Thursday, July 26, 2007

I May Be Lame, But MadPriest Is Not

Typical. I've been letting my partner do all the heavy lifting again.

And he's right, of course. Hopeful promises won't save our planet from human destruction; but they will relieve God from having to take responsibility for hurricane season. Ecology and the environment, the health of the planet and it's many species, these are just the sort of issues that should be important to all.

And in typical Missy fashion I'm taking the easy way out. MadPriest has posted an essay that addresses Genesis 9:4-6 better than I ever could. Here is a brief excerpt, but I encourage you to go read the whole thing:

The image of paradise versus the fallen world is a constant throughout the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. It is used by the writers metaphorically in both their mythology ( eg. Genesis ) and their prophecy. When Isaiah wants to communicate the nature of a paradise beyond human comprehension he uses the imagery of the peaceable kingdom where the lion lies down with the lamb. Christ brings about the Kingdom of God. As Christians we are expected to live as if the Kingdom is already with us, and if we take seriously Isaiah’s prophecy of the Kingdom we must adopt the practices of it that are possible here and now. We have the ability, denied presently to our animal companions, to choose not to kill other creatures. When we choose such a way we are choosing the way of the Kingdom. This answers the second argument, that Jesus was not a vegetarian. To be fully incarnate, Christ entered the context of human life at the point of his arrival on earth. This context was one of a meat eating society. However, this is no longer the necessary context and it is now possible to live a more Kingdom based paradigm. I believe that on Christ’s return he will live in the new context and that it is our duty, as Christians, to help bring this evolution about.

What is needed is a new understanding of the term, ‘dominion’ based upon the Hebrew scriptures rather than Platonic Greek thought. In the Old Testament the line between animals and humans, in respect of their organic and spiritual attributes, is not as wide as it came to be perceived after the influence of Greek thinking upon our religion. God cares for all his creation equally, no matter how unique his relationship with humanity is. Secondly, all living things are perceived as having a soul, as life is equivalent to soul in the Hebrew scriptures. Therefore, Job comes to understand that the secret of God’s mysterious ways can be found, in part, within the universality of all life;

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of every human being.” ( Job. 12: 7 - 10 )
I could almost give up meat. Except an occasional steak. And bacon. Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.

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