What is the “faith of Christ?”
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from All-Creatures.org


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

What is the “faith of Christ?”

It is not easy to discern the faith of Christ from the only detailed descriptions of Jesus’ life – the Gospels. What we can say is that Jesus aimed to follow God’s will, and it does appear that Jesus’ concern for victims aligned with God’s desires for creation. The Bible relates that God initially intended that all creation live peacefully and harmoniously, because all creatures were vegan in the Garden of Eden. Likewise, Isaiah 11:6-9 prophesied that at end of times there would be a return to the Realm of God in which no creature harmed another.
Jesus’ ministry reflected concern for all individuals. However, this often involved conflict, because Jesus lived in a world filled with injustice and violence. He showed compassion and concern for all who were vulnerable, including widows, orphans, and poor people, and he denounced the hypocrites who claimed piety and righteousness but benefited from unjust power arrangements. Similarly, as well as turning over the moneychangers’ tables, he liberated the animals in the Temple, which evidently showed his compassion and concern for nonhumans.
Jesus’ dedication to the will of God was so complete that he permitted his own capture and execution, which he believed was his divinely ordained destiny. Fortunately, few of us need to make such extreme sacrifices to prevent victimization. Most CVA members live in countries where we have freedom to eat and speak as we believe, yet tragically few people take advantage of these opportunities to protect God’s Creation. Instead, most people equate freedom with consumer choices, and they end up degrading God’s Creation rather than protecting it.
Jesus said the truth will set us free, and indeed we can find meaning and direction in our lives not by impressing our friends with our latest purchases but by serving God. Jesus was in great pain on the cross, but the Bible describes him ultimately as at peace. Faith involves trusting that aligning our actions with God’s desires, as Jesus did, will put our hearts at ease and liberate us from the burdens of this human existence. 

Go on to: Reflections on the Lectionary: Mark 13:1-8
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