A friend asked me for my thoughts on reincarnation. She was acquainted with a family that included 2-year-old child who, for a time, spoke very seriously and coherently about seeming to be a different person and his mother being someone else in a different situation.
My response included some thoughts, and also the general strategy that when an older child is asking the question, one could just say nothing...not endorse one way or the other...just be quiet. Sometimes in our dealings with children where we don't think certain talk would be conducive to healthy directions, we may do best to re-direct the discussion. Giving credence to such iffy talk could only validate it and give it an importance that even the child is astonished at when it is taken up by adults.
I lived in India for six weeks and it was common thought among Hindus that animals reincarnated. That is why they don't kill the cows, loitering in the city intersections, because of the belief that a cow might actually be somebody's mother. For a similar reason, some Hindu temples are overrun with wild monkeys—scores of filthy monkeys.
Humans have many bizarre sensations/experiences, including deja-vu’s...where one thinks one has lived through this exact moment before. It is likely or at least possible that we ourselves have had those ourselves—perhaps because there are other dimensions to life; we cannot know all things about what we experience. Nonetheless, Scripture heavily warns about delving into what we don't know, when it involves the spirit world. Perhaps because we could drop into something we can't get back from? Just like with addictions. I read this just this morning in Ephesians 6:12 (English Standard Version) about "cosmic powers over this present darkness”—indicating that there is more than we know.
There are plenty of joyful, uncomplicated areas of life to lead a child into with his or her conversations and activities. We don't delve into the extra spiritual areas. Even with Adam and Eve in the Garden, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil may have been eventually opened to them—with God at their side—but the derision came when they partook of it too soon, outside of His authority.
Reincarnation is a bogus world view, presented by Satan (I think) to huge populations of the world. Much New Age thought coalesces around it. It is crucial to understand its deception, as its presuppositions are invading the Western Hemisphere as it has long invaded the East.
Here are four reasons why the theory of reincarnation is bogus:
One: The scriptures themselves testify against it.
The entire discussion is silenced by two key scriptures:
"It is appointed unto man ONCE to die and AFTER THAT the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27) (people do not die multiple times)
"Man MUST put on immortality"(1 Corinthians 15:53) (not continue in a mortal world....co-exist with mortals...must go ON to another kind of existence...much as a chrysalis is shed and the butterfly emerges...the chrysalis is destined to be the butterfly...tis written in its original identity.... )
And then we have the supreme "argument/apologetic" of Christ's own example. He rose from the dead and went on to another kingdom...accomplishing something and then sitting on that accomplishment ... not repeating a cycle in this realm.
Two: It is irrational.
What would an ant have to do to come back as a monkey? It is indefensible, rationally.
Three: History is linear (though in a spiral)—not endlessly circular.
His story (God's story) has a beginning, a middle development, and an ending shared with us in the Book of Revelation. The fight between good and evil accelerates until it has an end and a clear victor. The battle doesn't go on into infinity. In Isaiah it says that God showed the end from the beginning. He even hinted at it/declared it in creation week....life will advance eventually to the 7th day...a millennium...a period of peace. Circles don't have beginning and endings. Circles are hopeless to "get anywhere" or to give meaning to any activity or progress. If life is cyclical then it is without productivity, advancement, purpose or plan.
Even in the natural world, we see a fairly simple example. If there is no linear progress built into the huge purpose of the earth experience, then even all construction of buildings would cease. It would not be possible to make a plan or finish a project.
The mixture of animal and human life that a belief in reincarnation requires diminishes the huge gulf between being made in the image of God and being a mere animal. Reincarnation is yet another world view set forth as an imagined means of getting rid of Almighty God as the necessary agency of creation and salvation.
Now, what do we do with apparent stories of such, or appeals to prior lives, or strong emotional experiences that would suggest it? We go with scripture instead. The human experience and sentiment has been expressed in every conceivable deviation/aberration/bizarreness that is possible in the human psyche. We cannot trust WHAT it is. There are too many possibilities of what the brain is capable of, inside its own circuitry.
For reading related to the theory of evolution, get our picture-illustrated book on Impossible Evolution.