Thursday, October 6, 2011

God's Will

I always thought He desired not the death of any of his creatures, but this last week I've been bombarded with evidence saying the contrary. It made sense to me that God would desire a return to his original diet- vegetarianism- both for us humans and for his beloved creatures. I thought it was wrong to kill.

But the Bible simply doesn't state that, as many an online Christian would have me know. There are (probably heretical) Christians who claim that extra-biblical works prove the actual vegetarianism of Jesus and many of his disciples (such as Clement of Alexandria, Iraneus, Hegsesippus, etc.), but I can't know to trust them over the Bibles contained on my shelf. Their testimony is interesting, and a huge part of me clings to it still, and I'd love to know the truth behind the claims of what they wrote. Yet... To believe, as they state (only a century after the death of Christ), that Christianity includes vegetarianism is to believe that the Bible is corrupt beyond repair, and that is to believe that I (and billions of others) have been misinformed about the nature of Christ... And then what? Christianity is devoluted to nothing more than a new-agey belief that there's a loving God, the Holy Spirit, and a messiah, Jesus, who was man and God and who was crucified 2000 years ago.

So my extra-biblical moral compass is waning and faltering. I can't say I want the death of an animal, but I suppose I have no grounds, religiously, to even try to convince others to not contribute to animal death because the savior of the world ate fish and probably other meats. So I suppose any sorrow I have for this situation is misplaced. Yet I cannot shake it... So.. I am still a vegan. (Maybe I should just say plant-based now?) Now, though, I truly feel what St. Paul said: That my faith is weak. Somehow, my faith is so weak that I believed God wanted us to be merciful to his creatures and, thus, not slaughter and consume them if we could at all help it.

Instead, as those with more faith than I believe, I should take the stance that we must raise our animals and slaughter them in a God-pleasing (still sounds like an oxymoron to me) way, that is, ethically. Thus, the rabbit, goat, sheep, cow, and chicken we love today can be ate tomorrow... And all of this is not a moral issue.

This throws a wrench in my life plans and in my life's purpose, and I don't yet know what it will bring, ultimately.


Marvin the Martian said...

To be a vegan is a moral choice, borne out of the desire not to harm animals in order to sustain yourself. That's a noble goal, though it goes against what you were designed to be (an omnivorous predator). Nevertheless, it's a good thing to pursue if that's what you believe. Just because the Bible doesn't specifically state that you should be a vegan, doesn't mean that you cannot be one. It just means you can't use the Bible to justify your belief. I'm sure C.S. Lewis must have run into this problem. What does he say about it?

Lydia said...

Hmmm.. That's a good question. If you mean that C.S. Lewis specifically wrestled with his dietary choices, I can't say- in one of his books, though, he expresses his opinion that God will redeem animals eternally, too- but if you mean the general questioning of extra-biblical moral questions, I must look into his works again.

Marvin the Martian said...

Yah, I'm not a huge connoisseur of Christian philosophy (like Lewis's), but I know he was a giant in the field.