To eat Meats, or not?

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One of the roots of religious delusion is evidenced by people who are bound under strict laws that stipulate what they can or cannot eat.

These dietary rules are believed to make them more approved before God and contribute to their spiritual elevation or whatever marker of spiritual enlightenment they subscribe to.

A look at various religious systems bears this out. In Judaism, there are kosher dietary laws which adherents are expected to keep.

Drawing from its Judaistic influence, Islam also adheres to certain dietary laws that prohibit eating pork, lobster and clams.

In Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism and Jainism, dietary laws are taken a notch higher by the prohibition of all meats. Animals are believed to have souls and are to be venerated.

The New Age spirituality, which is the fountain head of the current reverence for the earth and environmentalism, believes animal meats contain harmful “vibrations” which should be avoided by seekers or adepts.

Some professing Christians also adhere to the dietary laws of the Mosaic laws. Seventh Day Adventists, for instance, under the instruction of their prophetess Ellen White, are taught that:

If we subsist largely upon the flesh of dead animals, we shall partake of their nature.” – Testimonies for the Church 2:61.

“Its use excites the animal propensities to increased activity, and strengthens the animal passions. When the animal propensities are increased, the intellectual and moral powers are decreased. The use of the flesh of animals … benumbs the fine sensibilities of the mind.”– Testimonies for the Church 2:63.

“Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat eating will eventually be done away: flesh will cease to form a part of their diet.” — Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 380.

Even though it’s documented that Ellen White broke her own rules and ate meat on some occasions, it’s clear that within the sect, these dietary laws are presented as keys to moral purity, intellectual dexterity and salvation.

There are also some Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name adherents who observe these dietary laws.

Some of these religious groups produce medical books warning people against eating any kind of meat. But these “findings” have underlying religious undertones and are propounded because they validate their presuppositions.

This issue needs to be addressed because even within some Christian denominations, many people are still indirectly placed under a dietary yoke of bondage.

I have attended two well-known Nigerian Pentecostal churches where a preacher and a guest speaker demanded that Christians revert to the dietary laws of the OT if they want to experience physical and spiritual wellness.

It’s one thing for a Bible teacher to teach his/her opinions, it’s another thing for him/her to equate those opinions to a divine order.

You may not personally like certain foods, that’s okay, but you don’t have to make it a stumbling block for other believers.

For instance, let’s say, Pastor A doesn’t like eating apples because he has allergies whenever he does. It’s fine if he says to his congregation, “I don’t like apples because they affect me negatively when I eat them.”

But when pastor A now stands on his pulpit on a Sunday morning and says:

“As I was praying and studying my Bible last night, God gave me a special revelation about apples. As a child of God, you must avoid that fruit because it was the fruit that Satan gave Eve to eat and Eve gave Adam and ultimately caused the downfall of the entire human race. It defiles the body and soul. It deadens the intellect.  If you want to be closer to God and enjoy His deeper love and fellowship with holy angels, then stop eating apples!”

These remarks would not only be a form of pastoral manipulation and control, it would also be an attempt to lead people into the bondage of legalism.

Notably, Pastor A has taken several dangerous steps:

1. He has projected his personal tastes onto everyone. That is, if he’s allergic to apples, then everyone else must be allergic to them as well.

2. He has equated his personal preference to collective preference. If he dislikes apples everyone else must do so too.

3. He has elevated his personal preferences to divine mandates. Whatever he loathes must also be what God also loathes. Technically, God is reduced to his rubber stamp who must endorse whatever resonates with his personal desires.

4. He has masked his true intentions by using a fraudulent revelation as an ecclesiastical cement on his personal tastes.

This is the progression of many legalistic doctrines in many churches today – with the exception of those that are directly taught by demons to their mouthpieces to uphold their existing pacts.

Now, if you replaced the “apples” in my analogy with “meat” and certain natural things that some church leaders urge their members to avoid, the twisted syllogism fits. This is an Athenian development of false doctrines.

