Christianity and Reincarnation

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

  1. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

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    Researching further into the topic for inclusion on my own website, I found a scholar who has done the leg work for me and has come to the same conclusions I have derived.

    The website is well worth a read and one of the best I have found thus far that examines the claim with a scholarly approach that Origen taught reincarnation.


    DKing
     
  2. Micjer

    Micjer Registered

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    Here is a christians' take on reincarnation.


    Christians don't believe in reincarnation—but I hope you'll understand why we don't, because a very important truth is behind our conviction.


    Christians reject reincarnation for two main reasons. The first is because the Bible does not teach it, and in fact makes it clear that when we die we don't return to earth again but enter eternity—either with God in heaven or apart from God forever. The Bible says, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).



    The second reason Christians reject reincarnation is because Christ has paid the full penalty for our sins—totally and completely. He did this by His death on the cross for us. You say you hope to become perfect some day in another life—but Jesus has already made us perfect in God's eyes, by taking away all our sins! The Bible says, "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 6:11).



    Think of it: Every sin you have ever committed can be completely cleansed, if you will turn to Christ in repentance and faith! Don't be deceived by a false hope, but put your faith and hope in Christ today.



    David



    However my darn logical brain questions these beliefs.


    If all of our sins are cleansed, why worry?


    Why have the 10 commandments? Why be nice to anyone? Why give anything to anyone?


    For me the only way I can make sense out of life, is for earth to be our school and we are taught lessons to improve our selves. To be rewarded for anything less is confusing.
     
  3. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

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    Hi Micjer, Are the bold words in your last post your beliefs? If so, I will mildly respect your opinion, and tell you that I have struggled for years with these same thoughts. I am a Christian and I wholeheartedly believe in reincarnation. There is no doubt in my mind that our soul leaves these earthen vessels only to return again in another life, in another time.


    I cannot begin to tell you with any certainty how this all works, or why. For me it is a matter of faith, garnered from actual experience and memory... add in years of personal discernment and prayer... and you get what I have... a sacred experience.


    The flaw in Christianity, as in all religions, is the assumption of truth. I'm sure my more learned philosophical colleagues may express this better, but truth is not simply the result of proclamation. Centuries of "truths" have been melded to fit the needs of those in power. Are they factual and infallible? I'll rest my opinion in common sense and say no.


    The history and tradition of Christianity is a wonderfully complex story of a great man, teacher and diety. BUT it is filtered through all of the pitfalls, egos, delusions and power struggles of mankind. I do believe the bible is a fairly accurate Judaic history and a documentary on the life of Christ. It is most certainly worth studying. BUT more important than those words in a book.... are the words in your soul. The communion between you and the Creator (whomever or whatever you believe that to be.)


    I cannot dispel what you believe, no more than I want to. I respect and honor your faith. The key is that each and every person make the effort to look for meaning in their own life. And then allow that meaning to have a positive effect on the world around them. Call it the Holy Spirit, call it Light, call it Nirvana, call it cheese...I don't care, but find an inner truth and then, with discipline and sacred intent: LISTEN.


    I will boggle your mind a little more. Some who know me know that I am a "Christian-Buddhist" (For more on the subject here is an interesting blog), that really throws people off. My roots are in the Catholic church. I'm greatly disappointed in that establishment and believe the evolution of sacred truth will eventually correct the centuries of corruption. No I will not jump on the bashing band wagon. They are people... frail and mistaken. They are on a journey just like you and I. I choose to pray for them.


    Several months ago I was sitting in a large social gathering. My niece, a free spirit, gentle soul and hippie child, was telling me about her church out in Colorado. With sincere excitement at my interest she asked me to come visit it the next time I was in town. I happily accepted her invitation. But sitting across the table was her mother (my sister). My sister is a fundamentalist Christian:)eek:!!!) She immediately and sternly says to her twenty five year old daughter "You shouldn't be going to that church they don't teach the truth. My dander flared. But with the compassion I know, I simply asked her "whose truth?" She and many others are held captive to a mind-set with blinders (those side shades we put on our horses to prevent them from seeing the things that might spook them on the periphery.)


    The search for reincarnation, like the search for God, is a personal quest. When we assert our own interpretations as gospel we are entering darkness. Humankind, and those of us deep into the journey of soul, must look at our fellow travelers with compassionate understanding... not authoritative condemnation. I've said it before... when someone wants to tell you what they believe... listen, not to dispel, but to understand.


