You referred to reincarnation. Doesn't this brand BRI as New Age?
Reincarnation is a dirty word in Christian circles. This is because it is considered irrational, demonic, and diabolically opposed to the precepts and the inclusions of the Written Word. And, true it is that we are witnessing, correspondent to the world-wide decline of the Gentile Constantinian Church, a massive resurgence of second-century Gnosticism in the dress of the western New Age Movement
It is equally true that this Movement is a subtle enemy of Faith - claiming to believe in the soul, immortality, prayer, and
"Jesus" the "Christ." However we may rail against the present New Age Movement, it should be seen that the early Church seized the opportunity presented by the appearance of Samaritan Gnosticism to solidify its Christology. We, too, ought to "seize the day" and solidify our Christology as the Messianic Community.
Trouble is -- we no longer know what is our Christology.
Countless thousands of differing, bickering, backbiting and intellectually incestuous churches, denominations, sects and cults testify to the truth of our last statement! I also recall some years ago attending a ministerial function, and during a meal the subject of reincarnation surfaced.
The Baptist gentleman who initiated the over-dinner discussion pondered aloud to his colleagues the dilemma of countering New Age philosophies circulating within his congregation especially a large segment of youth. Many of them were enamoured with the doctrine of reincarnation. He admitted the truth of much of what was being espoused by the New Agers, but clearly was disadvantaged as to how to successfully counter the doctrines (particularly those associated with reincarnation) without splitting his church.
At this point I had the temerity to enquire whether he believed he possessed "an immortal soul." "Of course," he rapidly replied with a look of disdain that the question had been put. "So?" he asked in an exasperated tone. "Well," I then replied, "if we have immortal souls, and the plain definition of immortality means that we are innately and intrinsically eternal, what have WE been doing for ALL eternity?"
It was a simple, sincere question, but the entire ministerial council looked surprised. Some seemed flabbergasted. No further comment on the subject was forthcoming. I was never invited back to further meetings. Still, it remainst a pertinent question I ask of all who believe in man's immortality. Its also a question an obvious answer to which has not been forthcoming.
Proponents of immortality have not really thought the implication of their belief in immortality through to its logical con-clusion. Still, I must confess, personal conviction grows in strength as it deepens in authenticity.