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Christianity and Reincarnation

The Traveler

Senior Registered
I would put it down to strict conditioning throughout for centuries, aided with propaganda disseminating ideas of fear of the devil and eternal hellfire, in case of any deviation.

Also in the present nihilistic-materialistic culture of ours at present, it is harder even for Hindus and Buddhists to have faith in reincarnation.

I am an Indian Hindu myself, but did not have faith in reincarnation as a teenager till I came across credible case studies of past life regression in an Indian ashram from an associated spiritual teacher. Later the works of Dr.Brian Weiss and Dr.Michael Newton consolidated the belief.


But most Hindus who have been conditioned by modern materialistic education do not subscribe to reincarnation, and there is a growing gap between the older and modern cultures co-existing in India at the moment. Fortunately there have been quality spiritual teachers and institutions who have bridged this gap from time to time, like Vivekananda, Yogananda, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Prajapita Brahmakumaris and so on.

Newspaper articles on children remembering their past lives also have helped people not to dismiss off reincarnation as an old belief, and that it may have its basis in fact.


So how much harder would be it in the Judeo-Christian west, where the people have been conditioned for centuries to view reincarnation as a heretic belief, or view it at the most as an oriental belief and fairytale.

It is unfortunate because reincarnation is also a part of ancient greek philosophy and religion , as well as that of the old Celtic and German pagan belief systems.
Interesting. here on italy the reincarnation is ever an argument that can't be taken with open way, is seen like an heresy, or at least with very skeptical or derision approach. so who believe in it can't talk of it. okay can't talk with priest, but can't talk also with friends without have a skeptical or a trolling reaction.
the other way to eternal damnation \ salvation of most consolidated believes of italian religious world is... oblivion. tons of folks, specially youngs are atheistic or agnostics. :(
i really prefear that someone belief into something, also into the big flying spaghetti, that not belief into nothing, only perception of sciense, senses and physical mind. but is like tell that all the existence we know is from visible light. pity that visible light is only a fraction of the entire electromagnetic spectre.
 

tanker

Senior Registered
My personal take on 'eternal punishment'? God is perfect. We cannot therefore have more compassion than God. So when I favour the idea of all people being given a second chance in the afterlife (as well as in this one!), God cannot want less than that. Perhaps a life-review and facing our own conscience in the light of honest truth will make it clear what we wish to choose, when the time comes. And maybe if anyone chooses against loving forgiveness, then oblivion follows? I don't know. All we can do here is guess.
 

SeaAndSky

Senior Registered
Hi Tanker,

I agree completely. I think I observed somewhere above that when asked by Peter whether he should forgive his brother 7 times, Christ replied Seventy times Seven! Scholars agree that this exact figure was not meant as a limitation to 490 times, but as an expansion towards the perfect and infinite over Peter's limited ideas. Is our compassion for each other greater than God's compassion for us? I think not.

Cordially,
S&S
 

The Traveler

Senior Registered
Absolutely S&S, even though forgiveness can be hard to do at times. But I also think if we don't forgive, we're the losers in any case. And as you say, God's compassion is that much greater still.
you right. the unique loser of be an hater is the hater himself.
despite that some have NDE, some experiment only the Void. two cases of NDE seems to face the Hell and only one the Purgatory. mostly see the heaven, but only 30% of persons that risk to die see something... that's is the most strange think of all.
i know the answer of Jesus about Peter.
well... God is perfect, you right.
So God is the sum of all virtues, without any defect. So God is honest, he is pure, he is merciful, he is cheerful, etc. On the contrary, I suppose that the devil is the sum of all possible and imaginable defects that can be in someone. It amazes me how there can really be people in this world who profess Satanism as a kind of faith, how can they have faith in such a concentration of trouble? D:
 

Oscar FRYE

Active Member
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.

Hi,
Much appreciated your explanations Nighttrain.
Do you know that the last Cathar, Guillaume Belibaste, burned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1321, actually prophesized just before dying: "in 700 years good people will come again to this place".
Well, on the 21st of august 2021, it has been exactly 700 ago.
Perhaps, this one event will not draw enormous attention, but perhaps put together with other significant events, it will over time.
I think the world as we know it now, is maturing for a change, we must evolve spiritually. Things can't go on like this.
Blessings to you all.
 

Oscar FRYE

Active Member
Hi SeaAndSky,
Thanks for the info.
I did check it out already a bit, but need more time, very interesting comments.
 
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