Before terms such as social justice existed, God laid down the Sabbath texts that include green ecology laws as well as commands to care for the poor, not oppress the sojourner, and treat animals equally on the Sabbath. You don’t have to accept liberal theology to validate these ideas. God wants us to be known for our acts of kindness and healing, not our individual politics.
As Wendell Berry says, “Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation” (The Body and the Earth, p. 99).
Jesus tells us that if a sheep falls into a pit, it should be rescued (Matthew 12:11). But what about a pig falling over a cliff? How can I understand a Jesus who drove 2,000 pigs to their deaths?
Jesus was not a vegetarian while He was here on earth, but might we consider Him one now?
Thanksgiving is a time to cultivate gratitude. It is a time to celebrate all that we are thankful for. It is a time to remind ourselves to practice love.
For centuries, Protestants have championed Martin Luther’s legacy of justification by grace through faith, not works. Habakkuk is the prophetic context from which Paul speaks in Romans of the right-making initiative that comes from God, yet it is often proclaimed from weekly pulpits in unbalanced ways that fail to connect to God’s work of justifying and righting all creation.
I have thought about how God’s judgments might factor into modern plagues, especially in light of the plagues in the Old Testament. Is this virus a punishment? A warning of impending doom? Is God trying to teach us a lesson? Some have suggested that we are experiencing an end time epidemic, taken right from the pages of the apocalypse. Is this really true?
I believe in the pursuit of health and the benefit of adopting a plant-based diet. We should continue to eat for strength rather than our gastronomical urges, but we need not go further back than the Old Testament narrative for ecological wisdom.
At a luncheon a number of years ago, I met a college student who was studying theology at a religious institution. Needless to say, my dietary practices became the center of our table discussion when I bypassed the animal flesh offered to guests.
What does eating have to do with death and murder? God allows us to eat animals, so aren’t we entitled to eat meat? The vast majority of society considers meat a normal part of the human diet. Many Christians support the idea that diet is insignificant in matters of faith, but a reexamination of God’s permission to eat animals might lead us to the opposite conclusion.