The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter from Ciry Concerning the Divine in Nature - 7 Feb 2003
I just wanted to send a note to let you know how happy I am that your website exists and to thank you for the work you are doing. You have given me some hope that Christianity has not completely lost its moral compass. As a vegan and passionate environmentalist, I am alarmed and dismayed at the stance that so many Christians have taken regarding the Creation and our relationship to it. It seems to me that Christianity as a whole is evolving into a form of religious humanism, with a view of Man as the only important creature on the planet and all other beings, be they animal or plant, as nothing more than fodder for his various uses. The Creation itself is considered devoid of intrinsic value, certainly no sacred value, and is appreciated only for what men can extract from it. In the Christianity that I see around me, in a very real sense Man has replaced God as the most important entity in the universe. One only has to turn to the dictionary to realize that the term "humanism" fits the new Christianity like a glove.
It is no wonder that people are turning to other forms of spirituality, and followers of the Christian faith should be aware of why this is happening. I have turned away from Christianity, not because I have forsaken God, which I would never do, but because it seems to me that modern Christianity has. It's all about capitalism these days (how God wants us to be affluent) and the sacredness of human life and human life only, and the subjugation of all other living things that inhabit the Earth and disdain for the "godless" environment, and the notion that other faiths have no validity, as if diversity both in Nature and in culture and thought isn't a wondrous manifestation of God in all His forms. Having lived in wild and remote places all of my adult life, I see God in all things, in every exquisite natural thing there is. It's all His art, His expression, His love. If I want to search for Him, all I have to do is walk in the woods and there He is, in every leaf and flower, in every living creature and breath of wind. I do not look for Him in manmade structures or in books. The Living God exists in the perfection of Nature. No one can question the authorship of the natural world, and it is a tragedy that we treat His work with such disdain. I have no doubt that when all the woods and all the wild places are gone, and when the wondrous diversity of life has been swept away and the Earth is a barren wasteland, we will discover that we have killed God, as well. The grandeur of the universe, including this lovely planet, is His manifest body, and its life, His breath. How wretched and lonely we will feel then!
I send you my heartfelt thanks for all you are doing to promote awareness of God's immanence in all of His masterworks. If Christianity, the most influential religion of the most influential nation in the world (the country that gobbles up 25% of the world's natural resources and promotes limitless capitalism with a fierce determination) doesn't reclaim its recognition and acknowledgment of the divine aspect of Nature and do something to change the hearts of men, then all will be lost.
Reply from Frank - 7 Feb 2003
Thank you very much for your letter. It was like reading many of our own thoughts. Your term, "religious humanism", really describes the heart of the problem.
Mary says that Christianity has be highjacked by self serving so-called Christians, who are really hard of heart and don't follow the gentle, loving and compassionate teaching of Jesus.
A large segment of our ministry has been to people, like yourself, who have left the Church because of the hardness of heart they have observed in both clergy and laity.
Have you written any articles that reflect the thoughts expressed in your letter? If so, we would love to publish them on our web site.
We also host a veg-Christian discussion group. If you're interested in joining, please let us know.
We hope to hear from you again.
In the Love of the Lord,
We welcome your comments
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