12/2/15 Alex 20
Are east and west really that far apart? Is the eastern worldview so different from western beliefs and values that the Gospel is not even relevant? Or are human nature and human needs the same no matter what part of the world we are from? We reached out to an Asian biology major who goes by the western name Alex today. His belief in reincarnation and a continuing cycle of existence seems opposite the western linear view of time, just as his belief in “karma” as an impersonal force seems opposite the western view of a personal God whom we can relate to. But isn’t the Gospel universal? Doesn’t it apply to everyone? What is the basic spiritual need that we share with the rest of humanity? The interesting thing about “karma” and reincarnation is that it still involves a belief in right and wrong behavior, in accountability to a higher power and judgment, and in a soul with eternal existence. There is still a desire to “make things right” when it comes to our guilt due to our bad behavior and I pointed out these commonalities to Alex. The difference lies in how our guilt can be removed. For many who believe in reincarnation, the idea that one can eventually get it right is attractive. But Alex agreed with me that doing the good we ought to do – whether in this life or in another – doesn’t get rid of the guilt we have over doing what our conscience warns us is wrong behavior. The belief in karma is still nothing more than a belief that one can earn salvation by good deeds, whether in this lifetime or the next. East or west, we are all equally guilty of sin before our Creator, and we all equally need a Savior.