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The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation


Letters and Responses

A Letter From Carl Miller Concerning Our Internet Ministry and the Bible - 14 July 2002


What you are doing is a wonderful thing.  If you can make more people aware of the plight of animals and make them sensitive to their own actions, that is one of the greatest ministries anyone could have. 

I do have a question.  Having been a vegetarian nearly all my life, and having a great love for animals, I have never been able to see how my understanding of life and compassion for living beings really fit into the Judeo-Christian teaching.  It seems to me that both of these religions are derived from a sacrificial system that demanded the killing of animals and that the Jewish temple was nothing more than a slaughter house.  The whole religious structure of Judaism revolved around an animal holocaust, and the priests had to be no better than butchers.

Also, when I have tried to get people to stop eating flesh on spiritual and religious grounds, one of the biggest obstacles is the Bible.  People will say that animals were created to be eaten, and they base their notion on the fact that Yahweh gave man dominion over the animals, designated certain animals to be eaten in Leviticus 11, required daily sacrifices, and even Jesus ate fish according to Luke 24:43.  Paul even said that forbidding the eating of meat was a doctrine of devils   (I Timothy 4:3).

So, I totally respect what you are doing.  The abuse of animals in this society is a horrible crime, but does not the crime itself, and not its solution, arise out of the Judeo-Christian tradition?

Blessings for your wonderful work,

Carl Miller

Response from Frank L. Hoffman - 14 July 2002

Dear Carl:

Thank you for you letter.  You have sparked a Sunday message!

We often are asked the same questions you ask.  The primary difference in the way Jews and Christians live is in how they interpret the Bible.  Do they desire to live by the intent of God or by the concessions He allows?  You might be interested in reading one of my sermons that addresses this issue.

The Luke passage you mention is one of the interesting ones in the Bible.  You might be interested in reading our commentary and discussion.

1 Timothy 4:1-3 is speaking of placing anything before our relationship with God.  Our salvation has nothing to do with whether or not we get married or eat something or don't eat something.  I don't believe Paul is inferring what you have interpreted it to say.  Once we become Christians, we should
also find our hearts softening, and in turn living by the fruit of the
Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), in true Godly love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a), and as children of God who will free the whole of creation from the corruption to which it has been subjected (Romans 8:18-25), all of which Paul also wrote.

If we follow this another step forward, we should understand who the Children of God are (Matthew 5:9), and live by the prayer that the Lord taught us, particularly Matthew 6:10, part of which would include eliminating all inflicted pain, suffering and death here on earth.  And the ultimate maturity would be in our perfection of God's heavenly will and love within ourselves as Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48.  The Church just doesn't seem to want to hear these things, because it would mean that they would
have to give up their indulgences.

We hope this helps answer your questions, and we look forward to hearing from you again.

In the Love of the Lord,


We welcome your comments

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