How do I respond to this?


#1

My Grandma said that the bible doesn’t say that reincarnation isn’t a possibility. At the time I did not know of any verses to give her, so I said that the bible doesn’t tell us everything we need to know, which she agreed. She is Catholic, or at least calls herself Catholic, and she goes to mass every Sunday and on holy days. She seems to have a problem with the authority of the Church. She has never explicitly said this, but it seems to me that she has an attitude of “if it isn’t the bible, I don’t have to believe it.” On CAF I found an apologetic answer about whether Catholics can believe in reincarnation, and it referenced Hebrews 9:27 which says
“…it is appointed that men die once, and after this comes judgment”. I emailed her this verse and the link to the answer.
Her response:
“…this can’t be literally true because we know that people have died - and been declared dead - but came back to life, commonly known as a near-death experience.”
How do I respond to this?

Edit:
Thinking about this, I realized that I’m fed up with her, because I’ve discussed other doctrinal issues with her before, including about why birth control is wrong, and she never admits that she is wrong to refuse to accept Church teaching. I don’t want this to be about winning an argument, because that won’t help anyone. If I’m being honest, I guess I just really want her to admit that she’s wrong, but I know it shouldn’t be about that. Should I just hold off responding at all? But I don’t want her to think she’s right to believe in the possibility of reincarnation, and I don’t want to be rude by not responding. I’m not sure whether to respond, and what to say if I should respond.


#2

The bible also doesn’t tell us about airplanes or chemotherapy, or about a landmass we now call America, or about radio waves, television, the internet, or many other things.
Jesus told us about the single outcome for the soul, for instance when He described the judgement of souls in Matthew 25 verses 21-46 He made it clear that our one life on earth would determine our eternal life.
He did not say that people would be reborn as other people or other creatures. If people were to be given multiple rebirths, Jesus, God Incarnate, would have told us so.
However He was very clear about what happens after our single earthy life:
He should know! :slight_smile:

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

God bless your Grandma and you
May God continue to inspire you to help your Grandma through her questions


#3

How do you respond to this? WITH PRAYER and let go and let God take care of Grandmom. He can ya know, He can. She’s a grown woman and believe anything she wants. Quibbling with her could harden her heart more.

But that’s just my opinion. Hands off is the hardest technique to master.

Glenda


#4

You’re right. :slight_smile:
I’ll pray and entrust her to Jesus.
Please pray for us.


#5

The Catechism explains this about “reincarnation”.

1013 Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When “the single course of our earthly life” is completed,586 we shall not return to other earthly lives: "It is appointed for men to die once."587 There is no “reincarnation” after death.


#6

:thumbsup:


#7

If you’re “fed up” with it, I would suggest leaving it alone for a little while.


#8

God didn’t pass judgment on them because he knew they had to come back to Earth.


#9

since you are at odds, why don’t you drop these issues and just pray for her. It is probably very unlikely she is going to listen to a grandchild. You are not going to change her, that will only come from God. You need to now walk away.


#10

That’s just a confusion about terminology. When we say somebody died and came back to life here and now we mean they were “medically dead”. That means they reached the point where they were declared dead by a doctor and efforts to resuscitate them ceased. Thats different from actually dying, when can occur before or after medical death, and which it is medically impossible to come back from.

Thats why we call them near death experiences and not death experiences.


#11

I agree. My Grandma lived to 104. Her mind was very clear, but she had a real bad hang-up about the astronauts going to the moon. She was mostly blind, but listened to the movie about how they didn’t really go to the moon, but did it all on radio and tv from a location in Houston. She could get really worked up about the subject. My response? I just said “O.K. Grandma” and dropped it. Of course, it wasn’t a matter of faith, but nevertheless, she was decades older than I, I loved and respected her, so I simply didn’t argue with her. I always said once someone reaches 100 years, they are entitled to any opinion they want! Now that I’m in my 70’s myself, I lowered the limits to age 90. If I reach that age, don’t argue with me, I’m just so old I’m entitled to my opinions! :hmmm:

(And, hands off IS the hardest technique to master – still working on it. Prayer is a lot easier than arguing. And, more effective for both of you.)


#12

A couple thoughts:

  1. According to the Hebrews 9:27 passage, the defining event in the death process is the particular** judgement **by God (“after that comes judgement”). If judgement did not occur, then the death process would not be complete; one could not say that the person had “died” according to the religious (versus medical) definition of death.

