Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity are at variance on the question of God's sovereignty over life and death. Buddhism, as a non-theistic religion, has no concept of God's sovereign will. The oldest layer of Hinduism acknowledges a supreme Deity, but the doctrine of samsara  introduces an element that is not consistent with the Judeo-Christian or ancient Afro-Asiatic doctrine of God's sovereignty. The death of our bodies does not lead to reincarnation as is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism. It leads either to eternal life or to what the ancient Egyptians  and the Apostles called "the second death” (Rev. 2:11; 20:6 and 20:14).
Religions which believe in samsara cremate to quickly reduce human remains to the smallest particles of matter (atomism). The flesh and the spirit are separated, never to exist again as the person who once lived. There is an element of fatalism in this worldview since existence is both illusory and constantly changing. This is not the faith of our Father Abraham which Christ Jesus and the Apostles commend to us. In its lack of atomistic fatalism, Christianity emerges as a natural, organic  expression of the faith of Abraham; an affirmation of what Job declared: “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25, 26 NASB).
Abraham was led to a land where God established him as a ruler. His territory extended between Hebron and Beer-sheba. God promised to make Abraham’s descendents a multitude of peoples. This was accomplished through Abraham's wives Sarah and Keturah and his concubines Hagar and Masek. Together these women bore Abraham 9 sons and a number of daughters. In other words, God fulfilled His sovereign will concerning Abraham and made him the “father of a multitude of nations” (Gen. 17:4)
In God’s sovereign will Abraham becomes a figure through whom “all the nations on earth will bless themselves” (Gen. 18:18; 22:18 NJB). This promise was made twice; first, when God in Three Persons appears to him (Gen. 18) and again after God supplies a ram as a substitute sacrifice for Abraham’s son (Gen. 22). In both stories, God is sovereign over life and death; destroying the ram and Sodomites by holocaust and delivering Abraham’s son and Lot’s family from the fire.
The idea that God destroys is not popular these days, but it is inescapably an aspect of God's sovereignty. Scripture teaches that God desires that none should die, yet He leaves the choice to us. That is why the faithful leaders urged the people to "choose life that you may live" (Deut. 30:19).
1. Samsara is the cycle of reincarnation, a central doctrine of Hinduism and Buddhism.
2. The Egyptians believed that the unification of Ka (life that animates the body) and Ba (eternal spirit) happened after death by means of the proper offerings, prayers, and mummification. There was a risk of dying the second death if the unified soul and life force were condemned in the afterlife. Dying the second death meant not becoming an akh. Only as an akh could one enjoy the resurrection life. Ankh is the Spirit of Life and was the hieroglyphic sign for life in ancient Egypt and Kush.
3. Organic religions develop naturally and consistently out of very ancient religious traditions. Organic religions are unlike synthetic religions such as Scientology, Mormonism and Baha’i which are recent synthetically developed religions or cults.
Carlos Castaneda's Limitations - This essay is the third in a series on the failure of leading 20th century mythologists or religionists to uncover significant antecedents of the religio...
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