I had an assignment for my Hinduism class to watch these two short documentaries on reincarnation. It really got me thinking, so I thought I would share it with you. Oh no! I can feel you all taking deep breaths from here, not me mention I can hear you stomachs tying in knots. But let's not freak out; I just want to share some conversation. So before I am crucified, please read this whole thing.
First off, let me state right out that I do not believe in reincarnation. (I could hear that sigh of relief too.) However, the facts presented offer some interesting dilemmas. What facts? Well, if you have the time and really want to see two particularly interesting stories, watch these videos that were assigned for my class and that will give you a good start. If not, then move on to the next paragraph and I will just assume you are giving me the benefit of the doubt saying that there are situations out there that we simply cannot explain.
If you watched the videos, what did you think? Interesting stuff, eh?
No, I am not going to start off bashing all of this and prove why it is all wrong. My experience working with people tells me that doing stuff like that is pointless and a waste of time and energy. Instead, I thought I would share with you my heart involving these things.
As a skeptic, every time I hear stories about aliens, ghosts, or anything paranormal, I always chalk it up to psychological states. As a psychology-guy, that's how I work. I'm not being mean, I just believe there are a lot of things that can be explained away through our minds.
However, this stuff really has me puzzled. I can't seem to rationalize this stuff away; the evidence seems too strong. Most people who experience reincarnation stories have a crisis of faith; what is true anymore? Our Western, Judeo-Christian culture has taught us we have one life and only one. You are born, you live, you die. That's it. "And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment." (Hebrews 9:27)
I'm not questioning that. I am not saying the Bible is wrong, and I never will. Again, I hit a roadblock where it seems like evidence contradicts Bible. So what do I do? I did the same thing most everyone should do when confronted with this type of situation: I prayed. Here is what God told me:
1) "Adam, what does My Word say?" He reminded me that I needed to get back to His Word more and focus on that and not all of the other crap that waste my time. The sense I got was not: "Adam, you need to get in My Word so you can use it to thump people and prove them wrong; use My Word to disprove all of this nonsense." That was not the message I got at all. This voice was loving and gentle, as if a Father was coaching me on what I should do next. The message was, in essence, "If you are living your life according to My Word and are applying it to your heart, then you don't have to worry about all of this extra nonsense." That is really what everything else apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ is: nonsense. I will go as far to say that the rest of the Bible is nonsense if you don't read it through the lens of the cross and resurrection. Yeah... I went there...
2) "Adam, there is so much more going on in this world than you will ever know." No, that was not God saying: "Adam, reincarnation does exist." But it also was not Him saying, " I can't believe those people! Reincarnation is such a stupid idea!" I never pictured God saying that. The feeling I got from this basically was, "Why do you have to know everything, Adam? Why are you arguing over predestination or free-will? Why do you have to know exactly how the world ends? Would it make a difference if you knew every detail of Heaven? Because you can't comprehend it now anyway, so why try? Does knowing all the details of how life works change your salvation?" In the end, it doesn't. There are so many mysteries out there in the world that we will never understand in this life time; and that is okay. The mysteries are what make life fun.
What we need to do is be open to ideas like reincarnation, but always compare it to the Bible. We should not immediately shoot down ideas that are new to us. We should also not immediately accept everything we hear. God gave us brains to use, so we should use them. God gave us a Bible to guide our lives, and we should use it too.
It is okay to talk about this kind of thing. We should be educated on different ideas so we can, "in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15) What if someone came up to you and asked about reincarnation and why you don't believe in it? If you tell them, "Because the Bible says it's wrong," you just lied because reincarnation is never anywhere in the Bible. Not to mention, if they believed in reincarnation, you just made the Bible their enemy. I'm pretty sure that God doesn't want the Bible to be an enemy to those He loves.
So what is my answer to reincarnation? What do I personally think of those videos above? I don't know. Is that a cop out? If you want it to be, sure. I know there is something going on there that goes beyond my level of knowledge. Whether it is brain imprinting, genetic memory, psychological encoding, or spiritual warfare. I am not smart enough to say. But I also am not shy to discuss it with people and get their views on it. All I know is the Truth I have been given. So I follow that.
Remember to guard you hearts, but keep your eyes and ears open. Be educated and learn new things, but always keep the cross at your core. Read the Bible and understand it, apply it to your life. When that happens, then you won't have to worry about these things like we talked about above.
So lets talk about them: What do you think about reincarnation? What did you think of those videos above?
Following His Call,