Christian theology still does not make room for the
concept of reincarnation. Some of the early church fathers
accepted it, among them Origen, who believed that the
soul exists before birth. That concept makes reincarnation
a natural consequence. The decision to outlaw the belief
and persecute those who held to it was political, based
not on a knowledge of the truth but on a desire to secure
the power of the hierarchy. Because, if we have unlimited
opportunities to evolve spiritually, the church authorities
cannot threaten us with hellfire if we do not fulfill
their demands in this single life.
a result, most Christians believe that we are created
at conception and that when we die we become eternal.
But eternity cannot be eternal on one end and finite
on the other. If something has a beginning, it must
have an end. If we believe that we will live forever,
it must follow that we have always existed, as Origen
we have always existed, what have we been up to all
this time? We know that this present incarnation is
important in our spiritual growth. But how can a single
life on earth be sufficient to prepare us to meet the
transcendent God face to face? If one incarnation is
helpful in our spiritual evolution, why wouldn't two
be twice as useful? What is it that makes us resist
the idea of multiple human lives when a majority of
the world's religions include a belief in reincarnation?
who are afraid of the concept try to make it appear
ridiculous by suggesting that if we are evil in this
present life we will return as an ant or a skunk. This
distortion needs to be seen for what it is, a attempt
to avoid a greater truth: We are part of God. We have
always existed. We will always exist. Our time in eternity
is an evolutionary process through which we are to become
more like God. Jesus told us that if we followed him,
we would do greater things than he did! When do we get
the opportunity for this spiritual blossoming if not
through an enormous series of positive and negative
experiences? This result cannot be achieved in a single
lifetime. If we are part of God, our present life is
no more than a semester-long class to learn a certain
skill. And there is more than one course in our spiritual
are myriad questions not answered by our traditional
theology. When do we get to use the wisdom we have accumulated
in this life? Where do we get to correct our mistakes?
If we can correct them in heaven, why did we come here
in the first place? Why should God punish people eternally
for temporal sins: do we punish our children for the
next fifty years for a penny stolen in the first grade?
What happens to mentally challenged people and those
who cannot comprehend the laws of God? If God makes
exceptions for them, what other exceptions does he make?
How do we account for the vast discrepancies in the
lives of people, some living in poverty, some in wealth?
At what point does God even out these unfair distinctions?
invite you to a larger view of your life which helps
to answer these questions: the possibility that you
have always existed and will always exist as an eternal
part of God. This current life is one of many experiences
which you have generated for yourself, as you design
your own spiritual evolution.