Updated: Apr 11
The whole Bible opposes reincarnation. This shows that man is a special creation of God, created in the image of God with both the material body and the intangible soul and spirit. It is presented as excellent and unique from all other creatures - angels and animal kingdom in equal measure. The Bible teaches that after death, when the human body is mortal, decomposed and turned to dust, his soul and spirit continue to live either in a place of torment for those who reject Christ or in paradise (in heaven) in the presence of God for those who believed in the Savior. Both categories of people will be resurrected: one for eternal judgment and the other for eternal life in the illustrious body (John 5: 25-29). As will be stated below, the Bible emphasizes that "people should die one day and then a trial" (Jew 9:27). This statement and concept that the creation of humanity in the image of God is different from animals, and even angels completely oppose the idea of reincarnation - death and return in the form of another human, animal or insect. The assertion by some that they have information about the past history is nothing more than a kind of encounter with demonic forces that have been present throughout history.
Below is information from the "Christian Apologetics Handbook" by Peter Crift and Ronald Theis.
Humanity has put forward six basic theories about what happens to us when we die.
1. Materialism: nothing survives. Death will kill me. Materialism, which was rarely held until the eighteenth century, now holds a strong minority opinion in industrialized countries. It is a natural accompaniment of atheism.
2. Paganism: A vague, ghostly semi-me or ghost survives and goes to a place of the dead, a dark, gloomy Underworld. It's a standard pagan belief. Its traces can be found even in the Old Testament Jewish conception of the shesol. The surviving "ghost" is less alive, less substantial, less real than the now living organism of flesh and blood. It's a bit of a "ghost image" on a TV screen: a pale copy of the lost original.
3. Reincarnation: The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body. Reincarnation is usually associated with the following faith, pantheism, the concept of karma: after the soul has fulfilled its destiny, has learned its lessons and has become sufficiently enlightened, it returns to divine status or is absorbed (or realizes its timeless state). identity with the divine All.
4. Pantheism: death does not change anything, because what is going through death is the same as what was real before death: only one, unchanging, eternal, perfect, spiritual, divine, comprehensive Reality, sometimes called "Brahman" ) and sometimes not (as in Buddhism). From this point of view - the point of view of Eastern mysticism - any isolation, including time, is an illusion. Therefore, from this point of view, the question of what happens after death is wrong. The issue is not solved, but dissolved.
5. Immortality: The individual soul experiences death, but not the body. This soul eventually reaches its eternal destiny - paradise or hell, perhaps through intermediate stages, perhaps through reincarnation. But the individual, disembodied spirit survives. It is Platonism, which is often confused with Christianity.
6. Resurrection: At the moment of death, the soul separates from the body and reunites at the end of the world with a new, immortal, resurrected body through a divine miracle. That's the Christian point of view. This view, the supernatural resurrection of the body, not just the natural immortality of the soul, is the only version of life after death in Scripture. This is vaguely prophesied and hoped for in the Old Testament, but it is clearly visible in the New Testament.
For (5) and for (6) the individual soul is experiencing bodily death. That's what we're going to argue about here. We do not waste time arguing against paganism (2), reincarnation (3) or pantheism (4) here, but only against modern materialism (1), because it is the source of most philosophical arguments against immortality in our culture. .
Christianity rejects reincarnation for ten reasons.
1. This is contrary to Scripture (Jews 9:27).
2. This is contrary to the Orthodox tradition in all churches.
3. This would bring the Incarnation (relating to the incarnation of Christ) to a simple phenomenon, the crucifixion to the accident, and Christ to one of many philosophers or avatars. It could also confuse what Christ did with what beings do: an incarnation with reincarnation.
4. This implies that God made a mistake in creating our souls to live in bodies, that we are truly pure spirits in prison or angels in costumes.
5. This is contrary to psychology and common sense, since her view of the souls as prisoners in other people's bodies negates natural psychosomatic unity.
6. This entails a very low attitude towards the body, as a prison, as a punishment.
7. He usually accuses the body of sin and its ability to confuse and darken the mind. It is the transfer of responsibility from the soul to the body, as well as from the will to the mind and the mixing of sin with ignorance.
8. The idea that we are reincarnated to learn lessons we have not learned in our past earthly life is contrary to both common sense and basic pedagogical psychology. I can't learn something if there's no continuity of memory. I can only learn from my mistakes if I remember them. People don't usually think about these past "reincarnations."
9. Alleged evidence of reincarnation, memories from past lives that appear under hypnosis or "regression in past lives" can be explained - if they do occur - as mental telepathy from other living beings, from the souls of deceased people to purgatory. either in hell or from demons. The real possibility of the latter should make us extremely wary of opening our souls to the "regressions of past lives".
Please note that although I agree with the demonic aspect, I do not agree with the idea of purgatory and cannot agree with the idea of the souls of dead people communicating with living people. According to scripture, the dead are imprisoned and cannot be opened. This is evidenced by the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, as well as the extreme surprise of the Endor witch when she saw Samuel, who was dead (see 1 Kingdoms 28: 8f). She claimed to be a medium or someone who came into contact with the dead, but when Saul asked her to contact Samuel and when God brought him out, it frightened her and instilled great fear. Looks like it was her first experience with the real, that is, with the dead, because usually it's impossible. When people are really experiencing such experiences or contact, what they see or experience is better identified as demonic.
10. Reincarnation cannot explain itself. Why are our souls trapped in bodies? Is this a just punishment for the evil we have committed in past reincarnations? But why did these past reincarnations be needed? For the same reason. But the beginning of a process that, in the first place, rightly enclosed our souls in the body, should have been preceded by a series of bodies. Besides, if we have sinned in this paradise, it is still not paradise. However, this is the state in which reincarnation must return us after all our embodied desires have disappeared.
If the answer is that our bodies are not punishment for sin, but illusions of individuality, the pantheistic One becomes numerous in the human consciousness, then there can be no reason for this. Indeed, Hinduism calls it simply a lil, divine game. What a stupid game for God! If Unity is perfection, why does perfection play the game of imperfection? All the sins and sufferings of the world are reduced to a meaningless, inexplicable game.
And if evil itself is only an illusion (the answer that many mystics give), then the existence of this illusion is in itself a real, and not just an illusory evil. Augustine emphasizes this.
Where, then, is evil, what is its source and how it penetrated into creation? What is his root, what is his seed? Is it completely non-existent? But why should we be afraid and beware of what is not? Or, if our fear of it is groundless, then our fear itself is evil. For their heart moves and torments them for no reason; and this evil is all the worse if there is nothing to be afraid of, and we are afraid. Thus, either there is evil that we fear or that we fear is evil. (Confessions, VII, 5)