Sunday, January 12, 2003

REINCARNATION--COME AGAIN?


When Two Crows asked me if I would like to be a partner on this blog, I was flattered, to say the least. But the challenges of writing a total opposite view of someone you truly admire has been a daunting task for me. Not to mention, I realize that my views as a Christian...a Catholic, differ widely from the views of most of the readers who come to this blog. For that matter, it differs from the views of many I read on the Internet. Let's face it, Catholicism is a very misunderstood religion. Heck, even Catholics, themselves, are often confused by our doctrine.

That said, with all that Two Crows has written on reincarnation, I thought I would put forth the Catholic views on the subject. Nothing I am writing is in anyway a slam what is written by Two Crows, we just happen to have different belief's, that's all. After all, we are writing about all things spiritual, and that is very difficult to wrap our human minds around,isn't it?

The subject of reincarnation is an age old discussion that has dated back as far as the Greeks. 20% of today's world religious population are either Hindu or Buddhist with both religions believing in reincarnation. According to Hinduism’s most sacred scripture, the Bhagavad-gita (5.18), “the humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater.” Social ills such as racism, sexism, nationalism, caste-ism, and speciesism arise because souls falsely identify with their temporary bodies. On the spiritual platform, all are equal.


A 1990 Gallup poll found that 25 percent of Catholics in the United States believe in reincarnation. Another recent survey, by the University of London, concluded that 28 percent of the people in France believe in reincarnation, while only 57 percent believe in God.

Belief in reincarnation has been strongly embraced by the New Age movement in the United States. It was Shirley MacLaine, an avid New Age disciple, who said she recalls being taught: "The theory of reincarnation is recorded in the Bible. But the proper interpretations were struck from it during an ecumenical council meeting of the Catholic Church in Constantinople sometime around A.D. 553, called the Council of Nicaea [sic]" (Out on a Limb, 234–35). Where did she get her information? Certainly not from doing any real research into her claim. The fact is that there was no Council of Nicaea in A.D. 553. Further, the two ecumenical councils of Necaea (A.D. 325 and A.D. 787) took place in the city of Nicaea and neither dealt with reincarnation. What did take place in A.D, 553 was the Second Ecumenical Council of Constantinople. Records show that it, too, did not address the subject of reincarnation...none of the early councils did.

The closest the Second Council of Constantinople came to addressing reincarnation was, in one sentence, to condemn Origen, an early Church writer who believed souls exist in heaven before coming to earth to be born. New Agers confuse this belief in the pre-existence of the soul with reincarnation and claim that Origen was a staunch believer in reincarnation. Actually, he was one of the most prolific early writers against reincarnation!



The true origin of where Shirley got her ideas that Origen taught reincarnaiton came from the book, Reincarnation in Christianity, written by Geddes MacGregor. MacGregor speculated that Origen's texts which he claimed were written in support of this belief were somehow suppressed or disappeared. Admitting he had no evidence, MacGregor nonetheless stated, "I am convinced he taught reincarnation in some form". So there ya go! He says these texts once existed, with no evidence to prove this, Shirley reads his book and then writes her own book repeating the same false statement, and Voila! The doctrine of reincarnation is accepted by New Agers!

The fact is, Oregin did not believe in reincarnation, and it is stated in many of his writings. Just to show a few instances:

"If the doctrine [of reincarnation] was widely current, ought not John to have hesitated to pronounce upon it, lest his soul had actually been in Elijah? And here our churchman will appeal to history, and will bid his antagonists [to] ask experts of the secret doctrines of the Hebrews if they do really entertain such a belief. For if it should appear that they do not, then the argument based on that supposition is shown to be quite baseless" (ibid.).

