Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Beware of False Christian Churches

There is a connection between mental and physical health that when nutured can help an individual overcome a lot of life's problems. Belonging to a church can instill in an individual a sense of fellowship lacking in people who do not belong anywhere. However, many Christians belong to a church whose teachings cotradicts the word of God as recorded in the Bible.

I was brought up in rural Ireland and by the age of seventeen was very familar with Catholic teaching, as by that age I had attended four of their schools. In later life, I found out by doing searches on the Bible using online resorces that most of the Catholic Church's teachings contradict Scripture. I list as follows the main incorrect teachings that I found against which you can assess if the particular church you belong to has strictly adhered to Scripture.

1. Man has an immortal soul. Nowhere in the Bible are the words " innortal soul " found. If God had given man such an attribute, He would have pointed it out in the Bible as it is impossible to work it out independently of man's maufacturer. Genesis 2:7 says of the creation of Adam : "God formed man of  the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils  the breath of life; and man became a living soul". Therefore a soul is something you are, not something you have. The Bible also uses the Hebrew word translated as " soul " in relation to the creation of animals. A definition of "soul" as it is used in the Bible is : " a living creature ".                                                                                           The belief that man had an immortal soul was first asserted by the anchient Egyptians who were pagans. The anchient Greeks also believed it, and the Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato publisized the belief widely. The people who framed Christianity in the centuries after the Apostles died did so incorrectly, by taking heed of what Plato said about the soul rather than the Bible.

2. The Doctrine of the trinity. The word " trinity" is found nowhere in the Bible. Mainstream
Christianity teaches that there is an equal trio of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. First of all, there aren't three seperate entities involved; the Holy Spirit as taught in the Bible is an integral part of God; the part of God that he uses to enfore his will. The following passage demonstrates this: " Now that we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God " (1. Cor.2.12).                                                                                                                                             The Bible makes iit plain in several Bible verses that Jesus Christ is inferior to God, thereby further undermining the doctrine of an equal trinity. Jesus Christ went out of his way to point out in several Bible verses that he was subordinate to God. The following quotation from Paul also seperates God from Jesus Christ in one verse : " For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Jesus Christ " (1. Tim.2.5).

3. The wicked are punished in hell. As I demonstrated in point 1 above man does not have an immortal soul, therefore there is no chance that the wicked commence their punishement immediately after death. The Bible teaches that the dead have no recollection of anything whilst they are in the grave. The Bible sometimes likens death at the end of this life to " sleeping ". This is a good comparison because those who are now " sleeping " will be resurrected at a future date to judgement by Christ; and if they don't measure up they are destroyed - they die a second time in the "lake o# fire ". The most appropriate quotation to demonstrate this point is John 3.16 : " For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life ".

4. The saved go to heaven. The points made by me in 3 about the soul and the state of the dead are also applicable here. The Bible teaches that heaven is simply the abode of God. It further teaches that the only person ever to go to heaven was Jesus Christ, who went there at the invitation of God. A judgement immediately after death is not mentioned in the Bible; instead it says the dead are resurrected and judged by Christ when he returns to the earth. The reward for measuing up in the judgement is eternal life on a reconstituted earth. The followiing Bible verse is the most appropriate here: " Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth "  ( Mat. 5:5).

5. Mary and the saints should be worshipped. The Bible gives Mary due credit for what she did in bringing about Jesus Christ, but it doesn't say anywhere that she should be worshipped or glorified; it states worship should be confined to God alone. Paul says in the Bible in 1. Corinthians 10.31 : " So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God ". The Mary worship that has built up over the years in the Roman Church is therefore false                                                                                                                                            Similarily, people who have done good things in life should not be cannonised and placed in heaven inspiring prayer and worship to them. Instead,  the Holy Book states that anyone who has done good deeds in this life and has died will be rewarded in the judgement after the resurrection of the dead at a future date.

6. God has no plan for the earth. Mainstream Christianity by falsely putting people after death in heaven or hell never get to God's plan for the planet, as outlined in the wrap-up book of the Bible, Revelation. In The Kingdom of God to come on earth saved human beings will be given a new body and will help Jesus Christ reign for a thousand years in a kingdom consisting of an earthly paradise brought about by  a reformed earth. At the end of Christ's preparatory work, God will vacate his current abode in heaven and live upon the earh in complete harmony with His people.

