Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - June 20, 2018
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Rethinking Christian Witness
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback

I would like to report that I gave the booklet “Christianity and Vegetarianism” by Fr. John Dear to an Episcopal priest in our area. Every time we enter a new congregation, we offer ways that they can practice their “open mindedness”.

Peace and all good.


2. Rethinking Christian Witness

By Larry Brown

Every day each of us makes a choice as to whether we will support cruelty to God's creatures or take a stand against it - by what we eat, wear, purchase, and the activities we engage in.

Outsiders to our faith are always observing to see if we reflect core Christian virtues like love, mercy, gentleness, compassion, justice, and selflessness. If we choose to support cruelty, not out of necessity but for pleasure, convenience, or tradition, we look selfish and hypocritical. Some Christians have left their churches because of this inconsistency.

In my experience, fellow Christians are quick to dismiss any notion that Christian virtues apply to animals. Yet, not applying virtues simply because the recipient happens to be an animal is not optional if we are to "imitate God" as Ephesians 5 instructs - a God whose "tender mercies are over all He has created", according to the psalmist.

The central question is which pleases God more, self-serving behavior or service to others? I have no doubt that the Bible teaches the latter. My own philosophical transformation began to take place as I became more informed as to the many ways animals were suffering and what the Bible communicates.

Whatever the need for animals may have been in former times, contemporary Christians in this country have a wide array of nonviolent choices. These include a host of plant-based products closely resembling meat but without the associated cruelty and suffering. Alternatives for clothing, entertainment, and many other things have eliminated the need to use animals.

Many Christians who defend abusing animals have chosen to select biblical passages and interpreting them in self-serving ways, as has been done by Christians over the centuries to defend slavery, segregation, and destruction of Native American people. For me, Christian witness has included love, appreciation, and empathy for fellow creatures - creatures St. Francis referred to as brothers and sisters. This does not make me perfect, of course, but I do feel more honest and caring and much more spiritually and morally satisfied.

In thinking about the treatment of those we consider beneath us, let us not overlook the example of Jesus- the higher ministering to the lower.

Larry Brown is a retired teacher, musician, former candidate for state representative, and vegetarian/vegan since 1976.

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

Manipulating God Never Works

Newsletter Archives 2006-2017
See All Newsletter Archives