"Someone might say, however, that Herod and some of those of the people held the false dogma of the transmigration of souls into bodies, in consequence of which they thought that the former John had appeared again by a fresh birth, and had come from the dead into life as Jesus. But the time between the birth of John and the birth of Jesus, which was not more than six months, does not permit this false opinion to be considered credible. And perhaps rather some such idea as this was in the mind of Herod, that the powers which worked in John had passed over to Jesus, in consequence of which he was thought by the people to be John the Baptist. And one might use the following line of argument: Just as because the spirit and the power of Elijah, and not because of his soul, it is said about John, ‘This is Elijah who is to come’ [Matt. 11:14] . . . so Herod thought that the powers in John’s case worked in him works of baptism and teaching—for John did not do one miracle [John 10:41]—but in Jesus [they worked] miraculous portents" (Commentary on Matthew 10:20 [A.D. 248]).

"Now the Canaanite woman, having come, worshipped Jesus as God, saying, ‘Lord, help me,’ but he answered and said, ‘It is not possible to take the children’s bread and cast it to the little dogs.’ . . . [O]thers, then, who are strangers to the doctrine of the Church, assume that souls pass from the bodies of men into the bodies of dogs, according to their varying degree of wickedness; but we . . . do not find this at all in the divine Scripture" (ibid., 11:17).

"In this place [when Jesus said Elijah was come and referred to John the Baptist] it does not appear to me that by Elijah the soul is spoken of, lest I fall into the doctrine of transmigration, which is foreign to the Church of God, and not handed down by the apostles, nor anywhere set forth in the scriptures" (ibid., 13:1).


What Oregin did believe was that the soul existed before birth and the Church believed that the soul didn't exist until conception of birth. The discussion of when a fetus has a soul is still in dispute among many, even within the Catholic Church, but the doctrine still holds, life-including soul-begins at conception.

This isn't to say that the Catholic Church has ignored the discussion of reincarnation. Pope John Paul II had called scholars from around the world to have a conference, "Reincarnation and the Christian Message." At this conference, church leaders emphasized that reincarnation is incompatible with Christian doctrine.

Pope John Paul II acknowledged in his 1994 apostolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente ("As the Third Millennium Draws Near") that the belief in reincarnation expresses the human "inexpressible longing to live forever."

"How are we to imagine a life beyond death?" the Pope wrote. "Some have considered various forms of reincarnation: depending on one's previous life, one would receive a new life in either a higher or lower form, until full purification is attained. This belief, deeply rooted in some Eastern religions, itself indicates that man rebels against the finality of death. He is convinced that his nature is essentially spiritual and immortal." The Pope stated definitively in his letter: "Christian revelation excludes reincarnation, and speaks of a fulfillment which man is called to achieve in the course of a single earthly existence."

The stresses of life, the longing for immortality and existential angst tempted even some of the earliest Christians to consider reincarnation. It was in the first generation of the Church that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews thought it necessary to say, "Human beings die once, and after this [comes] the judgment" (9:27).

The author of the book, Reincarnation: The Missing Link in Christianity, begs to differ with the Church. It basically repeats the thoughts of early Gnostic's. In the foreword of the book, written by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, her daughter Erin wrote: "I find Christianity's take on life incredibly bleak. If we really have only one shot at eternity in either heaven or hell, what happens to those of us whose lives are cut short by war or cancer? And if Jesus can simply wipe away all of our past mistakes, is there a point to our actions on earth?"

This sentiment by many Gnostic's is their claim that God's justice shows no mercy, whereas reincarnation enables us to work out our problems, through endless lifetimes, on our own steam. Elizabeth Prophet observes that "seemingly decent people commit murders.... Although murder is a serious crime, do those who commit it really deserve eternal punishment?" Instead of looking at the complete doctrine of the Catholic Church...or any Christian church for that matter, she doesn't mention the possibility of repentance or forgiveness. Believers in reincarnation are left with one tomorrow after the next until they "complete their life plans".

