one is more on the topic, I promise you. Okay, so I was thinking about karma yesterday, right? And as I said in yesterday’s post, I think it’s really sad that people have taken the idea of karma and made it into something commonplace and ordinary. From my understanding of karma, it is the idea that all of a person’s good deeds and bad deeds, no matter how small, are on a scale. And those deeds will sort of prescribe the future of that person, either good or bad, so that they receive what they deserve. And I don’t expect you to get my thought jump here, but I went from the idea of putting so much importance on our deeds on hypocrisy in the church.
Yup. But I swear, it’s totally legitimate. You’ve probably seen it or heard it: people preaching that the way to get to heaven is by doing enough good works, being good enough. It’s really quite a common misconception that you need to be good enough to get to heaven. But being good enough finds its definition in things like not smoking, not doing drugs, not having sex, not cursing, going to church every Sunday, or maybe giving to charity every now and then, but not doing much more than that. But see, here’s the cinch: people who aren’t in the faith can see through this. They can see through the false pretenses people put up. If the only way you’re identifying yourself as a Christian is by not doing all the bad stuff, people can see that you’re not really a Christian.
I’m sorry, but the name “Christian” has the name of Christin it. As Christians, we follow in Christ’s footsteps. And while it’s true that Christ didn’t say bad words or do all that other stuff, there’s a whole TON of stuff that Christ did that people are forgetting about: healing the sick, feeding the 5,000, preaching and teaching, and in general, loving people. The thing that strikes most non-Christians about real Christians is their incredible love. And the worst piece of hypocrisy that shows up in the Church is not loving people. I mean, all those people who protest at soldier’s funerals saying that God is using the death of soldiers as punishment on the homosexuality ARE NOT BEING REAL CHRISTIANS. But you probably know that already. Unfortunately though, people like that cast a bad light on the real Christians out there. It’s not that all people in the Church are like this, it’s just that there’s an awful lot of people who are just messed up Christians. Or should I say “Churchians”. And the rest of the world can see that.
But back to my original idea: there are a lot of people in the Christian faith that, besides being big hypocrites, convince people that you get to heaven by your works. But that is the farthest from the truth. Please believe me when I say this. Some people will say that getting to heaven is all about YOU and what YOU do, but in reality, heaven is all about JESUS. Jesus is the only one who will get you to heaven, because he was the one who took our sins upon himself as he died on the cross. By taking our sins, he was the Pascal Lamb, and God took those sins and spread them as far as the East is from the West. When we accept God’s gift of salvation, we become perfect in the eyes of a perfect God. Our hearts are changed from an inky black to a beautiful, pure white. Getting to heaven is not about us, but about Jesus. And the only thing we need to do is accept that.
The ironic part is that after we accept salvation, God’s love fills us up so that we do go out and do things. Getting to heaven is not about our works, but our works are what define us as Christians. Because if after receiving God’s love we do not go out and love other people, then we aren’t really Christians. There’s a delicate balance between “your works are what save you” and “your works show that you are saved”. As Jefferson Bethke says so much better than I, “Religion: If I obey, then God will love me. Gospel: because God already loves me, I want to obey.”
p.s. sorry, once again, karma was less integrated in the post than I was originally thinking it would be. Woops.