The Law of Karma

The law of Karma is an attractive idea. It's one of the fundamental principles of the eastern, Indian-based religions. It is the impersonal law of reward and punishment. Good deeds I perform produce positive karma which in turn comes back to me in the form of reward, be that material blessing or a better reincarnation. Bad deeds solicit bad karma which will in turn come back to bite me on the bottom. 

So why is it so attractive? It underpins a strong sense of justice. Evil-doers who apparently get away without being held to account, will never evade punishment. It helps explain current misfortunes; those who suffer are receiving the over due consequences of their bad deeds. More positively, no good deed, no matter how secret, goes unrewarded.
 
Unfortunately the concept is at odds with the gospel. Karma says that I can be good, I just sometimes choose not to be. The gospel says I'm entirely fallen and wicked; my righteousness is liked soiled rags. Karma presupposes that I have a number of lives and opportunities in which I get a second and third chance. The gospel says its appointed to me to die once and then face the judgement. Karma says my effort and good works can result in reward; the gospel says 
 
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling.
Naked come to Thee for dress,
Helpless look to Thee for grace.
Foul I to the fountain fly
Wash me Saviour or I die.