First of all, what does the Bible teaches about being a vegetarian? Is it wrong to eat meat?

In Genesis 3:18b, after the fall of man, God instructed Adam, “And you shall eat the plants of the field.”

At that time, man was condemned to exhausting manual labour in order to make a living. Indeed, Adam was to work before the Fall, but when God cursed the ground at the Fall, there was a clause attached:

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground” (Gen. 3:19). Taking verse 18 without the surrounding context of the preceding and proceeding verses is flawed exegesis.

Now, in six chapters later, we see that God expressly gave man permission to eat animals: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants” (Gen. 9:3).

In the same book of Genesis, we read that the Lord and His angels visited Abraham and Sarah. Abraham prepared the best that he had and it consisted of beef:

“And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it” (Gen. 18:7).

If meat were harmful, then why did Abraham give it to the Lord to eat?

Even in the temple offerings, God instructed the Levites to eat the lean meat of cow, sheep and goat but burn their fats in the fire:

“You shall sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shall burn their fat as an offering by fire…but their flesh shall be yours…” (Num. 18:17-18).

If killing animals and eating their meat was sinful, then God commanded the Levites to regularly sin by eating the meat of animals that had been killed, and this went on for centuries.

It’s also instructive to also note that the menu the Lord personally prepared for Elijah before he faced the prophet of Baal consisted of meat:

“And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook” (1 Kgs. 17:6).

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul instructs Timothy and classifies abstinence from meat along with the teachings of forced celibacy as lies taught by deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons:

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose conscience are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:1-3).

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you must also accept His truth:

“Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on? (This he declared all foods clean). And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man” (Mark 7:18-20).

It’s not that roasted pork or cooked okro or smoked grasscutter meat which goes into your tummy that defiles your soul. It is what comes out of your heart. This is what the Lord Jesus taught.

If you reject the truth of Jesus Christ, then you can’t be said to be a follower of Christ. If you take Moses over against Christ, then you are far from Biblical Christianity – the way of grace and truth. For it is written:

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

The dietary laws (Lev. 11:41-44; 20:25; Deut. 14:3-20) for the Jews were very strictly adhered to by even the apostles. But on the cross of Calvary, God broke down the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles (Eph. 2:14-18).

The dietary laws were put aside along with the ceremonial/temple laws. Therefore, we can partake of meat without any prohibitions.

The only restriction observed is in some instances of meats offered to idols which Paul said he would rather avoid if it will cause fellow Christians to stumble (see 1 Cor. 8:13).

Just as we have it today, some people in the early church were also teaching that Christians ought to merge the laws of Moses with the grace offered in Christ in order to be saved and have a “deeper” Christianity. As a result, many Christians reverted to the old laws and customs of Judaism. This led to the meeting (or “council”) of the Apostles at Jerusalem.

From there, only four dictates from the Mosaic laws were binding on Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians:

(a) They were to abstain from the pollution of idols.
(b) They were to eschew sexual immorality.
(c) They were not to shed blood.
(d) Avoid eating strangled animals or animals with blood in it.

It says nothing about avoiding unclean animals, circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, using the Hebrew names of God/Jesus and some other finicky rules that many have dubiously piled on the heads of their followers to allegedly merit God’s approval.

Paul’s charge to Timothy bears this out once again:

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:4-5).

The New Testament makes it clear that Gentile Christians are not bound by the Mosaic dietary laws. There is no animal that God created that is “unclean” to us – whether it’s a pig, oyster, shellfish, horse or snail. Don’t let anyone hold you captive under any religious teaching that says otherwise.

Let “no one pass judgement on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath” (Col. 2:16).

A clear ignorance of this principle has unwittingly opened up the lives of many Christians to the influence of seducing spirits that reinforce these rules in their lives and rob them of their God-given spiritual freedom.

