Christianity and Reincarnation

Discussion in 'Reincarnation, Religion and Spirituality' started by Nightrain, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    There have been a number of discussions on this Forum, which have touched upon the theory that all references of reincarnation had been removed by the Church by the Roman Emperor Justinian I in 553 C.E. Yet, some have continued to argue that because the present Bible teaches Christians that Reincarnation is not part of Christian dogma. In this article, Reincarnation and Western Religion: Part I by Fr. Marty Patton suggests that the present Church is beginning to accept Reincarnation as a belief:
    The article is interesting in that Fr. Patton claims that Reincarnation was an integral part of Christian teachings, and that the five [sic] Gospels were edited without the cooperation of Pope Vigilius, who did not recognize the Second Council of Constantinople. Fr. Patton goes on to say,
    Several theories have been offered in other articles as to why references to Reincarnation were removed by order of the Emperor, but the reasons may never be thoroughly understood. What is certain is that the readings of the Saints will show that in spite of Justinian's directive, Reincarnation was an accepted belief according to: Origen, St. Francis of Assisi, Johannes Scotus Erigena, Thomas Campanella, O.P., St. Francis Xavier, St. Bonaventure, St. Ignatius Loyola and others.

    If this is true, why do so many Christians still feel so strongly that Reincarnation is a heretical belief?
     
  2. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    It's an interesting article, but I have a hard time believing that the Catholic Church is going to publically embrace reincarnation any time soon. I've heard recently that as many as 30% of Catholics believe in the possibility of reincarnation, which is a suprising number to me. However, the Church is built on traditions and dogma, and it is very slow to accept change. They still refuse to consider women becoming priests or allow priests to marry in spite of being faced with serious priest shortages.


    It is said that Christianity's refusal to accept reincarnation comes from the belief that it diminishes the importance of this life. People would be less likely to repent for their sins and embrace Christ if they knew they could reincarnate and have another chance rather than face the fires of Hell. I know my mom would say that reincarnation is a new age belief, and anyone who buys into it is being deceived by the devil.


    Then there's that whole thing that I don't think many people want reincarnation to be true. They want to believe that once life is over they get to go to Heaven and be done. They don't want to have to come back and do it all over again.
     
  3. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    The Plains USA
    Thanks Nighttrain for the interesting article. As a Catholic and as a firm believer in reincarnation I'm happy to see that these conversations are starting to surface. Religion is a funny thing because it is so captivating and restrictive. We believe therefore we cannot see...we belong therefore we can not seek...we are this and therefore can't be that. I am a Catholic because that is what we (my family, my people) have been for centuries. It is my heritage and my culture...and its the only church of any kind for many, many miles. But one very important lesson that I've learned in my day is that the journey of "religion" is a personal one. I believe the mistake folks make is in surrendering their ability to discern and learn. They relinquish the greatest gift (their own right to seek) to doctrine and dogma. I refuse to do that! I will go to any flavor of church, I love the time I spend with my Buddhist friends. My best friend, now deceased, once called me a heretic (he was a Catholic priest!: angel) for talking about the foolishness of doctrine. I openly talked about my belief in reincarnation with him, he simply rolled his eyes. But it was another Catholic priest, whom I've mentioned in my own reincarnation story, who told me not to doubt the gifts I've been given. He was a very sacred man and the way he spoke made me think he knew a lot more than he was letting on.


    I believe deeply that each of us must make this journey through life in step with our own individual course. To jump on a band wagon and blindly hang on with the belief that it will get you there reminds me of the movie line in Godspell "blind fools!" Yes faith is what it is called, the act of accepting something with trust surrendered. But I believe we were given the curiosity to seek truth. I feel very fortunate to have walked the path I'm on. It is not over and every step takes me further into it. Really to me the word "religion," the word "church," and all these other conceptual definitions are noise. The real truth is within each one of us. I think that obviously some of the early Christian leaders knew this too...and its good to see some of it popping up. But will any one listen? Some might, others will label it New Age, satanic, heretical.... Ultimately, no matter what flavor your belief, creed or religion is...we're all talking about the same God/Creator/Spirit etc...we're just using different words, different cultural tradition, and a myriad of perspectives to try and define or encapsulate some thing that is far beyond our senses. But hey, isn't this journey a great one!


