Karma Upgrade

What version of Karma are you running? I don’t mean on your computer, I mean in your daily life. Karma has been through a bunch of versions through the centuries and the all time best upgrade includes a fool-proof Karma Firewall!

If you haven’t reviewed your Karma recently, then you need to read this illuminating report.

Buddha and Karma

Contrary to popular notions, the concept of karma which Gautama Buddha presented back in the sixth century B.C. was primarily negative. That is to say, Buddha believed that karmic thought, word or deed deserved karmic revenge – a curse of suffering that pursues the person till he or she dies. Buddha’s original notion of karma is very close to what Moses presented in previous generations. When people do wrong they must suffer or are under a curse because of their actions and thoughts. A penalty is hanging over everyone’s head that we cannot run away from, no matter what we do.

Karma and Reincarnation

Buddha realised that karma could not be easily conquered and that its impact is deadly. Karma locks people into fear. It demands an eternal payment which is exacted when the person suffers in this life and in the after-life.

Buddha did not necessarily agree with the Hindu notion of reincarnation. Reincarnation should be seen as a curse which karma inflicts upon people, making them tread this world of suffering over and over again. What hope is there of ever resolving karma’s revenge?

Buddha told his followers that there was no way a person could ultimately become free from their karma, no matter how many lives they were forced to live and re-live. Reincarnation offered nothing to Buddha, but a hopeless perpetuation of the curse of karma.

Even if people could be reincarnated, to have another chance to live life and accumulate more karma, they would be locked into an endless cycle of repeated mistakes, suffering and reincarnations. True deliverance would have to come from an outside deliverer who would save mankind from karma.

A New Hope

It is known that Buddha predicted the coming of a Holy One who would deliver people from karma. This Holy One was to be recognized by wounds in his head and in his hands. Many of us believe we have already found this Holy One!

The Western Upgrade

Eastern mysticism has been dressed up and repackaged for today’s westerners. Popularised by various Hindu yogis, supported by such popular identities as the Beatles rock group and disseminated in a host of books about eastern topics, eastern mysticism has been packaged as a New Age movement.

In the New Age movement ideas from Hinduism and Buddhism have been merged with anything that carries an alternative spirituality to the faith of the Bible. In that repackaging process karma has been re-packaged as a new Western version.

Western devotees now speak of “good karma” and teach you how to increase your good karma. While it is possible that good deeds may be seen as good karma, Buddha never said that good karma can erase bad karma. Yet it is popular in commercialised western mysticism to offer people the hopeful notion of karma as a friend.

In that repackaging, the notion of reincarnation has also been interpreted as a friendly process, not a hopeless futility. Upward progress is believed in, as people conquer their bad karma, cultivate good karma and finally get to live “happily ever after”.

The Western upgrade of karma is fake. It is a seductive repackaging of the hopelessness and bondage of eastern religion, to seduce westerners away from the highly effective and valuable religious roots of their culture. Eastern religions have produced eastern living, which includes the caste system, poor economy, limited technology, religious masochism and so on.

Western culture owes little to eastern mysticism, while the east owes much of its modern advances to the Christian-based West.

The Karma Seduction

What is seductive about the western ‘upgrade’ of karma is that it denies what Buddha taught two and a half millennia ago. Buddha knew that karma was unconquerable and that the only hope was an external deliverer who would break the power of karma from our lives.

The western upgrade has dressed up karma in people-friendly garb. But if people think they can generate good karma and get rid of their own bad karma, they are deceived. They will become self-reliant and not look for the saviour which so many ancients prophesied about and waited for.

The karma seduction will doom people to ultimate judgement for their wrong doing. It will rob them of the saviour they need.

Westerners, once wonderfully blessed by knowledge of Jesus Christ as saviour, are being led away from the real help they need, to foolish confidence in their own ability to save themselves.

If you have had a Western Upgrade on your karma then you have been infected with a deadly virus which will eat the heart out of you and leave you ready for the eternal scrap-heap.

The Karma Firewall

What you need is not a karma upgrade, but the Karma Firewall. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses you from all sin (1John 1:7). When you confess your wrongs to God He will not only forgive you but cleanse you from the effects of that sin (1John 1:9).

The blood of Jesus Christ is the firewall that blocks all effects of karma. It roots out the old infections, no matter how long they have been in your system. It also quickly neutralises all new infections.

That means you are able to go straight to the ultimate level. You don’t need reincarnation. You don’t need to earn your way out of your mess. You don’t go back to square one and have a clean slate. You get upgraded to a Son of God! You enter into relationship with the creator of the universe, Almighty God.

