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1 September 2010 Issue

1. Reflection on the Lectionary

2. Activist Feedback

3. This Week’s Sermon by Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Reflection on the Lectionary

Sept. 5, Luke 14:25-33: On Relationships and Freedom

In this passage, Jesus makes the remarkable declaration, “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

While there may be an element of hyperbole in Jesus’ words, which was typical of the rhetorical style of his day, there is truth in his words. In order to construct relationships based on love and respect, it is first necessary to deconstruct relationships based on obligation and social custom. Relationships dictated by social custom are rigid and must be enforced with threats of violence and/or ostracism if social customs conflict with the unique needs of individuals.

In contrast, loving and respectful relationships (such as described in the next chapter of Luke in the parable of the prodigal son) encourage people to grow and reach their full human potential. As Walter Wink wrote, “Many others have shared this goal of enlarging freedom for all. What I have come to see is that Jesus’ teaching was not just that we should be free, but that we should be human. Oppression, poverty, and suffering inhibit our freedom to move on to the real point of the gospel: to become fully human beings.” I think Wink is right, and I would add that a more careful reading of the Bible militates against the humanocentric reading that seems to blind so many biblical scholars. There are repeated calls in Bible for the liberation of animals from oppression and abuse, which means allowing all God’s creatures to live according to their natural desires (which differ among individuals as well as among species). Factory farming frustrates nearly every desire animals have.

The passage concludes, “So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Jesus exhorts his disciples to renounce those things that give us self-esteem – our possessions and our positions of hierarchy over other individuals (human and nonhuman). Jesus teaches that we should renounce these things and, instead, find meaning, purpose, and self-esteem in our service to Jesus’ ministry. As I see it, full commitment to discipleship does not involve severing relationships. Instead, it involves grounding those relationships on mutual love and respect, without reference to socially sanctioned positions of power and authority.

2. Activist Feedback

Pat, who leafleted at a Benny Hinn Fire Conference, writes,

Despite less than ideal weather, leaflets were well received by the attendees on their way into the hotel! Arriving before the event start and continuing to distribute well into the program, many were reached – about 200 ethnically diverse peoples, youth to seniors. Many who declined had already received the information from Norma on Thursday!

This massive group is hungry for bible-based information! As a volunteer, this is a positive uplifting opportunity. I definitely suggest CVA leaflet at Hinn events in the future.

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities  

09/10 FL Orlando Jars of Clay Christian Rock Concert

09/10 PA Lancaster Steven Curtis Chapman Christian Concert

09/10-11 CA Anaheim Women of Faith Conference

09/10-11 FL Orlando Third Day Night of Joy Christian Music Festival

09/10-11 PA Philadelphia Women of Faith Conference

09/11 KY Cave City The Hoppers Gospel

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

09/12-18 KY Louisville National Quartet Convention-Gospel HUGE

09/16-17 SC Greenville Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

09/17-18 NC Hickory TABLE Momentum Christian Rock

09/17-18 VA Leesburg The Awakening Festival 2010

09/17-18 WA Spokane Women of Faith Conference

09/17-18 OH Cleveland Women of Faith Conference

09/17-18 NC Hickory Momentum Christian Youth Rock Festival

09/19 MI Detroit Steven Curtis Chapman / Third Day Christian

Rock Concert

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

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

09/23 KY Louisville Casting Crowns Christian Concert

09/24 ME Fairfield The Hoppers Gospel

09/24 KY Bowling Green Casting Crowns Christian Concert

09/24-26 IL Rosemont Chicago Harvest Festival

09/24-26 NY Rhinebeck Women & Power 2010: Our Time to Lead Conf.

09/24-25 GA Atlanta Women Of Faith Conference

09/24-25 CO Denver Women Of Faith Conference

09/25 GA Valdosta Third Day Christian Rock Concert

09/25 NC Charlotte Casting Crowns Christian Rock Concert

09/25 VT Montpeliar The Hoppers Gospel

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

09/30 OH Youngstown Make A Difference Tour Third Day

10/1 KY Corbin Make A Difference Tour Third Day

10/2 GA Alpharetta Make A Difference Tour Third Day

10/2 FL Tampa TABLE Tampa Bay Veg Fest

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

10/3 MO Cape Girardeau Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/7 TX Austin MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOUR 2010 Third Day

10/8 TX Beaumont MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOUR 2010 Third Day

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/  

3. This Week’s Sermon by Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Daniel, God’s Man in the Field (Part VII)
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s13aug89.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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