Skip to comments.12 Claims Every Catholic Should Be Able to Answer; Claim #12
Posted on 01/18/2015 12:36:59 PM PST by NYer
Freedom of speech is a great thing. Unfortunately, it comes at an unavoidable price: When citizens are free to say what they want, theyll sometimes use that freedom to say some pretty silly things. And thats the case with the 12 claims were about to cover.
Some of them are made over and over, others are rare. Either way, while the proponents of these errors are free to promote them, we as Catholics have a duty to respond.
12. "People's memories of their past lives prove that reincarnation is true...and that the Christian view of Heaven and Hell is not."
As society becomes increasingly fascinated with the paranormal, we can expect to see claims of "past life memories" increase. Indeed, there are now organizations who will help take you through your previous lives using hypnosis.
While this may be convincing to some, it certainly isn't to anyone familiar with the mechanics of hypnosis. Almost since the beginning, researchers have noted that patients in deep hypnosis frequently weave elaborate stories and memories, which later turn out to be utterly untrue. Reputable therapists are well aware of this phenomenon, and weigh carefully what the patient says under hypnosis.
Sadly, though, this isn't the case with those interested in finding "proof" for reincarnation. Perhaps the greatest example of this carelessness is the famous Bridey Murphy case. If you're not familiar with it, here's a quick outline: In 1952, a Colorado housewife named Virginia Tighe was put under hypnosis. She began speaking in an Irish brogue and claimed to once have been a woman named Bridey Murphy who had lived in Cork, Ireland.
Her story was turned into a bestselling book, "The Search For Bridey Murphy," and received much popular attention. Journalists combed Ireland, looking for any person or detail that might confirm the truth of this past-life regression. While nothing ever turned up, the case of Bridey Murphy continues to be used to buttress claims of reincarnation.
That's a shame, since Virginia Tighe was exposed as a fraud decades ago. Consider: Virginia's childhood friends recalled her active imagination, and ability to concoct complex stories (often centered around the imitation brogue she had perfected). Not only that, but she had a great fondness for Ireland, due in part to a friendship with an Irish woman whose maiden name was you guessed it Bridie.
What's more, Virginia filled her hypnosis narratives with numerous elements from her own life (without revealing the parallels to the hypnotist). For example, Bridey described an "Uncle Plazz," which eager researchers took to be a corruption of the Gaelic, "Uncle Blaise." Their enthusiasm ran out though when it was discovered that Virginia had a childhood friend she called "Uncle Plazz."
When a hypnotized Virginia began dancing an Irish jig, researchers were astounded. How, after all, would a Colorado housewife have learned the jig? The mystery was solved when it was revealed that Virginia learned the dance as a child.
As the Bridey Murphy case shows, the claims of past-life regression are always more impressive than the reality. To this day, not a single verifiable example exists of a person being regressed to a former life. Certainly, many tales have been told under the control of a hypnotist, but nevertheless, evidence for reincarnation (like that for the Tooth Fairy) continues to elude us.
No. Scripture teaches that "it is appointed that men die once, and after this comes judgment" (Heb 9:27). There is absolutely no biblical evidence for reincarnation.
Sometimes people try to find biblical warrant for reincarnation in Christ's words about John the Baptist. In Matthew 17:12 Christ says, "I tell you Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him." Matthew adds, "Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist" (Mt 17:13).
Is Jesus saying that John was the reincarnation of Elijah? No. Here's the simple reason. According to 2 Kings 2:9-18, Elijah was taken up bodily into heaven without seeing death. Thus, he wasn't a candidate for reincarnation because he was still in his original incarnation.
In Matthew 17:1-8, Moses and Elijah appear to Christ and some of his disciples at the Transfiguration. This occurs after John the Baptist has been executed by Herod Antipas. Why is it, then, that Moses and Elijah appear to Christ and his disciples, and not Moses and John the Baptist?
If Christ doesn't mean John the Baptist is the reincarnation of Elijah, what does he mean? Jesus is speaking figuratively in Matthew 17:12. He's comparing the prophetic ministry of John in the New Testament to that of Elijah in the Old. Similarly, Luke 1:17 says John "will go before him [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah."
So there's no biblical basis for reincarnation. A person who is considering reincarnation is faced with a choice of believing other alleged sources of religious truth or believing the biblical witness. To accept the former in this instance is to reject the latter. Ref
This concludes the series, ping!
Elijah was taken up bodily into heaven without seeing death.
And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
Rev 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
It says those in the first resurrection will live with Christ a thousand years.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
Again insinuates it is talking about the same kind of living.
I am not convinced of it but I think it is a fair question and hardly unchristian.
It’s been a great series.
Thank You for persisting in this series. I know it has been trying.
“Its been a great series.”
Amen to that! Some of the topics were pretty controversial, and it took courage for you to post them. Thank you to those of our non-Catholic brethren who were willing to ask questions and discuss with mutual respect! Thank you both for your informative, articulate, and edifying posts!
Oh, dear Lord! I don’t wanna come back! Glad we believe otherwise! : )
I’m on the same page as far as this: Genesis and St. Paul refer to Henoch, who also was”taken up to God. The Gospels mention the return of Elijah, the Gospel in conjunction with John the Baptist. Elijah’s return was anticipated; I often wonder about Henoch.
Elijah, being a righteous man, would have been taken taken to the Bosom of Abraham, where the righteous were taken after death. The fact that he appeared with Moses and Jesus at the Transfiguration represented the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets by the coming off our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that helps!
Thanks, and God bless you!
Im on the same page as far as this:
I believe it’s dependent on the translation, but it sounds as if it is. I’d have to check one of my Bibles...
Elijah, being a righteous man, would have been taken taken to the Bosom of Abraham, where the righteous were taken after death.
“Some of the topics were pretty controversial, and it took courage for you to post them.”
Not sure “courage” was involved, as this wasn’t NYer’s first time at the rodeo. I agreed with some of the points, such as this one. We all have to look past a bunch of religious nonsense in our walk in Christ. Mountains...molehills...how to discern between them?
I don’t mind the mountains or the molehills, as long as we can all discuss the issues like civilized adults. Childish and/or offensive graphics; private discussions off-topic; disparaging remarks against Catholicism are all counter-productive to dialogue, which is the purpose of a forum, is it not?
Dialogue...yes. Periodically some try to FORESTALL DISAGREEMENT through running to the moderators on non-Caucus threads. THAT is childish! Like children these persons have to be reminded where they are and why that won’t work here.
If you feel that pulling a post is inappropriate, than you should speak to the Moderator, and he/she can explain to you exactly what the impropriety was that caused the post to be pulled.
Thanks, and God bless you!
Bless you too! Hope your day is good!
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