Whats Wrong With Reincarnation
So why shouldnt people believe in reincarnation?
Practically speaking, it may not matter all that much whether people do or dont believe in reincarnation. It either happens or it doesnt, regardless of what we happen to believe. And as long as we love and serve God by loving and serving our fellow human beings , its not so critical that we have correct beliefs rather than faulty ones.
The fact is, people can believe all sorts of things, including reincarnation, and still be good and loving people who are heading to heaven, not hell. For example, I have no trouble accepting the description of Krishna consciousness as teaching an absolutely beautiful and devoted life to God. God has spoken divine truth to people of all races and cultures. Each one hears it in its own unique way.
If you, dear reader, still want to believe in reincarnation after reading this, I have no problem with that. I wont argue with you or try to convince you that you are wrong.
But since Ive been asked the question so many times, Ill tell you why for me, reincarnation is not an acceptable belief.
What Is Reincarnation Is It Biblical
Since the beginning of time people have wondered when someone dies if that person will be reborn to live on this earth again. In my own experience before salvation, I was told by a Christian Psychic that a reoccurring dream I had when I was younger of me walking up a desert mountain trail in dusty sandals was a memory of me in an earlier life when I was Moses walking up Mount Sinai. It was only later, after salvation and I read the Bible that I realized that there was no such thing as a Christian psychic. However, many people, including some who claim to be Christians, believe in reincarnation. What is reincarnation and is it Biblical?
Christian View Of Reincarnation
Many apologists in the reincarnation camp claim that their belief can be found in the Bible. They contend that their proof texts from the original manuscripts of the New Testament were either altered or removed to suppress the thinking. Nevertheless, they claim that vestiges of the teaching remain in Scripture.
John 3:3Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
Supporters of reincarnation say this verse speaks of rebirth into another body, but the notion is pulled out of context. Jesus had been talking to Nicodemus, who wondered in confusion, “How can an old man go back into his mothers womb and be born again?” . He thought Jesus was referring to physical rebirth. But Jesus explained that he was talking about spiritual rebirth: “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So dont be surprised when I say, You must be born again” .
Reincarnation prescribes a physical rebirth, while Christianity involves a spiritual one.
Matthew 11:14And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come.
Defenders of reincarnation claim that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated.
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The Bible Emanuel Swedenborg And Reincarnation
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Ive been asked this question many times over the years.
Sometimes its a litmus test question. The people asking already either believe in reincarnation or they dont. If my answer agrees with their view, theyll see me as enlightened. If not, theyll see me as unenlightened. So its always tempting to answer with a light-hearted, paradoxical non-answer of the type a certain uncle of mine loves: Not this time around!
But the question keeps coming. People also want to know what the Bible says about reincarnation. And they want to know whether my favorite theologian, Emanuel Swedenborg , says anything about reincarnation. Some are sincerely looking for understanding on this often confusing subject.
For example, here is part of a that a reader named Mark left on the article, If theres One God, Why All the Different Religions?
Specifically however, please enlighten those of us who remain confused by reincarnation. As an example, Krishna conciousness teaches an absolutely beautiful and devoted life to God . The bible seems to teach that we come through this human life but once. I understand that this could be once per each human life and I have considered that each human life, even reincarnated, is once. Please provide your take on this. Unless I have misunderstood, according to Krishna teachings, heaven is not the final or utmost attainment.
There! Ive said it!
Was Jesus A Reincarnation Of John The Baptist Or One Of The Prophets
In Matthew 16:1320, Jesus asked his disciples who people were saying that he is. They responded, Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Jesus was not satisfied with this answer. He said to them, But who do you say that I am? Then Peter answered, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. This answer Jesus heartily approved of. Jesus answered him, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. He goes on to say that he will build his church on the rock of this truth .
Once again, when his disciples present Jesus with popular speculations that he was a reincarnation of John the Baptist or one of the ancient prophets, Jesus did not accept that idea. Instead, he accepted the idea that he is the Christ , and the Son of God.
Incidentally, the Bible also does not say that Jesus was a reincarnation of King David. Like Elijah as a prophet , in the Hebrew scriptures David became a figure representing greatness as a king. In associating Jesus with David, the Bible does not mean that Jesus was a reincarnation of David. It means that he took over from David in spirit as the greatest King of all time.
