Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - June 22, 2020
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Essay: Justice part 7: What Was the Faith of Christ?
  2. All-Creatures.org Ministry

1. Essay: Justice part 7: What Was the Faith of Christ?

It is difficult to discern the faith of Christ. There are passages indicating that people are justified by works (e.g. Matthew 7:21) and passages that indicate that people are justified by faith (e.g. John 14.6). Jesus described the “kingdom of God” with enigmatic parables that are open to a wide range of interpretations and understandings. We might gain a more consistent understanding by examining what Jesus did.

Jesus repeatedly sided with society’s outcasts – widows, orphans, those with diseases and disabilities, and even sinners and tax-collectors. Given that his ministry was dedicated to service to God, it is reasonable to conclude that Jesus’ faith compelled him to serve these people. Indeed, he declared that service to “the least of these my brethren” (Matthew 25:40) was service to him.

It is hard to know how much of Jesus’ ministry was dedicated to the truly “least of these” – the nonhumans who are most vulnerable and suffer most grievously at human hands. The story of Jesus liberating the animals slated for slaughter at the Temple gives us a clue that animal issues might have been central to his ministry. And, it is telling that the first followers of Jesus – the early Jewish Christians – were vegetarian. (See Keith Akers’ book Disciples.) It would be surprising those who experienced Jesus’ ministry got the message, but not the messenger. Perhaps animal issues were central to Jesus’ ministry, but relevant sayings and teachings were largely lost when the writings of “heretic” sects were burned, and animal-friendly messages might have been omitted from Gospels aimed to appeal to carnivorous Christian communities.

Next week, I will consider the “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 11:9-14, Luke 11:2-4).

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. All-Creatures.org Ministry


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