I have read many life after death stories; some where people experienced good things and some not so good; some where they were shown their errors and the hell to which those ways lead. But I never read a single story where the person received God’s definitive judgement of heaven, purgatory or hell and experienced that judgement - that is, entered heaven,purgatory or hell – and then later was removed from that state and put back in their body.

  1. A life after death experience is something entirely different from reincarnation.
    In life after death the body does not corrupt/decay and the soul returns to that same body.

In reincarnation, the soul leaves the body permanently. That body decays. Supposedly the soul enters a totally different body (not even necessarily a human body) at some later point in time.


#13

But is has been heard of for people to actually go to heaven and come back.
That said, while I would still like to know how to respond to such an objection, I will take the advice of the others and back off.


#14

How old is your grandmother? (If you’re comfortable sharing the info.) Her age and mental condition can make a difference as to whether or not to pursue the topic with her.
(I’m a grandmother also - and I would love to get into discussions with a grandchild.)


#15

I’ve never heard of anyone who fully entered into heaven, lived it. I’ve read of some seeing it, seeing Our Lord, seeing people they knew, etc. Also of some having an understanding that there was sort of a line/point which if they crossed or passed over, there would be no returning to earth.

So fascinating.


#16

Hmmm, I would think that would be impossible? I know there have been saints who were given visions off hell…not sure about heaven though…


#17

Well, a near death experience is not the same as being re-born. The person may be clinically dead for a few minutes even, but are revived and return as the same person. I had a near death experience at the age of 4. I did not come back as a whole different person, just a changed person.

Reincarnation is different as the person dies and is buried or put to rest according to their beliefs. In reincarnation believers this person can then return as any creature or human. I personally don’t believe in reincarnation, partly because I can see no reason that anyone would want to come back. One time in this life is enough for me.

There is also some scientific evidence now, that suggests the “reincarnation” memories that people experience and thus reinforce the idea of reincarnation with, are the result of chemical coding in the brain. So in your brain there are chemical imprints that come from your parents, and they have imprints from their parents on down the genetic line. For some reason these imprints are triggered in some people and they “remember” past places and times because of what their ancestors experienced and remembered.


#18

Thanks. This comes close to what I always wondered: If birds and butterflies can return to their parents or grandparents hibernation grounds, why wouldn’t I have such genetic imprints, too. Perhaps even a spiritual memory as well. But the reincarnation thing is usually too self-serving and literal, and of course, very few people are mere slaves on a pyramid in a past life. They are always pharaohs and queens.

I’ll take the stakes on a One Life Only basis. It makes more sense and is a better gamble, sort of like Pascal’s bet.


#19

Great response Trishie :thumbsup:


#20

=LoveGod102;11576335]My Grandma said that the bible doesn’t say that reincarnation isn’t a possibility. At the time I did not know of any verses to give her, so I said that the bible doesn’t tell us everything we need to know, which she agreed. She is Catholic, or at least calls herself Catholic, and she goes to mass every Sunday and on holy days. She seems to have a problem with the authority of the Church. She has never explicitly said this, but it seems to me that she has an attitude of “if it isn’t the bible, I don’t have to believe it.” On CAF I found an apologetic answer about whether Catholics can believe in reincarnation, and it referenced Hebrews 9:27 which says
“…it is appointed that men die once, and after this comes judgment”. I emailed her this verse and the link to the answer.
Her response:
“…this can’t be literally true because we know that people have died - and been declared dead - but came back to life, commonly known as a near-death experience.”
How do I respond to this?

Edit:
Thinking about this, I realized that I’m fed up with her, because I’ve discussed other doctrinal issues with her before, including about why birth control is wrong, and she never admits that she is wrong to refuse to accept Church teaching. I don’t want this to be about winning an argument, because that won’t help anyone. If I’m being honest, I guess I just really want her to admit that she’s wrong, but I know it shouldn’t be about that. Should I just hold off responding at all? But I don’t want her to think she’s right to believe in the possibility of reincarnation, and I don’t want to be rude by not responding. I’m not sure whether to respond, and what to say if I should respond.

“Love God” Means to LOVE everyone like God loves you. Please Reread Mt. 18:20-22:)

The response to the Heb [excellent choice BTW] is that 'Dead MEANS DEAD [period], not near dead or a medical explanation for temporary dead: BUT DEAD DEAD:thumbsup:

patience and charity are BOTH virtues; yes:D
God Bless you!
Patrick


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