DISCLAIMER: The following only represents the views of the author and does not reflect the views of Island ECC.
(Continued from Part 4)
For many people, few things are as enraging as witnessing injustice—no matter how tame a temper the Lord may have blessed them with. Christians and vegans alike, and perhaps doubly so Christian vegans, are sometimes perceived as being arrogant. They are also often accused of pushing their beliefs onto (or rather, “down the throats” of) others. The truth is, change can be scary and uncomfortable. Some people may feel judged by those who undergo or prescribe it (since doing so implies that there is something wrong or amiss with the current state of things). Others may become defensive because they are being reminded of a sense of unease they normally keep buried deep within themselves, far from confrontation. As we endeavor to champion change, it is inevitable we will encounter pushback. People will resist change and attempt to delay or avert it. This resistance, combined with the urgency that motivates our active advocating, risks leading us to fiery encounters with others that may leave both parties feeling discouraged or misunderstood—if we fail to keep God’s goodness well in sight, that is. Tough conversations are sometimes needed. Still, however much sadness, indignation, or disappointment we feel overcome with, it is important for us to hold on to His love, mercy, and compassion as we tackle the ills of our fallen world. Along our walk with Christ, we are likely to experience moments of righteous anger. Unlike the anger James warns against (James 1.19-20), righteous anger reflects our offense at things not of God (such as in Proverbs 6.16-19 ESV). But most importantly, because it stems from love, righteous anger does not hurt. Let us use this feeling as fodder to better serve His kingdom, rather than being tricked down lanes of divisive strife, frustration, or judgment.
… however much sadness, indignation, or disappointment we feel overcome with, it is important for us to hold on to His love, mercy, and compassion as we tackle the ills of our fallen world.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12.21 NIV)
Our choices matter. Society floods us with them to the point of overwhelm. Every day we must use our hard-earned Christian money to cast dollar ‘votes,’ each according to our values and beliefs, no matter how small our mental bandwidth or how obscured the truths behind the options offered us are. (No wonder we’re stressed out.) And because numbers are all that matter to corporations, our daily choices as consumers are a direct action that funds one thing over another, thus sponsoring its continued existence according to profits. With every purchase, we either act out our faith or shy away from it. Even if we strive for the former, all of us do a bit of both. Often, these split-second decisions are the product of our overall mindfulness, understanding, and background. It is incumbent upon us to evaluate our choices and their cost on the Creation, and to educate ourselves on what they truly entail. Moving the needle toward a more Shalom-like alignment requires discipline and accountability, as does our quest to become more Christ-like. The concept of Shalom is what dreams are made of, especially to Christian vegans. The Hebrew word means peace. Peace between all men, between men and animals, between earthlings and the earth—all things reconciled to God in favor of complete harmony, wholeness, and prosperity. (Hosea 2.18, Isaiah 11.6, Isaiah 65.25) Like the word Aloha, it can also be used to mean both hello and goodbye, which points us back to Christ (our Prince of Peace!) as the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, and the gift through which God brings us back to Him.
… because numbers are all that matter to corporations, our daily choices as consumers are a direct action that funds one thing over another, thus sponsoring its continued existence according to profits. With every purchase, we either act out our faith or shy away from it.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life […] For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith […]” (2 Peter 1.3-5 NIV)
Kingdom Vision As in the garden of Eden, life in the restored earth of Christ’s New Creation will be a vegan one, in accordance with the standards of God’s ideal. We, as Christians tasked to serve the glory of God, are encouraged to lead lives of active faith governed by love. Our choices and actions matter today. Although we dwell in a fallen world, we must begin to act according to our New Nature, working to overcome darkness with His light. We should live in anticipation of what is to come rather than by the lower standards of a sinful world. Instead of choosing to live in apathy, we can work to mold our present day after the perfect, loving standards of our God. Let ours be a generation that labors for radical change—a generation for redemption. The world of tomorrow, that of our children and of their children, is our responsibility. Let our approach to Dominion, Stewardship, and Righteousness reflect the unified Vision of one body centered on Jesus Christ. Let our plates be filled to honor life over death, that we may say grace for His blessing rather than forgiveness. Let us go through life as beacons of God’s Love, Mercy, and Compassion—treating God’s creatures, creation, and our fellow men as He would have us do. The day of His return is near (Romans 13.11-14) and we must hurry, lest we be caught off-guard, as were the foolish in Matthew’s parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25.1-13). “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
The world of tomorrow, that of our children and of their children, is our responsibility. Let our approach to Dominion, Stewardship, and Righteousness reflect the unified Vision of one body centered on Jesus Christ.
Soon, He will separate sheep and goats according to the deeds revealing of our hearts. (Matthew 25.34-46) “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25.45) As a Christian vegan, my takeaway is this: how we treat God’s Creation is how we treat God, and so to love God well is also to love His Creation well.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12.48 NIV)
For practical tips on vegan living, check out the PDF guide linked below!
Damien’s CHRISTIAN VEGAN GUIDE