Sunday, September 16, 2012

Veganism & Christianity

There are 2 things that I'm passionate about in life...
             --> Veganism (obviously!)           and
             --> Christianity

So, perhaps you're wondering how the 2 are connected.

In this post, I endeavour to explain how I believe they are connected.

Now I know that there are many issues that are constantly wrestled with amongst Christians & that each will, of course, have their own view point & their own verses to support their view - unfortunately this is one of the many issues that will never be resolved until heaven!
Many other touchy issues include:
- Ladies wearing skirts
- A woman's place in the church
- Homosexuality

So, yes - I believe that Jesus was God's Son who was sent to earth & died on a cross to take away the sins of the world so that when we die, we can go to heaven to be with God.
I also believe that animals are not to be used by humans for their own purposes.

Why is it that this is such a hard concept for some people to understand?

I find that usually the most amount of criticism towards a vegan diet & lifestyle often comes from other Christians.
I find that a shame really because when I read my bible it says, "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." Psalm 145.9
ALL He made. Not some, not selected parts.... but ALL. I believe that means God has compassion on the animals He made too & is heart-broken when any of them are hurt.

I take the bible quite literally when one of the ten commandments instructs us "You must not murder." Deut 5.17

The bible does not specify the murder of 'what'. Its just says don't do it! 
In John 8 Jesus is faced with a woman who has committed the act of adultery & instead of condemning her he tells her to "Go and sin no more.” And I believe that Jesus sends that message to each of us about doing things that are wrong - yes He forgives - but don't do it anymore! Surely as people who are 'saved' our goal should be to live as holy as possible!
If adultery is also listed in the ten commandments as one of the don't do's, then why do people still consider that one a no-no but somehow dismiss the law of murder?
To say that the eating of meat is now excused is like saying "so & so is financially struggling so its ok for them to steal a loaf of bread!" Really? Do you think that's ok?

Stealing is stealing.
Murder is murder.

I believe very closely the view of animal theologian Andrew Linzey who states that people & animals are created by the same God for HIS purposes and not for our personal use.

The more I read the bible the more I believe that to be true! God created people originally to thrive in a garden - God wants us to thrive, well there is a way of doing it! And since we are saved now & should not live as part of this world, then I also believe that to be true of the 'worlds' view of it being ok to eat animals. And especially as I've come to follow God not from the view of 'old school Christianity' or what I was taught to believe when growing up!
Unfortunately in this life many people just 'go with the flow' and accept that it is ok or just brush it off without truly thinking about it and the implications of it!
There are no cautions in the bible given around eating plant-based food & yet several times meat is given caution & shown to be the food of "greedy people" (Numbers 11). And surely as Christians being seen as 'greedy' is not Godly. The story in Daniel 1:8-16 gives great insight into benefits of consuming plant foods.
God has given us what we need to survive - Genesis 1.29 God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food." That is how God made humans to survive - and that is how we should! 
Perhaps I'm seen as upfront about my view on this. I do this because I believe it to be the right thing! People who consume other foods post their opinions, so surely I'm allowed to as well! I cast no judgement on people for their food choices, but I do believe that everyone has the right to know where food has come from, what it does to us & not to do this absentmindedly (why is it that people shy away from the truth)! Which I do feel that a lot of Christians often do, and yes my most often condemnation comes from them!!! 
I guess it comes from them when they don't realise that I also have biblical reasons for choosing the lifestyle that I have. I think they assume I do this just 'because' when yet, as a Christian I do believe that all parts of my life need to be biblically based & as such - so is my food consumption!

That said -   I believe this whole food debate is already addressed in Romans 14:2,3. We are not to pass judgement on one another for food choices. Yet obviously Christians (and others) continue to debate this often.

Romans 14:2-3 "One person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them."

Want some other references? Try these links:
All Creatures
Joyous Vegan
Brief Summary - Andrew Linzey
Animal Rights Book by Andrew Linzey
Frank Hoffman  (I don't think this link to the video still works, but it was an AWESOME speech)

No comments:

Post a Comment