If any plant or animal is safe to eat, we are free to eat it. This, of course, doesn’t mean that there are no moral restrictions on eating.

We are not to be gluttons, for example, and cannibalism is prohibited, but there are no “unclean” animals today.

The vision Peter had concerning all kinds of animals also reveals the will of God allowing man to eat meat:

“Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean’” (Acts 10:13-15).

Though God’s point was that Peter was not to consider Gentiles “unclean,” He also made it clear that eating the “unclean” meats was permitted.

Christian salvation and sanctification is by the grace of God. It’s impossible to somehow, by our own works, convince God to love or accept us anymore than He already does.

Holiness is not defined altogether by what we abstain from. It’s defined by our heart attitude toward Jesus and our desire to follow Him.

Weighing the Grail Message: Fate and Karma

In this piece, Grail teachings about karma will be examined in the light of the Bible, history and logic. Since fate and karma were bracketed together, it would be necessary to first define both words:

Karma: The belief that good and bad experiences in this life are the sum result of deeds done in both the current and previous lives. The word “karma” is a Sanskrit word that primarily means “action” (Ancient History Encyclopedia).

Fate: The view that we are powerless to do anything other than what we actually do. Hence, fatalism can refer to an attitude of resignation in the face of some future events which are thought to be inevitable (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

My quotes are taken from Vol. 2, chapter 2 of In the Light of Truth: The Grail Message by Oskar Ernst Bernhardt.

A Law which lies in the entire Creation from its earliest beginning, which has been inseparably interwoven with the great, never-ceasing evolution as an essential part of creating itself, and of development … it supports and animates the mighty Universe, and promotes continual movement, an eternal giving and taking!

On the one hand, Oskar asserts that the law of karma is “eternal” (i.e. has no beginning) yet on the other, he says it has been from creation’s “earliest beginning.”

According to Ancient History Encyclopedia, the idea of karma first appears in the oldest Hindu text the Rigveda (c. 1500 BC).

Centuries later, some Hindu scholars attached a deal of meaning to it in the Upanishads text (c. 800-300 BC). They devised the concept of karma to resolve the conflict between the righteousness of God and the suffering and evil in the world, and justify their belief in transmigration or reincarnation.

They envisaged life on earth as a “balance sheet” where unforeseen calamities and rewards can be blamed on demerits and merits of past lives respectively.

But here is its fatal flaw: we were created by God. We neither have a past life nor are we coming back to this world after death. This is a hard brick of reality: “It is appointed to man to die once” (Heb. 9:27). There’s no “eternal giving and taking.”

The so-called law of karma neither alleviates evil nor fosters development. One only needs to measure the collective progress of nations that have held to this belief for centuries to confirm this.

Plainly and simply, and yet so aptly, the Great Bringer of Truth Jesus Christ has already expressed it: “What a man sows that shall he reap.”

Here, Abdrushin appeals to the Bible, but this is a fallacious appeal. This needs to be properly distinguished because even Christians can unknowingly conflate karma with the biblical concept of sowing and reaping.

Here is the full context of the Bible verse:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:7-9).

a) There is a difference in meaning. Karma is from the Sanskrit word meaning “deeds, works or actions.” This term has evolved in its meaning; 100 years ago, it was understood to simply mean “making.”

It teaches that the quality of a person’s successive lifetime is dependent on his accrued karma, whether good or bad.

On the other hand, to “sow” (Strong #2232) means to “bear, conceive seed, set with or yield” and to “reap” (Strong #7114b) simply means “to harvest.”

Sowing and reaping is a law that shows that our choices can affect our lives on earth and eternal destination.

b) Karma originated from Hinduism – a false religion that has no connection to the God of the Bible.

In most Asian religions, karma is used to rationalize the concept of death and rebirth. It’s based on the illusion that whatever we experience on earth is based on what we did in our previous lives, so we have to keep returning to earth to work it off until man is released from the endless cycle of reincarnation.

