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REINCARNATION AND CHRISTIANITY
AUTHOR: Computers for Christ
PUBLISHED ON: May 1, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN

 
                    REINCARNATION AND CHRISTIANITY

    The teaching of reincarnation is being advanced on many sides
today as the philosophy and religion of the East makes its inroads in
the West.  Such teachings call for a response from the Christian
community, which is in every way opposed to the idea that men’s souls
return time and time again to go through the cycles of birth, life and
death, as it is taught in the Hindu systems which underlie all such
concepts.
    Reincarnation is neither a proven fact of science, nor is it
approved by the Bible.  It should be remembered; However, that
evidence of a scientific nature put forward to “disprove”
reincarnation will do little, if any, good.  Evidence of that sort can
easily be re-interpreted.  What must be emphasized is that there is
absolutely no scientific evidence that proves it.  On the other hand,
there are many psychological and scientific evidences which show that
the phenomena associated with the theory of reincarnation could as
easily be produced by other means.
    It is very possible, for instance, for one to “learn” a language
subconsciously by being in the presence of those who speak it, even
for a short time, and then have something trigger that memory at a
particular time.  Again, it is possible to learn things about other
places and times in a similar manner.  While these do not account for
all the claimed phenomena, they do account for a great part of them.
    Some knowledge is not obtainable by natural means, and since the
Bible says that reincarnation does not occur, we can only conclude
that the information comes through supernatural agencies, either good
or bad.  The question of whether the agencies are good or bad depends
on what attitude they show toward Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  Since
reincarnation belittles the Atonement (Substitutionary) and
sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, we can identify these agencies as
evil.
    The Bible certainly denies the teaching of reincarnation.  While
it does not mention the term reincarnation, it does mention it in
context in speaking of John the Baptist and others, but this does not
mean that it AGREES with the theory.  It merely says that some people
might have thought John was Elijah reincarnated; and perhaps that
certain people thought the man born blind had sinned in another life,
and that was the cause of his blindness.  However, it tells of many
other incorrect thoughts and actions of people.  Where then does the
Bible tell us that reincarnation is false?

    FIRST, it says in Hebrews 9:27 that it is appointed to everyone
to die BUT ONCE, and after that the judgment (where our ETERNAL
residence is decided – the New Earth or the Lake of Fire).  There is
no room for one to die over and over again.

    SECOND, the Bible teaches the OPPOSITE of reincarnation –
RESURRECTION!  The righteous in Christ will be raised to Eternal Life,
and the lost to Eternal punishment.  RESURRECTION involves not a
transmigration of the soul, in which it takes on a new body, but a
raising up and glorification of the old body, reuniting soul and body
for eternity.

    THIRD, reincarnation is destroyed by the very idea of salvation
in and by the COMPLETED work of Jesus Christ.  We cannot save
ourselves, no matter what the number of lives we go through.  We are
imperfect, and God is perfect.  That which is imperfect cannot
possibly bring forth perfection (for then the effect would be greater
than the cause!), and God can ONLY accept perfection.  It is for this
reason that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for each of us who
receive His payment for our sins.  Jesus bore on Himself our
iniquities and paid the penalty for our sins.  By doing so; Jesus
IMPUTED His righteousness on us.

    Reincarnation is FINALLY a “works-Righteousness,” and Paul
reminds us in Titus 3:5 that we are saved NOT by works of
righteousness that we have done, but by the washing of regeneration
and renewal by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.  If we are due to
be reincarnated over and over again, then the death of Jesus Christ
has no meaning for us, and is of no effect, for we must still work our
way to salvation, making ourselves better, instead of allowing Jesus
Christ to make us acceptable to God.
    Aside from Biblical arguments against reincarnation, there are
various philosophical and scientific arguments.  We suggest that you
look up the article on reincarnation in THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
PHILOSOPHY, edited by Paul Edwards (all college libraries USUALLY have
it), and see some of the arguments espoused there.  In addition, the
ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA has an excellent dissertation on the matter
under the subject “Metempsychosis.”  Additional material is listed
under the subject “Reincarnation” and “Metempsychosis” in THE NEW
SCHAFF-HERZOG ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE.  It must be
remembered, though, that people will not always accept evidence which
is objectively adequate.  They may not be willing to look at the
evidence OBJECTIVELY.  The best approach is to proceed on positive
direction, showing the reliability of the Bible, and that the Bible
presents Jesus Christ as having proved Himself to be God, the Messiah,
by His resurrection (A proven and reliable historical event), then
showing that Jesus Christ accorded the Bible of infallibility, and
then showing that the Bible proves reincarnation is wrong.

Computers for Christ – San Jose

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