    Well I best git off this soap box. Reincarnation and religion will, in my opinion, always be linked. They are simply the Way we are given to reach that ultimate destination. Discussions like this allow us to work out the kinks. Too many times they get carried away and thus we will be diligent here, but it IS important have threads like this because it is of such great importance to those, like myself, who are apart of the Christian faith. And, as I said many times, Christianity and reincarnation do not contradict each other as some want to purport.


    Tman
     
  4. Jadeswan

    Jadeswan Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma, USA
    That is so good! I think many Christians are afraid to accept a new idea because they are afraid of inadvertently being "led astray." It's sad that a fear of the new and previously unknown can cause people to stagnant and actually throw out truth in the name of protecting truth.


    I was raised as a Christian and grew up around people who identified themselves as Christians. I can only think of a couple with whom I would feel comfortable mentioning that I believe in reincarnation. In my circle, being a Christian who believes in reincarnation is something almost unheard of. I'm really glad to know there are a significant number of other Christians who also believe in reincarnation. It has been difficult for me to feel so isolated and unusual in my beliefs. Thank you for sharing the article, Nightrain.


    When I first realized that we get more chances to "get it right" my first impulse was to thank God for being so kind and compassionate as to not give us only one chance.
     
  5. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Thanks backatcha, Tman! I somehow feel that your great search is quite similar to mine; and, every time you write, the more I get the sensation of comradeship. Like you, my heritage is mostly Catholic, and I get the feeling of having been a fervent Christian for most of what I would opine to have been many past lives. But, I wonder how I could have survived as such, while instinctively holding onto the gnostic and heretical beliefs which seem to be hard-wired to my nature.


    Buried deep inside me is a resentment that comes from persecution, as if I had been someone who worked hard at studying the scriptures, and suddenly finds himself being dragged off to be burned, because some ruler wanted more control over the church. Even if such a thing never happened to me, I know that the things I instinctively believe today would surely bring about my horrific death, if I believed such things during several periods of Christian history.


    Although I believe that there is plenty of support for reincarnation without researching any kind of scripture; I surmise that religion still plays an important part in the current trend to accept such a philosophy. I don't expect most people to care about what part religion plays in this. However, I am, somehow, driven to seek some kind of justice for the many millions of souls that have been persecuted over the centuries over the concept of pre-existing souls.


    Undoubtedly, however, correcting dogma seems futile at this point after so long a period, and after so many religious schisms. The "Church", as some refer to the Roman Catholic denomination, no longer has any influence over all of Christianity; and I don't expect any of the fundamentalists to correct their dogmas, even if science could, somehow, prove the validity of reincarnation. But, I can't deny the deep impression that has been burned into my soul.
     
  6. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    This a great topic for a thread. :thumbsup: It has been, and hopefully will continue to be embraced with great wisdom. I feel that it is important to discuss this because it gets to the core of why reincarnation has been rejected in western cultures. Like Tman so beautifully expressed, spirituality is an individual journey. Just because someone has a title or is an elected official in their religion, it does not mean they have the right to decide your spiritual journey for you. Whatever your relationship with God is is yours and yours alone. No one is going to hell for not following a law that was written hundreds, if not thousands of years a go by men who wrote it with the intent of holding power over their subjects.

    Nightrain, what you've said really resonates with me. I know of one life in which I was persecuted, but I wonder if it even goes beyond that for me. I have a really sensitive spot when it comes to these sort of things. I have for a long time. I feel the bitterness and resentment bubble up inside me and I can't seem to help myself. Those wounds just don't seem to want to heal. When someone starts threatening with hell or the devil, I get down right angry.
     
  7. usetawuz

    usetawuz Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    My background is one of lax christianity followed by a strong, burgeoning faith in God, the Creator, who infuses everything, including the air we breathe, with some semblence of consciousness. I hold my current experience and all those previous experiences that I am aware of, and for those which I only get bits and pieces, as differing opportunities to experience and counter the perfection of our home. My anger for human injustice and prejudice is fleeting and reliant on a narrow focus to continue. We are not of this world and do not continue on this world...my understanding is that we have the honor to become incarnate here as other beings cannot...and as such, why does the anger of past life injustice continue in some of us? I have a previous life being torn apart in the Roman Coliseum by large cats as a martyr for my faith. I was the smartest child in my small cathedral town in France and for my faith and inherent academic abilities I was abused and worked to my death at the age of twenty six by my cloistered brothers. I was a french heugenot seeking to establish a protestant colony in north east Florida and captured by the spanish, imprisoned and hung in St Augustine, Fl. (near where I am now, surprisingly) as an invader. Injustices all, but upon my last breath in those and several other incarnations, I felt a strong sense of relief. Although there was also an undercurrent of satisfaction...which told me that while there was pain and injustice for which I paid the ultimate price...I am still here...I have the experience, but it was not my end. I ran the marathon and survived to do it again. But more than that...life incarnate is fun! Sure there are hard times, and there are great times...and most of the hard times in retrospect seem to become the good ol' days. And if this is as bad as "they" can treat me and then I "go home" to perfection...bring it on! And I'll see you next time!


