Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Evolution, Reincarnation and the Bible

Evolution names the development of more complex entities from simpler ones.  The gene essentially becomes the genome becomes the evolutionary basis of life on earth.  Evolution is a ‘method’, not a religion.  Science is a ‘method’ , not a religion.  A lot of confusion is created by unscientific or pseudoscientific declarations about matters of religion.
A meme is the genetic like precursor of an idea, the bit of an argument that begins a train of thought. It is an ideological equivalence to the material gene.
“Evolution of God,” by Robert Wright is a seminal theological text exploring the history of God in the three Abrahamic religions.  It’s not that God, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent ‘evolved’ but rather that our ‘understanding’ of God evolved. Further Dr. Wright argues rather convincingly that the Holy Bible was altered to accommodate the development of ideas.
Montheism, that there is only One GOD, developed from Polytheism, the idea of many Gods.  “Thou shalt have no other Gods but me.” is a statement in the Bible that holds within it the idea of ‘other gods’ or ‘polytheism’.  The Evolution of God says that our understanding of God is dynamic and that our Holy Bible, once a developing work like ‘science’ texts became ‘fixed’.  Today rather than adding ‘books’ to the Bible, which was the ‘norm’ until Constantine made the Bible the State Legal Book approximately 300 ad, ‘commentaries’ are added to the main  book.  The Gospels are the 4 main books are  the main ’teachings’ of Jesus.  Jews similarly have the original text of their creation story, covenant and tribal beginnings as the Talmud.  The Apostles and Paul are ‘commentaries by this early understanding so that even today the ‘inclusion’ and ‘exclusion’ of what is ‘holy’ from what is ‘human commentary’ is a matter of much human debate in the three Monotheistic religions.
Similarly the Bible contains the previous ‘idea’ of reincarnation. At the simplest, Christians believe they will be ‘reincarnated’ on death, given a ‘new body’ in the afterlife as do Muslims.  The Hindu idea of ‘evolution’ from insect to man is not part of biblical tradition. Indeed the Hindus have the idea of forward and backward evolution based on deeds and this is not anywhere in Christianity. No interspecies reincarnation and no becoming a dung beatle if you mess up in this life.  Clearly ‘reincarnation’ is not ‘orthodox’ Christianity today.  However it was accepted in the world of Jesus and in the early Christian church.
Philo Judaeus, the Jewish philosopher,  described souls coming and going in human bodies while Flavius Josephus held that ‘good’ souls had the capacity for reincarnation. Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai taught the ‘transmigration’’ of souls.  Rabbi Manaseh ben Israel taught that the belief in the ‘transmigration of souls’ is the belief of the church.
In the Holy Bible the disciples indeed asked if Jesus was Messiah; how come according to the prophecy Elijah had not come before him ,”Why then say the scribes, that Elias (Elijah) must come first.”  Jesus responded that ‘Elias is come already and they knew him not.”  This reference is to John the Baptist. The was the insight of writer/philosopher Robert Graves.  The people themselves, suggesting the common reincarnation belief of Jesus’ judaism, said ‘some say thou art John the Baptist, some say Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.'
Scientists have reviewed the Bible noting that ‘words’ used in ancient times did not ‘translate’ into the meaning we give them today. For instance if there was a Hebrew word ‘gay’ used in the Bible it would not refer to homosexuality as the word ‘Gay’ does today  So many words which come out of the ‘time’ of Jesus no longer hold the same meaning. It has been argued by scientists that the word ‘infinity’ comes truly out of the mathematical sense made clear by Descartes. Agricultural societies don’t have this notion of ‘forever’ but rather the better translation of these terms is ‘for a long time’.  So much is lost and sometimes gained in the translation of words and further ideas.
Today ‘linear’ time is superseded by the ideas of quantum existence and the multiverse.  Every possibility exists for God but the human conception is limited by the limitation inherent in the human state.  The idea of ‘reincarnation’ doesn’t ‘change’ the central thesis of Jesus is Lord and Jesus taught first Love God and Love your Neighbour as yourself. Indeed Christ is. The Gospel means the ‘God News’ and supersedes all ideas at they relate before it.
We say among Christians that when we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, we are ‘reborn’.  Spiritual rebirth and even the very idea that we leave behind the notion of a material being and take up the idea of being a spiritual being, a son of God, living in this spiritual/material world following the teachings of Jesus is what is always most important.  Evolution of ideas, such as the evolution of the idea of God as Trinity, three persons in one, and the ‘personhood’ of God is a new meme, a new beginning for inward study of external scripture.
From genetics we learn that the fruitfly has 70% of the human genome.  The concept of fractals suggest a mathematical god idea inherent in the shapes of reality.  Scientists see science as showing ever more evidence of the genius of creation and the interconnected harmony and celebration of God in creation.  That a monkey with all the time that the idea of the Big Bang Theory gives it could not make up Bach teaches us that God is active and working in creation as String Theory itself allows for such 'miracles'.  Indeed Celtic Christians believe that the physical world shouts God’s love and celebrates Jesus as much as scripture does.  The discord lies with man.
There are many methods to know God just as there are many roads to acceptance of Jesus as saviour.  However it’s sad but we also say that the road to hell is broad and the road to heaven is narrow.  So we depend greatly on the spiritual directors and advisors and elders who have lived longer and walked more deeply in the wisdom of the lord for their guidance.
Hallelujah! Christ is Risen.

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