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Christianity and reincarnation - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Matthew 11:13-14
For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come.

Out of context this might be taken to be reincarnation. BUT John himself said he was not Elijah:

John 1:19-21
"And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" And he confessed, and did not deny, and he confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."

They are asking this because of Malachi 4:5: "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord." The coming of John was in the spirit of Elijah, also stated in Luke 1:17 (And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.) This prophecy given to Zecharias, John's father, by an angel of the Lord regarding John.

So John the Baptist was in the spirit of Elijah, but not actually Elijah reincarnated.
post #22 of 44
Thanks for the help Elzabet!

Jenny
post #23 of 44
Wow, this is pretty heated! So I am going to play devil's advocate:
I think Jesus wasn't supposed to be sacrificed when he was. I think it was premature, and thus the founding of Christianity was incomplete. He saw it coming, and he tried to teach all he could, but decided that discussions on reincarnation weren't important (and probably a ton of other stuff like what God looks like etc). He needed to teach us to be as good to each other as possible in this life, to improve the here and now. To teach a better path, he wasn't here to reveal to us everything there is to know about the universe.
And if you think that everything there is to know about God, life and the universe is in one book that I own 4 copies of, you are not thinking. God is bigger than that. I don't think beliving that makes me any less a Christian.
Hope I didn't offend anyone, that's just what I think.
post #24 of 44
OT momma

Actually-I am enjoying getting to review all this .
I also agree that God is bigger than this --it is not so simple as reincarnation or not-spirit is not so easily classified.
jennifer
post #25 of 44
I agree that God is far bigger than words on a page but He is also reasonable and reincarnation is not reasonable.

My understanding of reincarnation is that it allows someone to achieve perfect karma and enter/unite with Nirvana after learning/doing whatever it is they are supposed to learn/do, right?

So....this implies that sometime in the past everyone a first incarnation. In that case, each person already had perfect karma since in the first incarnation he had had no previous life from which to gain "bad" karma. Logically, if he had perfect karma that first time there would be no need for further incarnations so poof!! Instant Nirvana. Besides, after hundreds of cycles of trying to figure it out, why will hundreds of more incarnations with their accumulated bad karma help? It's not reasonable. maybe there's something I'm missing?
post #26 of 44
Personally I don't see it as a matter of karma, I see it as a matter of learning. You start out ignorant of what its like to have to get along with people you don't like, what its like to love and be love, what its like to deal with despair and defeat and a hundred other things we can experience. And so you have life times where you learn these things, there are more lessons that one can learn in one life, so you come back over and over until you reach full understanding. You are right, that you were good when you were created, but you were not created all knowing. Knowing comes with experiences. And I think learning until we reach enlightenment is the goal.
post #27 of 44
OM MANI PADME HUM y'all.
post #28 of 44
From my point of view ,we fell when we were spiritual beings & having a body to begin with is the way out--the way back to God -We have to put the spiritual back into the physical kind of thing.

I read a book that has many good points ---REINCARNATION-THE MISSING LINK IN CHRISTIANITY by Elizabeth Clare Prophet--I do not agree with all she teaches elsewhere but she covers Judaism ,Moses,Plato,Jesus' teachings on reincarnation,karma,gnosticism,resurrection,man & God ,etc


In her book it says,"The disciples ask Jesus,"Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?"--they had seen the transfiguration -Moses & Elijah & Jesus-

According to Mark,Jesus answers,"True,Elijah is to come first and to see that everything is as it should be...However,I tell you that Elijah has come & they have treated him as they pleased"
Matthew gives the same story but adds to his account-"The disciples understood then that he had been speaking of John The Baptist."
post #29 of 44
Justinian 1--Fifth Council of the Church--in 553,its anathemas form the foundation for the rejection of reincarnation-in 551 he condems the 10 principles of Origenism.
post #30 of 44
I am a Christian, but I have also experienced too many spiritually profound experiences in my life; have had premonition dreams, spoke to my father after his death.. so many coincidences that I believe we are reincarnated. I believe we decide before we return to this lifetime what our new life will contain, and what we wish to learn from it.

I believe at some stage of evolving, we achieve peace within, and then at that time we can either choose to return to Nirvana or to live another lifetime on Earth just for the experience of it.
post #31 of 44
I suppose we shall have to agree to disagree. If we are saved by reincarnation and not by grace through faith then Ephesians 2:8-9 is null and void because living is "work" making Christ's work pointless. Somehow I don't think God does pointless things.
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnoliablue
I am a Christian, but I have also experienced too many spiritually profound experiences in my life; have had premonition dreams, spoke to my father after his death.. so many coincidences that I believe we are reincarnated. I believe we decide before we return to this lifetime what our new life will contain, and what we wish to learn from it.

I believe at some stage of evolving, we achieve peace within, and then at that time we can either choose to return to Nirvana or to live another lifetime on Earth just for the experience of it.


Sums it up well for me. Earth is our classroom. Through Christ we can return to perfection after death, or we can choose to return for more lessons. The goal of the soul is being reunited with God.
post #33 of 44
Elzabet, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice?

