Month: June 2012

Matters of faith, part 3

“It’s clear to me that karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. At the center of all religions is karma. You know, the idea that what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow, every reaction has an equal and opposite one, etc. But then along comes this idea called grace to upend all of that stuff. 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 trouble if karma was going to decide my fate, because it doesn’t erase my mistakes. I’m holding out for grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the cross.”

This is a quote from Bono, world-renowned rock star and humanitarian. And I must say that he has some important things to talk about.

However, I’m not hear to ram anything down anyone’s throat. The beauty of Christianity is that, while often misinterpreted and misrepresented, is that following Jesus is a personal choice. This differentiates Christianity from all other world religions. And while other religions sometimes make valid points about original sin, the need to do good, and the state of the sinful world, none offer a rationally legitimate choice of a serious way to God. Many offer promises of enlightenment or inner peace, but it’s all based on works.

You can rely on karma to help you, or you can rest in the idea of grace. You see, good works can only get you so far. Logically speaking, it makes sense to have to appease a perfect God by giving to the poor and homeless, doing good to others, and serving God in many other ways. But I believe that Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died ¬†for the sins of man specifically so that we wouldn’t have to work our way into God’s good graces. That’s what I believe, and that’s the point.

It’s logically inconsistent to believe in the requirement of good deeds to get to heaven, and to also believe in Jesus’ sacrifice. Personally, I’d rather rest and have peace in God’s grace than have to worry, “Am I doing enough to please a holy, righteous God?” You see, Jesus’ sacrifice covers all of our sins – past, present, and future.

I end with a quote from Christian metal pioneers August Burns Red, “It’s not about my beliefs, it’s about personal choice.”

Jesus always offered people a choice. Some followed Him, but others refused when it became too difficult. I think it’s so simple and poetic that Jesus called a group of fishermen, tax collectors, and ordinary guys to “follow me.” He left the choice up to them. And that’s my job as a Christian: to tell people the good news that they have the option to follow Christ. But I always remind myself that personal faith is just that – a personal decision.

That’s my thoughts for the day. God bless!