What is this phenomenon? Is it really necessary? I did a Google search on rebirth, and saw an ad by Playstation that rather caught my breath. Adult female, assisted by female (Dr?) with an adult male covered in what looked like myconium as though head coming from birth canal. Interesting. Almost frightening. I had to check it out to make sure no new cult was using such weird techniques to imitate the emotionality that accompanies the phenomenon in the churches.
Seriously, is the “born again” phenomenon actively pursued in the more fundamental churches what Y’shua was addressing when he spoke of being born again? Personally, I don’t think he was being all that oblique, I think he was addressing reincarnation. When such a question would be asked of him, he who was so totally aware of Spirit, could most likely tell, just because of that awareness, where a person “was” spiritually. With that, he would know if one needed to live another life or three before one could arrive at the awareness of Spirit needed to “enter into” the kingdom.
I remember being told many years ago, in the church where I was attending, that Christianity was the only faith where such a phenomenon was taught. I was quite disappointed to find that that was yet another lie. An awakening of some sort is taught in every major faith on the planet, and many that are not even counted major faiths.
The words death and rebirth are quoted in John’s Gospel as being Y’shua’s. (Many teachers of Christianity teach that one will go to everlasting damnation if one even looks at the inner workings of another faith, a convenient way to keep people ignorant of their dishonesty as well as to keep people in the Flock who might otherwise feel that, all things considered they might as well join the Hamayim). So, let’s look at Y’shua’s teachings:
3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.[a]“
5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
John chapter 3 is the basis of much of what the church believes about this phenomenon, and written the way it is, there is little doubt that it is some enigmatic phenomenon that has to do with belief in him as the one and only Son of God. The problem I have with that is that, even among his most beloved disciples, all of whom attended shul, he would have been stoned to death if he put his teachings into those words. And he would have been making a liar out of Moshe(Moses), who had said that Hashem(God) had said he would never ever incarnate. Something every one of his Jewish followers would have known extremely well, and who also knew the penalty for saying one was God. (I suspect this is the reason the preachers so dislike it when we mere humans decide we want to read the Tanakh as it was written.)
There are few ignorant among the Ivrit (Hebrews), as every child whose parent follows the old laws is taught at the very least temple Hebrew. So, how did Y’shua get away with saying he was God incarnate for three years until the Romans finally tired of his rabble rousing? I don’t think he did. And I do believe he may have taught about rebirth as reincarnation, he might have even talked of Awakening to God’s Grace, but I doubt if he talked about being God in the flesh, not even in roundabout ways.
I have searched Y’shua’s teachings extensively, and I have found no indication that he intended for our pilgrimage to be a series of emotional highs and lows. In Luke 14, in fact, he spoke of counting the cost before you leap to say you can do it, whatever “it” is. He wanted those who followed his teachings to do so in a well thought out and steadfast manner. This does not call for high emotion, this calls for studying and knowing what is asked of you.
We are meant to walk the path, not run, not skip, not hop, walk it, in a gentle and steadfast manner, by making a decision to live that way, not by getting “high on God”, that might be fun, but, such an emotive decision early in one’s life seldom leads to obedience and compassion.