Revolting Against Evil

“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

Zengardner OneEurope Photo

Zengardner OneEurope Photo

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

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5 Responses to Revolting Against Evil

  1. evolvetoeden says:

    A great article but for – “God’s temporary concession of our use of animals has led to the defining view of them”. Our Father is never changing and not a God of confusion. Having experienced our Father cleaning up the world (see Noah in the scriptures) where all was free from sin once again, Noah proceeds to sacrifice animals, get drunk, shame himself in front of his sons and say that God told him we could kill animals to eat meat. Noah was a man of his time heavily influenced by the wickedness around him. Would it not be more reasonable to think that our Father was trying to restore Eden even then, and that Noah, still imperfect, just didn’t have a clear vision of our Father. It is not – “God’s temporary concession of our use of animals has led to the defining view of them”, it is men not understanding the true nature of our Father and making God in their own image to justify theirs, and the many other evils we see on earth. Jesus showed us what our Father is truly like, all loving, all compassion, all forgiving and all patience with a wilful, wicked humanity. I believe Jesus not Noah. Our Father is perfect, he cannot lie or deceive people into believing one thing is acceptable at one time, and something horrifically different at another. No this is the work of man!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy says:

      Hello Evolve2Eden: Thank you for your comment. I agree in principle that it could very well be that Moses was acting and speaking as a man heavily influenced by the surrounding cultures and prevailing wickedness and that this so called “allowance” was not really an allowance at all. It is possible that we did get it all wrong from this point forward. Yet, this does not entirely square with other scripture we see particularly in the OT where we see God continually meeting people where they are at, trying to move them in a certain direction, saying I will “do this” or “do that” if my people “will do this or that.” God changes his mind sometimes, too, based on what humans do or don’t do in response to his directions and desires for us as he is moving history forward toward Christ and now the full redemption all creation longs for.

      It could also be that God in his mercy allowed for the eating of flesh with his people after the flood while adding the many many rules imposed in doing so; foreseeing that greed would necessitate shortages of food; there is now the need for clothing due to fallen man’s shame and now, in unseasonable weather (this appears to be imposed upon the earth after the flood); foreseeing that famine and all the tragic consequences of the fall would at times warrant the need for humans in one form or another to use animals for sustenance and to provide for early humans means of living and help in working the land (not intending it to be permanent and not intending for it to become what it obviously has today).

      That being said, the Edenic diet was also the intended diet, that is clear in Moses’ writing, as well. It was also intended for mankind to live in the garden naked and not ashamed. The need for clothing was a thing of the fall which precipitates the need for materials to be made from the earth in order to have clothing.

      I don’t believe that any of this way of looking at that period of time would be calling God a liar; nor is He somehow not perfect or not all powerful because he may have had to succumb to this level because of the choices of free agents, as well as the very real fact that now Satan has been given charge of the garden oasis by man’s free choice to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which affected the entire created order. This was not our all good and perfect God’s choice nor was it His will for any of creation. However now he must respond to a creation that has succumbed to evil. Which means that God likely needs to make allowances in order to continually redeem the creation until that work is finished and Christ comes again.

      A whole lot of what we understand I believe is based upon the view we have of the nature of God, what his purposes were for creating mankind and other creatures, whether or not one believes that humans and other fallen angelic beings have free will or not and what this means if they do.

      Just a little background, to understand the foundation upon which we write from on the blog:

      We believe that the nature of God is all good, there is no evil in him; we believe he created humans to be in relationship with him and to govern over the created earth and creatures; we believe at some point Satan convinced the first humans to believe his lie that we could be like God if we ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; and that this decision to do so had devastating consequences for the entire created order, indeed the entire cosmos.

      I think I can safely speak on behalf of the three of us that we are also open to further revelation by God on any understanding we have from scripture as God reveals more and guides all of us, molding us to reflect the truth of who he created us to be, so that we further manifest God’s kingdom upon the earth, which may very well mean changes of perspective and life-style as the Holy Spirit leads. I don’t think anyone has a corner on truth, nor can any particular denomination, group, or movement claim such.

      I’m no scholar or theologian, just a passionate lover of Jesus and his creatures, who is bent on learning as much as the Holy Spirit will teach and to follow where I feel he leads in conjunction with others who do the same as I “work out my salvation”. I think it’s okay to question and search, even necessary (seek and you shall find) with the Holy Spirits help (test the spirits scripture says!) and to find a theological perspective that makes the whole of scripture as coherent as possible (it’s that old saying, I want to learn as much as I can about the beliefs that are out there in conjunction with the scripture and the Holy Spirits guidance so that I can make informed decisions about my faith!). For me I have come to believe that the work of theologians who take the Christus Victor view of the atonement, an Open Theist and Warfare World View of scripture, do make it coherent thus far as it has been studied.

      Thank you again, really enjoy the conversation! Feel free to write again, and thanks for reading following our blog.
      Blessings,
      Kathy

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Kathy says:

    Hi Sharon. It is okay that we do. I would however, very much like to know if you don’t mind sharing, what your understanding of scripture is, what theological thought you adhere to? How do you reconcile all of scripture as a whole? What about scripture being God breathed, how do you understand what is written in relationship to this? Thanks, would love to hear your thoughts. Blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on Jesus Vegans and commented:
    Important insights about how to deal with evil in this world, including evil done to animals.

    Liked by 2 people

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