Karma vs Grace

16 Jun

You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff…

I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity…

I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled… It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.


Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas, Hodder, 2005, 203-4.

17 Responses to “Karma vs Grace”

  1. barbara June 16, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    good stuff and thought provoking

    • John Langbal July 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      A half truth is never the whole truth. Oh yes, you most certainly reap what you sow, both for this world and the next. Jesus died for those who were willing to turn their backs on sinful living and make Him Lord of their lives.
      Bono has not done that and will see what comes back to him both in this world and the next. He claims to know Jesus, yet he “still can’t find what I’m looking for”.

      • Jim Marjoram July 22, 2011 at 9:56 am #

        Thats a rather shallow and judgmental statement John. Seems like you know a bit more about Bono’s heart than the rest of us. I’m glad God doesn’t mind that some of us are still very rough around the edges.
        I might also add that if you live under the Old Covenant then you may reap what you sow. But the New Covenant totally does away with all that, completely and utterly. Yes, sin can have consequences in terms of our life on earth, but thanks God for Jesus, who wiped away all sin AND its consequences.

      • Renee January 30, 2012 at 3:56 am #

        Well, John… It’s a good thing for Bono, and the rest of us, that only God can judge us. And you might want to ask Bono, but I’m pretty sure he’s found what he was looking for… he wrote that song 25 years ago…

      • Danny Joshua Israel, February 11, 2012 at 1:17 am #

        Salvation is NOT shown by lip service but by, as Jesus said, “you will know them by their fruit” I chose to go with you on this one John, regardless of what your, and now my critics have to say!!! One, anyone, no-one….. can impress God by trying to buy their salvation, by doing wonderful things and then staying in the world!!! “you MUST be born again” then, acts of faith will earn you rewards and, or treasures in heaven. “Karma” is a new age term, and the new age believe there are many roads to God. Bono thinks he has the way, I say he is welcome to it, although, I would pray he find the “Jesus, {The Way, The Truth and The Light”} road!!!!

      • Richard February 11, 2012 at 9:08 am #

        Sounds like the Gospel plus something else again….Sigh!!!

      • Mayzee February 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

        Sorry, but we can’t even turn our backs on sinful living without the help of our loving God. If you think you can do that all by yourself, you are deceived and you are under the influence of a spirit of religion. The Pharisees did all the works perfectly. They tithed, prayed, looked so perfect. Oh yes. They dressed the part and they, like so many religious types today, pointed at anyone they thought was falling short and pronounced judgment upon them, taking God’s place as divine judge and, in effect, becoming their own idol. Did the thief on the cross have time to turn from sinful living? Seems to me he accepted Christ and died without having one single turn from sin thingee to show for it, and yet, Jesus said, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” How do you know what Bono has or has not done in his heart? You are God, are you? I’m sorry, but you’re not and God did not advertise an advisory position and you did not apply and get the job. You need to repent of your sin and take the log out of your own eye before you go around trying to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

      • Lorie Neighbors February 13, 2012 at 5:19 am #

        I cannot for the life of me understand how you think you can play God here and begin to know whether or not Bono knows Jesus. Comments like yours anger me.

      • Rose Abbott March 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

        Not much Grace coming from you is there? Seems you’ve made yourself Bono’s judge…the very thing he is saying is that God is our judge…not people called John.

  2. Kandas July 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Wiped away completely… not just covered it for another year as in the days of old. The perfect high priest found a perfect lamb to be sacrifice, but this lamb was different than any other lamb they have ever seen. This on is going to serve as the perfect atonement and then they would not have to come back next year to do the sacrifices. Once for all… Never to be angry at us again… You go Bono… I’ve done some stupid stuff in my life as well, and if it wasn’t for God undeserving unconditional love and grace in abundance that NEVER stops… It would’ve been better never to be born. He is more than we could ever ask or hope for… He also has more than we could ever ask or hope for.

  3. Roshan Easo September 6, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Bono speaks of consequences we deserved being thwarted by God. But the classic preacher will remind you that we also get good things that we don’t deserve – this is GRACE as well. It’s not enough to wipe out AIDS and Malaria, but also to put in their place the love of wife and children. That’s what grace does.

  4. pope Leo February 1, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Interesting! comments by Bono. I have in the past advocated that the concept of karma forms part of Eastern philosophical/ speculation and world view that is equally diabolical and dangerous as western materialism

  5. Karl February 11, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    I don’t know Bono, or much about his personal views concerning Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. His perspective “sounds” okay…but much of what passes for acceptable Christianity contains an element of truth…Jesus said” When I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men to myself”..John 12:32 Stay focused on the Savior..lift up Jesus..His grace doesn’t need to be debated or repackaged in new language. I don’t find any biblical comparison between “karma” and grace in my bible.

    • Sean W February 11, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      He’s said “karma” because thats a term the world uses a lot to depict how the universe works, and no karma wouldn’t be in the bible, but the concept still remains the same. Yes, God lets us reap our own reward. This is proven by what happened in the garden of eden, how man made a choice and received what he was due.

      His main point that he is getting at is that the grace we now have access to transcends all logically depictions of how the world normally acted.

      The statement isn’t meant to be picked apart like some philosophical scholar. Take it as it is.

      Jesus is big enough to cover our sin.

  6. Yvonne Wallace February 12, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Mercy and grace are often confused. While the terms have similar meanings, grace and mercy are not the same. To summarize the difference: mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is God blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it. Mercy is deliverance from judgment. Grace is extending kindness to the unworthy.

  7. Elliot Blu February 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    I find this concept of grace, where the Christian is concerned, to be very interesting. Especially since their Christ never once uttered the word. The concept of grace is a Paul concept and anyone that reads Acts or Paul’s letters knows that he went off the reservation with his teachings. When someone came to Jesus and asked how to have eternal life, he always answered, “Follow the Law.” or in essence, do something. In Mtt 25, when Jesus is separating the sheep from the goats, the goats are the ones that have spent their lives living a grace walk and then are shocked when he says, “I don’t know you.” The other funny thing about this is that the sheep actually thought they were the goats and didn’t have a clue why they were being welcomed. Jesus told them it was because they actually did stuff. Funny, the real goats were surprised in the end and the real sheep were surprised in the end. Makes me think there are going to be a hell of a lot of Christians that are surprised in the end and that heaven is for those that work to remove hell from earth by caring for those that are living in it.

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