Reincarnation is the basic system for the 779 million Hindus, for the 324 million Buddhists, the 6 million Jains… for a variety of cults reincarnation is an essential aspect of their teachings: Hare Krishna, Theosophy, New Age, Unity School of Christianity, Rosicrucianism, Urantia, Gnosis, Spiritualism… Almost all the Eastern cults and practices of Yoga and Transcendental Meditations base their quest for higher consciousness on the premises of reincarnation…
Scientology proposes to remove the traumas of past lives by the use of a device called E-meter… now many psychiatrists practice “past-lives therapy”, and have their calendars full of appointments… and some statistics show 60% of Americans consider reincarnation a reasonable probability… the classic inquiry “Who am I?” is being replaced by the puzzling question “Who was I?”.
Edgar Cayce was an advocate of reincarnation, and today’s foremost secular “expert” is the Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stevenson who has documented 1,800 actual cases of reincarnation.
However, Reincarnation is totally opposed to the teachings of the Bible and of the Koran. You can no believe in Reincarnation and proclaim that you are a Jew, a Christian, or a Muslim… Reincarnation is a grave heresy against these three religions.
Reincarnation came to Europe during the Middle Ages with the Hermetism and Catharism who had taken it over from Neo-Platonism. It was promoted in the Western world only in beginning with the last century, by the efforts of Theosophy, and later Anthroposophy.
Their intense ministry, combined with that of many Eastern gurus, and especially the efforts of the New Age movement, determined a wide acceptance of reincarnation in our society today, so that this concept became one of the most fascinating doctrines in explaining the origin and meaning of life… though all of reincarnation is a lie of the Devil as we shall see, and totally opposed to the doctrines of the Bible and Koran.
However, its modern version is substantially different from what Eastern religions stated. Far from being a torment out of which man has to escape by any price through abolishing personhood, New Age thinking considers reincarnation as an eternal progression of the soul toward higher levels of spiritual existence… Although this tendency proves the soul’s yearning for a personal destiny, it doesn’t bear too much resemblance to classical Hindu spirituality, which rejects it as totally perverted… and it is totally opposed to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Reincarnation and the Bible:
Both are mutually exclusive in reincarnation, you are not believing in the Bible; if you believe the Bible, reincarnation with the law of karma is a contradiction to the Bible, because it offers no loving God, no forgiving grace, and robs the Almighty of his attribute of mercy. The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the shedding of his blood cannot be compatible with a system of belief that denies his atonement.
The Bible teaches over and over that you and I will go to Heaven or Hell after our only life on earth, without any reincarnation, “as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment” (Heb.9:27).
In Acts 16, “a slave-girl had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling… Paul cast out the devil from her in the name of Jesus, and he went out the same hour”.
“The devil is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn.8), he is a murderer, who comes to steal to kill and to destroy, and he does it using Spiritism, divination, witchcraft… and he is deceiving 2 billion people with the trick of reincarnation… because “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light”, and uses persons to do wonders and divinations to deceive people (Jn.10:10, 1Cor.11)… and the Bible teaches to avoid any doctrine which comes of demonic inspiration (1Tim.4:1).
Reincarnation is lie of the Devil, a false theory to enslave about 1,500 million people today on earth, and one the main reasons to perpetuate the infamous Caste System in India.
In the 1,800 cases of reincarnation of Dr. Stevenson, some of them are obviously fraudulent involving people raised in cultures with predisposition to believe in reincarnation… but most of them are the work of the devil who can provide any data necessary apparently to confirm a previous existence; specially when hypnosis is used, a trance-state could be manipulated by demonic forces to simulate previous existence.
Those who advocate reincarnation are against the most elemental teachings of the Bible; they do not believe the Bible!… however, they quote the Bible, Matt.14:2, claiming that Jesus was a reincarnation of John the Baptist, which is impossible, because Jesus was a grown adult when John was beheaded. They claim that Jesus was the reincarnation of Abraham based on Jn.8:58, which is ridiculous; and they quote Matt.11:4 to say that John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah, ignoring the answer given by the Baptist himself to those who raised this possibility: “I am not”, he emphatically declared in Jn.1:21.
The doctrines of karma and reincarnation result in the infamous “caste system”; and the Untouchable has no hope of bettering his lot, because his miserable destiny has been predetermined by a former existence.
If reincarnation and the law of karma are so beneficial on a practical level, as reincarnationists claim, then how do they explain the immense and ever-worsening social and economic problems – including widespread poverty, starvation, disease, and horrible suffering – in India, where reincarnation has been systematically taught throughout its history?
