Menu of Meditations

My "Uncalled For" Statements

In my last meditation I made the claim that "The Christian story is a MYTH." Some people find it a bit unsettling when you point this out to them. They want to believe that everything the church has taught them is literally true. That statement provoked a rather interesting response.

One visitor sent me a letter with "Great site!" in the subject line. He went on to say, "I love your site, and have had various experiences that affirm my belief in reincarnation. I'm not a New Ager. I'm a Catholic." Then he took the trouble to read the meditation before this one with its comment about Christianity being a myth. I got a second letter that same day in which he said,

"The statements you made, calling Christianity a myth, are uncalled for. They are also incompatible with reincarnation in which you are passing judgment without fearing that one day, in some other place, the same judgment will be passed on you, and then you'll be left wondering why."

How do we go from "Great site!" to "Judgment will be passed on you" in a single day? I have no problem with this person's beliefs. Our site is dedicated to respecting the diverse approaches to faith that we find among different people. But the problem which religion has generated is the conviction that those who don't believe as we do will be judged by God, and punished.

This is a distortion of the truth about God. This person, who is Catholic, seems unaware that the Catholic church pronounces judgment on its members who believe in reincarnation. The official view is stated in these words: "The Catholic Church has never believed in reincarnation. To claim that the Catholic Church ever held such a false teaching is to completely misunderstand the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith."

Each individual is free to pick and choose which elements he wishes to include in his own personal worldview. This individual chooses to include reincarnation, although it is condemned by the church to which he belongs, because it makes sense to him. He apparently does not fear the condemnation of God even though his church is prepared to condemn him. Similarly, I choose to believe the evidence of history which indicates that Christianity is only one in a long series of religions built around the same myth, that God became a man and did miraculous things. The Roman emperors claimed that they were gods. The Japanese emperor was worshipped as a god. We laugh at these primitive and politically motivated myths, but continue to accept the 2000 year old myth of Christianity.

This person also says that my statements about Christianity being a myth are incompatible with reincarnation. I frankly don't get the connection. To me, it seems that it is religion itself which is incompatible with reincarnation. You can't have it both ways - either we live one life and then face the judgment, or we are spiritual children of God, sharing eternity with Him in one form or another.

Posted 6-20-06

Copyright: John W. Sloat 2006