    I guess what I am trying to say is we are all here to learn, to love and to live. It is really simple...the key isn't to see who can take it the most seriously, but who can have the most fun and in so doing, who makes their life something that they enjoyed living. I think that the hard parts of any life are those immutable events that are planned to occur for all in the society on earth at that time...the rest are the situations that we create for ourselves. How do we choose to live through those issues? Do we realize that this is the hand we've just been dealt and now we do our best with it, or do we cry and complain about the hopelessness of our situation. A line from the only Tom Cruise film I ever liked, Risky Business, was "What the f*** brings freedom, freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future". Deciding to act through love, or freedom from fear, enables actual living.


    Off my soap box and regarding christianity specifically, the Christ expected everyone to have their own relationship with God...organized christianity expects you to go through men to get to God. I don't feel a need to mesh christianity and reincarnation as the current dogma of christianity doesn't serve me while the Christ's message flows cleanly with the idea of reincarnation.
     
  8. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I admit to having come to the possible realization that a major part of my psyche (karma?) has been negatively affected by the murderous treachery, hypocrisy and intolerance of those, who were put in charge of Christianity over the centuries. It is not so much for myself, but for the many innocent victims of their treacherous arrogance, for whom I've had deep compassion. It has become evident to me, that I have always cared deeply about the message and have taken things far too seriously. The same pattern has affected my present life in every capacity, and proved to be my downfall in Vietnam, where the things I saw broke my spirit as well as my body.


    I've never been comfortable as a "hero", and used to think that imagining myself as a knight, monk and protector of the faithful was just a fantasy, born of ego; but, now, I realize that it isn't a fantasy or imagination at all. It is a very real passion, which has gotten me into a lot of trouble in this life. I'm not quite sure, yet, how to deal with this new reality, but I am amazed at how this Forum has led me to this very moment. All of your insights have been a row of lights along the path, for which I am truly thankful.
     
  9. hydrolad

    hydrolad Senior Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    USA
    At the risk of another long post, but I have never been able to explain to myself (or others) why Christians are so against Reincarnation (almost rabid about it), do they feel afraid of it, or do they feel "threatened" by the concept.


    I was raised in a Methodist home and NEVER even heard or knew about Reincarnation until I was a very young pre-teen (many years ago!) and I was questioning it (and everything else!), now I wasn't a bad kid, just a teen with questions (sound familiar?) and I was having trouble getting my mind "around" the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Holy Bible.


    One concept that I nicknamed the "One Shot Deal" was where I had only one shot at a life and salvation (according to the Bible), but then the dreams that I had had, that were of a different personality and time than this one, in addition to other things, I was a very confused teen, but after ALL of my reading, I came to one conclusion, I would "fold" my belief in Reincarnation in with my families Christian beliefs, and you know, like an old comfortable shoe, it feel quite well!
     
  10. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    The Plains USA
    Hello Hydrolad...I don't think I've gotten to welcome you to the forum...WELCOME!


    Yes I too have seen this aversion to reincarnation by Christians. I think it is rooted in the way the church converted and kept the masses. They were so hungry over the centuries to maintain the "truth" that they developed a protective/insulating mindset that has blinded us. As new worlds and continents fell to the "western" peoples, native customs and beliefs were alien and misunderstood. These new and ancient religions were seen as a threat to the lineage of traditional beliefs. So conquering their beliefs was as necessary as conquering their land. That said, I honestly believe that these ancient peoples were in fact seeing God/the Creator/ the Great Spirit....the same "Big Guy" we know, but were interpreting Him/Her as THEY and their culture understood Him/Her. The aversion to the belief or principle of reincarnation is related to that. The closed minded attitude is protective. It guards us from going "astray." But to me it removes the ability of the Creator to manifest the infinite creation to us. There are truths yet to be discovered, but how do we/they protect against heresy, falsehood etc...