In the Bible, however, sowing and reaping is never predicated on the myth of reincarnation or transmigration. When a person lives by his sinful nature he will reap the harvest of destruction and when lives by the Spirit of God, he will gain eternal life.

A promiscuous lifestyle may lead to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and emotional distress.

A lazy, carefree and wasteful living can result in poverty, failure and debt. This is not “karma”; it’s the result of sinful and wrong actions.

c) Karma obfuscates or denies the reality of sin; hence its definition of good and bad is skewed. For example, the Grail message encourages sexual gratification as a path to increased (occult) power.

But the Bible shows that it’s folly to talk about reaping eternal life when one sows to the flesh (Rom. 1:29-32; 1 Cor. 5:9-11).

Christians are commanded to yield to the Holy Spirit and exhibit His fruit (love, joy, kindness etc.). It is the Spirit of God who empowers Christians from within to walk in victory over sin.

d) In karma, there is no mercy or forgiveness; each person must suffer the consequences of all his thoughts, words and deeds. His/her current life is the result of what weighed most heavily from his/her karmic past.

But in biblical sowing and reaping, there is forgiveness, mercy and restoration. This is rooted in the love of God. He causes the sun to shine on both good and evil people (Matt. 5:45).

Regardless of what we have done, when we accept Christ – who has paid the penalty of sin – into our lives, He cleanses our sins and He gives us a new life (2 Cor. 5:17).

Thus in the mighty machinery of the Universe there are many things which contribute to how man “fares” but there is nothing to which man has not himself first given first cause. He furnishes the threads out of which in the untiring loom of life the cloak he has to wear is made.

In the blind machinery of karma, whatever thing has happened to you is what you deserve. So, if a building collapses and kills many people, it was their karma.

If an entire family is gruesomely assassinated, that’s their karma. If an entire population is infected with Meningitis, it’s their karma.

This line of reasoning ignores the fact that accidents do happen and they can be random. It omits the simple fact that the innocent do suffer. Because we live in a fallen world impacted by sin, good and bad happens to all of us, whether we are believers or non-believers.

While some calamities are man-made and from the devil, in this world, some events happen for which their causes are not readily evident.

A generous man can be deserted by those he helped while a wicked man can have many helpers.

A chaste woman may not conceive whereas one that had aborted several times before readily conceives.

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong. Why? “Time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

A building collapse can be due to faulty construction. An entire family can be victim of wrongful murder target. An entire population may lack the necessary vaccines to prevent an infection. They didn’t give a first cause to their tragedy.

Why does Abdrushin’s universe/god enjoy punishing people for what was never their fault? Why does it fashion an evil cloak for people and blame them for furnishing its threads?

What do you call a man who maims his servants and then scourges them for not being good acrobats? I wouldn’t treat even my dog in such a cruel, despicable manner. But in the Grail message, we see a “pulsating universe” that lacks the sense of a good dog keeper.

Many are alarmed at this and afraid of what they still have to expect from the past through the reaction in accordance with these Laws. But such are unnecessary worries for those who are in earnest about the good volition; for in the self-acting laws also lies at the same time the certain guarantee of mercy and forgiveness.

I think the first question one should be asking is who is the author of these laws? Those laws didn’t create themselves.

Every law necessitates a lawgiver and in the case of such an unjust, illogical and unbiblical law as karma, we can easily conclude that it was made up by some people with a very warped perception of reality, justice and ethics.

Mercy and forgiveness don’t exist in a vacuum either. They exist in conjunction with other qualities. One also needs to ask how karma and fate – which confer a fixed script on humanity – guarantee mercy and forgiveness, and on what basis are they offered or received.

You see, karma is a doctrine of self-salvation. It says that by doing acts of good will, charity and offering meritorious service to mankind you can store up goodness for yourself and “atone” for your bad karma. But the truth is: no amount of our good works can purchase God’s forgiveness and mercy.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in [God’s] sight” (Rom. 3:20). When man’s good works and the penalty of sin are placed side by side, man’s eternal doomed is guaranteed.