Christian views that reincarnation is incompatible with what Jesus taught about death and the afterlife. Luke 16:19-31 records Jesus' story of the rich man and Lazarus. In this parable, both the rich man and Lazarus die, but neither is reincarnated. Instead, both go on to their eternal reward: the rich man to torment, Lazarus to paradise (Luke 16:23).

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus makes it clear that Jesus didn't believe in reincarnation after death, but in judgment. This is also the teaching of the New Testament writers and was summed up by the author of Hebrews when he wrote, "It is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27).

Elizabeth Prophet asks the question, "Could you be a Christian and still believe in reincarnation?" The Catholic Church would answer in the negative, you can only affirm reincarnation if you deny Incarnation, and only if you deny the Man, Jesus, who said, "Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." (Luke 24:39)

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21 comments:

two crows said...

hey, Mary Ellen--
I've always thought Shirley McClain set the idea of reincarnation back by hundreds of years or more. and that's not the only bone I have to pick with her by a long shot.
xxx
the only thing I've seen in the books I've read that suggest any early writings on the subject in the Bible are when 'Jesus' asked the disciples 'Who do men say that I am?' they answered: 'Some say you are Elijah come again.' and he denied that he was, indeed Elijah. the only point I've seen made about that quote is that the disciples 'Jesus' was talking to believed in reincarnation -- or knew people who did. [sorry about the quotes here-- but I prefer his Hebrew name rather than the Greek translation. I'm just weird that way. :) ]

I have read [somewhere but don't remember where] that the early Church refuted it in some council or other -- maybe the one you cited. I can't say for sure.
xxx
I base my belief on one thing Joshua bar Joseph is said to have stressed time after time: that God loves us.

I know that, if I had kids and they made mistakes I wouldn't, even for a moment, hold their hand in a candle flame. so, I can't believe that a God-that-loves-us would give George Bush just one chance to get it right-- or me either --and consign us to eternal damnation based on that one chance.

that's why it speaks so deeply to me. being brought up in a hellfire- and- brimstone religion can do that to a person, I guess. :)

and, just think: if I _had_ stuck with my old- time- religion, I'd probably be a Bushite. blech. :6

Mary Ellen said...

two crows-

Matthew's account which you cited is generally more elaborate, however, Luke's account is clearer on one point:

"Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, 'Who do the crowds say that I am?' They said in reply, 'John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen"" (Luke 9:18-19).

Now, since John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus and only 6 months older than Jesus (Luke 1:26), it would be impossible for Jesus to be considered the reincarnation of John. The crowds believed Jesus was one of the ancient prophets raised from the dead. The verb "has arisen" indicates the people thought Jesus to have been a resurrected prophet, not a reincarnated one. The Jews of Jesus' day who believed in an afterlife (some, such as the Sadducees, didn't) looked forward to the resurrection of the dead, not to their reincarnation. Jews who affirmed the soul's survival after death regarded such a solitary survival as an unnatural existence to be remedied by a later resurrection.

If those who believe in reincarnation want to use the Bible to claim that the disciples did believe in reincarnation (which they didn't--but as I said earlier,they believed in resurrection, then they should also look at the quotes which made it very clear that reincarnation does not exist..."It is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27).


I know that, if I had kids and they made mistakes I wouldn't, even for a moment, hold their hand in a candle flame. so, I can't believe that a God-that-loves-us would give George Bush just one chance to get it right-- or me either --and consign us to eternal damnation based on that one chance.

Aha! But you're forgetting about repentance and forgiveness! It's not like we can go through life lying or killing people and expect to just wait around until the next life to fix it. God gave us free will, and with that free will comes the possibility that we will make mistakes or we can use it for good. In God's mercy and forgiveness, He can see into our souls, he can be the perfect judge of who we are, what drove us to do the wrong things, etc. Let's say if someone is being abused all their lives, mentally or physically, and after all that abuse they finally snap and go postal, so to speak. Does that mean that person is doomed to hell? No. God would be the judge of that person and He knows his life, his pains and sufferings. We can't look at this as if God is imperfect and would act as a human who would dispense punishment. The punishment of hell is the separation from God...not fire or physical pain. I guess if I were taught about God and made to believe that He was not just and that I should expect the severest of punishment just because I screwed up, I'd be looking for something else, too. If God was that way, then why would He send His only Son to die for us? That doesn't sound like a God who doles out punishment for every mishap, no matter what the circumstances. At least that's my opinion. ;-)

