Karma Part 2

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.”

Epylle Spydre

p.s. sorry, once again, karma was less integrated in the post than I was originally thinking it would be. Woops.

Karma Part 1

I love having books influence my blogging, it’s so much fun!  The book of the day is Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. In short, it’s about a little boy, Tony, and an herb woman named Ultima, and Tony’s experience growing up and all the philosophical and religious questions he has. So naturally, it makes for excellent blogging material on a mainly philosophizing blog. The biggest question Tony has is why does God allow bad things to happen?? In short, why do the bad guys win and the good guys lose?? On a less philosophical/religious approach to this question, check out my friend’s blog http://theacrimoniousphysicist.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/the-losers-and-the-cheaters/

Okay, the basic answer to this question would be that life isn’t fair. But I mean, that doesn’t really satisfy us. We’ve heard since we were little that life isn’t fair, we even hear it in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie from Snape (“Life isn’t fair, Potter. Your blessed father knew that. In fact, he frequently saw to it.”). So yes, we hear “life isn’t fair so just suck it up and deal with it” A LOT. But still, we ask why not.

Okay, here’s the part about karma. As teenagers, we really want to believe in karma. I mean, we see it on facebook a ton, “I would take revenge on you, but I’m just going to let karma take care of you.” It’s actually kind of sad that we would take a part of the Hindu faith and turn it into something everyday, making it jaded and commonplace. It really is kind of sad, especially since we use it in the “nature taking revenge on people who deserve it” type of way, which, at least to my knowledge, isn’t quite the truth. But I’m not an expert.

Still, it is an unprecedented truth that life isn’t fair. Good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Why is that? From a more religious standpoint, we ask, how can a God that is so good let so much evil exist in the world? I know people that aren’t Christian, and that is their major stumbling block. Life isn’t fair. There is evil in the world that is so dark sometimes. Horrible, awful things happen to good, innocent people. Think of the incident in Aurora, Colorado. Those people didn’t deserve to get shot. It just isn’t fair, and we don’t understand how there could be a god that is pure, good, righteous, and more importantly, looking out for us. We can say that maybe there is a god that likes people, but that that god doesn’t decide to act on that. The crazy part is that this simple belief is keeping people from the love of God. This simple belief is keeping people in the dark, and it pains me to hear people say that they don’t think God doesn’t act on his love.

I believe that there is darkness in the world for a very specific purpose. There is darkness in the world so that we could know better what the light looks like. Think about it. Just like the aliens in A Wrinkle in Time who never knew what sight was; if we didn’t have a dark, we wouldn’t appreciate the light. If we didn’t have the cold winter, we wouldn’t appreciate the warmth and beauty of spring and summer. I could make a million analogies here. But there is evil in the world so that we would know and appreciate the God that is perfect. We are imperfect, and thus have to rely on His perfection. The world is full of evil, because in reality, we’re longing for heaven. We’re longing for that beautiful state of perfection and bliss, and the darkness in our world helps to remind us of that. It keeps heaven in our hopes. I mean, you could go the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” route, but it doesn’t really explain why there is darkness in the world.  I say that the darkness helps us to see the light. It helps us to remember that we were made for the light, not for the evil of this world. Don’t get me wrong, this world is beautiful. This world we live in is purely amazing, a work of the genius hands of God. But what’s even more amazing about it is that it comes nowhere near the perfection we’ll find in heaven.

Epylle Spydre

p.s. sorry, the title was a bit misleading. I was just thinking, and I started with what I had at the beginnig of this blog, and went through what came into this blog, then my thoughts went back to karma and went a completely different rout, so I thought I’d make that other branch tomorrow’s blog, and make it a series!