No man can “work off” the debt of sin and God’s justice necessitates that sin be judged. But God in His love has offered His forgiveness through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

God’s love, mercy and justice work together. Man has a choice in his eternal destination: to either accept or reject His offer of forgiveness. That is the ultimate meaning of sowing and reaping.

Through the continuing good volition in every thought and deed, a constant reinforcement also flows retroactively from the homogeneous source of power, so that the good become more firmly established in man himself, emerges from him, and first of all forms accordingly the ethereal surrounding that envelopes him like a protective covering … Now when evil reactions from the past return to this man to be redeemed, they slide off the purity of his surrounding or covering, and are thus deflected from him.

Here the reader is confronted with a whole aggregation of metaphysical concepts. Few paragraphs earlier, Abdrushin wrote that when his disciples put a thought, word or deed into the world, “it has within it power, and therefore life, which continues to develop and work in the desired direction. How it will affect the person for whom it is intended depends entirely on the psychic condition of the one concerned to whom it may thereby bring either much or little harm…”

The occult indoctrination has crawled out completely. These are the concepts that underpin witchcraft rites of raising and directing demonic powers towards someone else. Note that Wiccans also adhere to a karmic 3-fold law when casting their spells.

Initially, they wax philosophical, talking about karma and fate, but once you go a bit deeper, they start to introduce you to powers, vibrations and “ethereal surroundings” and the karmic law that supposedly underlie them. Of course, don’t expect them to disclose the real source of that power or use the ugly “o” word: occult.

He later writes that “the actual inner man to whom the returning radiations [of past bad karma] are adjusted has also become much more refined and lighter through the continuous striving for the good volition.”

Every false religion/cult that adheres to karma, believes that when bad karma are completely paid off after centuries of rebirths, the soul is finally released and no longer reincarnates. There’s no agreement on this.

Some teach that the soul ultimately gains unity with Brahman; some teach that it attains nirvana; some say it spiritually evolves to become an “ascended master” or spirit guide. That inevitably leads to contacting the spirit realm, which I will discuss later in this series.

In conclusion, karma and fate are based on myths and fantasies which condition those who believe in them to have a grossly distorted perception of reality. Karma is a work-based system that leads people to reject the truth of the Bible, the perfect, saving work of Christ on the cross as well as the reality of sin, heaven and hell.

While Christianity has the testimony of Jesus Christ who died, rose on the third day and is alive forevermore, the Grail message fails to present us a single evidence of a person whose karmic burden was lighter or has reincarnated – not even Abdrushin himself! Yet the “cross bearers” have blind faith in his writings.

The Question Marks of Reincarnation

Reincarnation – the soul being reborn in one or more successive existences – is a crucial belief in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Wicca, New Age groups, Eckankar, Rosicrucians and other religious minorities.

It’s a subject that is frequently romanticised in alternative spirituality books, music, movies and public lectures.

A survey shows that one-third of Europeans believe in reincarnation, with Lithuania having the highest (44%) and Germany the lowest (12%). A Barna survey also indicates that a quarter of Christians in the US believe in reincarnation.

In Hinduism, reincarnation (samsara) is a migration of the soul in successive cycles through which it is reborn as human, animal or plant life forms.

In contrast, Buddhism does not believe in soul migration, as Buddhism: An Illustrative Guide notes, it views reincarnation as “a suffering-laden cycle of life death and rebirth without beginning or end.”

Jainism believes reincarnation is the passage of the soul (or atman) through cycles of rebirth, and depending on the karma, a soul can be reborn in heaven, hell or earthly realm.

In Yoruba religion, a component of the departed soul is said to return to earth in a form while the other form, the guardian or ori remains in heaven. This idea reflects in some Yoruba names given to persons e.g. Babatunde (“father has returned”) etc.

