John 3:16 “Eternal Life,” part 3
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


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

John 3:16 “Eternal Life,” part 3

Last essay, I discussed how having a sense of connection to others might be a means by which we gain a sense of immortality, which can relieve our natural fear of death. As social creatures, we naturally enjoy the company of other humans and nonhuman beings. Such relationships, though often rewarding, don’t generally give us a sense of immortality. We need relationships that include a sense of continuity that transcends normal boundaries of time and space.
Religious faith can help provide this. If we regard God as eternal – that is, not bound by time or space – then aligning ourselves with God can provide a sense of immortality. Though God’s nature is shrouded in mystery, we get glimpses of the divine through creativity in the universe. I think it is reasonable to believe that the Creator who went to all the trouble of generating Creation would then care about Creation. Consequently if we direct our lives toward serving Creation we can reasonably believe that we are serving the Creator.

 This, I think, is what faith is most fundamentally about. It is a conviction that, in a universe that sometimes seems impartial and meaningless, we can find meaning and purpose by engaging in constructive, creative activities that make living more worthwhile for those around us. To the degree that we strive to be positive presences in the lives of others, we can feel connected to the universe and, by extension, to God. To the degree that we are party to violence, cruelty, and injustice toward any being, we separate ourselves from God. So, while many people see plant-based eating as a “sacrifice,” in truth it is liberating and joyful.

Go on to: In What Kind of God Do You Believe?
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents

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