People seem to love to label or categorize just about everything
around them, especially things they don’t really know very much about.
And the reason they don’t know much about them is because they
probably don’t want to exert a little effort to find out more, or they
want a convenient scapegoat to vent on.
For example, the word “liberal” – as in “generous” or “tolerant” –
has become a convenient label that is often misapplied in an effort to
malign those with whom one disagrees.
Something I find difficult to understand is how anyone who defends
the rights of God’s creatures to exist as He intended is labeled with
all manner of vicious labels; and how those who claim to be believers in
God and/or Jesus are often among the most critical and nasty. Is it
because deep down inside they know the truth about the suffering to
which they are contributing?
How is it possible to read in the New Testament about Jesus’
generosity and tolerance (He was accused by His enemies of associating
with undesirables) and come to the conclusion that He was the opposite
of “liberal”? If I may for a moment resort to labeling, Jesus was the
most radical liberal of His time!
Those who hide from the truth because of cowardice, or so they can
indulge themselves in the products of cruelty (flesh, dairy, and eggs)
without feeling guilty, remind me of many Bible verses in which the
hard-of-heart are reprimanded.
In Mark 8:17 Jesus asks “Do you not yet see or understand? Do you
have a hardened heart?” He continues in Mark 8:18, asking if his
listeners have spiritual blindness, as well as spiritual deafness –
“Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?”
In the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) the Lord says through the Prophet
Jeremiah in 5:21:
21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding;
which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
~ King James Version
In John 9:39-41 Jesus speaks to the religious leaders, the Pharisees,
about spiritual blindness.
39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those
who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind."
40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things, and
said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?"
41 Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains.
~New American Standard Bible
There are many more similar verses in the Bible, and they all point
to this continuing problem: Most professing believers fail to follow
Jesus’ basic loving, compassionate, and peacemaking teachings for the
whole of Creation.