In his recent bestseller, â€œSuicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?â€ Patrick Buchanan reports that Americaâ€™s intellectual, cultural and political elites reject the living God our parents believed in and the moral code they lived by. They are working at transforming our Western Christian republic into an egalitarian democracy comprised of all the tribes, creeds, and cultures of planet Earth with the exception of orthodox Christian theism and faithful Judaism. Prior to the turn of the century, God the Father the living Word was already dead in the hearts of America's 'elite' progressives, and upon the arrival of Swami Vivekananda at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893 they eagerly embraced him:
"He was immediately lionized by high society in Boston and New York. Philosophers at Harvard were mightily impressed. Many wealthy high society types and intellectuals reverted to the Buddhist idea that self is an illusion. They constituted a '... hard core of disciples who supported him and his grandiose dream: the evangelizing of the Western world by....Vedantic (monistic) Hinduism." (Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 21)
Vedanta Societies were established in America and Europe for the purpose of injecting Vedantic ideas including evolutionary thinking and reincarnation into the bloodstream of the West and America. Among those who helped disseminate Vedanta monism were Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Somerset Maugham, and Teilhard de Chardin.
A recent Pew Forum report reveals how successful the â€˜elitesâ€™ transformation project has been:
â€œâ€¦most Christians no longer believe their own faith is essential for salvation. Seven in tenâ€¦believe other religions can lead to eternal life and that there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of their faith.â€ (Buchanan, p. 53)
â€œThe cycle is inescapable,â€ said Buchanan, â€œwhen the faith dies, the culture dies, the civilization dies, and the people die.â€ This is not a prediction of what may happen, he observed, but a stark depiction of what is happening now.
A spiritual transformation of consciousness sweeps virtually unopposed over and across America effecting a rapid displacement of Christian theism with Hindu-oriented New Age spirituality. As a result, Americans are embracing evolutionary thinking and reincarnation in increasing numbers and Christians are not exempt.
Reincarnation, or transmigration of spirit, essence or spark as it was known prior to and during the earthly ministry of Christ is an ancient philosophy whose primitive taproot stretches back to Babylonia, Egypt and Asia, where six centuries before Jesus Christ, the Buddha already knew that if God does not exist, then the human self (soul) cannot exist either,
"Therefore, he deconstructed the Hindu idea of the soul. When one starts peeling the onion skin of one's psyche, he discovers that there is no solid core at the center of one's being. Your sense of self is an illusion. Reality is nonself (anatman). You don't exist. Liberation, the Buddha taught, is realizing the unreality of your existence." (The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 6)
Many if not most of the early Church Fathers were well acquainted with reincarnation for the reason that up until the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ transmigration and/or reincarnation was for the Gentiles, the prevailing idea.....the only game in town.
On the philosophy of transmigration Church Father Basil the Great remarked:
â€œAvoid the nonsense of those arrogant philosophers who do not blush to liken their soul to that of a dog, who say they have themselves formerly been women, shrubs, or fish. Have they ever been fish? I do not know, but I do not fear to affirm that in their writings they show less sense than fish.â€ (The Six Days Work 8:2, A.D. 393)
Like their contemporary Hindu, Buddhist, pre-Christian and Christian era Gnostic and occult New Age counterparts, pagan thinkers considered the body as something evil from which the essence or divine spark must escape and the philosophies of transmigration and reincarnation along with certain occult rituals were the means to this end.
In Christian thought, the body is not evil, it is inert matter organized and vitalized by the soul, the source of 'self' therefore the part not wanted by reincarnationists. The noblest part of the soul is spirit (the heart). Spirit is immortal and self-aware. It can will and think and is freely responsible for what it thinks, wills, and does.
In his essay, â€œResurrection, Not Reincarnation,â€ New Zealand Anglican clergyman Dick Tripp observes that the soul is the real living me,
â€œâ€¦ that inhabits this body; the spiritâ€”the part of me that distinguishes me from mere animal life and enables me to have a relationship with God, who is spirit (John 4:24); and the body, through which my soul and personality is outwardly expressedâ€¦.each of these parts of my nature are vitally connected and important in making me who I am. We are people, not parts. In this respect Christianity differs from dualistic ideas that find expression in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, where the body is regarded as something evil in which we are imprisoned and from which we must eventually escape. In this view, which surfaces in much of New Age teaching, we go through many cycles of reincarnation, returning again and again to new bodies in this world. If we are fortunate, by good works and enlightenment we may eventually escape this bondage to our earthly bodies and be absorbed into Nirvana.â€
( http://www.christianity.co.nz/life_death6.htm )
It is the transformation of the whole person---body, spirit and soul---in our future existence that is unique to Christianity. The Way of Jesus Christ therefore speaks not of reincarnation, escape of spirit or essence from the body, but of resurrection, the glorious recreation of the whole person, and so Paul finishes with the prayer,
â€œMay your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.â€ (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
In the New Testament the resurrection of Jesus Christ is always presented as the guarantee of the resurrection of the believer as Paul states:
â€œWe believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.â€ (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
It was with joy that resurrection was embraced by Paul, the other Apostles and early followers of the Way of Jesus Christ. For them the idea that they would have to live but one life in this purgatorial world rather than possibly thousands of lifetimes was not only a blessing of great magnitude but an immense relief:
â€œJust as a man is destined to die once, and after that face judgment.â€ Hebrews 14:6
Death was so frightening because with reincarnation time has no end and each man must die not one time but thousands upon thousands of times. From A.D. 393 to our own age this has not changed:
â€œThe theory of reincarnation holds, briefly, that each individual human soul or essence is reborn again and again, in a series of bodily incarnations on this earth, learning its lessons and facing the consequences of its actions, until it is sufficiently advanced to progress to the next stage (whatever that may be).â€ (A Witches Bible Compleat, Janet and Stewart Farrar, 1984, p. 122)
In Acts 26:16-18 Jesus Christ speaks to Paul saying He has chosen him as a witness. Through Paul the eyes of the Gentiles will be opened that they may turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God; from the fear of thousands upon thousands of deaths without end to one death followed by eternal life.
One of Satan's chief powers is belief in reincarnation....brief blips of life book-ended by endless death. This is darkness, unending death, the antithesis to Light, which in this case is resurrection.
Former guru Rabi Maharaj is now a follower of the Way of Jesus Christ. Rabi descended from a long line of Brahmin priests and trained as a Yogi, but despite being worshipped by others since childhood, he finally came to realize the true nature of the dark satanic spiritual forces he was worshipping and to accept that he was not God incarnate.
In his book, â€œDeath of a Guru,â€ he writes that one day as worshippers were bowing before him he was suddenly startled to hear a voice of unmistakable omnipotent authority say to him,
â€œYou are not God, Rabi! Youâ€¦areâ€¦not God!â€ (p. 108)
Having turned away from Hinduism and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, Rabi now says choose not reincarnation but resurrection that you may live; the historical Jesus of Nazareth is the only way to God:
â€œI am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.â€ John 14:6