May 19, 2008

where's the beef! pt. 2

I posted this in the comments below, but I thought I would post it again here. This is a response to a comment question that asked what Christian reasoning existed for not eating meat:

The Christian Vegetarian Association has some good information. I am not proposing total vegetarianism, although I do applaud those that choose this. As far as "Christian reasoning" for this goes, here's a few things to consider that come to my mind:

1) We are told in Scripture that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Most Christian Americans eat WAY more meat, meat products, preservatives, etc. than their body really needs???or knows what to do with. Because of our diet, we see in the U.S. HIGH numbers of obesity, diabetes and various forms of cancer. Way more than in other parts of the world. All of those diagnoses can be attributed to diet. So, if our bodies are gifts from our Creator and temples of the Holy Spirit, shouldn't we take better care of them?

2) We serve the Creator of ALL creation, and the way we eat in America is destroying creation. Scripture shows an immense reverence (not worship) of the natural world. Why don't we? If Americans cut down down on their meat intake alone it would greatly impact environmental degradation, therefore more wholly honoring God and the gift of the natural world to us.

3) Some of Jesus last words are to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. Our eating habits in the West actually insure that people in the southern hemisphere starve... you can't accomplish Jesus' commission if they all die before you get to tell them about Jesus first! If Christians in the West would change their eating habits and by this effect the way the rest of the West eats, we could curb starvation in other parts of the world.

Bottom line, the Bible does not make it clear that we can't eat meat. Some may disagree. But with the state of the world today, I think there is certainly a Christian ethic that we should respond with that effects, for one thing, how we eat in the West.

Maybe you have some thoughts as well...

You know, I thought of this right before I posted this, this does relate to the ongoing conversation about Church, Money and the Future as well. One of the issues many are faced with is growing financial strain. Eating less meat is cheaper. Plus, what if church planters learned how to be seed planters? Urban/Suburban farmers? Growing your own food is a heck of a lot cheaper too!

And church properties with fewer and fewer congregants on Sunday mornings might want to consider a more ecologically friendly way of reaching out to their new neighbors, instead of marketing (which has little return on investment to be honest-I know, I'm a former insider)... rip out some asphalt and invite your neighbors to start a community garden. Feed the neighbors inexpensive, healthy fruits and vegetables and you'll win their hearts as well. Just a thought.

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