reply to post by MamaJ
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
In light of scripture to the contrary, I don’t understand this talk of literal reincarnation in a Christian context, unless I’m completely
That said, some of what you say is correct, though I do believe that other things that you say/connect are not true. I will not debate that with you,
but I will share commonalities with my religion and some of what you say.
For example, the Early Church Fathers very much understood the concept of theosis, which literally means, deification or divinization. It is the
process of being united with God. It is literally what we consider salvation- participating in the life of God/the Holy Trinity. This is not the
same thing as apotheosis, which is becoming like God in essence.
St. Athanasius: ‘God became man, so that man may become like God.’
St. Irenaeus is quoted in Against Heresies as saying, “…The Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become
what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself.”
We also believe this view of theosis to be upheld by St. Paul. St. Gregory Palamas and St. Maxiumus the Confessor also believed in theosis.
In Orthodox Christianity we view the journey toward theosis as being helped by the practice (praxis) of different things- especially the regular
partaking of the sacraments, and the prayer of the heart, and the practice of Hesychasm.
We believe that humanity was created to commune with God and attain theosis. To go against what they were told by their Creator was a choice they had
and did make- the consequence being that death entered the world. Humanity- before the fall into sin (missing the mark)- was created with the
potential to become more.
Interestingly, it is a pious opinion in Orthodoxy that even if Adam and Eve had not sinned- and death had not entered the world- that Christ still
would have come in the flesh in order to help us attain theosis. Plus, it wasn't too late for Adam and Eve- even then. In the icon of the
Resurrection- Christ is depicted trampling the gates of Hades and lifting Adam and Eve from their graves. Christ destroyed death. It is even
mentioned in the New Testament how after the Resurrection- many of the righteous dead were resurrected and appeared to many people. Like Adam, we are
dead in our sins, but through Christ (the New Adam) we are brought to life (where we were once dead in our sins).
I suppose you must differentiate between literal death and the paradox presented to us of being dead in sin and alive in Christ.
Anyway, this is heavy theology that Western Christianity has rejected, as it delves into the idea of the essence and energies of God. I believe you
may be interested in the mystical theology of Orthodoxy though. You may, if interested, want to look into reading the Philokalia.