    Well, the dinner bell just rang...more later.


    AND Hydro...you can get as lengthy as you need! :eek:


    Tman
     
  11. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    Before I attempt to answer your question, I should first make it clear that my opinions do not, in any way, represent those of this Forum, nor the web site, in which it is incorporated. I will try to give an answer that is based on consistent recorded history, which, in fact, is based on the records of the original Christian church, itself.


    Up until the year 325 AD, when Emperor Constantine called for an assembly of all the Bishops in the Roman Empire, Christianity was a name ascribed to a loose and widely varied collection of different beliefs; some of which believed that they could commune with God and Christ directly and without interference from church authority. At the urging of certain factions, Constantine called for the First Council of Nicea, which set out to unify all the factions by creating a common creed. It is not known how widespread the belief in reincarnation was among the people, and they probably could have cared less about what happened in Nicea, but it was only a matter of time before the Church dictated their every belief. Thus, they became answerable to God only through the authority of the church.


    But, there still existed some pockets of the Empire in which the so-called gnostics still believed that the soul pre-existed, but, if Christ was the son of God, he must have had a beginning. By 553 AD, the Emperor Justinian I ordered the Bishops to convene the Second Council of Constantinople, which most of the Western Bishops refused to attend, and in which Pope Vigilius refused to sign the Church's condemnation of those who believed that Christ had a beginning.


    By the end of the council, all references to reincarnation were edited out of the scriptures, while entire books were purposely left out of what we call the Bible. Basically, the Church had much to lose by allowing such beliefs, and it continued to rule side by side with the secular kings of the land. All gnostics were put to death very often by burning.


    Another insidious blow came to gnosticism in the year 1209, when Pope Innocent III declared a crusade against the gnostic Cathars of Languedoc, which lasted for 20 years and served to unify France under one King.


    From then on the Inquisition killed thousands of people, brutally forcing them to forever shun reincarnation and gnosticism of any form. Despite these efforts by the Church, various schisms successfully broke away during the Reformation. But, by then, the condemnation of gnostic beliefs was firmly adhered to, and in many cases reinforced in their various interpretations of the Bible.


    Thus, all of Christianity has continued to be hostile to reincarnation. Surprisingly, however, it turns out that Catholics number among them many believers in past lives, while theologians are discovering more and more lost scriptures, which appear to teach reincarnation, after all.


    Please forgive me for some of the broad strokes I've used to describe this little known history. It is a very long story worthy of a much more accurate description. This history warrants considerably more investigation by everyone.
     
  12. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    The Plains USA
    Excellent summation Nightrain. That's the way I've understood the history also. Actually the crusade against the Cathars was one of the bloodiest holocausts in recorded history. A terrible, terrible time. I feel a pulling toward that people and time, as if...well I may have been there. It has always had a very emotional attraction.


    Tman
     
  13. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Midwestern USA
    Once Christianity was adopted by the Roman Empire it became more an instrament of political power than spiritual growth. If they held the threat of hell over everyone's head, and being obedient to church doctrine was the only way to avoid it, belief in reincarnation was a serious threat to that power. If everyone knew that those who were punished by the Church would simply reincarnate rather than face eternal condemnation, it would be a crippling blow the the authory of church doctrine.


    I find it ironic that Christianity (obviously) is built around Jesus. It discourages any maverick ideas straying from traditional beliefs. However, in his day, Jesus was a maverick who was despised by Jewish authority and was constantly kicking dirt on their shoes by breaking Jewish laws and traditions. They were appalled when Jesus had the audacity to violate the commandments and teach and do healings on the sabbath. He said he had a new commandment for us that was above all others. It was to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.


    I don't think that commandment conflicts with reincarnation in any way - quite the contrary. The 'love your neighbor as yourself' part particularly sticks out to me because it speaks to how connected we all are. Be good to your neighbor because you might be your neighbor in the next life.


    Somehow we went from that to 'Accept Christ as your savior and believe what we tell you to believe or you will burn to hell!' Somehow I don't think that was quite what Jesus had in mind. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Micjer

    Micjer Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Took the words right out of my computer. I couldn't agree more. :thumbsup:
     
  15. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    4
    Note: The link to the original article is now 'dead.'


