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Dogma and insanity

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  • soundgarden81
    I m new here, so hi all. I found an interesting article recently.... ... the ... primary ... Outline of ... -- ... ministry ... followed ... spread ... cult
    Message 1 of 45 , Oct 9, 2002
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      I'm new here, so hi all. I found an interesting article
      recently....



      --- In ancientmysteriesms@y..., "Burlington News"
      <burlingtonnews@y...> wrote:
      > Reincarnation and the Early Christian Church
      >
      > This excerpt from Chapter 14 of Children's Past Lives outlines
      the
      > history of reincarnation in the early Christian church. The
      primary
      > source we used for this information was H.G.Wells' The
      Outline of
      > History, plus tracts by Church historians.
      >
      >
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------
      --
      > ----------
      >
      > The awesome charisma of Jesus Christ and his good-news
      ministry
      > profoundly changed the lives of those who knew him and who
      followed
      > soon after. The enthusiasm and spirit of the first Christians
      spread
      > through the Middle East until what had begun as an inspired
      cult of
      > Jews in dusty Judea grew to be a revolutionary religious
      movement
      > pervading the whole Roman Empire. As the ideas spread, they
      > percolated through the practices and theologies of existing
      religions
      > and took on forms that Jesus would not have
      recognized—especially
      the
      > institution of a formal priesthood to mediate between man and
      God.
      > Throughout the first three centuries of the Christian era, there
      was
      > no single Christian doctrine. Christian theology and doctrine—
      > interpretations of Christ's teachings blended with ideas from
      other
      > philosophies and religions—were hotly debated for at least
      three
      > hundred years. Many of the tenets of the faith that Christians
      take
      > for granted today were, during this long period of flux, simply
      one
      > point of view among many.
      >
      > It is a fact that some Christian sects and writers accepted
      > reincarnation as an enhancement to the teachings of Christ.
      Origen,
      > one of the heralded Fathers of the Church and described by
      Saint
      > Gregory as "the Prince of Christian learning in the third
      century,"
      > wrote: "Every soul comes into this world strengthened by the
      > victories and weakened by the defeats of its previous life."
      >
      > So if reincarnation was an idea in currency with early
      Christians,
      > why have all traces of it disappeared from the Christian religion
      we
      > know today?
      >
      > By the early fourth century, strong Christian factions were vying
      > with each other for influence and power, while at the same
      time the
      > Roman Empire was beginning to fall apart. In A.D. 325, in a
      move to
      > renew the unity of the empire, the absolute dictator Emperor
      > Constantine convened the leaders of the feuding Christian
      factions
      at
      > the Council of Nicaea. He offered to throw his imperial power
      behind
      > the Christians if they would settle their differences and agree
      on
      a
      > single creed. Decisions made at this first council set the
      foundation
      > for the Roman Catholic Church. (Soon after, the books of the
      Bible
      > were fixed too.) For the sake of unity, all beliefs that conflicted
      > with the new creed were banished; in the process the factions
      and
      > writings that supported reincarnation were thrown out.
      >
      > Then, with the applause and support of the Christian leaders,
      > Constantine moved to eliminate competing religions, and to
      make his
      > personal grip on the Empire even more absolute. The result of
      the
      > marriage between church and imperial state was a new
      Church made in
      > the image of the autocratic Roman Empire. This is why,
      according to
      > some historians, the Church exalts unquestioned central
      authority,
      > imposes a singular dogmatic creed on its followers, and
      works so
      hard
      > to stamp out divergent ideas. This is important, because
      > reincarnation fell outside the official creed.
      >
      > Apparently some Christians continued to believe in
      reincarnation
      even
      > after the Council of Nicaea, because in A.D. 553 the Church
      found
      the
      > need to single out reincarnation and condemn it explicitly. At
      the
      > Second Council of Constantinople the concept of
      reincarnation,
      > bundled together with other ideas under the term
      "pre-existence of
      > the soul", was decreed to be a crime worthy of
      excommunication and
      > damnation ("anathema"):
      >
      > If anyone assert the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall
      > assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him
      be
      > anathema.
      >
      > Why would the Church go to such lengths to discredit
      reincarnation?
      > The implicit psychology of reincarnation may be the best
      explanation.
      > A person who believes in reincarnation assumes
      responsibility for
      his
      > own spiritual evolution through rebirth. He does not need
      priests,
      > confessionals, and rituals to ward off damnation (all ideas,
      > incidentally, that were not part of Jesus' teachings). He needs
      only
      > to heed his own acts to himself and others. A belief in
      reincarnation
      > eliminates the fear of eternal hell that the Church uses to
      > discipline the flock. In other words, reincarnation directly
      > undermines the authority and power of the dogmatic Church.
      No
      wonder
      > reincarnation made the Defenders of the Faith so nervous.
      >
      > Despite the decree of 553, belief in reincarnation persisted
      among
      > the rank and file. It took another thousand years and much
      bloodshed
      > to completely stamp out the idea. In the early thirteenth century,
      > the Cathars, a devout and enlightened sect of Christians who
      believed
      > in reincarnation, flourished in Italy and southern France. The
      pope
      > launched a crusade to stop their heresy, a half million people
      were
      > massacred whole villages at a time, and the Cathars were
      totally
      > wiped out. This purging set the tone for the brutal Inquisition
      that
      > began soon after. Not only was a belief in reincarnation cause
      for
      > persecution, but so was belief in any metaphysical idea that
      fell
      > outside the bounds of Church dogma.
      >
      > The murderous efficiency of the Inquisition proved effective.
      The
      > persecution by the institutional Church has scarred our
      collective
      > psyche and surrounded us with an invisible fence dividing
      what is
      > safe from what is dangerous to believe. Since then, people
      who
      harbor
      > forbidden ideas have learned to keep their thoughts to
      themselves.
      > Our cultural memory still carries the fear of reprisal for publicly
      > associating with any occult practices, the use of psychic
      powers,
      or
      > a belief in reincarnation.
      >
      > Here it is, the source of the double standard. No wonder so
      many
      > people today believe in reincarnation privately but are afraid
      that
      > if they come out publicly, they will be attacked for being weird—
      the
      > modern word for heresy. Maybe by understanding where this
      fear
      comes
      > from we can negate its hold on us and turn off the invisible
      fence.
      > So when our children speak of past lives, we can follow our
      hearts
      > and not our fears—and believe them.
      >
      > Copyright 1997 by Carol Bowman and Steve Bowman




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    • pmcvflag
      You smart aleck you ;) I had a rather odd summer actually, hope yours was good though :) PMCV ... us
      Message 45 of 45 , Oct 15, 2002
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        You smart aleck you ;)

        I had a rather odd summer actually, hope yours was good though :)

        PMCV

        --- In gnosticism2@y..., "blackfire_al" <blackfire_al@y...> wrote:
        > And so our illustrious lost leader has decided to return and throw
        us
        > some crumbs of his wisdom...and I hope you had a fine and lovely
        > summer vacation, PMCV
        >
        > Blackfire
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