As far as what's going to happen to George Bush...Lord only knows, and I mean that literally. :-)

two crows said...

hey, Mary Ellen--
I'm gonna jump the gun here-- I hadn't planned on getting to this till a l-o-n-g time from now.
but since you brought it up-- uh -- yeah there ARE times when the same soul can be on-planet in more than one body at a time.
so, John the Baptist/JC was, according to what I've read, a possible scenario. in fact, given the size of that soul -- it would be more likely than for most of us to actually NEED more than one body to contain it.

AND there're walk-ins -- when one soul opts out and another agrees to take over the body. in fact, that's fairly common -- especially among older souls.

AND there're times when people live backwards, so to speak: incarnating earlier in history than previous lifetimes.

bank on it -- if it's a variation that CAN be played with, we've played with em. jfwiw.

[in fact, I'm fairly certain I know at least one person who went through a walk-in during the time I've known her. the signs were all there. it was pretty phenomenal to watch from the sidelines. and, I think she doesn't believe in reincarnation. or walk-ins. :) ]
xxx
and, as to the GW Bush situation. do YOU see him waking up one day, realizing what he's done and saying he's sorry?
in THIS lifetime?

I know I don't have as big an imagination as the All that Is does. so maybe It can imagine it. I know _I_ can't.

two crows said...

and just one more:
as to GW saying he's sorry--- and who he needs to say it TO --

I think he needs to say it to all the people he has killed and caused to be tortured -- in Texas _and_ in his wars. and that includes all the people who are coming home and committing suicide when they can't get the help they need to recover from their emotional wounds.

I believe he owes them that much.
he'll never get that chance in a one- strike- and- you're- out universe.

again, this is jmnsho. but it seems to me to be a more just way to run a universe if it includes the chance for him to make recompense to those folks -- eventually.
xxx
I do often wonder how the hell Hitler, Himmler, et al are going to make THEIR amends.
Bush only has several thousand to answer to. How do you make amends to millions?

Mary Ellen said...

two crows-

Well, this is where we differ. Those who are of the Christian faith follow Jesus...who made it very clear that reincarnation doesn't exist. If we believe in reincarnation, we don't believe in Incarnation. When the apostles answered the question, "Who do they say I am", Jesus made it clear that what the apostles had heard that "others" have said was not correct.

Peter gave his "Confession" to Christ at that time, 9:20 "Then 10 he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter 11 answered, 12 “The Christ 13 of God.” 9:21 But he forcefully commanded 14 them not to tell this to anyone, 15 9:22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer 16 many things and be rejected by the elders, 17 chief priests, and experts in the law, 18 and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 19

At that point, Jesus called Peter to discipleship, and said,

16:17 And Jesus answered him, 1 “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood 2 did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven! 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades 3 will not overpower it. 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.”

This was the beginning of our Catholic teachings in the sense that it gave the disciples of Jesus, the power to forgive sins in Jesus' Name. Realize that Jesus made it very clear that whoever is not forgiven will not enter into heaven, but go to Hades. There is no mention of being reincarnated and having the chance to come back to earth and give it another shot.

Hell is mentioned many times in the Bible and the description can't be interpreted to mean reincarnation. For instance...

Daniel 12:2-3
12:2 Many of those who sleep
in the dusty ground will awake –
some to everlasting life,
and others to shame and everlasting abhorrence.
12:3 But the wise will shine
like the brightness of the heavenly expanse.
And those bringing many to righteousness
will be like the stars forever and ever.


Also...

