[Disclaimer: Christianity is the religion I know best, but all ideas and input on this subject, regardless of religious affiliations, are welcome.
Is a shiny, brand new, innocent soul created every time a woman's egg is fertilized? If so, doesn't that make the soul a biological manifestation?
How then can one justify the belief that the soul doesn't die, but the body does?
If the soul is a biological manifestation, why the concept of rewards and punishments in the afterlife? But if the soul pre-existed before the body
existed, would the actions of that soul, prior to it's earthly incarnation dictate the circumstances of that body?
When Jesus promised eternal life, was he speaking of a universal truth, or some magical, spiritual life giving spell, that only Jesus can impart? If
Jesus was correct, and all the "born again" are bestowed with eternal life, and are free as the wind, is it possible that those souls could choose to
reincarnate in a new earthly body?
Did Jesus teach reincarnation?
The idea of reincarnation states that you can be punished for your actions in a future lifetime. However, the other side of the coin is that you have
more than one lifetime to work out your salvation.
Early Catholic church father, Origen Adamantius
asserted that we get the body that we deserve.
Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras,
and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions?
He also asserts that we spiritually"outgrow" our bodies.
It can be shown that an incorporeal and reasonable being has life in itself independently of the body... then it is beyond a doubt bodies are only
of secondary importance and arise from time to time to meet the varying conditions of reasonable creatures. Those who require bodies are clothed with
them, and contrariwise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things their bodies are once more annihilated. They are ever vanishing
and ever reappearing. —Origen
"...But since there is a necessity that the defilements which sin has engendered in the soul as well should be removed thence by some remedial
process, the medicine which virtue supplies has, in the life that now is, been applied to the healing of such mutilations as these. If, however, the
soul remains unhealed, the remedy is dispensed in the life that follows this.." – Great Catechism.
During the time period of the life of Jesus, reincarnation was a widely accepted view of many, including some Jews. Jewish historian Josephus writes,
in his Antiquities of the Jewish people (18, 1, 3) that reincarnation was taught widely in his day.
There are passages of the New Testament that can be only deciphered if looked at in the context that the pre-existence of souls as a generally
accepted belief. For example, Matthew 16:13-14 says that when Jesus asked his disciples "Whom do men say that I am?" they replied that some people
said he was John the Baptist, who had been beheaded a few years before. Some thought he was Elijah, or Jeremiah. Matthew 17:13, Jesus never rejects
the concept of reincarnation, as he tells his disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Jesus never rejected the the possibility that the blind man could have sinned before his birth.
So, if reincarnation was a widely held belief, and Jesus never dismissed the concept, and in fact taught about it, and early church fathers wrote
concerning the idea of reincarnation, why do the Christian churches so adamently reject it's possible reality?
Is it because reincarnation gives a person more than one chance, removing the tactic of desperation? Is it because it would make Jesus' supposed
resurrection allegorical and not such a big deal, as we all die and are reborn?
What would happen if Christians began to openly accept the concept of reincarnation? Would the world stop spinning?
edit on 27-6-2013 by windword because: t