2. Vegan Eating on a Budget
3. CVA Outreach
4. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: Receiving the Kingdom
of God "Like a Child"
1. The CVA
offers Sustaining Membership to those paying our $25 annual
dues. In addition to the weekly e-newsletter available to all members,
Sustaining Members receive daily messages that consist of inspirational
comments, biblical commentary, health tips, an advice column, and
To become a Sustaining Member, go to our membership page, and fill
out the form, which will take you to the dues-paying section. Or, you
can send a check to CVA, PO Box 201791, Cleveland, OH 44120. Donations
to the CVA are tax-deductible.
2. Vegan Eating on a Budget
is a new web site from Compassion Over Killing:
3. CVA Outreach
Gil in Minneapolis writes: A few of us passed out about 780 CVA leaflets
at the Benny Hinn Youth Ministries event in Minneapolis. This event
attracted conservative Christians of all ages. I got into a few
productive discussions with attendees who ended up agreeing with me that
factory farming is an "offense to God."
Below are some upcoming events for leafleting and tabling.
7/6 CA Pomona Rob Bell Christian Speaker
7/7-9 MD Metro Maryland Franklin Graham Festival (huge event!)
7/7-8 IA Des Moines Promise Keepers
7/10 CO Denver Jars of Clay & Michael W Smith Christian Rock
7/13 MN Wilmar Sonshine Festival 2006
7/15 MN Wilmar Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
7/19 CA Costa Mesa Lifehouse with Teddy Geiger
7/21 MO Smithville Toby Mac/One Way Festival Christian Rock
7/27 CA Costa Mesa David Crowder Band/Orange County Fair
7/27 WA George Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
7/29 VA Richmond VeggieFest (tabling event)
To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities
in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group.christian_vegetarian/. Read the home
page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify
upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be able to help.
4. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence
Receiving the Kingdom of God “Like a Child”
[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It
is being archived at
Jesus said, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child
shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17) I see two features of
children that make them more receptive to the kingdom of God.
First, children are expected to obey their parents, and the kingdom
of God requires that we follow the law of our Creator/Parent. Jesus
taught that the first and greatest commandment was to love God, and the
second is like it, to love our neighbor as ourselves. Adults, seeking
independence from authority, resist God’s laws. Indeed, the Hebrew
Scriptures repeatedly describe God’s anger when the Hebrews refused to
obey the law to love God and chose idolatry instead.
A second way in which being like a child is necessary to receive the
kingdom of God has to do with the nature of their desires. As anyone who
has children knows, they are not totally “innocent.” They can be selfish
and mean. However, children differ from adults in that children tend to
be less complicated and less calculating about getting what they what,
and less inclined to carry a grudge if they don’t get it. The last
feature is important, from the perspective of mimetic theory. While
children, like adults, care about self-esteem, in general their desires
are more physical and less symbolic. A child seeing another child
playing with a toy will often, on account of acquisitive mimetic desire,
want to play with that toy. Failure to obtain that toy will disappoint
the child, but the extent of unhappiness will be largely restricted to
the frustrated immediate desire.
Adults who fail to obtain their objects of desire tend to carry anger
and bitterness far beyond the loss of immediate pleasure, because their
failure often damages their self-esteem.
Adult desires to receive the kingdom of God often involve a desire to
exclude other people, because doing so enhances one’s self-esteem.
Consequently, for example, many people are as emphatic in their claim
that they are “saved” as that those who do not share their theology
and/or religious practices are condemned. For adults caught in the web
of mimetic desires and rivalries, an attraction of the kingdom of God is
that, in their view, it is a restricted place.
The disciples often argued among themselves about who was the
greatest (Mark 9:34, Luke 9:46, 22:24). Jesus said, “Whoever receives
one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives
not me but him who sent me.” (Mark 9:37) We need to regard each other as
equals in the eyes of God in order to receive the kingdom of God. We
need to regard people as the people God wants them to be, even when they
fall short of God’s glory (as all of us do – Romans 3:23). How can this
happen? I think we must see each of us as children of God. We are
equally inferior to God, making us equal to each other in our
relationship to God. Otherwise, when we define ourselves by how we
relate to each other, we fall into mimetic rivalries that preclude our
entering the kingdom of God.
These mimetic rivalries made it impossible to live with God, just as
these mimetic rivalries made it impossible for Adam and Eve live in the
Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve fell into rivalry with God after the
serpent tricked them into doubting God’s authority to set boundaries and
God’s loving intentions for them.
I think that the various secular liberation movements that try to see
all people as equal have two serious limitations. First, without a
parent figure to truly equalize people, mimetic theory predicts that
efforts to regard fellow people as equals will fail, because people will
invariably fall into rivalries with each other. For example, it seems to
me that the women’s liberation movement, the Black liberation movement,
etc., while founded on admirable egalitarian principles, increasingly
promote the interests of their own group over and against the interests
of other groups. The Christian way to avoid losing focus from the core
principles of love, compassion, mercy, and justice is for everyone to
regard each other as equally beloved children of God.
A second failure of secular liberation movements is that they tend to
ignore nonhumans, and the rights God created for them to have
(including, but not limited to, the right not to be tortured). The
difficulty of “drawing the line” prompts many people to choose to ignore
all nonhuman beings. However, from the perspective of God the Creator,
We must envision ourselves as children – children of God – in order
to receive the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? I will offer
my thoughts on this question next week.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.