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You are picking up my old arguments, and if we could agree today, this would mean that either none or both of us would have changed since my earlier diary.
It is true that I had based my belief in reincarnation among others on the Churches explicit ban on reincarnation teachings. It is true that the Catholic clergy in particular have abused of their power through the ages. There are also other less powerful and less scandalous-prone Christian churches/congregations, though. Various structures are meant to help our faith and provide good guidance.
This doesn't always work out as it should, and we then like to blame the Church or a priest or a congregation. When we do this, we deny that none of these structures have any value in themselves. They're only meant to help our faith in our human weakness. Christians believe that there's a God behind, in, through it all, and they believe that Scripture tells us about God, and that God speaks to us through this Scripture.
No one has to believe this. This is what Christians believe, though. Ultimately, it is not relevant whether the Church ever declared the belief in reincarnation to be heresy or not. Jesus' own words contain the answer, at least for the Christian. I find comfort in taking Jesus' teachings as absolute reference points. Early Christians didn't consider Jesus' words to be somewhat true or relatively okay. They agreed that He's the Son of God, the living Word and Truth.
Hence, there is a conflict between Jesus' teachings and the concept of reincarnation.
"i think jesus would want us to make up our own minds, and not just be told what to believe."
He used many parables and was explicitly telling those around him that they should believe in one God, and him, his only Son and the Holy Spirit. This is how he spoke to persons of free will, - free to make up their own minds, yes, but he also clearly told them what to believe.
`Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6'
You speak against doctrines and dogma, ridiculous certainties, since the church "wanted uncritical thinkers in the fold". Well, yes, I don't deny that the Church as a political power leaves much to wish for but Christianity is based on certainties, and from those certainties dogmatic teachings were derived that any Christian is invited to cross-check with God's word, be that in the interest of Church elders/the clergy, or not.
"certainties, baldly expressed without reservations, without humility... "
What is humility? Should we humble ourselves in honour of other people's beliefs, or should we live humbly since we're God's children who are here for some time in our human bodies, limited in space and time. What is it that makes us really humble? Can it ever be our firm belief in our selves, our own limited knowledge first?
"the church has become a political organisation, built on hierarchy and unquestioning obedience.
both of which have no place in modern progressive thinking, imho"
Christianity is more than "the church". You are right, however, that the absoluteness of Christianity is hardly reconcilable with a political current that relies on the "self" to find answers to our existence.
"reincarnation is a satisfying answer to many mysteries,"
Some believe that it is. So did I.
"it is a shame to have it denied to one by anyone who claims higher knowledge."
Who decides to acknowledge the Christian God and His higher knowledge may be glad to humbly accept God's denying it.
`Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, Hebrews 9:27'
"... they have no proof after all."
That's right. We don't. It's a matter of faith.
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