“Reincarnation is a process that involves both the body and the spirit. It’s an important spiritual process.”
“I had a spiritual revelation through my painting.”
“I understand you want to insert your deep, intimate, relationship with this text into your essay, but you really need to hone in on the comparison of the conversions and spiritual journeys of John and Augustine and how they relate to their understanding of the self.”
These are only a few of the phrases that attacked my thoughts today. Today was not only long, but it seemed to be littered with false prophecy, difficult circumstances, tension, and frustration. This is really difficult.
My Critical Thinking & Writing professor, when I asked her how I was to discuss spiritual journeys without talking about the gospel, responded with the third phrase. “I understand you want to insert your deep, intimate, relationship with this text (the Bible) into your essay, but you really need to hone in on the comparison of the conversions and spiritual journeys of John and Augustine and how they relate to their understanding of the self.” She’s under the impression that my relationship is with the Bible, that I find some great adrenaline rush because of a book. Well, yes, I do get really excited and feel much more at peace after I read the Word of God, but the relationship that keeps me sane isn’t one formed with a book. If my governing relationship was with books, this whole college thing would probably be a lot easier. No, she doesn’t understand. Everyone keeps putting academics and conventions into my relationship with God. Stop! Stop doing that! Stop making something real and legitimate and divine into some kind of understandable, comprehensible, and explainable process!
How can people take something so essential, so beautiful, so strange, and so mysterious and turn it into a textbook? 😦 How can people claim to have read the Bible and have extensive knowledge about Biblical history and still speak of it academically, without any trace of awe in their voice? I don’t understand 😦
I had to be in a discussion group for Writer’s Forum today, which is basically where a bunch of writing majors get together and talk about our next visiting author. We were discussing the poems of Aracelis Girmay. Now, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m a novelist and I’ve never really been into poetry. I admire those who can really connect with poems and such, but I’ve just never been into it. Most of the people in my discussion group were poets with breathy voices and soft eyes, sipping coffee and using their hands to speak. I sat there, totally lost and confused as to what the point of it all was. I did try to understand, I really did, but I was just lost.
A lot of Girmay’s poems have to do with finding identity in nature and reincarnation. Can I just say how absolutely overjoyed I am that I don’t have to be reincarnated? When I die, I am NOT coming back. I’m going to spend the rest of eternity asking God all of my questions, strolling through His city on streets of gold, and never worrying about failure, success, decisions, and the future. I will always feel Him; I will never be in danger of feeling disconnected from Him. I’ll no longer be weighed down or weary from fighting against the offers of the world.
Reincarnation is not Biblical. Let me explain to you why. In Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27, it says that “it is appointed for man to die ONCE, and after that comes judgement.” The ‘judgement’ mentioned is referring to eternal judgement, or the judgement cast upon people standing before God after physical death. Another verse that refutes reincarnation is 2 Samuel 12:23. This is a verse located on the tail end of King David mourning for his dead son. “But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” Other verses refuting this include, but are not limited to: Job 14:10-12, Psalm 78:39, and Luke 16:19-31.
“But Hunter, don’t forget; not everyone believes what you believe.”
You’re right. But it’s not about what I believe anymore…it’s about what’s real, what’s true, what the Bible says. Forget my “beliefs” and any bias I could possibly have. It’s about what God says in His word. There’s a verse in 1 John that says “If we say we have not sinned, we make him (God) a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10, ESV). Whenever I read this verse, I’m reminded that it doesn’t matter what I believe to be true if it’s something apart from the truth of God’s word. If I say that I believe in God but don’t refer to His word, the things that He says to show me He’s real (apart from His activity and His love shown in my life), then my faith is nothing but a tiny feeling, and feelings change so often that God could be real to me today and a fable to me tomorrow. Without God’s Word, how can I grow in Christ? How can I fight my spiritual battle without a sword?
Whew. Okay, I’m done now.
So, the lesson of the day is that if I have a question concerning God or concerning life in general, I should just go to His word and look it up. No, that doesn’t mean if I can’t choose between strawberry or vanilla ice-cream I’m going to try to find an answer in the Bible. But when it comes to deciding if something is right, if something is “true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, or commendable,” (Philippians 4:8) or if something is absolutely wrong, if something is unacceptable in the eyes of God, or if something is going to be detrimental to my relationship with Him, then I have basic instructions, an encouraging love letter, a writer’s best friend to guide me to where I need to go.
“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.” —Isaiah 58:11, NLT