The Blind Law of Karma

In Eastern religions, reincarnation is not all bright and sunny. In Hindu thought, the world is seen as a place of terror, suffering and pain – like an evil forest – from which mankind should escape.

But in Western pagan spirituality, these “negative” talk about suffering and pain is bad for marketing, so they adhere to a convenient form of reincarnation – one which blends with Western ideals of hedonism and exploration of human potential.

So, while the East teaches that one can return to earth in a lower form as a bug or maggot, the West teaches “progressive” reincarnation, that humans will always return to earth as humans or higher life forms.

Karma, the universal law of cause and effect, regulates all natural existence and human experiences.

The word “karma” comes from the Sanskrit root words meaning “to do,” “what is done” and “a deed,” and its function is to reward people for every past deed, thought and word with future good or suffering.

But the rewards for all thoughts, deeds and words are too many for one lifetime, so a person must return again and again to pay off his karmic debts. This is where the “warm fuzzies” of reincarnation wear off.

For example, if a husband beats his wife, he has accrued a negative karma, so in the next life, he must return as a woman beaten by her husband to work off bad karma. Since her husband too has generated a bad karma by abusing her, he will also have to return in the next life as a woman to be beaten by her husband and on and on it must go until the scales of karma are balanced.

Or, if a person murders a fellow, he must be reborn as a victim of murder, after all, there’s no forgiveness in karma. This indicates that karma and reincarnation, perpetuate evil and sin rather than provide a solution to them.

In the Eastern versions, a person’s soul must undergo rebirth until he reaches a state of perfection or liberation (moksha) and becomes united with the divine or universe. In Buddhist belief, he ceases to exist or goes into blissful nothingness (nirvana).

In Western versions, with each rebirth, a soul gradually evolves upward by learning his lessons until he reaches the pinnacle of perfection as an “ascended master” or a super-human being. Essentially, he may have to be reborn in each race, status, gender or zodiac sign in order to evolve. That means a person will probably have at least 10,000 years to attain his goal!

Oskar Bernhardt, a 20th century German adept, wrote:

Through an Eternal Law, you are burdened with an irrevocable obligation to make atonement which you can never cast upon others … your thoughts, words or deeds can be redeemed by no one but yourself” (The Grail Message, Vol. 1, p. 43).

There are two problems here. First, the law of karma can’t be “eternal” since this earth isn’t eternal. It has a beginning and definitely has an end.

Second, in this system, you are obligated to make atonement for yourself and also redeem yourself from bad karma. In karma, there is no sin and consequently, no Saviour or Redeemer, so how can this self-atonement and self-redemption be achieved? Opinions vary.

Hindus seek “liberation” through ethical living and meditative practices such as yoga.

Buddhists observe yamas or niyamas (truthfulness, non-stealing or non-violence). The Jains adhere to asceticism while Sikhs claim it’s by devotion to God and good works. Most agree that Ahimsa is the key. Ahimsa literally means “compassion” or “harmlessness.”

It means you must live your entire life without ever harming any living thing, especially because they all have the spark of “divine spiritual energy” in them. Thus, hurting them brings bad karma.

Ahimsa has an extraordinary status in the ethical philosophy of Jainism. Jains take a solemn vow never to hurt any life form with words, deeds or thoughts.

To avoid stepping on an insect, they don’t go out at night and when they walk, they carry a little broom with which they sweep the ground. They live a strict vegetarian diet, eating nuts and fruit which they say, are freely given by the trees.

They don’t eat honey – that’s violence to bees – and they also wear masks covering their mouths to prevent them from breathing in or ingesting a microbe. Some Jains don’t even farm because it could kill or injure insects or worms!

This sort of lifestyle may be quaint, but if anyone is going to make it in the karma game, the Jains are. Others who sweetly teach reincarnation but are not emulating them are just hypocrites.