                                      The above demonstrates that most of the Christian world have been misled by various churches as to the true message of the Bible, because the deliverers have deviated from Scripture in order to satisfy there own selfish ends.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Why the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Are Important

Now that the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are over, it is time to reflect on their possible influence on the world. The disparity of medals between the competing nations is a significant cause for concern. Great Britain with a population of 62 million, for example, won 67 medals whilst India, Pakistan and Nigeria, with a combined population of close to 1500 million, only won 3 medals. However, it is pleasing to learn that some competing nations in Rio won medals for the first time in their country's history.

Whilst some countries, such as the USA, USSR, China and Great Britain, appear to use the Olympic Games as a test of national virility, others are left on the sidelines wondering why they are competing at all. In the race for medals, some individual athletes and, at least one country we are told, have conspired to cheat by using performance enhancing drugs. Yet despite all the negativity surround the games, the youth of the world do come together once every 4 years in the nominated city to participate in a range of activities designated to determine the best in lots of different sports.

One of the IOC's  (International Olympic Committee's ) stated objectives is:  " to cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace. " It can be argued that international sport has contributed  to peace on this planet in that familiarity through sport and contact between nations breaks down prejudices. Even North Korea participated in the Rio Olympics, winning no medals, despite the negative media coverage over the past few years of the regime running the country. 

Sport especially needs to grab the imagination of youth steering them away from a life of crime or addiction to illegal street drugs. The Olympics every four years does demonstrate to the watching public what can be achieved by years of dedicated training for a particular event or group of events. The dedication of the competing athletes to their training schedules over years in preparation for the Olympics can only bring admiration for their  single-mindness and perseverance.

The Paralympics Games are also important to the world as they demonstrate what can be achieved by people suffering from a range of disabilities. The Rio Paralympics Games has run into trouble over funding which is baffling bearing in mind the paralympic athletes are generally going to use the same facilities as used by the able-bodied athletes a few weeks earlier, and the various media outlets are still in place ensuring worldwide coverage. To lose such an event would set back the progress made by a lot of dedicated people over the decades in bringing to our TV screens the extraordinary accomplishments of these athletes despite their  disabilities.

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

British Give Notice of a Sugar Tax

The British Government deserve credit for announcing in their most recent budget statement their intention to introduce a sugar tax on soft drinks in two years time. The reason for the notice period of two years is to give the soft drinks industry advance warning of their intentions so the can alter the sugar content of their soft drinks in order to incur the least tax, or avoid tax altogether.The British intend to scale the tax they intend to impose in a two-tier manner in order to reflect the extent of the added sugar in the drink. 

What the British intend to introduce is not a tax on the drinks being sold by a retailer to the public but a levy on the manufacturer of soft drinks in accordance with the following scale: 18 pence for every litre of soft drink containing 5-8 grams of added sugar per 100 millilitres of drink sold; and 24 pence for every litre of soft drink sold containing in excess of 8 grams of added sugar per 100 millilitres of soft drink . Naturally soft drinks manufacturers are not happy with this proposed levy and have publicly stated their dissatisfaction with the Conservative Government for stating their intention to introduce it.

The National Health Service, Public Health England, some doctors and TV chef, Jamie Olivier, have applauded the government for their bold move in stating their intention to introduce a tax on sugary drinks, as they have been bringing to the attention of politicians for years the detrimental effects of too much sugar in soft drinks on public health. Politicans close to the lobbyists for the soft drinks industry have either voiced their opinions against the move or have remained silent on the issue.
 The British aren't the first to move against excess sugar in soft drinks. Denmark, France, Norway and Mexico all have such a tax in one form or another. I highlighted the need for such a tax on this blog more than three years ago because of the health implications of added sugars, and it is now my prediction that most developed countries in the world will introduce one in the next five years. The British move to introduce such a tax could speed up others to introduce one as they are seen as leaders on health issues in certain countries in the world.

Whilst the British initiative only targets added sugars in soft drinks, which is a good place to start, a lot more needs to be done in respect of targeting added sugars in processed foods. Lots of food manufacturers have added sugars, quite unnecessarily, to their products for a variety  of reasons-the most obvious one being to sweeten their product and thereby create an addiction to it. I am sure food manufacturers selling into the UK market have taken note of the British move on drinks and are watching the situation very closely as they are likely to be the next ones to be hit by a tax on added sugars.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2015 in a report recommended that sugar intake per individual should be less than 10% of total energy intake.  It is very difficult in today's society for anybody to achieve the WHO objective because of the way food and soft drinks industries sell their products through retail outlets. Food labelling, in some instances, does not work because of hidden sugars, such as something listed in the ingredients list as "corn syrup" for example. It is therefore the responsibilities of governments worldwide to protect the public by using the tax system to steer the public away from products detrimental to health, in a similar manner to what they have done with tobacco products.