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Update Newsletters
19 March 2006 Issue

1. Sustaining CVA Membership

2. CVA Video Report

3. Leafleting Feedback

4. Prayer Requests

5. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: "The meek shall inherit the earth."

1. Sustaining CVA Membership
The CVA is offering Sustaining Membership to those paying our $25 annual dues. Everyone will continue to receive the weekly e-newsletter, and Sustaining Members will receive daily messages that will consist of inspirational comments, biblical commentary, health tips, an advice column, and recipes.

What are the Benefits of Sustaining Membership?
Members get a daily inspirational and/or informative e-mail. Members contribute to CVA's ministry, which addresses pressing problems of world hunger and resource depletion, as well as the massive brutality against animals due to factory farming.

How do I become a Sustaining Member?
Go to our membership page, and fill out the form, which will take you to the dues-paying section. Or, you can send a check to CVA, PO Box 201791, Cleveland, OH 44120. Donations to the CVA are tax-deductible.

2. CVA Video Report
Jean relates: I just wanted to share my son's experience when he showed the video Honoring God's Creation for the adult forum at his church, Trinity United Methodist in Berkeley, CA, a few weeks ago. He and a friend showed the video, led a discussion with handouts that he made on Biblical references to vegetarianism/meat-eating, and then shared a big pot of vegetarian chili with the class. It was very well received. Just this past week, a woman whispered to my son during the passing of the peace in church - "Pssst - I'm now vegetarian and so is my whole family." Thank you so much for creating the materials that make sharing this info with others so much easier.

CVA's 26-minute video Honoring God's Creation can be purchased for $12 at www.christianveg.com/materials.htm.

3. Leafleting Feedback
Bridget, Jen, and I (Steve) leafleted at a Casting Crowns concert in Cleveland, and we distributed about 750 booklets. People were generally very receptive, and I found that offering them the booklet while saying, "Would you like something about kindness to animals?" generated interest.

Upcoming Events Include:

3/31 TX Plainview Kutless Christian Rock

3/31 LA Shreveport/Bossier Women of Faith Conference

3/31 TN Chattanooga Third Day Christian Rock

3/31 OK Tulsa Gaither Homecoming

3/31 TX Dallas Acquire the Fire

4/1 FL Orlando Christian Rock Festival

4/1 LA Angola Franklin Graham Festival

4/1 OH Columbus Reliant K Christian Rock

4/1 NC Charlotte Acquire the Fire

4/7 VA Lynchburg Casting Crowns

4/7 TX Dallas Dare 2 Share Revolution Youth Conference

4/8 TX Houston Dare 2 Share Revolution Youth Conference

4/8 KY Louisville Casting Crowns

4/15 FL Jacksonville Casting Crowns

4/21 MO Kansas Casting Crowns

4/22 CO Denver Casting Crowns

To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group.christian_vegetarian/. Read the home page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you might be able to help.

The latest issue of Peaceable Table is available at http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue19/html 

4. Prayer Requests
If you would like CVA members to offer prayers for you or those you love, e-mail cva@christianveg.com.

5. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: 
“The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth”

[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It is being archived at http://www.christianveg.com/violence.htm]

Jesus must have surprised those who listened to his Sermon on the Mount when he said, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Everyday experience does not lend credence to this prediction. Indeed, it seems that the advice “if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39) is foolish and invites only more mistreatment.*

After the Fall from the Garden Eden, the logic of violence and domination has prevailed. Being meek has seemed to be a recipe for abuse, which is most readily apparent when we regard the horrors that meek animals experience at the hands of humans. Turning the other cheek has seemed a poor strategy for self-preservation. However, the Bible offers an eschatological (end of time) vision of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which all Creation will live in harmony. Our faith teaches us that the children of God will herald a new creation when everyone (including the animals) will be free from bondage (Romans 8:18-25). Though God will likely play a role in this transformation, humans will be involved. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that the children of God will be peacemakers.

In hope and anticipation of this world of peace and harmony, our decision to “turn the other cheek” is an act of obedience and faith. There is hope for the future, however, because we the Bible teaches that the world will one day enjoy peace and the lion will eat straw like the ox (Isaiah 11:7).

Is this faith in eschatological (end of times) justice and peace a reasonable view, or is the instruction to turn the other cheek, as some have claimed, a sinister scheme invented by rulers to help subjugate their people? Fortunately, Jesus did not demand that we adhere to an unreasonable faith. He gave some insight into how turning the other cheek and responding to violence with nonviolence might prevail. One reason the meek shall inherit the earth, Jesus taught, is that Satan invariably destroys himself. We will turn to this next week.

* See Richard B. Hays, “Violence in Defense of Justice,” in The Moral Vision of the New Testament (HarperCollins, 1996).

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