Karma “by any other name”
by Sandy Simpson, 5/1/14
According to Wikipedia:
“Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the principle of causality where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in some schools of Asian religions. In these schools, karma in the present affects one's future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives - or, one's saṃsāra. With origins in ancient India, it is a key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Ching Hai and others.” (emphasis mine)
Mirram-Webster defines it this way:
the force created by a person's actions that is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine what that person's next life will be like: the force created by a person's actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person
Given the definitions of “karma” above, this same idea, usually without the reincarnation aspect in Christian circles, has been taught for decades in New Thought movements such as the Positive Thinking/Positive Confession teachings of Norman Vincent Peale & Robert Schuller, the Word of Faith ideas of Essex Kenyan, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn, the mixture of Eastern Mysticism and Christianity by Korean false teachers such as the “force of faith” Paul Yongii Cho, and newer renditions and fusions by people like Joel Osteen, Joseph Prince, T.D. Jakes (recently agreeing with Oprah Winfrey who teaches karma on her WHO network), and others such as Ernest Angley, John Bevere, Markus Bishop, Juanita Bynum, Morris Cerullo, Kim Clement, Paul Crouch, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey, Brian Houston, Rodney Howard-Browne, Larry Huch, Bishop Eddie L. Long, Clarence McClendon, Joyce Meyer, Myles Munroe, Steve Munsey, Mike Murdock, Rod Parsley, Peter Popoff, Fred Price, Oral Roberts, R.W. Shambach, Robert Schuller, Karl Strader, Robert Tilton, Paula White, Ed Young and many others.
The teachings of Positive Thinking/Positive Confession in the Word of Faith movement have been supported and fostered by unbiblical teachings such as the phrase “judge not lest you be judged”. This saying of Jesus, taken from Matt. 7:1, is yanked out of context and applied to everything in life in order to get people to not say anything negative. And yet a few verses later in the same message Jesus warns people to “watch out for false prophets”.
Matt. 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Matt. 7:1, in context, is speaking of one specific type of judging, namely hypocritical judging; judging someone else for something of which you are guilty. Yet this teaching has made the rounds of many denominations and many Christians are quick to bring this idea up if you have the audacity to prove their Christian “idol(s)” are teaching heresy. They are quick to say: “Judge not; you are so negative; you are just a heresy hunter”. I refer you to my teaching on how we ARE to judge in my article “How To Discern, Test and Judge Rightly”. The fact is that we ARE called to judge, particularly those inside the churches.
1 Corinthians 5:12-13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
But to an adherent of the new Christian “karma” you are not allowed to say negative things about another person. The reason is twofold: (1) rebuking someone does not fit the postmodern relativist paradigm of positive thinking and not judging and (2) if you do rebuke people you will have negative things happen to you. To prove my point that these teachers are teaching karma, I offer a smattering of quotes from some of these teachers who have mixed the New Age with Christianity.
He wants to fill your life with “new wine,” but are you willing to get rid of your old wineskins? Will you start thinking bigger? Will you enlarge your vision and get rid of those old negative mind-sets that hold you back? (Joel Osteen, LeSea broadcasting Joyce Meyer, July 19, 2007)
“You can cancel out God's plan by speaking negative words. God works by laws.” (Joel Osteen, “Speaking Faith Filled Words,” Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)
“Why did God take away the voice of Zacharias? (Luke 1:11-20) Because God knew his [Zacharias] negative words would cancel out His [God] plan.” (Joel Osteen, “Speaking Faith Filled Words,” Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004) I need to show how silly this all is. Zacharias was judged by the angel because of his disbelief in the message - not because of what he would say later. Can anything man says cancel what God ordains? (Preaching A False Positive With A Smile by Mike Oppenheimer)
“If you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you” (Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, p. 5).
“The first step to living at your full potential is to enlarge your vision. To live your best life now, you must start looking at life through eyes of faith, seeing yourself rising to new levels. See your business taking off. See your marriage restored. See your family prospering. See your dreams coming to pass. You must conceive it and believe it is possible if you ever hope to experience it” (Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, p. 4, emphasis his).
“You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind… If you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you… Start anticipating promotions and supernatural increase. You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it… You must make room for increase in your own thinking, and then God will bring those things to pass” (Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, pp. 5-6).
“Whatever your mountain is, you must do more than think about it, more than pray about it; you must speak to that obstacle… Start calling yourself healed, happy, whole, blessed, and prosperous. Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are, and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is” (Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, p. 124).
“The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it. This is a spiritual principle, and it works whether what you are saying is good or bad, positive or negative” (Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now, p. 129).
Kenneth Copeland states the faith formula this way: “All it takes is (Taken from The Secret DVD) seeing or visualizing whatever you need, whether physical or financial; (Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1993), p. 74, 75.) and staking your claim on Scripture; and speaking it into existence.” (Ibid., p. 80.) (Gary Gilley, Joel Osteen and the Prosperity Gospel, 10/12)
Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church in South Korea , borrowing from the occult, has developed what he calls the “Law of Incubation.” Here is how it works: “First make a clear-cut goal, then draw a mental picture, vivid and graphic, to visualize success. Then incubate it into reality, and finally speak it into existence through the creative power of the spoken word.” (Ibid., pp. 83, 84) (Gary Gilley, Joel Osteen and the Prosperity Gospel, 10/12)
(Charles) Capps has gone so far as to teach that Jesus was the product of God's positive confession: "This is the key to understanding the virgin birth. God's Word is full of faith and spirit power. God spoke it. God transmitted that image to Mary. She received the image inside of her....The embryo that was in Mary's womb was nothing more than the Word of God....She conceived the Word of God." (Charles Capps, Dynamics of Faith and Confession (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1987), 86-87; cf. Charles Capps, Authority in Three Worlds (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1982), 76-85)
“Job tapped into the negative side of the faith force by a negative confession …” [Benny Hinn, Adapted and/or excerpted by permission from the 2/94 The Berean Call (P.O. Box 7019, Bend, OR 97708, and from a 1992 Media Spotlight Special Report (P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073).]
Hogwash! Job made one of the most positive confessions, not to improve himself, but of his faith in God.
Job 1:21 (Job) said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
(Essex) Kenyon's teaching about "the power of words" and his warnings never to make a "negative confession" [Kenyon and Gosset, Confession, pp. 129-36, 152-55, 182-85, etc.] deeply influenced Hagin and many others who are recognized today as leaders of the word of faith/positive confession movement. Kenyon also taught that man is a little god "in God's class" and therefore can use the same faith-force that God does. [E.W. Kenyon, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne? (Kenyon, 1945, 5th ed.) pp. 62, 173-76.] We allegedly create our own reality with the words of our mouth: "What I confess, I possess." [E.W. Kenyon, The Hidden Man: An Unveiling of the Subconscious Mind (Kenyon, 1970), p. 98.] (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/word-faith2.html)
I could cite many more quotes, thousands from those listed above and others. But the fact is that New Age and Eastern Mysticism has been ladled into many Christians and churches by these false teachers. These unbiblical ideas trace their origin back to the original lie of Satan in the Garden … that men can be “like God”. Please read my article called “They Will Believe the Lie” to see just how far the devil has penetrated the churches and individuals from the beginning. The idea that we can create our own reality and things we want “ex nihilo” as only God can do shows that those who believe and teach the ideas of “Positive Thinking/Positive Confession” have indeed believed the BIG lie.