Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Let's not deal with the issues with oath-swearing, fighting in wars, and public prayers for now (after all, many Christians hold different positions on them) and concentrate on the concept of reincarnation here.
I readily acknowledge that we have different views on the authority of scripture, however, please note that I have never tried to impose my own view on you.
My primary interest here is not in persuading you to agree with me. I was simply hoping to understand where you are coming from, and then make some inquiries into questions that naturally arise from your position. I believe mutual understanding is crucial.
My difficulties thus far are as follow:
a. The concept of reincarnation seems to be completely foreign to scriptural thought. Moreover, it seems to be at odds with the biblical doctrines of final judgment and resurrection.
b. The cited evidences in Shroder's book present some possibilities but they do not struck me as rationally convincing.
c. Proponents of reincarnation do not seem to be able to account for the origin of the "souls". That is, if all life forms are reincarnated, they must have a former life. Since the number of life forms is increasing through reproduction, then where do these additional "souls" come from?
d. Among proponents of reincarnation among self-proclaimed Christians, there are conflicting views as to how reincarnation fits into the Christian picture. If they all claim to have received a "revelation" from the Spirit, who should I believe in? (I think it is easier to accept either the Christian worldview or the reincarnational worldview, rather than both, because it is so difficult to reconcile them)
I am interested in knowing how you deal with the above, especially (c) and (d). Thanks.
| 2003/11/13 10:16||Profile|
I brought up the issues of oath swearing, war fighting and public prayer because you so strongly emphasize scriptural authority as the sole underpinning of your belief system. But most Christians I know seem to overlook these because they are not convenient. If you hold the Bible as the sole authority, then this kind of cherry picking of scripture is a major inconsistency in your world view.
I don't see the contradition between the Bible and belief in reincarnation. ALso I want to comment on Philologos's statement that: "In your scenario, successive reincarnations are being substituted for Christ's death." I neither said nor implied any such thing. That we inherit the good or bad effects from our previous lives has nothing to do with the salvation that comes from Christ. I don't think we can become perfected through these lives, we just have to deal with our decisions and actions.
Regarding your question about where new souls come from, I have tried to answer this twice now and will give it one last try. Evolution and reincarnation go hand in hand. New souls (or the expanded souls of lesser creatures) simply move up from below. Where this process begins is a good question that I have no answer for.
Frankly, I am annoyed by Christians that lamely try to discredit or just outright reject the theory of evolution. Let's not dumb down the Bible and religion. OK? The Bible fully supports evolution. The movement and development proceed in the same direction, from sea life to winged creatures, to mammals to mankind. Adam means MAN, and not an individual. Genesis tells us the "the Earth brought forth life". Could it be any more specific?? The Out of Africa Theory tells us that we are all descended from a small group of people in Africa sometime in the last 250,000 years. Genesis tells us that we are all descended from a small group of people made up of Noah's family.
By holding the Genesis story apart from the evolution story we cannot find the areas of agreement. Look first for where there is agreement and the obvious and miraculous accuracy of the Bible shines through. (HOW in the world did the early Jews get the ordering of life and all the other events of evolution correct when they happened hundreds of thousands of years before them???? This makes a good case for Devine Revelation, but you cannot claim this if you reject evolution!!!)
Thanks for your thoughtful questions. I hope these answers and thoughts are of use.
| 2003/11/20 12:41|
ALso I want to comment on Philologos's statement that: "In your scenario, successive reincarnations are being substituted for Christ's death." I neither said nor implied any such thing. That we inherit the good or bad effects from our previous lives has nothing to do with the salvation that comes from Christ.
I'm sorry if I misunderstood you, but what is "the salvation that comes from Christ" if it doesn't separate us from our sin and the consequence of it? If He carried it in His own body how can it pursue me into a 'next' life?
I think my point is still valid that salvation is either an achievement or a gift but cannot be both. If it is a gift, what can I add? If it is an achievement, what was the point of Christ's death?
| 2003/11/20 19:31||Profile|
The act of surrendering your will and accepting salvation is an achievement on your part and a gift on the part of God. Now, do you have any answers for the questions I posed?
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Mathew 5:7
If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Mathew 16:24-25
You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another. John 15:14-17
| 2003/11/25 10:41|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
Sorry, I think have lost the thread of your argument. I can't see where the dichotomy has come from.
Yes I agree Ron, so I have started a new forum thread here for this topic:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=841&forum=36]Justification and Sanctification[/url]
and also I recommend we continue discussions of reincarnation here:
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=736&forum=36&7]what happens after death, reincarnation[/url]
Mary (Chosen7Stone) made an great explanation of the system of reincarnation and what people believe about it and also she gave a good biblical viewpoint.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2003/11/25 11:01||Profile|