I have been visiting your page often and it's great to see you're updating it with new material often. You know there is an interesting teaching I've found in the church for a long time and seemingly no rebuttal. I consider my Pastor a spiritual man as well as a man of the word. I don't agree on all his views or biblical interpretations, but then I doubt I agree with anyone on all of their views and would be surprised if anyone out there agreed with me on all of mine. Still there are somethings being taught in the church that cause me concern and it would be great to see some articles on your site about this. I've looked quite extensively on the net and think either I must be completely missing it or 95% of the church must have it wrong.
What I'm speaking about is the "Law of Reaping and Sowing" We hear it so often and it's always refered to this way that it seems no one ever seems to notice what is being taught is Karma! I sent my Pastor an email about this and asked him, since he's been doing a whole teaching on it, if he had considered how he was actually teaching Karma and asked him to please clarify from the pulpit the difference. The email he sent me back both surprised me and caused me no little concern. Following is the course of the limited conversation. My first email... his response.. my response and then silence since. (start from the bottom and work your way up)
I have found it interesting and again quite concerning that only a handful of Christians have been able to define even the slightest difference between these 2 things. And not one of them seems to understand that Sowing and Reaping is NOT a LAW.
I'm hoping maybe you'll do a paper on it as it would be a nice resource to point people to. I think they're thinking I'm either a nut or just critical. The fact taht I've finished bible college and have some small understanding of our Lord's word doesn't seem to matter much.
I'm probably still missing but still so far as you've explained there is no difference between karma and law of sowing and reaping... we can also not gain our salvation by sowing and reaping... and so far the teaching has been basically what you give out is what you give back... since we can't give out perfection or sinlessness than neither sowing nor reaping nor karma would gain us salvation....
I hope you'll be able to clear this up... as I would hate to think any other christians out there would make the same connection I have and not have a ready answer for it.... Don't get me wrong I do believe there is a HUGE difference between them.
> Hi Andrew - Karma was developed from simply observing the laws God
> built into the universe. As explained, of course, it is not entirely
> adequate because it is an observation, like a primitive observing that
> the light goes on when you move the switch up and goes off when you
> move the switch down. That is same principle. But the observers who
> see reciprocity and call it "karma" could only speculate about origin
> and end and about how far it applies. Grace often alters reciprocity
> and salvation by grace is not "karmic" in the least. Hope the short
> answer was at least somewhat helpful. John
I've got a question, hoping maybe you can address it some Sunday morning. Maybe no one else has considered it but so far from all the teaching I've been hearing on the "Law of sowing and reaping" I can't detect any difference between the way it's being taught and Karma... if there is no difference then is it ok for for us to believe in karma?
[This E-mail scanned for viruses by Declude Virus]
zLook at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into
barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 Which of you by worrying can add one 1cubit to his 2stature?
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Mt 6:26). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
4 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You swicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Mt 25:24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and vGod feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Lk 12:23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, bfor they are already white for harvest! 36 cAnd he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that dboth he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: e‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; fothers have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Jn 4:35). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that mhe who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 nIf we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (1 Co 9:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
dBut this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows 4bountifully will also reap 4bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, enot grudgingly or of 5necessity; for fGod loves a cheerful giver. 8 gAnd God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
h“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (2 Co 9:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for jwhatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap keverlasting life. 9 And llet us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap mif we do not lose heart.
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Ga 6:7).
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for jwhatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap keverlasting life. 9 And llet us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap mif we do not lose heart. 10 nTherefore, as we have opportunity, olet us do good to all, pespecially to those who are of the household of faith.
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Ga 6:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
Jesus said to them, y“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to zfinish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes athe harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, bfor they are already white for harvest! 36 cAnd he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that dboth he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: e‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; fothers have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Jn 4:34). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
But sthe wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, twithout partiality uand without hypocrisy. 18 vNow the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peac
The New King James Version. 1996, c1982 (Jas 3:17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The key to the Master’s orders
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will sendforth labourers into His harvest. Matthew 9:38.
The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood to-day, because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God. The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelization. The key is prayer. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest.” Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary commonsense point of view.
There are no nations in Jesus Christ’s outlook, but the world. How many of us pray without respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray that labourers may be thrust out to reap. We are taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities. Suppose the crisis comes in your father’s life, in your brother’s life, are you there as a labourer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? ‘Oh, but I have a special work to do!’ No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls to no special work: He calls to Himself. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer circumstances and thrust you out.
Chambers, O. (1993, c1935).
My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (October 16). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.
And greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. John 14:12.
Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work. We think of prayer as a commonsense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God’s work. In the teaching of Jesus Christ prayer is the working of the miracle of Redemption in me which produces the miracle of Redemption in others by the power of God. The way fruit remains is by prayer, but remember it is prayer based on the agony of Redemption, not on my agony. Only a child gets prayer answered; a wise man does not.
Prayer is the battle; it is a matter of indifference where you are. Whichever way God engineers circumstances, the duty is to pray, Never allow the thought—‘I am of no use where I am’; because you certainly can be of no use where you are not. Wherever God has dumped you down in circumstances, pray, ejaculate to Him all the time. “Whatsoever ye ask in My name, that will I do.” We won’t pray unless we get thrills, that is the intensest form of spiritual selfishness. We have to labour along the line of God’s direction, and He says pray. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.”
There is nothing thrilling about a labouring man’s work, but it is the labouring man who makes the conceptions of the genius possible; and it is the labouring saint who makes the conceptions of his Master possible. You labour at prayer and results happen all the time from God’s standpoint. What an astonishment it will be to find, when the veil is lifted, the souls that have been reaped by you, simply because you had been in the habit of taking your orders from Jesus Christ.
Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (October 17). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.