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Update Newsletters
18 August 2010 Issue

1. Essay: Reflections on Genesis 18

2. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

3. Web Site of the Week

4. Upcoming Activist Opportunities

1. Essay: Reflections on Genesis 18

Will God intervene in world affairs and spare humanity from the consequences of humanity’s selfish, destructive behavior? I am skeptical that God violates the laws of nature, for at least two reasons. First, experience tells me that the laws of nature seem to be followed regularly, regardless of the consequences for individual humans and animals. Jesus said that God “makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” Matthew 5:45. When planes crash, we do not find corpses of evil people while righteous people walk away unscathed.

Second, I would not praise God if God had the power to prevent the torture and murder of innocent individuals yet chose not to intervene. Such a God would strike me as a monster unworthy of respect. Yet, I do believe that God does intervene in world affairs, and I think God’s humans and nonhuman beings are the vehicles. I come to this conclusion by noting that consciousness is not, as best we can tell, a product of physical forces, which suggests that consciousness derives from a divine force. I believe that all conscious beings (human and nonhuman) have a spark of the divine, and this gives us the potential to be vehicles of divine action in the world.

This leads me to reflect on Genesis 18, in which Abraham asks God if Sodom will be destroyed if there are 50 righteous men among the wicked people of the city. God says that the city would be spared. Abraham keeps lowering the number until it reaches 10, and God says that God will spare the city if there are only 10 people. God then leaves Abraham, and the reader does not learn the smallest number of people needed to spare Sodom.

Recalling last week’s discussion about how violence and injustice are ultimately self-destructive, I think that the lesson here is that, if there are enough righteous people, they can change the ways of the wicked and spare the city from self-destruction. What if there are less than ten righteous people? What if there is only one? I think it is important that we not have the answer – there is always a possibility, however remote, that one righteous person can start a change that will ultimately spare the city.

One might wonder who is righteous, since Paul said, “None is righteous, no, not one” Romans 3:10 and “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” Romans 3:23. I think we all have the capacity for righteousness and evil, and none of us is purely one or the other. Perhaps none of us can count as one full person in the quest to bring righteousness to a world filled with evil, but we are called to our best. This, I think, is what faithful living is about.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Daniel, God’s Man in the Field (Part V)

3. Web Site of the Week


Reliable Nutrition Information for Vegans by Virginia Messina, MPH, RD.

4. Upcoming Activist Opportunities

08/26 MO Branson The Hoppers Gospel

08/27 TX Arlington The Hoppers Gospel

08/27-28 CO Denver Women Of Faith Conference

08/27-28 OK Tulsa Women Of Faith Conference

08/27 WV Huntington Kutless Christian Rock Concert

08/28 AL Verbena Kutless Christian Enfuego Festival

08/28 WA Vancouver Fish Fest Christian Rock Fest

09/2 MN St Paul Minnesota State Fair Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp

Christian Concert

09/3 IN Shipshewana The Hoppers Gospel

09/5 TN Gatlinburg The Hoppers Gospel

09/4 TX San Angelo Unite & Conquer Festival

09/4-5 NJ Frenchtown TABLE Revelation Generation Music Fest

09/10 FL Orlando Jars of Clay Christian Rock Concert

09/10-11 CA Anaheim Women of Faith Conference

09/10-11 PA Philadelphia Women of Faith Conference

09/10 PA Lancaster Steven Curtis Chapman Christian Concert

09/11 WA DC TABLE DC VegFest

09/11 NY New York Steven Curtis Chapman Christian Concert

09/11 MO Eureka Kutless at Six Flags!

09/12 PA Philadelphia TABLE GreenFest Philly

09/16-17 SC Greenville Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

09/17-19 MO Saint Louis Kirkwood Green Tree Festival

09/18 AR Fort Smith Kutless Rock the River Christian Concert

09/24-26 IL Rosemont Chicago Harvest Festival

09/25-26 IL Bellville Our Lady of Snows Youth Day Celebration

10/2 FL Tampa TABLE Tampa Bay Veg Fest

10/2-3 CA San Francisco TABLE World Vegetarian Festival

10/14-15 OH Cleveland Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

10/23 FL Tampa TABLE Central Florida VegFest

11/6 FL Jacksonville TABLE Northeast Florida Veg Fest

12/9-10 FL Coral Gables Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can to help. 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/ . 

Your question and comments are welcome

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