“Far from supposing that things like diseases and deformities were part of a great divine plan or that they glorified God, Jesus revealed God’s will and glorified God by coming against these things! Jesus ministry was not about helping people accept the world as it is—as though it now reflected God’s will. His ministry was about helping people resist the world as it now is—in order to bring about God’s good will.”
~Greg Boyd, ReKnew.org, Resisting Evil
As a Christian animal welfarist I believe that a good deal of the reason Christians are resistant to change and are apathetic toward animal suffering has a lot to do with the subject of this and other recent posts on ReKnew.org.
When we can (not an exhaustive list):
- Start seeing animals and our relationship with them from a pre-fall view (see this post);
- Recognize the progression after the fall toward the allowance of animals as food for us as a temporary concession mostly due to the evil of our own hearts;
- See God trying to reach his people where they are to draw them away from the surrounding evil doing nations in order to establish his church in order to reach the surrounding evil doing nations for himself and heal Babel (see here and Tearing Down The Walls);
- See that not acknowledging God’s temporary concession of our use of animals has led to the defining view of them we have today as commodities and utilities which is also partly due to Stoicism along with Augustine’s defining view of animal life;
- See that our view of animals as commodities/utilities has derived from a falsely understood version of the mandate given us by God that dominion meant we could use them in any fashion we see fit;
- Then perhaps we can begin to see more clearly the Satanic stronghold over us on this issue within the larger context in which it is framed – namely, that by viewing evil as ultimately controlled by greater good consummates an attitude of surrender toward what is evil;
- And in the case of stewardship responsibilities, this surrender to evil along with everything else outlined above, particularly creates apathy and indifference, if we see that we are supposed to revolt against the abuses of our dominion involving the animal kingdom at all.
If it is true that we are to progressively manifest the Kingdom of God upon the earth, the church must begin to question its participation in the way the world, and the church, has defined and uses animals; it must begin to teach the view of the NT that Jesus taught of revolting against evil as pertaining to the whole creation, not only humans, if the created order is indeed to begin being restored through us.
“Throughout history and yet today, very few Christians have seen themselves as belonging to a subversive resistance to evil—despite the clear teaching of the New Testament regarding the enemy-occupied status of the world. I frankly suspect that this God-is-behind-it-all theology is partly to blame. The belief that “evil” is ultimately controlled by a greater good tends to produce an attitude of resignation toward evil rather than an attitude of revolting against it. …
…Stoics advocated a form of piety that stressed peaceful resignation to all that afflicts humans rather than an on-going attempt to resist it. …
I suggest that Jesus had a very different mindset, as did most of the early Church fathers until the fourth century when St. Augustine advocated a Stoic view of providence. His view, unfortunately, more or less came to dominate Christian theology. This certainly wasn’t Jesus’ view.” ~Greg Boyd, ReKnew.org. To read the entire post go here.
Thank you for reading and following our blog; we pray you are blessed by it and will share it widely with others! Thank you. ~Kathy