    I have been searching and studying material since this subject was brought up on the other thread. Over and over again, I find that it is in 'error' to state that Origen taught and supported the Greek idea of 'metamorphosis' or 'transmigration of the soul.' I found a book titled "Metamorphosis" authored in 1914 by George Foot Moore. The following quote is from the book.

    I found another site that disputes Shriley McClaine interview with Bob Costas where she also states that Origen taught reincarnation and was condemned for it.


    DKing
     
  16. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I have to admit that I am not what you would call a dedicated scholar of Theology and Church History, and I would even admit that the preponderance of scholarly research on the subject does seem to indicate that the early "known" Church fathers were overwhelmingly against the concept of Reincarnation. No surprise there, for it is only the known Church Fathers who have been the subject of subsequent research. It very well could be that Origen, himself, was against the concept as we perceive it. In other words, I may have been mistaken for my earlier post suggesting that Origen supported the concept; and the person whose now defunct link I posted could have been a hack who really didn't know what he was talking about.


    As an armchair scholar and dilettante I might also have posted an interesting point that someone once made regarding the influence of Buddhism on Christianity during the time of Jesus; that the ways in which Christianity differs from Judiasm all coincide with the philosophy of Buddhism with one glaring exception, which is that Reincarnation is missing. This is evidence that one will not find in recorded history, which—like the missing cheese on the cutting block—tells us that someone came along and absconded with our lunch.


    :angel:
     
  17. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    4
    I was watching a documentary about the "Gospel of Judas" that featured an interview Elaine Pagels. She said something that triggered recall of a childhood memory where I spent the whole day with a 'messenger of light' talking about many things ranging from 'reincarnation' to the 'hidden books.' She states her opinion that the reason the four canonical gospels were chosen was by popular demand of the followers.

    This triggered a word used by the 'messenger of light' back in 1968. The word was populace. The messenger was explaining why some of the 'books' were excluded from the modern works that went into what my Grandparents called the "Good Book." I was told that in the generation of the past, the populace had rejected the works.

    • Election--In the Early Church, bishops were elected by the entire local church over which they were to preside. Bishops in neighboring dioceses would assemble the local clergy and laity, and all together would elect the new bishop.These were contested elections, with multiple candidates vying for the position. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consecrations_in_Eastern_Christianity
    • During the first millennium of Christianity, the norm was for bishops in any diocese to elected by both the people and the priests — the bishop of Rome was no exception. At this time, the election of a bishop tended to occur in three distinct stages. First was the testimonium, at which the candidates’ qualifications were attested to. Second was the suffragium, during which the community voted for one candidate over others. Third was the judicium, where the community ratified the results.http://atheism.about.com/od/popesandthepapacy/a/earlypopes.htm
    • In these early centuries, the nominations and elections of bishops were done solely by a popular vote of all the faithful. St. Cyprian believed elections prevented unworthy persons from becoming bishops. The conversion of the Roman Empire had dramatic effects on the role of the bishop. Popular elections remained the norm during this period. The fifth century popes Celestine I and Leo I condemned any attempt to impose a bishop without popular consent. By the fifth century, as a mark of Rome’s growing importance for the general Christian community, other bishops in the area started taking a role in the election of Rome’s bishop. The clergy and people continued to elect their bishop, though, and that was considered the most important principle. http://juiciobrennan.com/files/bishopselection/bishopSelectionFlier.pdf
    • When the people elect their bishop, the bishop cannot rule over the people in an overbearing manner. "The ordinary process of the choice of a bishop by the middle of the third century was a nomination by the other clergy, especially the presbyters, of the city; the approval of neighboring bishops, and ratification or election by the congregation." (A History of the Christian Church, Revised Edition, Williston Walker et al, p. 83). http://thriceholy.net/government.html


    This 'meeting' with this particular messenger was different from my childhood "NDE's" where I had access to 'knowledge' of the divine in a spiritual state of awareness. This meeting happened while I was awake and in a walking conscious state. I was told the conversation wasn't for the sake of my childhood mind as much as it was for my 'adult' mind in the future. For that reason, the conversation was buried in the unconscious mind and I was told I wouldn't have access to it until after I found the 'hidden gospels' that were being referenced in our conversation. (Thomas, Truth and Philip where the main Gospels discussed back in 1968. I also made a reference in a 1980 conversation about the Gospel of Judas.) I was told time and time again in this conversation was, 'the world was not ready to accept the 'truth' contained in these hidden books.


