What in Reincarnation?
This article is fascinating, but the first sentence is what I want to focus on: “The soul needs to reincarnate a thousand times before becoming one with god”. We Catholics also seek union with God, but draw the line at reincarnation.
The early Church faced a lot of conflict with Greek culture on reincarnation. Later the Albiginsians also believed in reincarnation for those un-ascetic enough to be Perfecti. By the way, the Albiginsians also went by another name, Cathars. Today we face the New Age movement again proclaiming reincarnation over resurrection. The Church regularly faces those who adhere to reincarnation.
Most who believe in reincarnation believe in an eventual out. Nirvana for the Buddhists, becoming gods for the Greeks, Albiginsians could be Perfecti, and New Agers can gain perfect self- knowledge/expression. Alternatively, some theories say that if one doesn’t have enough enlightenment, they will simply cease to exist, while those who pass a certain threshold go on reincarnating. This is quite the opposite of Buddhism, where only the prefect get the honor of finally dying.
Contrast this long, drawn out process to the Christian model. In the Christian understanding one doesn’t need to be a model of perfection to enter heaven. Even schlubs like me can get in! A little Purgatory to grind off any remaining rough edges and we enter the divine life without having to go through high school 1,000 times or fasting to death with the Endura. Christianity connects people to the divine life, even messy sinful people, as long as their aim is communion with God. Reincarnation only connects the perfect (aka Perfecti) to the divine spirit. If you ask me what I would prefer, it’s quite a no brainer. Why would anyone want a thousand lives of sickness and loss and suffering for bliss when one might have only a single life of misery and then bliss? Christianity cuts out all the intermediate steps with the blood of Jesus.