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Update Newsletters
22 September 2010 Issue

1. Activist Feedback

2. Essay: A Scientific and Christian Approach to Self-Esteem

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

1. Activist Feedback

Catya writes: I just wanted to let you know that it went really well at the Stephen Curtis Chapman Concert inLancaster on Sept. 10th. We handed out just about all the leaflets and we themselves are vegetarian. The only problem that we had was that the woman running the American Music Theater, Donna, would not allow us on the property so we had to stand on the sidewalk. But other than that it went really well!

Thank you!

Upcoming Activist Opportunities  

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

10/1-2 AZ Phoenix Women of Faith Conference

10/1-2 WI Milwaukee Women of Faith Conference

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

10/8-9 OR Portland Women of Faith Conference

10/8-9 NY Rochester Women of Faith Conference

10/9 LA Lafayette Make a Difference Tour Third Day

10/14 CA San Jose Make a Difference Tour Third Day

10/14-15 OH Cleveland Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

10/15 CA Bakersfield Make a Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/15-16 FL Tampa Women of Faith Conference

10/17 AZ Glendale Make a Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/21 CO Colorado Springs Make A Difference Tour w/ Third Day

10/22 TX Lubbock Make a Difference Tour 2010 Third Day

10/22-23 TX San Antonio Women of Faith Conference

10/22-23 MN St. Paul Women of Faith Conference

10/23 TX Wichita Falls Make a Difference Tour 2010 Third Day

10/23 FL Tampa TABLE Central Florida VegFest

10/24 KS Topeka Make a Difference Tour 2010 Third Day

10/27 IA Cedar Rapids Make a Difference Tour 2010Third Day

10/28 WI Green Bay Make a Difference Tour 2010 Third Day

10/29 OH Dayton Make a Difference Tour 2010 Third Day

10/29-30 WA Seattle Women of Faith Conference

10/29-30 FL Ft. Lauderdale Women of Faith Conference

10/30-31 MA Boston TABLE Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

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/  

2. A Scientific and Christian Approach to Self-Esteem

We are not born knowing our value, and the typical human approach is to assess our own worth by competing with each other to determine who is “better” and “best.” However, this approach engenders bitter conflicts that leave losers feeling wounded and winners constantly on their guard against those who seek higher status. This dynamic invariably undermines any attempts to build harmonious, peaceful communities, which is what Jesus aimed to establish. How can we gain needed self-esteem without determining our self-esteem by comparing our merits to those of other people?

I think Christianity offers an answer. We can gain a sense of self-esteem because we are beloved creations of God. Many people hold that God loves them as a matter of faith, but I am skeptical of this approach. It seems to me that many people of faith invoke science and logic when it conforms with their beliefs, such as when they assert that their holy writings accord with the archeological record or successfully predict future events. However, when science or logic contradicts their religious convictions, they rely on “faith” to maintain their views.

I think that a scientific approach can provide a reasonable framework for faith in a God who cares about creation. The scientific method presumes that a complex system can be understood as a collection of parts and that an adequate understanding of the nature of those parts can explain the workings of the larger system. Though science can explain such attributes as the warmth, color, and hardness of objects, as best I can tell science offers no explanation for the existence of consciousness, i.e., subjective experience. Though consciousness has a physical component (it relies on certain brain functions), as best we can tell there is nothing about atoms, molecules, or even organs that would explain consciousness. To posit a divine source of consciousness is, in my view, a reasonable position. It would also be reasonable to expect the source of consciousness, which is what I consider God to be, cares about the conscious beings for whom God is responsible, including myself. In gratitude and respect, it is appropriate that I dedicate myself to serving God. Therefore, I think we can gain a sense of self-esteem both by being subjects of God’s concern and by serving God. There is no competition or rivalry here – we are all called to serve God as best we can.

An important corollary of this argument is that God cares about all conscious beings, not just humans. Indeed, in my view if God didn’t care when humans harmed God’s conscious creatures unnecessarily, it would indicate that God does not really care about conscious beings. There would then be no good reason to believe that God cares about humans. Some who disagree state that humans have special entitlements because the Bible tells us that humans are special creations. I’ll discuss this argument next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Daniel, God’s Man in the Field (Part X)
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s3sep89.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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