Independence Day? For Whom?
A Sermon Delivered at the
Compassionate Internet Church
6 July 2008
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor
Genesis 1:21-22, 24, 26
Galatians 5:1, 13
1 Peter 2:16
2 Peter 2:18-22
Two days ago in the United States, we celebrated the 4th of July, our Independence Day.
Earlier in the week I kept thinking about our history and the way we live today, and about who is really independent in this country, or any other country in the world, for that matter.
The reality is that probably not more than twenty percent of all the living souls residing in this country are truly free and independent, and the other eighty percent live in concentration camps where they suffer miserably and die a horrible death.
And then to add insult to injury on the 4th of July, most of the 20% celebrate their independence by cooking the corpses of many of the 80% on their outside barbeques.
If you havenít guessed already, the 80% of the living souls who have no freedom or independence are the farmed animals, and those imprisoned in research facilities and other captive places.
When this country was founded, very few of the early settlers thought anything of depriving the Native Americans of their freedom and independence. They were only concerned with their own freedom and independence.
They also didnít think anything of depriving Africans of their freedom and independence, and enslaving them in this country.
And all during this period they continued to exploit animals, but a strange thing began to happen.
The more the people began to realize that it wasnít proper to enslave their fellow human beings and deprive them of their freedom and independence, the crueler they became to the animals and the more they exploited them, until today more that 10 billion of them suffer and die in this country every year.
Why did this happen?
Because most of the humans still wanted someone to dominate and use as a scapegoat;
Because the animals couldnít speak out for themselves, as could the former human slaves;
And, because very few clergy spoke out for the animals and told the truth about what the Bible really teaches; instead, they became part of the corruption.
The clergy hid the fact that the Bible teaches us that both humans and other animals were created as living souls, and they even distorted the Bible translations.
If we are to recognize the truth that humans were created as living souls, as we are told in Genesis 2:7:
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Then to be honest with ourselves and God, we must also accept the fact that the other animals were also created as living souls, as we are told in Genesis 1:20-21, and 24:
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature [SOUL] that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature [SOUL] that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature [SOUL] after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Hiding this basic truth about the other animals takes away their God-given right to be considered as our fellow living souls with their God-given freedom and independence.
This is exactly what was done to the Native Americans and the Africans, and the world will continue to be filled with our warring madness until we learn to respect all life, beginning with the animals, because what we do to the animals is the root cause of what we do to our fellow human beings.
And until we learn this, we will never have true peace, freedom, and independence.
Now, letís take a look at what Paul tells us in Romans 8:20 and 21:
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.
In Genesis 1:26 God gave Adam (humans) dominion (stewardship) over the earth and all the other animals; so when Adam (humans) disobeyed God, the whole of this worldly creation fell with him; and the other animals lost their original freedom and fell into the corruption of the humans who were to protect and care for them.
But here in Romans, we are told that the true children of God will set them free from their present corrupted state.
It is only logical to conclude that there are really very few children of God, even among the clergy; therefore, they must be children of the devil, because they are helping to keep creation corrupted and in captivity, where they have no freedom or independence.
In Galatians 5:1 we are told:
5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
If this is true, then why donít people live this way?
Why do most people falsely believe that such freedom would allow us to enslave others and take away their freedom?
Itís because our churches and society are still subjected to the yoke of slavery that Jesus came to free us from, because the vast majority of people like it this way.
Letís think about this in terms of what we are told in Galatians 5:13.
13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
And this is exactly what has happened.
Our so-called Christian society, along with many other societies, have turned their freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, including the flesh of other living souls on their plates.
Furthermore, our society has shown their disdain for one another instead of their love; because by depriving the other animals of their freedom, we have inflicted upon our society most of our viral and bacterial infections, and many diseases.
In 1 Peter 2:16, while writing about human institutions, Peter writes:
16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
But we can equally apply this passage to our subject for today, for most people are really not acting as if they were truly free; but rather they are using their so-called freedom as a covering for evil, particularly the evil theyíve committed against the animals.
Isnít this also what we are told in 2 Peter 2:18-22?
18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
20 For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."
While I donít like using animals in the way these proverbs do, they very accurately describe what most human beings are doing to themselves.
Instead of escaping the defilements of the world, they have actually increased them.
Instead of working to free creation from its present corruption, they have joined in with the corruption and made it worse.
The other day, our nation really didnít celebrate our freedom and independence; instead most of the people celebrated their bondage to corruption, with all its pain, suffering, and death.
Itís time for the true children of God to stop hiding in the shadows and begin to speak out and tell the truth.
Itís time for the true children of God to live as the peacemakers they have been called to be, and peacefully work to free this world from its present corruption, and this includes freeing all of our fellow human beings, and all of the other animals.
Itís time for all of us to help give every living soul their God-given right to live in the freedom and independence that we all deserve.
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