Essay: Is There Forgiveness without Repentance?
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


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

Essay: Is There Forgiveness without Repentance?

Last essay, I discussed how Christians who participate directly in animal abuse or indirectly by sponsoring factory farming and other forms of mistreatment of Godís animals must choose between two positions. Either they are enemies of God or they believe that God is violent and cruel. Would a God who endorses cruelty to animals also forgive our sins?
I donít think so. Such a God would be malevolent, in which case I would not expect such a God to be merciful. I think the Bible offers insights. John the Baptist preached ďa baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sinsĒ (Mark 1:4).  Similarly, in Lukeís Gospel, after the Resurrection, Jesus tells his followers ďrepentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his [Jesusí] name to all nationsĒ (Luke 24:47). Forgiveness of sins is integrally linked with repentance. If there is no repentance, there is no forgiveness.
Repentance is more than saying one is sorry, which itself is rarely done by meat-eaters. Repentance involves striving to avoid sin in the future. We might all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but our faith teaches that we can be confident of Godís forgiveness if we try to follow Christís example of perfect love and devotion to Godís will.

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