Systematic Vegetarian Theology
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The Beginnings of Systematic Theology
Our backgrounds, our experiences, our encounters with God and His creation, and our education, all play a part in the manner in which we interpret the Bible. Following is one of these testimonies by a vegan lay person.
A Testimony by Rachael
(7 December 1998)
Hello to all of you!
I've just joined the Veg-Christian e-mail list, and I thought I should let you all know who I am. My name is Rachael, and I am a freshman at Connecticut College. I grew up in a Christian family, but only recently have I experienced deep spiritual growth. I am part of a non-denominational Bible study group in college, and through it I feel I have been able to really experience God working in my life.
I'm sure you are all also wondering about why and how I became a vegan. I'll start at the beginning, but don't worry- it's a short history. (I have been vegan less than 2 weeks and was vegetarian for about a month before that) When I came to college, I had no awareness of factory farming methods and animal abuses going on in the world. I have some vegan friends, and I inquired about their beliefs. I was deeply disturbed by some of the things they told me. Of course, being a Christian, I took my concerns to God. Through my prayers, I sensed that He was calling me to adopt a vegan lifestyle, as a way to protest the sins against His creation and also to become more Christ-like myself.
I am still trying to catch on to the discussions; I don't exactly know the whole context of everything yet. I do have one topic I'd like to comment on, and that is whether or not Jesus was a vegetarian. I have noticed that this issue gets a lot of attention, and one of the things that concerns me is that it might lead to divisions among brothers and sisters in Christ. My view is that it really does not matter if he was or was not a vegetarian- the key point is that if he were on earth today, he would be horrified at the atrocities committed in animal-using industries. When Jesus was among men, there were no factory farms, fur farms, or vivisection. People who ate meat had a connection to and a respect for the lives they had taken to feed themselves, and were genuinely thankful for the meat. Today animal products -whether meat, dairy, cosmetics, clothing, or something that was tested on an animal- are just things in wrappers and packages on store shelves. This eliminates all of the awe and respect of the Lords creation. So, regardless of whether or not Jesus felt it was necessary to have lived vegetarian in Biblical times, I am sure he would today.
Another point I'd like to make regards money. The Bible tells us that we cannot serve both God and money. What is it that the animal industries are looking for? Money! Why take part in using God's living creation as a tool for profit if we do not have to? That was just a quick thought- if anyone agrees with me, I'd like to hear from you.
May God bless you all,
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