The irrationality of this belief becomes obvious when, for instance, you are in a situation when you have to protect your life or that of your family (like in a war), ahimsa flies right out of the window.

And lest anyone put some hope in this folly, our body’s immune system attacks and kills millions of microbes every day, so, the karma debt is beyond what any man can pay.

This is where the truth and logic of the Bible shine brightly: “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law” (Rom. 3:20).

No amount of right actions will save us from eternal doom because “our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Is. 64:6). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

God’s gift of eternal life is free of charge and we neither pay for it nor work to earn it. It’s simply received by faith in Jesus Christ.

Fatalism, Memory and Justice

There’s another problematic outcome of karma: fatalism. It’s asserted that the law of karma cannot be limited to the sphere of human conduct.

By karma, the sun, moon and planets keep their appointed courses, the tides rise and fall, the winds blow and all animate creatures pass through all the stages of their life from birth to death (Edgar Thompson, The Word of the Cross to Hindus, 1956, p. 102).

In other words, whatever will happen has already been fixed by karma. If a ship carrying passengers sinks in the ocean or hundreds of children die in a gas explosion, that’s their karma.

In this system, one’s karma (or higher self) – instead of God – is the judge. It judges your actions daily and tells your future what rewards you deserve.

That is, you make your own policies, keep your policies and enforce them, ergo – you are your own judge. That was what Oskar Benhardt painted in rainbow colours in his Grail Message.

Whatever happens to you is what karma or your “higher self” decides is the best for you.

Now, try to imagine the influence of this belief on cultures that have embraced it. If you see a starving woman with a sick child scavenging on the trash dump of Mantola, don’t you dare help her! She is working out karma.

If you take her in, give her a good meal, treat her child and give her a good job, she will just have to return in another lifetime and become a scavenger with a sick child all over again.

So the beggars, destitute and invalids in some Asian countries are left that way because to help them is to interfere in their karma. This is why these regions didn’t have hospitals or charity organizations until Christian missionaries set foot there.

From the reincarnationist’s view, the 2012 gang rape in New Delhi was karma. Perhaps Jyoti Singh’s “higher self” had decreed that she would be raped on that day, so preventing the crime would have messed up her karma.

The World Trade Centre attack was karma too, since the “higher selves” of those 2,977 victims simply worked together with the “higher selves” of the 19 plane hijackers.

The 2008 earthquake in China which claimed 69,195 lives must have been karma too, after all, death is just a “transition.”

You see, if we are just puppets on a playground playing out an unchangeable script, then we have no real purpose in life. If we are here on earth just to get recycled into another form like paper, then life is meaningless.

Aside from that, if we have all lived before, why do we not remember? Most people live and die without knowing about their past lives or what they are supposed to be “paying back.”

A school of thought says that souls of the dead drink from “the river of forgetfulness” before they are reborn but their past memories can be recovered through occult meditation or mediumship.

This entails expending so much time, energy and money to know one’s previous lives or pay off karma. In some climes, “seekers” sit in lotus position for weeks, literally doing nothing, with all their bodily needs being cared for by others. Must we go into a permanent state of catatonia to know our “past lives”?

I read a book published by the Hare Krishna Society on this subject in 2008. The author says if a woman is thinking of her husband before death, she will return as a man. If she was thinking of a pig, she would return as a pig.

I would like to ask: what about persons who reincarnate as cactus plants or mealy bugs, do they also remember their past lives and work off their karma or are such creatures capable of human thinking? That’s why reincarnation works well with Animism. One delusion makes way for another.

How can karma or reincarnation be a “learning experience” if rewards and punishments are meted out to people who have no conscious knowledge of why they are being rewarded or punished?

If a 10 year old girl dies of cancer for being Adolf Hitler in her previous life, but never knows that fact, is this a gesture of justice? What lesson did her cancer teach her about her past life since she couldn’t remember it?

How do we learn our lessons if we are never told our mistakes? Why do the gods or the universe (or whatever!) punish people for bad deeds in their past lives which they don’t know?