Jesus Christ has suffered for all our karma, in any and all of its forms.

My Silly Old Poem

Years ago I wrote a little ditty to celebrate the finished work of Christ in delivering us from karma and the need for reincarnation.

“Jesus Christ has freed me from my karma, and I’ve been born again.
Jesus Christ has done away with karma, and I’m complete in Him.
I’ve been born again; Didn’t need a reincarnation.
I’ve been born again, And it’s called salvation!”

Get your upgrade today!

More Information

For more information on Buddhism and the teachings of Buddha I recommend the excellent book by Steve Cioccolanti, called “From Buddha To Jesus: And Insider’s View of Buddhism & Christianity”. You can find out more by visiting: http://www.buddhabook.org

Yesterday is Gone

The Beatles made a huge hit singing “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away”. And others waxed poetic about how “Yesterday’s gone” and how they remember “Yesterday when I was young” and so on.

Yesterday’s Hold

The reason “yesterday” has such a hold on people’s lives is that we all carry the past into the present and beyond that into the future. Yesterday is the time we sowed certain things into our lives and today we reap the harvest. So yesterday is a powerful component of ‘today’ and it will still be making its presence felt when we get to tomorrow.

The Catholic Church teaches people to go to confession to deal with the sins of yesterday. Someone sneered at the habit of some who sin during the week and look for forgiveness in the confessional on the weekend. They said it was like sowing wild oats all week and then praying for a crop failure.

The Hindu faith respects the baggage of yesterday as karma, which we carry not only through this life, but into future lives which Hindus believe they will face. Gautama Buddha, who rejected the Hindu teaching of reincarnation, went so far as to say that we cannot remove our Karma even in a thousand lifetimes.

Yesterday’s Debris

Here are just a few of the things we bring with from yesterday, even though yesterday is gone.

We bring our disappointments from yesterday. We face disappointments with others, such as our parents and family. But we also face disappointments with ourselves.

We bring our broken relationships from yesterday. Once we have offended someone else or they have offended us that damage remains, often throughout life. Family reunions and community life become tinged with the hurt and offence that we feel toward others and they feel toward us.

We bring our compromises from yesterday. Once we have compromised our values and character that becomes a weak spot for us from that time on.

We bring our slaveries from yesterday. When we give in to sin, such as anger, pride, jealousy or lust, that thing enslaves us and it controls us throughout our lives.

Today’s Harvest

It is also true, as the Bible teaches, that our actions and choices involve us sowing seeds in our lives. A seed not only remains, but it germinates and produces a whole crop. So when we sow something into our life, we are setting up a harvest in the future.

Today’s harvest is filled with the fruit of the things we planted yesterday. If we planted selfishness, pride, anger, greed, violence, self-pity, wilfulness, addiction, lies or other evil things, we will have an evil harvest today.

If we planted forgiveness, faith, love, trust, humility and the fear of God then we will have a much better harvest today than others might have.

Yesterday is not ‘Gone’

While the songs might say, “yesterday’s gone” it isn’t true. Yesterday has passed, but it has not ‘gone’. Yesterday lives with you today.

Just as yesterday’s piano lessons undergird today’s musicianship and yesterday’s studies undergird today’s understanding, yesterday’s moral choices undergird today’s character.

Transforming Yesterday

“You can’t go back in time” is one way to look at it. “What’s done is done!” might be your way of dismissing the past. But there are powerful ways of unlocking the past and transforming yesterday. Let me briefly outline two of them.

Confession of Sin is a powerful way to unlock and transform yesterday. When you repent of the choices you made in the past God is able to set you free from the debris and consequences of those choices in the present. You can actually get a crop failure, even though you sowed lots of wild oats.

God can go back in time. While you are stuck in the time-space continuum, God exists outside of time. So He is able to go back to your past and make Himself present, bringing healing to things that are part of your yesterday that has ‘gone’ from you.

A Testimony

A friend of mine named Malcolm visited a lady who had chronic problems. When he prayed for her she had a vision of a baby crying in a cot. She realised that she was seeing herself as a tiny baby. She sensed the extreme distress of the baby and it connected with the pain that kept surfacing in her life.

A spirit of intercession came on Mal and he began to weep for her. As he did she saw in her vision that the door to the baby’s room opened and Jesus walked in. Jesus lifted the baby into His arms and as He did the woman felt all her pain and torment drain from her life.

It was as if Jesus was able to go back in time to the entry point of the woman’s troubles and resolve them, even though that was now many years past.

Saying Good-bye to Yesterday

If yesterday has brought its bad baggage with it into your today then be encouraged to say “Good-bye” to that stuff. You can remove it forever by confession and by asking the Lord to unlock and heal your past.