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What Does The Bible Say About Reincarnation May 15 2020
Actualizado: ene 22
I would like to start this post with some questions: Do you believe there is life after death? Do you think you may have lived a prior life? Do you feel that what you are today, is the result of a creation by God, who made you after His image? Could it be that you are just part of a system where life is a never-ending circle? Most people over 90% regardless of their religious beliefs, are certain there is life after death. However, when it comes to the question of what happens to the soul when the physical body dies, neither Christians nor non-Christians have a definite answer. For thousands of years, reincarnation has been a popular belief for millions of people. To them, reincarnation means to be reborn into a different physical, or even inanimate, entity. It comes from pagan sources, not the Bible! A large number of religious sects posit reincarnation as the central tenet of their beliefs, but none corroborates the existence of an immaterial soul, an immortal version of ourselves that can live independently of the body where it resides. I believe this is what makes us unique in the entire universe we are made in the image of our extra-universal Creator . This means that we are like God in form and, like Him, we have a soul, which animals and inanimate objects do not have. Our soul is ours and its perfect as it is it remains forever in the same state.
What does the Bible say about this?
Did The Bible Ever Teach Reincarnation
Lets dispose of one common rumor right away: the idea that the Bible used to teach reincarnation, but those evil Christian councils changed the text hundreds or thousands of years ago, so that it no longer does.
There is absolutely no evidence for this.
Now, I have no great love for the so-called Christian councils. Most of them just mucked up Christian doctrine and said nasty things about everyone who disagreed with their particular heresies. But one thing they didnt do was change the text of the Bible. It wasnt really possible for them to do that. There were too many manuscripts of the various books of the Bible, going too far back. Any changes they made would have been so obvious that they would have been rejected.
The only thing the councils could do was decide which books would be in the Bible. However, for the books they did include, the text we have is as good as or better than any other text we have from that far back in history. Though a few minor scribal errors made it through, and there were a few sections added to the originals , for the most part we have a fairly reliable text of the entire Bible. And none of the changes that did take place had any effect on what the Bible says about reincarnation.
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There Is Great Purpose To This Life
In Scripture God reveals His transcendent purpose for human life. Ultimately, we are to be children of God the Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, living in harmony and righteousness with God forever!
The working out of this purpose begins with the physical, conscious existence of human beings in this life and ends with the spiritual likeness and image of the Creator.
We are created in the image of God, meaning that, while we are physical, God has given us the capacity to fulfill His incredible purpose for us. Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image in the image of God He created him male and female He created them .
In this physical life we must accept Gods offer of His Holy Spirit, which makes possible spiritual growth so that we can be created in His spiritual image: Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him .
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation old things have passed away behold, all things have become new .
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ .
What Does The Bible Say About Reincarnation
Scripture makes it clear that we have one life on earth before we receive an eternal judgment and verdict, based on whether we accepted Jesus as our Savior. We dont get several lives here on earth to make the right decision we have only the one.
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Reincarnation can seem like an appealing notion to many people. After all, when loved ones pass, people may hope theyve been reborn in another body moments later and that they will find ways to reunite on earth throughout all time.
This concept can also seem all the more convincing when people recall moments from past lives.
Nevertheless, we, as Christians, believe that reincarnation runs contrary to our beliefs. After all, why in the world would Jesus Christ die on the cross and resurrect for our sins, if he doomed us to repeat lives here on earth, with no or little inkling of past lives? Even when some religions seek to find Nirvana or Enlightenment, to break the cycle of past lives, none provide a clear path on how to achieve this.
A person has no way of knowing how many lives they have to go or why any deity would doom them to repeat life cycles over and over again.
In this article, well discuss what the Bible has to say about reincarnation. Well also discuss the problems with the concept of reincarnation, and ultimately, why this matters.
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Was Reincarnation Removed From The Bible
Many people claim that a certain council took the teaching of reincarnation out of the Bible. Although the majority cannot name the specific council, they most frequently refer to the Second Council of Constantinople and the Council of Nicaea .
