This topic was raised by Pastor Frank in one of his recent sermons.
I thank God for Pastor Frank. He strives to bring out truth.
If you ask the right question, sooner or later you get the right answer.
So keep asking questions, that your questions may be the right ones and that they might search for the truth, for you shall find it and it “shall set you free”.
What is the forbidden fruit.
The knowledge of good and evil itself is the fruit.
The knowledge of good came from God.
What about the knowledge of evil. Where did it come from.
Did it come God or did it come from Satan.
John says “All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.”
Adam was made in the image of Christ. He did not know sin in the beginning. Paradise was his fruit.
But I believe that evil lay not in the fruit but in the disobedient heart and soul and flesh of Adam.
God had a purpose and a plan.
God gave you and me and Adam free will to choose the option of disobedience.
It was in the disobedience of his heart that Adam fell from grace and glory, just as we also, fell from grace to the wages of sin.
But thanks be to God we who choose Christ have the victory.
From Calvary we have another option to choose, we can choose life over death.
He has raised us back from our fallen selves into this glorious light of the radiance of the knowledge of good.
Adam’s pride was the daughter of Satan, the son of disobedience, the mother of all sin.
It was from the knowledge of evil gone to seed within his own heart that He fell, and we followed.
It is not the fruit God gave us that is poisonous, but the knowledge of the fruit, that disobedience, our own belief in anything that is not of Him, that we do not need him, that is the way of death.
God says in Gen 1.29 “I have given you every seed bearing fruit and it shall be your meat.”
What is the relevance of this question today for us, we, whom God has blessed to be Christian (restored back to what we were before we ate the fruit of disobedience) and vegan/vegetarian?
What is this question of obedience all about? This “strange fruit” ? Is it the right question?
Thanks be to God today there are so many Christians and so many vegans and vegetarians.
Thanks be to God for the CVA. Thanks be to God for those who make it possible for us to connect with each other and encourage and help and support one another.
What a joy it is for us to be able to share this gift and fruit of Jesus with each other without fear of persecution.
Why did he make us so, to be Christian and vegan or vegetarian? Why you. Why me?
Same reason he made the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
To give glory to God.
He gave us every good gift to strengthen the unity of those who are both believers in Christ and who share a common gift of love for all creatures and creation.
First, who but God himself could ever in a zillion years have come up with something so beautiful. It’s God’s idea.
We know that He wants us to love Him and each other and to love all creation, that He is the author of this idea of love.
This love for all creatures and creation is an extension of that precious love that He has so abundantly given us.
He gave His life to make this point, that we might recognize that we need Him, but also that we need each other - in order for us to grow in faithful observance of and obedience to our responsibilities, first, as Christians, and second, as Vegans and Vegetarians.
One, as Christians, we are a privileged family of brothers and sisters in faith, blessed to have Christ indwelling in us;
But do we not also bear responsibilities, to each other, and to all of creation. As Christian Vegans and Vegetarians you know all that.
Second, as vegans and vegetarians, we are also so very very very privileged.
It blows me away when I think how God could have blessed someone else and not me with this beautiful gift, this beautiful fruit, of the knowledge of good and evil.
But He in His mercy chose you and me. What an amazing gift it is to be so blessed.
But like the parable of the talents, we are not to keep it buried under the ground. God wants these talents to multiply one hundredfold, and more, in each of us, to every corner of the planet.
CVA is to be congratulated and edified for being the amazing vehicle that it is for achieving this end, for being the bearer of this knowledge.
‘I am the true vine, my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
Third, to be Christian and Vegan/Vegetarian, is a combination that is so very unique and precious to me I can’t imagine life without having either gift.
Imagine not having either gift. How could our joy be complete. It’s impossible to deny the knowledge of this fruit. It deepens our knowledge of good and evil.
These gifts and fruits are of the spirit, they are like our genome, they are part of our being a new form of humanity, new creations.
Think of it. He is the first born, the first fruit, of this new creation. We are the first fruits. Built into his body like living stones.
Is this not the gospel we proclaim my dear brothers and sisters?
We are not our former selves. We have passed from death to life.
We bear an even greater duty of obedience and responsibility that goes with that.
Like Saint Paul says, sometimes when I think of it, I ‘fall to my knees’ and give thanks to the Lord for His infinite mercy.
To grow in the faith we need each other, to encourage and edify and bless each other, ‘as I have loved you.’
By this, shall all men know, that you are my disciples.
That is why God gave us the Church. To be conformed into the image of Christ. (Rm 8)
Oh, that he should have foreknown you and me. This knowledge of good and evil, is it not too wonderful to behold.
Adam could not save himself, nor we.
But thanks be to God he sent his only son, for all the world. And we are his torch bearers. We have the knowledge of the fruit.
To grow as vegans and vegetarians we need each other. He gave us creation to be stewards over it, under His authority.
Is that not one of the reasons why He gave us the CVA network as well. For sure it is. It must be.
As Christian Vegans/Vegetarians we have a duty to Creator, to love and obey Him, and to His Creation, to be His stewards, until He returns.
By networking together through this medium we build the bridges of stewardship and make beachheads for the planet, at a time when the planet is so desperate for us to make the most of every moment and opportunity for it’s protection.
The CVA is a wonderful vehicle for us to fulfill God’s will for us and his creation. Without laboring these points too much in my first email, that’s kind of it in a nutshell.
But wait, there’s more.
Let’s thank God together with one voice that He called us to serve Him in this way, and that He has a plan and purpose for us, according to His will, which He ‘freely bestowed on us in the Beloved,’ (cf Eph 1.6) ‘to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.’ (cf Eph 1.10).
Thank you Lorena and Paris and Steve and Father John Dear et al for your constant source of inspiration.
May we all continue our share in the responsibilities that go with being called into this amazing life in Him.
In Him, may we continue to bear one another’s burdens, of all creatures, great and small.