Christ Is Risen! Truly, He Is Risen!

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Christ Is Risen! Truly, He Is Risen! – 23 Apr 2006

Christian Orthodoxy celebrates Christ’s Resurrection today, 23 April 2006. This past week was Holy Week, and church services were held Friday and late Saturday to commemorate the death and Resurrection (Άνάστασις) of Jesus.

If you’ve been reading my Blogs, you know that I admire traditions that are comforting and uplifting, such as the beautiful services and ceremonies of the Orthodox Christians.

What I don’t like are traditions involving the slaughter and exploitation of God’s creatures. These cruel practices have nothing to do with honoring the Lord and are, instead, the opposite of what Jesus stands for. I can’t help but think that such practices, now accepted by most religions, come from satanic influences. Surely, God does not inspire them!

Here is a discouraging example of religion going downhill: In the 21 April 2006 edition of The Vision (a United Methodist publication), there is an article describing a Seder given in a Methodist church by a Jewish Christian to demonstrate the similarities between the Passover liturgy and the Last Supper of Jesus. So far; so good. This account, that I’ve summarized here, is accurate.

The article goes on to say how “…this Upper Room meal” was combined …with a potluck supper.” It goes on to say how everything was done to ensure that everything was Kosher. “Even non-dairy creamer was used for the coffee…”

However, this last sentence spoiled my impression: “In this way, Christians were reminded of how difficult it is to keep the laws of the Torah.” After reading this, I thought of how Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law, not to abolish it. If you live on a plant-based diet, you are automatically fulfilling the Law. And it is easier than eating animal products. It is easier in every way: on your health, on your conscience, on the animals, on the environment, and most important of all – it honors God.

Instead of helping and encouraging people to rise to a higher level, this church discourages them. The preaching of “cheap grace” is very popular in the churches today. It goes something like this: “Jesus took all your sins with Him to the cross, so you can be free to indulge yourself. All your sins, including future sins, are forgiven.” Where is there responsibility in all of this? Since God did not make robots, we still have to make choices. And choices involve responsibility. In Philippians 2:12 the Apostle Paul says, “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling…”

These churches advertise that they welcome all sorts of people. What they don’t tell you is that many (if not most) of them are so hard-hearted toward those who are sensitive to the suffering of God’s other animals, that they end up leaving.  

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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