Hebrews 9:27
And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment,


Regarding Bush and Hitler...if they do not make their amends while on earth and go before God on the day of their judgment, it will be God who will decided their fate.

Is it possible for Bush to see his wrongs before his death? Yes, and it is up to him to repent of those sins. If his repentance is sincere, it will be up to the Perfect Judge, God to decide his fate. It's not our place to say whether he will be in hell or not because that would be putting ourselves in God's place and we are not the Perfect judge of someone soul. We, as humans, cannot look into another's soul.

Reincarnation denies God, and puts humans in His place. It gives "us" the decision of how to go about reconciling what we have done in the past. As this is true while we are on earth and have the free will to do this, after we die, it is God's will...not ours. This is why reincarnation goes against our teachings.

Have to run...time to take my son to school.

Later--- ;-)

two crows said...

hi, Mary Ellen --
welllll--
I do follow 'Jesus' and the idea of agape [the unconditional love of the IS for all of us -- and the goal to which we all aspire].

I'm more than willing to agree to disagree on the details.

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks ME..... i always enjoy reviewing the teachings of the One True Church........

the Catholic Church is the expert at what the Catholic Church teaches...... and in the final analysis, the Church is an Institute of Man..... none of the Apostles anointed by Jesus became "God"....... only Jesus was the Divinity...... the Church, while charged with tending God's flock on earth is alas trapped within the same existential condition as the rest of humanity, with demonstrable self-interest clouding its judgment historically.

what if Human Beings, when it comes to contemplating God, and indeed when it comes to contemplating anything that transcends existence like "that which is beyond death", can in reality do nothing but generate possibilities and is in fact compelled to do so by his nature?

how does Man determine that which is impossible for God? is reincarnation possible for God, the author of Human Existence itself? is it impossible for reincarnation to be part of God's plan?

can God manifest as true ideas those appearing mutually exclusive to Humanity?

is Ex Cathedra an act of God, or an expedience for Catholic governance?

10:27 And Jesus looking on them, saith: "With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God.".... Mark and others.

Mary Ellen said...

ghost dansing-

how does Man determine that which is impossible for God? is reincarnation possible for God, the author of Human Existence itself? is it impossible for reincarnation to be part of God's plan?


Reincarnation is not impossible with God, but unnecessary. Man doesn't determine God's fate. I imagine if God had wanted to put reincarnation in His plan, he could have--but why would He do that? And why would He send His Son to become man and suffer and die on the cross for our sins in order to enter heaven, if there was no heaven, but only an infinite loop of re-births called reincarnation? Why would Jesus who is God tell his disciples that there was not such thing as reincarnation?


10:27 And Jesus looking on them, saith: "With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God.".... Mark and others.


Yes, all things are possible with God, but that doesn't mean that reincarnation is part of His plan. To look into the mind of God is impossible for a human being. To know what exists after death can only be told by God Himself...and in the case of Christianity teaching, Jesus is God made Man and Jesus told us what was to become of us after death...reincarnation wasn't included in those teachings.

For instance, the Bible describes a heaven where Jesus has ascended and where angels worship God. Jesus tells His disciples about heaven in John 14:2, saying, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."

The Apostle Paul tells us, "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands" (2 Corinthians 5:1).

In 2 Kings 2, the Prophet Elijah is swept into heaven in a whirlwind. And in Mark 12:25, Jesus tells the Pharisees what happens when married people enter heaven, saying, "When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." This doesn't sound to me like reincarnation where they would be free to live and marry again.

Jesus says in Matthew 8:11-12 that people of faith will join saints and prophets from the Old Testament at the Lord's table, while others will be left outside: "I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

It doesn't say that those who did not deserve heaven were sent to live again and have a "do-over".

two crows said...

'And why would He send His Son to become man and suffer and die on the cross for our sins in order to enter heaven, if there was no heaven, but only an infinite loop of re-births called reincarnation?'

hey, Mary Ellen--
jfwiw, I never said anything about there being no heaven nor an 'infinite loop of rebirths.'