I find one cannot really compare and harmonize John with the synoptics. They are on quite a different wavelength. John is late and has a "high Christology." He disagrees with the synoptics on whom Jesus himself was, not just who J the B was!
post #34 of 44
Elzabet, I think you and I are on the same wavelength here. No one has yet to show me biblical proof of reincarnation, therefore no one is convincing me of anything but ridiculousness (is that a word? )

I don't believe that reincarnation goes with Christianity. That's about all I have to say here.

Jenny
post #35 of 44
I think we can be both saved by reincarnation AND by grace through faith, for it is by living a faith-filled life that one achieves the most enlightment and grace, therefore they are saved...and those that choose to live an alternate life, not choosing to learn the more positive lessons of life, thus not achieving a stae of ultimate "grace" or enlightenment, they return again to earthly life to relearn the things that gave them the most troubles.

Once you feel you have reached your pinnacle of peace and grace, I do not believe you are reincarnated again, unless you choose to be. So the two go hand in hand,IMO.
post #36 of 44
I personally don't think Christianity as I understand it includes reincarnation. I think one can succesfully blend two beliefs to form their own truth- but I don't think they are inherently interconnected.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Elzabet, ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice?

I find one cannot really compare and harmonize John with the synoptics. They are on quite a different wavelength. John is late and has a "high Christology." He disagrees with the synoptics on whom Jesus himself was, not just who J the B was!
DarryLLL: I have no idea what you meant by that first line and, since we differ so greatly on scripture and Jesus and so on and so forth, I don't even think we can converse on this issue. Thanks for the input.

Jenny:
post #38 of 44
Rainbow... All faiths are inherently connected in my opinion. Regardless of which faith you are part of , if ultimately you are striving to be the best soul you can possibly be, and achieve inner peace, you are connected.

In the end, we can take what we choose to believe and let the rest go..but one thing we can all agree on is that Noone really knows. Therefore, to tell one person this cannot be right, this is wrong, you cannot be one faith yet subscribe to other teachings or philosophies is wrong.

I believe I am a soul. I am a child of a Being bigger than myself. I am a part of everything and everyone that comes into my life. I believe every word, every thought, every action is connected to everyone and everything around me...and I believe I am learning as I go. I find my faith in nature. I find my faith in the quietness of the Church at dawn. I also find it in my dreams..dreams that have told me things that were to come, and things that have passed and explained to me rhyme and reason for these things.

If reincarnation does not exist, then there are many many other people with a special gift who have been touched by "something" I choose to believe it is all the lives before this one. You choose your belief. Peace
post #39 of 44
Elzabet, that was a curt dismissal!

Even if you chose to ignore me, I will elucidate, for the sake of this conversation, which is not just between you and me...

You pay your money... but this I mean, I know you have been on a spiritual journey for years and have settled on Christianity as the one belief system that makes the most sense to you. You know there are other paths. Yet, you feel most comfortable in a certain type of Xtian mindset. That is the choice thing.

2ndly, why deny there is more than one way to interpret scripture? The others on this thread are exploring that option, why should I be shot down for doing the same?

Myself, I do not think Christian scripture tells us everything we need to know about life. It was written for a 1st-4th CE Roman audience, with their understanding of the universe and science and geography and god(s).

All ancient scripture is sacred. All is meaningful and worthy to be studied.

Many gnostic Chrisitans believed in reincarnation. This was called heresy and forcefully excised from the orthodox faith. You (crooked bishops and emperors) can't control people as well if they think they have more than one chance at making a good life.

I do not mean to imply control was Jesus' mission, but unfortunately, his message (euangel) was corrupted and used for evil almost immediately.
post #40 of 44
I do not have problems with alternate interpretations of scripture. I do not deny that people tend to interpret scripture to their own satisfaction and that is fine. Interpret away. I have nothing against interpreting scripture differently and I enjoy discussing such things with others.

I also do not think Scripture tells us everything we need to know about life. I do not hold to sola scriptura for just that reason. There are very significant areas where scripture is silent. In that case we have the Holy Spirit and the Church. In 1 Timothy Paul writes that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth (and yes, I know you think Paul was a nutcase who just wanted power and so switched from being a pharisee to christianity so he could have a high position and that letters attributed to him were actually written some 300+ years later by someone else). And over the years the church, catholic, orthodox and protestant (little p and capital P) have spoken on this issue. I do believe however that study of sacred scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit is profitable for every good work. Otherwise it's just a bunch of nice sayings that can be lumped together with everything else men have written over the centuries and is no more inspired than The Da Vinci Code or any other novel you care to name.

However, since I have been at this forum I've noticed a tendency for you to do your level best to completely dismiss a more conservative/traditional point of view when it comes to biblical scholarship and study. The overall feeling I get from reading your posts is that you think "how could any intelligent person believe Jesus was God, christianity is the way and the Bible is real?" Not to mention your complete dismissal of any biblical scholar who comes at the topic from a believing perspective which is a flawed viewpoint for a true scholar to take. Because I sense such total disrespect of my point of view from you I tend to not read your posts too deeply. IMO, your original comment was sarcastic and added nothing to the conversation so I shrugged it off.
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