[July, 2010 Addendum to ‘Reincarnation & The Holy Bible’.]
Continued From Part 3 . . .
NO PARTIALITY WITH GOD
God tells us repeatedly in His Holy Bible that “there is no partiality with Him.” (Ephesians 6:9, et al.) In other words, all men and women are valued equally and treated fairly by God.
Well, unless one entertains the concept of reincarnation, it seems to me that’s a bit hard to accept. One look around will show us that some persons are born into fabulous wealth, while others live an entire life in abject poverty; some persons come into this world with tremendous gifts and amazing talent, while others have no attention-getting special qualities to speak of and live out rather “ordinary” lives; some persons come into this world quite healthy, while others are born with illnesses or terrible, and sometimes even freakish, deformities. Is this REALLY anybody’s idea of equal and fair treatment?
Only if we view these things from the reincarnation perspective, considering all gifts and talents and illnesses and deformities as karmic repercussions spilling over from a previous lifetime and intended to teach us our necessary lessons about love – circumstances meant to enlighten us about our cause and effect universe – are we then really able to accept that these situations might well exist in conjunction with the existence of a just and loving God.
Wonderful “gifts” might well be talents that were developed in a prior incarnation and carried over into the present life. An individual who persecuted a certain group or type of people may need to reincarnate as that type or within that group in order to learn, at the subconscious level, with first-hand experience, just how wrong their judgments were.
Yes, I DO believe God when he says that there is no partiality with Him. And it is understanding cause and effect relationships and karmic consequences of our God-designed system that allows me to hold that belief while all around me a superficially false appearance of inequality would otherwise seem to be the way of “this world”.
I have related this story to you previously on this STUFFS blog, but I would now like to share with you a thought I have often had about Marty’s death and how I believe it illustrates the soundness of a belief in reincarnation.
When he was twenty-eight years old, Marty was killed in Los Angeles when a guy who had stolen a car and was being pursued at high speeds by the police, ran a red light and plowed into Marty’s automobile as my friend was driving through the intersection, himself having the green light. My buddy, a professional actor, was killed instantly.
Marty was one of the very greatest friends I’ve ever had. He was honest, thoughtful and generous. He was also born into a Jewish family, and subsequently he did not hold any strong belief about the importance of the life of Jesus and the Atonement for sins acquired through the Savior’s selfless, sinless Sacrifice on the Cross.
According to the generally accepted current “orthodox” Christian dogma, Marty, being an unbeliever at the time of his death, was denied entrance into Heaven and consigned to the devil for an eternity in hell.
I certainly don’t mean to insult anyone, so please pardon my honesty when I tell you that I find this sort of widely accepted Christian theology to be infantile. I mean that in the literal sense: it is an extremely underdeveloped theology. Yes, being an ardent student of The Bible, I know very well which Biblical verses the contemporary Christian would use in an attempt to defend that theology. My response is that much is lost in a misinterpretation that does not take into account the larger spiritual picture.
There are two primary points I wish to raise in connection with Marty’s unbelief. For one thing, being born into the Jewish tradition, in a sense, the deck was stacked against his coming to a full understanding of the mission of The Christ anytime real soon. In order to see and accept the Savior’s gift, Marty was going to have to buck the tradition he was raised with and be willing to deal with any disruptions in family life and unity that might occur as a result.
Secondly, Marty died at the age of 28. I myself did not come to understand the mission of the Christ and accept Jesus as my Holy King and Savior until I reached the age of 35 – that’s seven years longer than Marty was allowed to live. Had God permitted me to be killed by a car thief in a Los Angeles intersection when I was 28 – the same age that Marty died – I myself would not have been (as Christians call it) “saved”; I would have died an “unbeliever” and also destined for an eternity in hell. There but for the gift of extra years and the luck not to be in a bad place at the wrong time, I would have been banished to eternal torment (according to mainstream Christian beliefs).
How is it fair to send my good friend Marty to hell when he was born into a tradition predisposed not to understand the true identity of Jesus and not to accept the importance of His sacrifice, and when my friend was given only 28 years to overcome that start before some other person stole his life from him? Why should I gain Heaven when I was not born into the same circumstances and, up to the present date, I have been given nearly 23 more years than Marty was given in which to “see the Light”?
One of the standard answers a person might expect from a contemporary Christian attempting to explain the “fairness” of this, is that somehow God knew in advance that Marty – regardless of how many years he was to live – was not going to accept Jesus as his Savior.
Well, if that’s so, if God already knew this when Marty was only 28, didn’t God also know that at the moment Marty was born? And if God knew that at the moment Marty was born, didn’t God also know that the moment BEFORE Marty was born? And never mind the sticky question then of whether or not God had sort of “predestined” Marty not to accept Christ, the real question is: Knowing in advance that this soul known on Earth as Martin Brumer was NOT going to accept his Salvation from Christ, wouldn’t a TRULY loving, forgiving, understanding and merciful God have declined to create that soul in the first place, rather than creating him anyway and then 28 years later banishing him to an eternity in a hellish place?
No, I’m sorry, but I cannot accept the mainstream Christian view of things. Nevertheless, I do believe with all my heart that our Creator lives and that He is all of the wonderfully great things the New Testament says He is. And knowing that my God is a God of love, forgiveness, and understanding, and knowing that “His mercy endures forever”, I believe that He will give us ample opportunity to accept the Atonement for our sins offered as a free gift through the voluntary Sacrifice provided by His Son, Jesus Christ. If that means we need more than one “lifetime” on Earth in which to make the correct decision to accept what is offered, then I believe that God in His mercy and love for His children has enough patience within Himself to grant that to us.
What, is The Lord short on Love and time? Do you suppose that perhaps God is even so loving and Divinely patient that He would forgive our dimwittedness and let us try again to get it right “up to seventy times seven” times?
(Matthew 18:21, 22)
The Reincarnating Jesus: Will It Be His "2nd Coming" Or His 34th?
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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