Animal Gospel

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea. ~Isaiah 11:9

Letters
To Pastor Hagee

April 26, 2006

Dear Pastor Hagee,

I just wanted to clarify something for you that you've been speaking out against. I won't resort to any attacks, I'll simply state a position, or actually rather than stating a position, I'll state some of the reasoning on the part of those who have a certain shared position.

It is not "pagan" to care for animals. I know of very few people who care for animals more than for people. People who do usually are disillusioned with some bad relationship and are simply hiding among their other priorities rather than taking a distinct position against their Father and Creator. People care for animals to the extent of becoming vegetarians/vegans, not out of a worship for the creature rather than the Creator, but based upon their inner convictions about compassion, self-control, and convictions that though animals are not more important than people, God did give the little animals inherent worth and value. Yes, it's not on the same level as that of someone created in the image of God. But our being created in the image of God makes us more accountable for the Creation, not less accountable.

People with compassion towards animals aren't generally prioritizing animals over humans, but are seeking to address a situation that's always been neglected at the animal's expense. Your views about animals seem more related to Aristotle than to Christianity, more shaped by the heretic Thomas Aquinas than by St. Paul.

Evangelism and discipleship of people is always first and Iím not minimizing that, nor offering distraction from that. Essential truth doesnít contradict ultimate truth in any particulars. Preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead, freely give and freely receive. Iím all for all of that and do all of that with some regularity, both in person and by internet. In a Biblical world view that shows compassion for animals, there is room (i.e., no contradiction) for a Gospel world view that crucifies the flesh, commands the repentance of hardened sinners, satisfies the needs of widows and orphans, and extends kindness to the least of these amongst us who aren't in the image of God. Superiority doesn't demand the right of exploitation. Compassion can extend to animals without neglecting human beings. Human beings can be regarded as first without treating animals with the dignity of athlete's foot.

There will always be a wedge between Christianity and much of the animal rights movement for as long as there are irresponsible statements like yours that would relegate animals to the dung hill in order to vindicate the worth and nobility of the image of God in the earth. How many millions of people's consciences are you purposefully wounding simply because you think that compassion is only compassion when it's human centric? St. Paul said that if meat offended his brother, then he'd never eat it again. Afterwards, he wrote the book of Romans, because he did put his brothers first when speaking to the Corinthians, so that God could give him further revelation because he'd passed the test of brotherhood. The Creation was subjected to futility, NOT WILLINGLY but by reason of Him Who hath subjected it, that the creature itself would be liberated from it's bondage and affliction and enter into the liberties of the children of God.

I would encourage you to read my Biblical perspective on the Hosea 2:18 - Jeremiah 31:27-28 Covenant at www.animalgospel.com and if my presentation is too stout for you, being from a Biblically based Christian Universalist, then another author whose perhaps more lucid and limpid of speech and "orthodox" in theology would be Andrew Linzey, whose books are available through most Christian bookstores and on amazon.com.

Martin Cisneros.

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