I said there are 7 levels of growth -- 5 of which are completed on the physical level [for folks who opt for the physical option at all -- which not all souls do.]

after that, we rejoin the Is which, imho, certainly could be called 'heaven'.
in any case, the process is certainly finite -- not infinite.

Dave Dubya said...

Lovely topic.

I would only add that maybe we should operate under the assumption that life is a one shot deal. We might take better care in what we do in this blink of eternity's eye.

If reincarnation happens, then we'd be still on the right track.

There are far too many people who think they deserve immortality, all while refusing to nurture any compassion for others. The only reason I see why Bush says he's "Christian" is his sense of eternal entitlement.

Simple belief, without love and compassion, is selfishness, and a futile cloak where underneath they hide from their fear of death.

Mauigirl said...

Great post, Mary Ellen. I think you did a very good job of explaining what God's mercy is really all about. I for one have always felt the way Two Crows mentions, that it isn't fair to many people to just give them "one shot" at getting it right in this one lifetime. And not everyone has time to repent and be forgiven before they die, especially if they die suddenly or at a young age before they have matured. But you said:

"Let's say if someone is being abused all their lives, mentally or physically, and after all that abuse they finally snap and go postal, so to speak. Does that mean that person is doomed to hell? No. God would be the judge of that person and He knows his life, his pains and sufferings. We can't look at this as if God is imperfect and would act as a human who would dispense punishment."

That made me feel better about it all - if the Christian/Catholic religion's ideas of what happens to us means that we do indeed only get this one chance, it is good to know that the forgiveness may come through God's knowledge of our inner selves, rather than our own outward request for forgiveness. So it sounds to me that you believe that if there were someone who was mentally so abused and damaged that they committed some evil acts, even if they did not specifically ask for forgiveness or repent, that God would take into account the abuse they suffered and forgive them if He somehow understood they weren't inherently evil. Is that what you are saying? If so then I think it helps explain to me a lot about the whole Christian belief system that makes it more understandable to me.

I always felt it just didn't make sense that God would only give us one chance to get it right, when there are so many inherently different situations people are born into.

As for whether reincarnation is possible even within the Christian religion, I think it is still a possibility even if the Bible doesn't necessary back it up. There is the Corinthians Escape Clause, as I think of it:

"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

To me, this means we will never truly understand the meaning of our lives or how God will perfect us until we die and are face to face with Him/Her/It.

It may be as you say, Mary Ellen, and it means God will know us in full and we will be judged by that and understand what our eternal life consists of. Or it could be we find out, yes, all along God had in mind for us to be reincarnated and continue to improve ourselves throughout more lifetimes. We'd have our Life Review, discuss our next steps, and move on to the next lifetime.

(Makes it sound kind of like the corporate world, doesn't it? You die, you get your review, you get either promoted or demoted or a lateral move! Maybe that's why reincarnation makes so much sense to me, LOL!).

At any rate, I think Dave Dubya has the right idea - live as if you have only the one life to live, and if there IS a different system than the Bible says, you're still golden!

Mary Ellen, I think you did a great job explaining why the Bible does not support reincarnation. The question is, is the Bible accurate? We won't know till we die!

Mary Ellen said...

dave dubya- Simple belief, without love and compassion, is selfishness, and a futile cloak where underneath they hide from their fear of death.

But if someone who is Christian and follows the true teachings of Christ, they do have love and compassion for their fellow human beings. Just because someone calls themselves a Christian, doesn't mean they are good Christians. Many treat themselves as god and think that Jesus died on the cross and therefore they are "saved" no matter what they do. The reason a person follows Christ teachings is two-fold. One, in order to attain eternity with God in heaven, and two, in order to teach others to have love and compassion for their fellow human beings, to be an example of Christ, Himself.