    I believe in some ways that all of the belief systems over the centuries are tied together. I do believe in some universal Truth. I believe in the presence of God in Jesus and His teachings. I believe in the presence of God in the teachings of the Buddha. Jesus: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31... Buddha: "Consider others as yourself." Dhammapada 10:1 Do I understand how it all works? Nope, and don't figure my feeble human mind can comprehend the infinity of the Great Beyond. BUT...BUT, some how my soul does. I'm finding pieces of the story, like reincarnation, and I'm finding it in the quiet of my own being through meditation and mindful discernment.


    With that said, I'll put on my administrators hat for a moment, and remind everyone that religion is a very, very sticky subject. As evident in the world, it leads to trouble when "truths" clash. We won't allow "clashing" here on the forum. But we welcome compassionate discourse.


    Blessed be!


    Tman
     
  4. Micjer

    Micjer Registered

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    Thanks so much for your response Tinkerman.


    I should have made my above post a little clearer. Sorry for the confusion.


    The fact is the bold lettering is what I have been taught by my christian family members and church. I was quoting someone who had made a post on a blog.


    However after reading your response I would say that my beliefs are very similar to yours.


    The lack of belief in reincarnation, is probably the number one reason that my wife and I backed away from organized religion. It was not my (our) truth. The preaching of the "only live once" sermon would make the hair stand up on the back of my neck!

    I could not agree more!


    It upsets me to have a discussion with people that feel the bible is 100% the word of God. My point is that it is the word of God translated by MAN. Open to misinterpretation,filtration, or alteration.


    Your story of your sister reminds me of having a discussion with my uncle. He was a preacher. Minds do not come any more closed than that. Funny how preachers love to give the sermon about not being judgemental of others, yet who is the first to cast the stone? Sorry I degress.


    Thanks for your post.
     
  5. argonne1918

    argonne1918 Senior Registered

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    But not all Christians believe that. Your quote sounds like Christian Fundamentalists, who now believe they are the only REAL Christians. The original Bible was written hundreds of years after Jesus. The original Bible was written in Aramaic, which has gone through many mistranslations, editing, deletions, etc.
     
  6. Micjer

    Micjer Registered

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    Point well taken. Since I didn't write it I copied it the way it was written.


    Now if I were to write it, I would start by Christian Fundalmentalists don't believe in reincarnation........


    There is a difference for sure.
     
  7. BriarRose

    BriarRose Senior Registered

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    My "raised Catholic" husband likes to counter any lingering "raised fundamentalist" comments I make with, "where were the fundamentalists during the long dark ages when the Catholic Church preserved the Scriptures?" I think that is a valid point. Jesus spoke Aramaic, but I think the earliest surviving Scriptures were in "Koin" Greek (phonetic spelling, I'm afraid. I only heard this thundering down from pulpits.) That, I was told, was a kind of "lingua franca" in the ancient world. Argonne is absolutely correct. The mistranslations, omissions, and additions to the "Good Book" must be staggering in number. Otherwise, gentlemen, I say "Amen" to all your expressed points of view!
     
  8. argonne1918

    argonne1918 Senior Registered

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    One example I like to use is the passage (I don't know the chapter and verse numbers) that goes something like "as hard as putting a camel through the eye of a needle". This makes no sense in English. But the Aramaic word for camel also means "knot". The person that did the original translation did not know that. "As hard as putting a knot through the eye of a needle" makes perfect sense.
     
  9. Cryscat

    Cryscat Senior Member

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    As an FYI, Almost the entire Old Testament was written in Hebrew except for a few chapters in the prophecies of Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah that were written in Aramaic. The entire New Testament was written in Koine Greek.


    Koine Greek was the common language of the 1st century CE, used by Romans and Jews to communicate with each other and with other peoples. Much like English is used today. Aramaic was the common language spoken in Israel in Jesus' time, and it was likely the language He spoke day by day. It is a Semitic language. Hebrew is a Semitic language as well and in this time period was the language of the priests. The liturgical language..
     
  10. Patricia702

    Patricia702 Registered

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    Some good questions that you might be able to answer


    Hello Everyone,


    New to the site and been having a crash course in Reincarnation. Been amazing.


    However, a friend that I appreciate very much has come up with a few questions that I can't answer. I tackled the one I could but this one needs back up.


    If someone can help, I'd very much appreciate it. He's genuinely seeking answers not just arguing.


    Here it is:


    So, everyone comes back to life, albeit in a different person/soul……..


    What would be the point? Would the point be that we are supposed to “learn” from our past life and try to be perfect in the next? And if we fail, we do it all over again etc., etc.


    If this were true………………..similar to the theory of evolution……………….shouldn’t humanity be more enlightened? Assuming everyone on the planet today is really a soul from the past……………
     
  11. argonne1918

    argonne1918 Senior Registered

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    The way I understand it is to think of it like a grade or semester in school. There is simply too much to learn in one lifetime. Humanity IS more enlightened than in the past. As you read about people's past life memories here you will see that things are much better today than they were hundreds of years ago. It may not always appear that things are better, but remember not everyone is at the same "grade level" here on Earth.
     
