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A Greater Work
By: Frank L. Hoffman
Published in the June 1998 issue of Vegan Online Magazine
Over the years, I have heard many vegans express their frustrations concerning the way in which the Church dismisses their "feelings" about animal rights, vegan health, and environmental issues as being unimportant. The Church has traditionally turned a deaf ear, but in more recent years, the health and environmental issues have become "acceptable" to some extent, but we have had very little success when it comes to animals and animal rights. Yet, at the same time that the Church has been dismissing these concerns, these vegans truly believe that their insights and understandings, and that their unconditional love and compassion are direct gifts from God. I have prayed about this, too, and the only answer I have received is, "They didn't listen to My prophets of old, either."
Is the message that we have prophetic? I believe it is!
The apostle Paul saw a similar problem in the Corinthian Church. Many of the members were not acting according to God's will. In fact, many of the things they were doing were totally counter to the way the Lord desired them to live. Just because the people were in the church didn't make them all Christians, even though they were claiming to be true believers. In 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, Paul writes a message that has a direct bearing on our situation today: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ." (NIV)
Thus, we can be assured that the inspiration, the sensitivity, the unlimited love and the compassion that we feel towards all of God's creation are indeed according to the mind of Christ. Just because someone doesn't accept our message isn't our problem; it's theirs. And just in case some of us might doubt this, we should look at the words that Jesus himself spoke to His disciples (John 14:12): "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." (KJV) Whether or not Jesus was a vegetarian during His incarnation is really unimportant. What is important, is that we have been given the knowledge, the wisdom, and the ability to carry on Jesus' message of peace and love to an even greater extent than He was able to do while here on earth. Our vegan message is of God, and it is a greater work.
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