Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - September 23, 2022
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Jesus and Animal Issues
  2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Jesus and Animal Issues

 The Bible does not clearly demonstrate that Jesus was, or was not, an animal advocate. The Hebrew Scriptures, which according to the gospels were revered by Jesus, describe a plant-based diet as ideal (Genesis 1:29-30; Isaiah 11:6-9), but they also include many passages and stories that describe harmful exploitation of nonhumans. Among animal-friendly passages in the New Testament, John 2:15 describes Jesus liberating animals slated for sacrifice. However, there are also some problematic passages, such as celebrating the return of the Prodigal Son with killing the fatted calf. Paul does not appear to have been an animal advocate, but that does not necessarily relate to Jesus’ views.

Keith Akers’ book Disciples carefully analyses biblical and nonbiblical ancient sources to arrive at the conclusion that Jesus was very likely vegetarian. In particular, he draws a line from the vegetarian Ebionite sect to the early Jewish Christians (who were vegetarian and, as Jesus’ first followers, knew him intimately), to Jesus himself.

Though people often express certainty about Jesus, the Bible, and other matters of faith, I have not found such claims to be reasonable. There is too much uncertainty about what happened 2000 years ago, particularly since the received texts describing these events have emerged from communities that experienced fierce religious and political conflicts with each other.

This uncertainty, though perhaps unsettling for those who seek certainty when exploring important questions about their lives, can be a strength if Christianity is to take a leadership role in confronting contemporary world challenges. Jesus offered a spiritual path to a small group of Jewish people 2000 years ago. These teachings, though profound and sometimes timeless, do not give clear guidance for many contemporary challenges, particularly those raised by technologies beyond the comprehension of a person 2000 years ago. It can be tempting to use short passages or dubiously interpreted parables to support policy positions today that are harmful to humans, nonhumans, and the earth. In contrast, principles that were central to Jesus’ ministry, such as love, compassion, and mercy, might serve as the foundation for a Christian faith that the entire world needs.

Next, I will discuss how these core Christian principles can only offer salvation to humanity, but only if they are also applied to animal issues.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. From All-Creatures.Org Ministry

We hope this finds you having a renewing day and that you enjoy this week’s newsletter. It is jam-packed with helpful vegan, faith-based, and animal rights information to keep you up to date with all that is going on. Please feel free to share vegan information with us as well!

All-Creatures.org Newsletter for September 22, 2022

In the Love of the Lord,
Frank L Hoffman


Tams Nicholson
Executive Directress

2022 Newsletters Archive