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"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.


Compassionate Living – 21 January 2007
By Mary T. Hoffman

On 16 January 1994, in a local church, Frank gave a sermon titled “A Lesson from the Beginners Guide to Compassionate Living.” The Guide that he was referring to was the Bible. (For the complete text of the sermon, see:

As I was scanning this sermon for publication on our website, I read again about the man healed by Jesus (John 5:1-20) and how the religious leaders of the day criticized the healed and the Healer for working on the Sabbath.

5. And a certain man was there, who had been thirty-eight years in his sickness.

8. Jesus said to him, "Arise, take up your pallet, and walk."

9. And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.

10. Therefore the Jews were saying to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet."
~ New American Standard Bible

Reading this, I started to think about the rigidity – adherence to rules and regulations that are used as a substitute for God’s ultimate Law: Love – still found in religions world-wide. I thought about how Jesus was trying to “get down to basics” and was teaching that it is really all about love and compassion.

People also forget that the regulations, as found in Leviticus, in the Hebrew Bible were given by God as concessions after the fall; they were meant as a way of bringing humans (“…the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth….” Genesis 8:21) under control – stop-gap measures, one might say – until the fulfillment of God’s original intent as described in Genesis before the fall.

As I’ve written before, perfect love does fulfill the Law, but because we are not perfect, it does not profit us to eliminate those aspects of the Law that are there to prevent us from sinning.

For many people rituals that are not harmful to any of God’s creatures can be uplifting and serve a purpose, but only if God’s ultimate Law – love for all of His creation – has first place in their hearts. Religious celebrations or gatherings that include the torture of animals and/or the consumption of any animal-derived products – all of which are produced from the suffering of animals – do not honor God; they are blasphemous.

Go on to: Cowardly Submissive – 22 January 2007
Return to: “Cruelty-Free”? (continued) – 20 January 2007
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