To be a “good samaritan”, according to reincarnation, would only interfere with the divine order of karmic punishment… one needs only glimpse at the lands where karmic and reincarnation doctrines have sway for centuries to see the poverty and subhuman view of life fostered by these teachings… next time a Transcendental Meditation or a Zen teacher offers you to end all your problems, tell him to go to India, they need him!…
The Logic:Even the mere logic dismisses most of the claims of reincarnation: What good does it do to be punished for something you can’t remember having done?… if suffering is the result of sin in other peoples’ life, what recompense or purification is there for the sacrificed mother or the pain of cancer?… and why lift a man from the gutter to clean his sores and feed his belly, if some impersonal law of retribution is perpetuating his hunger?…
Reincarnation seeks to provide the ultimate answer for understanding suffering and injustice. The ancient philosophers used the theory of karmic reincarnation to explain away such things as birth defects, physical handicaps, low I.Q.’s, retardations, etc., because they had no knowledge of genetics and DNA code.
They assumed that all birth defects had a mystical or religious explanation, instead of being just a genetic problem, or the result of any kind of intoxication or sickness of the parents…
Reincarnation is a False Theory:
1- Reincarnation can’t be true because it is numerically impossible.
If there is one soul per person, and if the population of the world is increasing (which it is), where are all these new souls coming from? In other words, the population has more than doubled from around two billion at the turn of the century to over 6 billion today. If each of these 5 billion souls have lived at least ONE past life, where did the over 4 billion souls come from which did not exist before 1900 AD ? It seems there are several possible solutions to this problem:
(A) These new souls are coming from animals or inanimate matter.
(B) These new souls are coming from other planets (Shirley Maclaine has offered this as a solution I have heard), ETs and stuff.
(C) New souls come out of “thin air” or are somehow created by God or perhaps have always existed so they are actually “old” souls.
(D) or there are people with several souls — perhaps 3 or more.
Since the standard definition of reincarnation involves one soul per person, that rules out option (D). Now if you accept the classic Hindu concept of reincarnation — the idea that you could come back as a cockroach if you lived a really bad life — then option (A) is a possible solution. If you are nuts, then option (B) is possible.
Again, if the standard definition of reincarnation holds true, new souls are not created out of thin air, but already exist and are just taking on new lives and new bodies. So option (C) is out.
The Catholic concept is that souls are indeed created immediately by God (see the Catechism paragraph 366). One soul and one body (Mt 10:28).
2- Reincarnation is not true because it contradicts the Resurrection.
To quote some Bible, “it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgement” (Heb 9:27) is probably a text you’ve heard.
The teaching of the resurrection of the dead is one life, one soul, one body. There will not be multiple bodies for one soul which is what reincarnation requires. The body is not something to be discarded and forgotten but will be reunited with the soul at the final judgment.
Thus, reincarnation contradicts the historical Christian teaching and Bible concept of the resurrection of the dead.
Now I realize there have been some who have tried to show they are compatible, such as Anglican priest Geddes MacGregor who has a couple of books on the subject of Christianity and reincarnation. A good book that answers his arguments is The Reincarnation Sensation by Norm Geisler and J. Yutaka Amano (Tyndale House, 1986).
3- Reincarnation is not true because it simply makes no sense.
It makes no sense because the reason we live further lives is to supposedly improve upon and do restitution for what wrong we did in our prior lives. But who remembers their prior lives? I have no conscious memory of any prior lives. So how in the world am I supposed to improve upon what I did if I can’t remember what I did?
Now I realize some people claim to remember their prior lives through various techniques, particularly hypnosis. But it has been documented that hypnosis is notoriously unreliable. We have people claiming everything under hypnosis — from UFO abductions, to Satanic ritual abuse, to prior lives. Is all of this stuff true?
A good recent book on hypnotherapy written from a skeptical psychologist point of view is Robert Baker, They Call It Hypnosis (Prometheus Books, 1990). I believe that is the correct title.
4- Reincarnation is not true because it perpetuates the problem of evil.
Contrary to what you said about karma and reincarnation being just, the concepts are unjust because evil is perpetuated and there is no forgiveness. To quote what you wrote —
PC> To me, the ideas of karma and reincarnation seemed more just. If God is just, then the punishment should fit the crime.
Therefore, if I am a murderer in this life, does not the law of karma require that I must come back as the victim of a murder?
If I am a wife beater in this life, don’t I have to come back as a woman who is beaten by her husband (or something equivalent to have “justice” done to me) ? Each crime committed in this life requires the perpetrator to return in a future life to have the same thing done to him or her!
Do you see how evil is perpetuated? There is no forgiveness here. That’s why the Hindus refer to this as “the wheel of reincarnation” since there is no getting off. It is a hopeless cycle. And where is God in all of this?
A question that must be asked — where did evil originate according to the laws of karma and reincarnation?
I think you will discover that “evil” originated with God according to this view which is generally pantheistic. God is good, God is All, therefore All is good. Evil is just an “illusion”. Now we’re getting really heavy. I’ll stop here and you can tell me if I am giving you too much. Everything you ever wanted to know about hell but were afraid to ask is next. See the Catechism paragraphs 1033 – 1037. Please tell me if you got these posts.