    So, when it comes to some sort of conspiracy of limited minds who omitted texts to keep the populace in darkness - this is not what I was told by a 'messenger of light.' I was told what was given was given by 'popular demand' of the people of that generation.


    DKing
     
  18. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    While it is quite true, that until the sixth century the clergy and the people elected their Bishops (with certain exceptions), they didn't necessarily do so because they agreed with the Church on matters of Reincarnation, but rather because the Church had thoroughly established itself as the protector of orphans, the poor, and young girls who were often sent by their parents to institutions of prostitution. The facts are still well documented that the central Church exercised imperial power over the people especially during the earlier centuries when it declared wholesale heresy on entire communities along with their elected Bishops. And during the first three centuries representatives were itinerant missionaries who didn't remain long enough to be elected, but encouraged their small congregations to elected—not for the purpose of teaching the fine points of Theology, but to watch over the welfare of their members. Thus, many interpretations of Christian teaching became intertwined with local beliefs, and eventually caused the later councils to consolidate their power and authority over their people, whether they liked it or not.


    The comment by Elaine Pagels is surprising in light of the fact that her book "The Gnostic Gospels" is responsible for making the public aware that many other scriptures were left out of the Bible.
     
  19. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi Nightrain,


    Your comment triggered recall of a story relating to the 'messenger of light' I wrote about. Prior to this experience at that age of 8 and afterwards -- I spoke often of 'visions' I received from a 'mystical source' concerning the life, times and death of a man I knew of as 'Yeshua.' (I really couldn't pronounce the proper pronunciation. I told my Grandmother once that the 'name' wouldn't fit into my little mouth. :laugh: )


    During the summer of 1969 - I told my Grandmother that I was destined to find a 'photographic image' of the one I knew of as 'Yeshua' and when I did - I would know who it was by the 'pennies' he had on his 'eyelids.' Thirty years later, some memories of my childhood visions and conversations with 'messengers of light' awoke within me when I found images of the 'Shroud of Turin' on the Internet. I ran into the controversial subject matter of the impressions of two coins found placed over the eyes on the images.

    The passage with both scholars start around 43:40 and continue to 45:20 on the Youtube Video.


    DKing
     
  20. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    4
    As far as the quote I have found the most often used by many sites in support of the 'supposed theory' that Origen taught reincarnation is:

    This quote was taken from a web site in support of Reincarnation. Here is the actual quote from Latin as found on Christian Classic Ethereal Library. The Greek Translation is different and can be found at: (The translation from the Greek is designedly literal, that the difference between the original and the paraphrase of Rufinus may be more clearly seen.)

    For me personally, this reminds me of the fundamentalists use of Hebrews 9:27. There is a whole chapter leading up to verse 27 that gets ignored and overlooked. The verse gets taken out of content of the meaning of the Chapter itself. It doesn't stand alone and shouldn't be used alone. In the Hebrews chapter, the narrator is addressing a question about "Jesus" the man coming back for the passover festival to perform the 'sacrifice' on a yearly basis - just as they had done in the past with the 'sacrifice of animals.' The passage has nothing to do with 'reincarnation' just as the one passage from Book Four of the De Principiis has nothing to do with reincarnation.


    From my perspective - it is plain to see what Origen is trying to theorize in his summery. It is about the first 'creation' story in chapter one in Genesis verses the 'formation' story in chapter of two of Genesis. As well as trying to reconcile how it was that God knew the two twins in the story of Jacob and Esau prior to them being born into the flesh. His theory goes on to support that we have some sort of 'spiritual worldly' existence prior to our earthly word existence where we 'set' out 'sins' in motion prior to our birth - hence the infamous 'pre-existence' doctrine that caused all the controversy.


    De Principiss was one of his early writings and he got some flack from his contemporaries such as Jerome and Theophilus. In his later writings - Origen goes out of his way to clarify he doesn't support, advocate or teach anything to to with 'transmigration of the souls' from one 'physical incarnation' to the next. I even found several writings where he accuses others of 'taking' his writings in the wrong direction and creating 'forgeries' or 'false doctrines' based on false impressions of his writings.


    The idea that 'reincarnation' was a part of the Orthodox teaching of the Early Church Fathers - and then expunged by an Emperor and Empress who opposed it - is (in my opinion) not factual based on historical evidence.
     

Share This Page