The Division of Perceptual Studies of the University of Virginia School of Medicine has been studying children’s memories of past lives for more than 50 years and during that time has accumulated more than 2500 documented cases. Anyone who has studied UVa’s findings with an open mind would find it practically impossible to argue with a straight face that reincarnation cannot and does not happen.
The question is why?
Well, let’s face that question head on. Reincarnation can be a touchy subject. Many people refuse even to consider the possibility because it doesn’t fit with traditional Christian canon. You see, the leaders of the Christian Church decided at the Second Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553, in what reportedly was a very close vote, to delete it from Church doctrine.
So there is the crux of the problem with reincarnation. A vote took place more than five centuries after Jesus died, and almost 1500 years in the distant past, made consideration of the possibility of reincarnation by Christians off limits.
If you research the Second Council of Constantinople you are likely to find articles and writings by those who believe this act was politically-motivated rather than motivated by a desire to get the facts right, but I will not take space here to go into that. Many historians tell us most people in the ancient world took reincarnation for granted—as is the case today in India and many other places. Moreover, a number of passages of Scripture indicate Jesus and his followers believed in reincarnation. For example, John the Baptist was supposed by many to be the prophet Elijah reincarnated. Jesus himself said this was so. (See Matthew 11:14.) Once, Jesus asked his followers who people thought he (Jesus) was. They replied that many believed him (Jesus) to be one of the prophets—presumably reincarnated—since the last prophet died about 400 years earlier. Also, consider the story of Jesus restoring the sight of the man who had been born blind, as recounted in John 9:1-12, in which Jesus’ disciples ask him if the man’s sins caused his blindness, or if the sins of his parents had caused him to be born blind.
Obviously, Jews of Jesus’ time believed in Karma, the idea that you get back what you give out, as in, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:24). Since the man was blind from birth, the only way his own sins could have caused his blindness was for him to have sinned in a former life. Jesus did not tell his followers that was impossible. To the contrary, he seems to have assumed it was possible, although he gives another reason for the man’s blindness, saying, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
As a Christian and regular churchgoer who has read the Bible with reincarnation in mind, I can honestly say nothing about Jesus’ teachings suggests reincarnation does not and cannot happen. Quite the contrary. If you would like to know more, read my book, Reincarnation: Good News for Open-Minded Christians & Other Truth-Seekers. To go to the page on Amazon, CLICK HERE.
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My New Book Presents Substantial Evidence of Life After Death