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Christian Living

True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth

Living in the Promises of God
Part 3 - Liberating
By: Frank L. Hoffman

In the late 1960's and 70's, there arose a movement in Latin America called Liberation Theology.  The goal of this movement was to free the poor and "peasant class" people from the oppression that they had been subjected to by Anglo-European/North American colonialism.  The problem with this movement, and the reason that it never fully succeeded in fulfilling its goals, is, in my opinion, that many in the movement preached revolution and violence.  Such an approach is not Christian, nor is it liberating.  The proof of this is in the fact that many liberators and liberated people also became oppressors of others, both humans and animals. 

foiegras4.jpg (10110 bytes)As a related example, I was doing some research and writing a series of articles on the pain and suffering that is caused in the production of Foie Gras, a pate made from goose and duck livers.  I was looking over some web sites when I came upon the site of Sonoma Foie Gras.  One of their pages told about Guillermo and Junny Gonzalez who left their homeland of El Salvador in 1985 to come to the United States and begin their Foie Gras farm and production site.  foiegras3.jpg (13204 bytes)As I read and looked at the pictures of them and their daughters, I couldn't help but think about the connection with Liberation Theology.  They left a country where people who couldn't help themselves were being oppressed, and they came to the United States to oppress ducks in even a similar or even worse manner.  In Latin America, many who opposed the oppressive nature of the governments were imprisoned and tortured, much in the same way as these ducks are being imprisoned, and the goose is being force-fed in our archive photos.  In our opinion, all factory farming and animal agriculture is oppressive and cruel, just as oppressive governments are to many of their people.

We need a true Liberation Theology, one that lives in the promises of God.

We need to think of what Jesus Christ did as an example for us.  The Roman Empire dominated the Middle East.  Most of the people who recognized Him as their Messiah, expected Him to liberate Israel from the domination of Rome, but He didn't do this in a physical way.  Jesus was a peacemaker.  Rather than wage war against Rome, which He could have done, and won, He chose to submit Himself unto death, even death on a cross.  Rather than harm any being, He died for our sins, including the sins of those who crucified Him.  Jesus also taught in His Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons [and daughters] of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Paul tells us how to apply this liberating theology in Romans 8:18-25 NASV:

18.  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

19.  For the anxious longings of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons [and daughters] of God.

20.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

21.  that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

22.    For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

23.  And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons [and daughters], the redemption of our bodies.

24.  For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?

25.    For if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance, we wait eagerly for it.

Paul wrote this passage nearly 2000 years ago, and we still haven't learned to live this promise.  The groaning and suffering continues. 

Why?

Because we are a part of the pain and suffering of this world.  Because we accept things as they are and do nothing to prevent ungodly activity.  Because we haven't been persevering as the peacemakers and sons and daughters of God.  And perhaps, because we really might not be sons and daughters of God.

To persevere is to be steadfast, to stand firm against the evils of this world, to persist in doing what is liberating, to eliminate all pain and suffering and corruption, and to be true peacemakers even when the world around us is oppressive.  We can and should be the liberating sons and daughters of God, because it is a promise and gift of God.

cc-wildgeranium.jpg (5621 bytes)We can and should live in the promises of God. 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
(Philippians 4:8 - KJV)


 

Photos by Sue Holloway - Creatured Connection, and from our archive
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