Christianity and Reincarnation

According to the Christian doctrine, reincarnation is false and contradicts Christianity, but, is this true. The only way for reincarnation to be false, is if it does not exist. Does the Bible speak against reincarnation? If the Bible does not speak against reincarnation, then it does not contradict Christianity. There are many Christians that believe in reincarnation. What would cause some to believe in it and not others? It is something that each person should look into it for themselves.

As we look into reincarnation, here are some definition to keep in mind. The word `reincarnation' comes from the Latin re, which means 'again,' and incarnere, which comes from two other Latin words, in and caro-'in flesh.' Thus it literally means 'to come again in the flesh.’ Transmigration is the reincarnations of many different types of life forms, such as mineral, vegetative, and animal, as well as human. The Bible does not speak of the concept of transmigration. Karma is the law of cause and effect that says for every action there is a reaction or whatever we sow we will also reap.

What would be the purpose for reincarnation? Many assume that the only reason for it is to repay for the wrongs done in a prior life but another reason for it is to experience new growth for the soul. Is it impossible for God to resend a soul back again? Whether God does or not is what has to be proven. Because reincarnation is not expressly taught in the Bible, does that proves that it does not existence? Neither is the doctrine of the Trinity taught, but it is believed by many.

One key scripture that some Christians use to try and disprove reincarnation is Hebrews 9: 27, which states, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” This is referring to the fact that our mortal bodies die only once. The human body is a one-shot deal and “after that comes judgment” could refer to the life reviews, such as those reported in near-death experiences. A post-life judgment does not preclude the possibility of the soul returning to earth in another mortal body. Keep in mind that it would be the soul returning and not the person’s human body.

There are several verses in the Bible that does seem to imply reincarnation. One is Matthew 16:13-14 13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Notice that each person mentioned was no longer alive. Another verse was John 9:1-3 1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. The question here is, how could the man have sin and cause himself to be born blind. The man would have had to sin in a prior life to cause himself to be born blind. Jesus revealed that there was more at state in this case.

Edgar Cayce was a Sunday school teacher who, while in a trance, would give readings on theology and philosophy. These readings included affirmations of the doctrine of reincarnation. He taught, like the ancients of the East, that the sole purpose of reincarnation of the individual soul is to destroy the accumulated karma. Reincarnation would be like returning to re-take an examination in which we have not done well enough to proceed to another level of our education.

Origen (an early Church Father) was a believer in reincarnation and sowed the seeds of the Christian debate over the concept that lasted for three centuries. It was replaced by the doctrine of the fallen man being born with a sinful nature and therefore needed to be judged by God. The story of creation in the book of Genesis of the Bible had (among many) a different interpretation from what most Christians believe today. I will share this information in a future article.

There is a way for a person to find out about their prior lives, if they would like to know. Through the regression in hypnosis, a person can look at the different past lives they have lived. What would really shock many people who do not believe in reincarnation is how many times their souls have come back. I think the greatest benefit of reincarnation is that it gives us the chance of becoming more like God and that will take more than one lifetime.  

Published by Willie Starks


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