Often times, most of us find ways to reinterpret the things they seem wrong to us. Or we can say it like, often we are less by the spirit towards interpretations that are not as problematic. But I was wondering if there was anything you genuinely believe the Bible teaches and it just makes no sense to you.
This is the thing that bothers me the most. Jesus is a incarnation of god. He’s the embodiment of love. He’s referred to as the word made flesh and a sort of author of life. He is friends with those the world shunned.
Yet he killed and ate animals. I get for many , if not most of y’all eat animals. For me, that’s still bleh but it’s not as bizarre to me as Jesus doing it. I feel like it would be the same to me as if I was a god and created life and then murdered and ate it. Like he knows the animals he killed would have been scared and in pain and that’s what’s the weird part to me. I have a hard time imagining Jesus as this butcher , who would get some random animal, stick hooks in it, slowly suffocate it and chop off its head, tear off its flesh and then burn its corpse and eat it. It’s the one thing that is just always in my mind.
I’ve thought about this before. Especially since the Bible says God feeds the sparrows. Well, He also created the worms and insects that are being killed by the sparrows. Personally, an uncomfortable truth for me is that our lives and longevity are not the ultimate goal for God, but rather His glory to be proclaimed. So if we are killed or eaten or animals die, then it’s according to something that will make God’s glory known (mind you, I am not saying God is HAPPY that sin happens, but that He does use sim for good; how… idk). I am also tryin to wrap my head around this as a friend was recently murdered and my dog recently died suddenly… so Jesus eating and killing fish, reminds me of how every death is not a surprise to God. Simply death itself, including death before humans (whatever species or group you will believe that is) is something I am trying to reconcile a lot at the moment.
There are a lot of vegan interpretations of Christian thought out there. If you’d like, we can research them together (I wouldn’t know where to begin). I have a friend who is Christian and a staunch vegan. She also happened to save my life btw! She wasn’t the only Christian vegan I know.
I used to not understand the concept of Christians who cared about avoiding bringing death to animals.“God said, ‘kill and eat’.” I argued, “Why act morally superior by not (humanely) killing and eating?” which came from ignorance and not understanding the significance of altruism. I had never had to kill an animal before and I didn’t understand the difficulties involved.
Keep in mind that plants are just as “alive”, biologically, as humans. They are valid creatures and God sees them as alive. They may not display emotions and may not relate to humans in the same way as a dog or a parakeet, but they are alive all the same. We have no problems killing them and eating them because we have no context with which to relate to them. This may sound ridiculous to even bring up but maybe it can provide an angle at understanding how God relates to his creation.
This may be bothersome to you because you are likely high in empathy, and it’s difficult to empathize with a plant because plants probably don’t empathize back. One time, I saw a bleeding bird and my heart broke. But I don’t feel intense dismay when I see a felled tree or a withering flower. This is how it’s supposed to be, because we are a species which evolved to relate in a specific way with one another and with other species to varying degrees of how similar they are to us. We see ourselves in them. Imagine trying to form a relationship with a bacterium.
This universe was not created perfect. It was created very good, meaning it works well but has shortcomings due to its purpose. I believe this was in anticipation of the incarnation, so God could more fully reveal his personality to his creation through sentience (the incarnation revealed to our species). Decay is an integral part of the universe’s processes. Only when the new cosmos blooms will we live in a perfect and whole creation. There will be no carnivorous activity, because “the lion will rest with the lamb” right? This implies that carnivorous behavior and the cruelty which comes from it is a shortcoming of the nature of the universe.
I can’t tell you to relax because this is a very stressful thing to grapple with. Look forward to the day when the mantis doesn’t devour the butterfly and mankind has no desire to kill cute creatures. Let’s finish the race and look forward to the New Heavens and New Earth. Jesus came to reveal that to us. He came to reveal His plan for perfection - a world without bloodshed of any type of animal.
I’ve been a vegan for a long time. Just shy of 15 years. I don’t grapple with ecology or struggle with things like praying mantises eating butterflies and so on. I’m just as happy watching baby wolves playing with a dawn learning how to hunt as I am watching a fawn bound away and escape.
Which is why I specified that what disturbs me is God as a creator, being reincarnated into a human and murdering and eating an animal. A god devouring its creation is disgusting to me. Always will be.
As far as plants…. No one, not even the hulk of atheistic biologists or theistic scientists and etc consider plants alive in the same sense as the animal kingdom. Even in genesis 1, that distinction is made with the breath of life. Even if there are not concrete terms to create taxonomical lines on life it’s just not confusing that plants, mushrooms and algae are very different from animals, including humans and it does not matter if bacteria seems to blur the lines. It’s not my issue .
My issue is exactly what I said. God killing and eating beings. There is no solution for the argument. I will always think it’s wrong and disgusting. Just like if Jesus was here today and found a stray dog and murdered it and ate it.
I also don’t think the universe was created perfect. I don’t think it ever will be. I don’t think a new heaven and earth is actually literal. I don’t know what it is and don’t care. God did not do a great job at getting the words about the afterlife to us in a really worthwhile way. It was not that clear. Blame it on whatever. It was not that clear. Not even scholars can produce good answers. So whatever happens happens. But it’s irrelevant to me. Concepts of the afterlife plays almost no role in my Christian faith. Not even the parts I’m confident in.
Well what I said is that even in the parts of my faith concerning the afterlife that I’m confident in, it plays very little role in my faith.
So the parts I’m confident in concerning the afterlife is that the concept of eternal conscious torment is simply not a sound theological position. Conditional immortality makes the most sense to me. I see some aspects of universalism there, and think it’s possible, but ultimately I side on annihilationism.
But even if God said there is no afterlife, all we have is this one life, my faith would not change. The morality that I see in the Bible is the same morality I would have even if I stopped believing in the Bible. So a promised afterlife has very little value for me since it’s just not that clear theologically.
I would chat some more but I’m heading out to go hiking and internally debate the ethics of using some of my family members library cards for more books on hoopla since they don’t even read vs purchasing a second non resident library card through library in Florida since I want to have access to their giant collection of field guides and district specific botany books anyways, plus I can use that separate account for hoopla as well lol.
A beautiful site whose writer approaches universalism from the perspective of a significant universalist thread in the Orthodox Christian community. I came across this blog when researching orthodoxy and I’m enchanted by it. So much to explore here. I’m going to continue exploring this gentleman’s work and I hope you at least take a peek.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6
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