What are those Jewish Rabbis smoking?

And here is the #6 reason I am NOT a Buddhist: while the evidence for reincarnation is intriguing, If I have to chose based on the evidence, I will stick with resurrection every time. 

Let’s make something clear here: if resurrection is true, reincarnation is not and vice-versa. If even one person has ever come back to life that pretty much eliminates the need for reincarnation. If I come back to live again as myself, and not some evolved form, like Master Yoda, or some ignominious android like Howard Stern, that means that my material is no longer available for recycling.

Of course, the opposite would also be true. If one person has reincarnated, that would make resurrection totally redundant. So which will it be?

When I was a freshman in college I started doubting everything I had been taught at home and church up to that point. I had a young female Philosophy professor whose explicit goal was to wipe out any form of belief any of us naïve students had before entering her smoke-filled class — she was a chain smoker and very irreverent. She had no answers for anything but her questions were devastating and several of the people who started with me in that same class never make it back to the real world. They never finished the university and some of them were seen around the campus mumbling some incomprehensible words having to do with the origin of the universe. That professor should be sued for malpractice.

Anyway, in that caustic environment, I began to doubt everything. The last thing left standing was the resurrection. If I couldn’t find evidence for the resurrection, all was lost. I was willing to move heaven and earth to find evidence and if I didn’t, I was also willing to renounce everything and live for pleasure and the thrill of the day, as some of my friends chose to live.

During this time, I discovered the writings of Francis Schaeffer. Dr. Schaeffer gave me what no church had ever given me — a rational basis for belief in God and a lot of that had to do with the reality of the resurrection. His thoughts also convinced me of the irrationality of matter plus time plus chance giving birth to man in all of his complexities, brilliance and paradox. I delved into the written record of the resurrection of Christ, read the critics and the believers and came away with a renewed belief that the facts for the resurrection stand the test of truth.

I don’t expect anyone just to take my word for it. I encourage you to go on your own search. If you are honest with yourself, in the end, you will see how powerful the record is and you will end up believing (or at least be impressed with the record). I became a strong resurrectionist and that is one of the main reasons I cannot be a Buddhist. Some people have tried to reconcile reincarnation with resurrection. Some Jewish rabbis even conceive of reincarnation as a means to achieve resurrection. I don’t know what these Rabbis are smoking but I imagine it is more than what my Philosophy professor was in that smoked-filled classroom many years ago.

Ivanildo C. Trindade

To read a more detail analysis of this subject, get a hold of John Snyder’s Reincarnation vs. Resurrection here.