  12. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

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    When it comes to reincarnation - I feel it is a 'Mystery of God' in a literal sense. The definition of 'mystery' is: any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation. (dictionary.com) Back in the early 80's - I had telepathic communications with 'spirits' after a 'near-death' experience. The subject of reincarnations was a constant subject that kept coming to the surface. I had many questions and no answers when I started out. The 'spirits' kept referring to 'reincarnation' as 'secret, or that which is hidden.' The 'spirits' (of a divine order) told me time and time again that the only way the information I was seeking could be revealed to me was 'through God's hand.' I was told that if I sought answers from the 'world' - the information would prove to be unreliable in the end.


    I was told there was my 'want' or 'desire' to know - and there was my 'need' to know. I was told that "God" knew my needs and would never let me down. I was told that I would constantly be letting myself down if I chased after my 'desire' to know things I didn't have a 'need' to know.


    That would be the advise I would pass on to this friend. Include 'God' in his quest for truth about reincarnation.


    Sincerely,


    DKing
     
  13. Eowyn

    Eowyn Wrought out of steel

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    Maybe there's no point. Why would you keep playing a soccer match again and again, even when you've lost a few times? Just because you love to play... (though in my opinion there is indeed a point).

    I like these words, dking. I feel they're completely right.
     
  14. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director

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    Hi Patricia,


    Rabbi Moses de Leon asks the same thing--

    His reply to his own question is -

    Thought you might like another perspective.
     
  15. SMurphy

    SMurphy Senior Registered

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  16. BriarRose

    BriarRose Senior Registered

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    Interesting. It totally contradicts Christian teaching that we only get one chance to get it right before entering the lake of fire and brimstone. I like it!
     
  17. Marc Ross

    Marc Ross Senior Registered

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    The doctorine of Reincarnation / Sixth Century

    The following excerpt is quite telling: 'It has been asserted that the doctrine of reincarnation was formally condemned by a Church Council in the sixth century, and the inference is drawn that prior to that time it had been current and uncondemned in the Church.'
     
  18. SMurphy

    SMurphy Senior Registered

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    It is true that the vast majority of Origen scholars have not come to the conclusion that the early church taught reincarnation. But if we look at the magnitude of the book burning that took place in the 6th century, it is easy to see that scholars come to this conclusion if they only look at remaining texts. Look for example at his 32 book commentary on the Gospel of John (the most spiritual of the Gospels). Only fragments of 11 books were preserved from his original greek writings. Now look at what the Romans burnt and what they allowed to survive. Of course Origen's commentary on Nicodemus was burnt, therefore, we miss the explanation of the most explicit reference to reincarnation in the Bible: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?"


    What does remain for us to read today is Origen's treatment of John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah. See sections 24-25 at


    Origen - Commentary on John Book 2


    (This is one modern Scholar's view of Origen's restoration teaching. restoration article
     
  19. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

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    I have an experience in my childhood that gives me an entirely different interpretation of this verse. At the age of 8 and 9, reincarnation was a subject close and dear to my heart. I never passed up the opportunity to bring it up to family or friends.


    One day, I was in the backyard of my parents house and crying out to the "One" I knew of from my 'near-death's' about a situation I was involved with. A transparent figure showed up and started a conversation with me that lasted from morning to sunset. I asked this 'persona' who it was to me and was told,


    "In the world of man many refer to what I am as an angel. I come to you with messages from the one you call your real Dad."


    The subject was the physical verses the spiritual. When this 'being' brought up the idea of 'being born' again while in this incarnation - I never got the impression that this being was referencing 'reincarnation.' In fact, I was aware of my past lives and made a reference to this 'transparent persona' that the process was something done in a past life -- already. I was told,


    "You walk with a new mind and body now. This must be done with each body you wear in the world of man."


    What was being referenced with the 'borne again' topic - was a process. A process that took me 3 years to complete. During those three years (8-11) reincarnation was a topic I brought up often with family members. I complained about the fact that I had to 'do this spiritual process all over again' - even though I had already done it in a past life.


    There is a reference in the same context of the scripture that states, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This is the exact meaning I got from the 'angelical being.' One had nothing to do with the other as far as the 'birth' process was concerned. Being 'borne' anew of the spirit had nothing to do with the 'physical birth' into a new incarnation. See: 'again' in Greek.


    So for me, (due to my direct spiritual experience) I don't get that this verse is an explicit reference to reincarnation what so ever.


    Sincerely,


    DKing
     
  20. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator

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    Thank you SMurphy for the information and links, very interesting.


    T
     

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