Is it not sadism to put people through misery while withholding the very knowledge they need to solve it? Is this just? Is this sane? Absolutely not. Even from a human standpoint, reincarnation is senseless.

“Proofs” of Reincarnation?

Some people have claimed to remember their “past lives” through hypnosis, but in the court of law, memories recovered via hypnosis are not scientifically reliable.

Dr. Ian Stevenson, has published case studies of 2,500 children who claimed to have remembered their past lives over a period of 40 years.

Keith Augustine reviewed this work in The Case Against Immortality, stating that “the vast majority of Stevenson’s cases come from countries where religious belief in reincarnation is strong, and rarely elsewhere, which seems to indicate that cultural conditioning (rather than reincarnation) generate claims of spontaneous past life memories.”

A true scientific experiment must eliminate all other variables except the control, but since Stevenson’s works (and other such “testimonials”) haven’t done this, then these children must have obtained their information, however accurate, from demon entities which have been in existence for ages.

Buddhist sage, Dalai Lama boasted: “If science can disprove reincarnation, Tibetan Buddhism would abandon reincarnation.” Of course, science has disproved several ancient beliefs, but they are seldom given up.

Reincarnation is invalidated even by demography. The world population in 1350 was near 370 million, but as of March 2016, it is 7.4 billion and it’s estimated to increase to 11.2 billion by 2100.

If we are all being recycled, why is the human population increasing exponentially? Where are all the new babies coming from? Or how did 200 souls emerge from one corresponding soul from 8 centuries ago?

To affirm the existence of a Creator creating new spirits totally negates the pantheist worldview. The linear view of human destiny is supported by credible evidence, but the cyclical view of human life ties in with mystical twaddle, lies and subjective fancies.

We are told reincarnation results in human upward evolution, but where is the evidence for this? Aside from progress in science and technology, can we say humanity has made any significant progress in the last two centuries?

Think of the two bloody world wars in the 20th century and the crises currently brewing in several nations of the world. We boast of medical breakthroughs, only for more deadly diseases to strike the earth.

We invent satellites, computers and split atoms, only for human depravity, deception and wickedness to rise to another level.

Mankind has not evolved. In fact, if reincarnation is true, India and Nepal, with their arcane spirituality and traditions, should have been the most civilized utopian nations on earth by now. But if what we see happening there today are the ideals of reincarnation, then it’s truly lamentable.

Reincarnation in the Bible?

Some people argue that John the Baptist in the Bible was a reincarnation of Elijah. But when John was asked “Are you Elijah?” He answered “no.” (Jn. 1:21).

His office was similar to that of Elijah in the scale of repentance (Mal. 4:5-6). Elijah didn’t die and certainly didn’t reincarnate.

John 9:1-3 doesn’t support reincarnation either because Jesus said: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned.” The Bible is clear: “People die once, and after that they are judged” (Heb. 9:27).

The Bible teaches resurrection instead of reincarnation and we have a reliable evidence in Jesus Christ who died and rose again.

Jesus didn’t reincarnate; and for religious people who fondly imagine that they can combine reincarnation with resurrection, the question they must answer is, in which of the hundreds of bodies they’ve supposedly being reborn will they be resurrected in and why?

Exactly what proof do reincarnationists have for their belief? Their “higher selves”? Some mystical books? Spirit guides speaking from behind a veil? Vivid memories? Fevered imaginations of deluded gurus? These are not proofs. The physical evidence of what the Lord Jesus offers us blows all these mystical belief systems away into sheer ludricous inanities!

Rather than making us run on the treadmill of karma for centuries till we get it right, the true God offers complete forgiveness and salvation by faith in Jesus Christ (John 5:24).

Reincarnation is an amoral and hopeless lie. It neither atones man’s sins nor redeems him from evil. It’s a lie of the devil, and its goal is to lead many souls to a Christless eternity.