Media Spotlight

The Reincarnation of Shirley Maclaine

by Albert James Dager

Recent surveys indicate that at least one out of two Americans

believe that reincarnation--transmigration of the soul--is a distinct

possibility. On the other hand, there are surveys which indicate that

70% of Americans claim to be "born again" Christians. This conflict

seems to stem from the fact that many who profess Christianity also

believe in reincarnation to another earthly life rather than

resurrection to immortality.

The theory of reincarnation has gained large support among

churchgoers due to the influx of eastern religious philosophy made all

the more popular by media stars. One of the more vocal proponents of

reincarnation of late is actress and four-time Academy Award nominee

Shirley MacLaine. In her latest book, OUT ON A LIMB (New York: Bantam,

1983), MacLaine details her "experiences" with, and strong belief in


Following the book's release, Miss MacLaine appeared on ABC TV's

"One On One." During her interview she expressed a bit of confusion,

telling host Greg Jackson, "I don't know what I believe." She then

proclaimed, "I'm convinced that I've lived before." She also expressed

her belief in other occultic teachings including reincarnation's

sister doctrine, the "law of karma," using faulty exegesis to equate

karma with the biblical teaching that one reaps what one sows (Gal.


Using the Bible to draw support for their theories is not

uncommon for western reincarnationists. Like so many others - even

errant Christians - they pick and choose just the sciptures that make

them feel comfortable in their errors, while ignoring the rest -

especially those that condemn their beliefs or lifestyles.

In regard to reincarnation the question arises, "How can many

professing Christians embrace such an abominable doctrine which

challenges the Bible's clear teaching that man dies only once, and

then must face judgment (Heb. 9:27)?" The answer is man's natural

tendency to want to feel comfortable in his sins. They have put their

minds in neutral regarding spiritual things, choosing to coast through

life without thinking. Many so-called "ministers" - some believing in

reincarnation themselves - have encouraged such ignorance by their

words and by their actions, spending little, if any, time studying

God's Word honestly.

One Christian minister who has taken the whole counsel of God

regarding reincarnation is Dr. Robert A. Morey. In his 60-page

booklet, REINCARNATION AND CHRISTIANITY (Minneapolis: Bethany

Fellowship, 1980), Dr. Morey examines "Four Popular Arguments for

Reincarnation," refuting each one with sound biblical exegesis and

just plain, common-sense logic based upon what we know about the world

around us, including scientific and historical evidences against the

theory. (In our next installment we will examine Dr. Morey's

refutation of these arguments.)

In Chapter One, entitled, "A Brief History of Reincarnation," Dr.

Morey describes and defines the law of karma - "the immutable law that

a person pays for evil he does in this life by suffering for it in the

next." He also tells us how reincarnation became "Christianized" by

eliminating some of the purist reincarnation concepts that would be

unpalatable to the western mentality, such as the possibility of being

reincarnated as a bug or an animal. He outlines reincarnation's growth

in popularity in the United States through the influence of Alice

Bailey's Theosophical Society, various Hindu gurus, "the sleeping

prophet" Edgar Cayce, and THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER'S false yet popular

prophet, Jeane Dixon.

Perhaps someone should give a copy of Dr. Robert A. Morey's

REINCARNATION AND CHRISTIANITY to actress Shirley MacLaine. In her

latest book, OUT ON A LIMB, MacLaine details her "experiences" with,

and strong belief in reincarnation. She is among the 24% of Americans

who definitely believe in reincarnation.

In Chapter 2 of Morey's book, he effectively refutes "Four

Popular Arguments for Reincarnation." Argument Number One alleges that

"Karmic reincarnation is the best explanation for (evil)...and

suffering." Such a claim, Dr. Morey points out, is illogical since

reincarnationists believe the soul to be immortal, having supposedly

emanated from a so-called perfect and sinless "world soul." The

illogical nature of the argument is obvious since the very first

incarnation of a soul would have no karmic debt to pay! After one

earthly life, each soul would, by the "law" of reincarnation, return

to the "cosmic energy" whence it sprang. Argument Number One also

excuses pure reincarnationists from helping to alleviate human

suffering. Being involved, they say, hinders each suffering soul's

purification process. Thus, reincarnation, rather than eliminating

evil, is a source of evil.

Argument Number Two suggests that reincarnation is supported by

numerous cases of recall - through various means - of past lives, as

well as the almost universal experience of deja vu. Dr. Morey presents

some excellent rebuttals, one being that too many people claim to have

been the same historical personage, such as Jesus or Napoleon. Recall,

says Morey, can also be the result of influence upon one's mind by

demons who have access to information from throughout history, and can

impersonate or "invent" someone from the past.

Argument Number Three insists that reincarnation was the original

belief of the Jews, and the early Church. Dr. Morey offers as a

rebuttal, Professor J. Hicks' excellent commentary about the ancients

and the Church fathers who are consistently misquoted by the


Argument Number Four consists of the biblical passages that

reincarnationists quote to support their accursed doctrine. Dr. Morey

uses proper exegesis, as well as some of the scriptures they have

conveniently ignored, to logically answer their claims.

For example, in John 9:2-3, the man was born blind not as

punishment for evil committed in a previous life (if so, Jesus would

have been cruel to heal him and thus increase his suffering in his

next life), but so that God would receive glory.

In Chapter 3, Dr. Morey attempts to discover "The Intellectual

Integrity of Reincarnation," but finds instead its intellectual

dishonesty in denying facts while grasping at straws.

He also points out some severe social consequences from the

belief in reincarnation. The rich and the poor DESERVE their lot in

life, and thus the rich are excused for oppressing the poor, while the

poor are prevented from escaping their poverty in a future life.

Insects and animals which may be Uncle George or Aunt Martha are

allowed to devour food supplies that could feed the starving masses.

And, since sin can be paid for in a future life, hedonistic lifestyles

are excused.

REINCARNATION AND CHRISTIANITY would make an excellent gift for

someone drifting towards or even locked into a belief in

reincarnation--someone like Shirley Maclaine.

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