Unfortunately, many haven't been able to grasp those teachings. This is where repentance and reconciliation comes in...and God's perfect judgment. Anyone can attain heaven, simply through reconciliation. For what those who think reincarnation is the way to do this, the Catholic Church---the Christian faith teaches that it can be done in this lifetime. Even guys like Bush can reconcile. Let's not forget, all those who have died because of Bush's horrible war, after they die they don't feel the need for revenge, those emotions are erased. George doesn't need to make amends for them in another life. However, God will be "the decider" what will become of him after death.

In the Catholic religion that could mean Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.

I'll be writing a post about these things in the future.

Again, I have to stress...these are the teachings of the Catholic Church. I am by no means trying to evangelize anyone, just show the other side to those who have other belief's. I truly respect others for their belief's and even if two crows and I differ in this area, it doesn't mean that I think less of her or what she believes. After all...none of us truly know about this and won't know until after we die. Right?

Mary Ellen said...

mauigirl- Thank you.

So it sounds to me that you believe that if there were someone who was mentally so abused and damaged that they committed some evil acts, even if they did not specifically ask for forgiveness or repent, that God would take into account the abuse they suffered and forgive them if He somehow understood they weren't inherently evil. Is that what you are saying?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. As humans, we look at a person who has done terrible things and immediately judge them in a harsh way. This is not the mind of God. He doesn't think as we humans do.

Mary Ellen, I think you did a great job explaining why the Bible does not support reincarnation. The question is, is the Bible accurate? We won't know till we die!

LOL! Exactly! I mentioned that in my comment to dave dubya.

My favorite quote of all times is this:

"I dislike blasphemy on purely rational grounds. If there is no God, blasphemy is stupid and unnecessary; if there is, then it's damned dangerous."
Flan O'Brien.

Mary Ellen said...

two crows- to a certain extent, minus the option to return to earth..the 7 levels could be a description of purgatory--only in the Catholic faith, those levels of growth or purification, as we say, cannot be attained anywhere except in the realm of purgatory...not hell or heaven.

Ghost Dansing said...

"I imagine if God had wanted to put reincarnation in His plan, he could have--but why would He do that?:

recycling?

FranIAm said...

What a provocative post! I wish I had more time to reread and spend more time on the comments.

Since I do not, I will say that I think you did an outstanding job on this ME.

ZapPow said...

Hi !

Not having much time, I have read the post and the comments quite fast, so my opinion is more an impression thnat anything else.

I haven't seen in all the biblical citations a condemnation of reincarnation, not even anything contradicting it.

JC had many occasions to speak against what was a common belief at that time. He never did it. If you read the parable of the born blind, the most glaring occasion, you see that not only he doesn't refute the theory, but he even seems to accept it (well, that's my interpretation, and I'm sure ME can explain how it is wrong).

Bye.

ME, in case you haven't look at your old dead blog, I've left a message for you there.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

How 'bout George W. Bush as the reincarnation of James K. Polk. Presidents....replete with middle initials, both of whom started wars under false-pretenses. Huh? Yeah, I know, kind of a stretch.

Mary Ellen said...

franiam- Thanks, I was thinking of you often when I was writing it. I think I could use one of your priest friends to check it out and he can probably find a few mistakes in my interpretation of church doctrine. ;-)

Mary Ellen said...

Zappow- yes, I just saw your comment on my old blog.I've been so busy the last few days that I haven't had much time for blogging. I'll answer all those who were kind enough to comment over there.

I'll answer this comment more fully tomorrow or Monday. I'm trying to catch up on some work at home and some gardening.

Thanks for searching me out, here...don't be a stranger!

Mary Ellen said...

will "take no prisoners" hart- I don't know...if I believed in reincarnation, I might say that Bush is closer to being reincarnated from a rock...as "He's dumb as a rock."

I can't even imagine Bush reincarnating, it's a very scary thought that the idiot will keep coming back. He obviously didn't learn much in this lifetime.