The Steps to Release, which I have written about in my books and in other posts, will be helpful in this process.

I want you to live in the freedom with which Christ has made you free. I want you to be able to say, in all reality, that Yesterday is Gone! Keep all that is good from yesterday and unlock and remove all that is bad. Once you’ve said “Good-bye” to yesterday’s rubbish you will have an even better future to look forward to.

Chili con Carne for Logophiles

If I labelled this post as ‘incarnation’ you probably would have skipped over it, but if I aimed at your stomach there’s a higher chance you’ll give this post a look – so “I got you!”

I’m doing another word thing, so I put Logophiles in the title line. Let me lead you through a review of Chili con Carne and other words, to get to something worth keeping in mind.

Chili con carne is the name of a meat dish, coming to us from the Spanish. Chili refers to chilli – duh! ‘con carne’ means ‘with meat’. The Spanish word ‘carne’ originates from the Latin and means flesh or meat.

The same Latin root is used in English words. A carnivore is a creature that eats meat. So, a crow is a carnivorous bird.

The word Carnival originated with reference to meat, since the original event was a festival that took place in the Lenten season, where meat is not eaten. So the ‘carn’ was lifted, giving us ‘carnival’.

To ‘incarnate’ means to make something into flesh. Thus to ‘re-incarnate’ means to make something into meat once again. The concept of reincarnation involves a person losing their ‘meat’ and being put back into a flesh body at a later time.

So that leads me to a closer look at ‘incarnation’. Incarnation is the process of something that is not flesh taking on human form. This is what happened with Jesus Christ. He has always existed as God. We know that God is spirit, so Christ was a spirit being, without fleshly body, from before the beginning of time. The incarnation is a miracle, because God stepped into the natural realm, which He is not bound by, and endured its impositions and limitations, so he could take upon Himself a human body.

The Shocking Incarnation

Some religions are offended by the idea of the incarnation. In the late 1980’s I heard a Moslem speaker contend with the claim that Jesus Christ is God. The speaker, at that time a leading international orator on behalf of the Moslem faith, claimed that the Koran defined a god as a being that did not have an anus. A deity should not be subject to the physiological impositions of our human existence. The orator pointed out that one of the Australian Aboriginal tribes also had the same definition of a god, by which he effectively put Islam on the same footing as a tribal belief system.

By reference to the Koranic definition of a god, the orator declared that Jesus Christ could not be God, because the requisite anatomical qualification was not met.

Now, it is true that the Living God is not subject to the limitation of human flesh. Due biological process is not something that impacts Almighty God in the slightest. He is spirit and free of all the limitations and constraints impacting mankind.

So, God’s willingness to endure the ‘incarnation’ makes it all the more wonderful. It is a miracle that the God of the universe should so choose to identify with the beings He created that He would subject Himself to the indignity of human existence. But there’s more. God not only became human, including the necessary biological implications, but He allowed Himself to be falsely condemned to death and then butchered in a sacrificial carnage.

Oh, and there’s another ‘carne’ word. Carnage refers to the flesh of slain animals or men. Carnage involves death and dead bodies. Bodies cut open, bleeding and dismembered befit the concept of carnage.

Jesus Christ had his flesh torn open by cruel scourging. His hands and feet were torn open by the nails. His side was spear-pierced and His head punctured with thorns.

It is shocking that any God would allow such treatment, especially when He had the power and authority to do as He wills. The only way such an event could occur is with the willing co-operation of God, Himself.

So the Moslem orator was right in his desire to elevate the quality of deity, but wrong in his understanding of the incarnation. His god would never perform such an act of love. His god would not suffer indignity and pay an inconceivable price to save his followers.

Our God, the true and Living God, God Almighty, is the God of the incarnation. Jesus Christ is the ‘incarnate God’ – the God who became flesh.

Now, the thing that often stops people from loving and accepting the salvation available via our incarnate Saviour is man’s ‘carnal’ nature. Man is spirit, but he is ‘also flesh’ (Genesis 6:3). That ‘flesh’ is our ‘carnal’ dimension. When we live out of our fleshly desires we are living a carnal life. If we live after the flesh we will die. But if we, through the Spirit of God, put to death the deeds of our carnal body we will live.

Christians have crucified (died to) their fleshly inclinations and they present their body to God as a living sacrifice. And therein they find life that is far beyond the rewards of their fleshly existence.

Now, you just go right ahead and enjoy your Chili con carne. And as you do, spare a thought for the wonder of the incarnation and the challenges of your own carnality.