In reality, though, at that time there were already many manuscripts in existence spread throughout the Roman Empire, which makes it difficult to imagine how someone could have collected all the extant copies in order to have all of them corrected. Today there are many surviving manuscripts from the time before the councils, whose text accurately corresponds to the currently accepted text of the Bible.
There are also thousands of quotations of the New Testament in the writings of the Church Fathers from before the fourth century, which corroborate the reliability of the text of the Bible.
If reincarnation was really taken out of the Bible, it is not enough to assume that such passages were deleted from the Bible. The New Testament is interwoven with passages which speak about the fundamental Christian belief in Jesus resurrection and our own resurrection. All these passages referring to the teaching of resurrection , eternal life and eternal condemnation would have to have been inserted, because the teaching of the last judgment clearly contradicts the idea of repeated reincarnations, through which people get a second, third chance.
One passage in particular clearly excludes the doctrine of reincarnation:
Percent Of Us Christians Believe In Reincarnation Whats Wrong With This Picture
Earlier this year, the NBC evening news presented a story about a boy from the Midwest who claims he is the reincarnation of a man who died more than 50 years ago. The presentation included an interview with Dr. Jim Tucker, associate professor of psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences at the University of Virginia, who has studied the cases of children, usually between the ages of 2 and 6 years old, who say they remember a past life.
Two days later, I participated in an afternoon of dialogue sponsored by a group in Fairfax county, Virginia, called Interfaith Communities for Dialogue. The theme of the session was What Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs Believe. It included presentations by speakers from all three religions, followed by breakout discussion groups involving Jewish, Christian and Muslim participants as well. In my particular group, I could not but note how the topic of reincarnation dominated the conversation, serving as a microcosm of the larger picture in America today.
According to data released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life , not only do a quarter of Americans believe in reincarnation, but 24 percent of American Christians expressed a belief in reincarnation. This represents a significant deviation from the traditional Judaeo-Christian narrative with which most Americans in the baby-boomer generation grew up. You were born. You lived. You died. And after a judgment you went to heaven or hell forever.
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What Is The Deeper Meaning Of Reincarnation
But there is a more profound reason reincarnation appears in many of the great scriptures of humankind.
Reincarnation in itself is a rather materialistic and physical-minded belief. Like the doctrine of bodily resurrection held to by many conservative Christians, the doctrine of reincarnation is well-adapted to the minds of people who are focused on material rewards and punishments.
However, it also plants the seeds of a deeper understanding of the meaning of life, death, and rebirth. Thats because if we look deeper, the real meaning of reincarnation is not physical rebirth, but spiritual rebirth. It points to the same spiritual reality that the Christian Gospels express through their teachings about being born again.
Lets go back to the Bible, and read part of Jesus nighttime conversation with Nicodemus:
Here Jesus makes it clear that the rebirth he is talking about is not re-entering the womb and being born again physically, as in the doctrine of reincarnation. Instead, the rebirth he is talking about is being born of the spirit.
In plain words, what Jesus is talking about is becoming new people in our minds and hearts. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, the apostle Paul is referring to the same thing when he speaks of our becoming new creations in Christ. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna means the same thing when he tells his student, Arjuna, both you and I were born many times in the past. You do not remember those births, but I remember them all.
Eternal Heaven + Eternal Hell = True Humanity
People who believe in reincarnation often say that its not fair to have just one lifetime to make an eternal choice between good and evil.
However, if we look at it objectively, it really doesnt matter whether our choice is made in seventy seconds, seventy years, or seventy centuries. There is no ratio between eternity and any finite time period. Once a period of seventy billion years is over, it will still be like nothing compared to eternity. And if every choice we make except the choice to re-merge with the Divine or enter a blissful nirvana is only temporary, then those choices are not real, no matter how long they take to make. They are only a temporary illusion.
Only what is eternal is truly real.
This means that for our humanity to be real, we must be able to make choices that last forever.
And for our freedom of choice to be real, we must be free to choose not to do what God designed us to do. So we must be free to choose not to love God and not to love our fellow human beings. We must be free to reject the light of truth that God offers us, and cling to our own particular darkness and falsity.
This is why God allows evil and falsity, and allows an eternal hell. Without it, none of our choices are real. Without it, we are not humans, but rats in a maze or pre-programmed robots who merely do what we are trained or programmed to do.
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