Humane Religion Magazine
May - June 2008 Issue
An Open Letter to Christian Churches
To all churches claiming to be “Christian”:
When we first started our website ministry, www.all-creatures.org, we never expected to hear from so many people who have been hurt by pastors and church members through callous indifference, ridicule, or emotional battering concerning the “animal issue”. For example, people already grieving for their dead companion animals, have been subjected to more grief through the insensitivity of the very ones who are expected to offer support: their faith community.
Having been exposed to years of similar expressions of uncaring attitudes stemming from a basic “hardness of heart” in churches, we have decided to “go public” in hopes that exposure to the truth will effect change in the behavior of those who have unintentionally (or intentionally) hurt others.
How has this come to pass and what are some ways that this situation can be remedied?
Many Christians think they are getting away with what Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined “cheap grace”; but it is costing them a lot more than they bargained for! “If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh…we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ.” (The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, New York: Macmillan, 1963, p. 188)
Does your church sponsor breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, suppers, church socials, beef dinners, pancake suppers, fish fries, chicken dinners, ham dinners, pork roasts, etc. (or should I say ad nauseam?)
Then you are probably raising funds (blood money) on the backs of billions of sentient creatures who suffer horrendously, while you feast on the products of their tortured lives and excruciating deaths.
Do you raise money for “cures” for the latest fad disease: breast cancer, Alzheimers, diabetes, etc.?
Do you pray for those who are sick?
Perhaps you should read Why Christians Get Sick by The Reverend George Malkmus, Baptist Minister, who cured his colon cancer by eliminating animal products from his diet, and has gone on to really help others regain and maintain their health by his example. Unless you are one of the few who have listened to the truth and acted on it, you may be wasting your time and prolonging human suffering, if your answers to the first two questions are “yes”.
The Bible is full of admonitions against cruelty. We are to be stewards (true meaning of “dominion” in Genesis.) of His creation. And, furthermore, in John 14:12 Jesus makes it clear that “greater things than these” will His Believers accomplish, after He has returned to glory:
Are we accomplishing “greater things” now if we are fueling the Holocaust of God’s innocent creatures? Surely, God will not long suffer His creation to be raped and pillaged by the very ones who were told they would be able to “do greater things” after He had gone to be with the Father.
Woe to those who feast on the products of torture, thereby ensuring the continued growth of the huge, powerful meat and dairy industries. Our world is saturated with the blood of innocents, with blood that cries out to God. The Hebrew Bible (“Old Testament”) says that the “soul is in the blood”. We Christians have conveniently translated “soul” as “life”:
The atonement required a “soul” for a “soul”. It stands to reason that because animals have souls they could be offered as atonement for human souls. That’s why plants or rocks or anything else could not be offered for atonement. And Christ Himself provided the final atonement for our sins: the Sinless for the sinful. And all because of the fall of humankind due to disobedience back in Eden! The concession to eat animals (along with strict rules for such consumption found in the Book of Deuteronomy) was granted by God because humans were so corrupt they would have annihilated their own race by cannibalizing each other. After the fall, the free will that God had given humankind raged out of control, as the Prince of Darkness, Satan, became the ruler of the world.
This is what John 3:19-21 says about darkness:
Do we really love the light, instead of the darkness, if we continue to give in to our lower natures by craving animal products? We say we are washed by the Blood of Jesus and are new creatures in Christ. Then why do we live in license and concession, rather than liberty and power over our appetites? If we are saved and Heaven-bound, why don’t we start getting used to godly living now? After all, animal products will not be available in Heaven:
Every day we are confronted with scientific proof that animals share most of their genetic makeup with humans. Obviously, God uses an economy of means! We are approaching the time Isaiah speaks of:
There is no excuse for the violence that we promote either by our omission or our commission. We no longer can claim ignorance. And we cannot hide behind words like “cultural” or “traditional” to excuse rodeos, circuses, bull-fights, hunting, trapping, dog fights, etc.
Our churches are full of complacent, greedy, self-indulgent, sadistic gluttons who use any and all excuses to wallow in their sinful condition. For the sake of their own comfort and material security, many pastors aid and abet their unholy flocks by perpetuating the status quo and making sure that children are brainwashed in their unholy “traditions”:
The Prophet Isaiah's observations (Isaiah 59:15) over 2700 years ago, still ring true today:
Corruption runs rampant, and anyone who tries to "tell it the way it is" is silenced by means of ridicule, gossip (this is rampant in many churches and may be thinly disguised as "prayer"), or other means. This results in a concentration of the most unholy in what claims to be "Christ's" church.
To put a new twist on an old saying: while Christ is physically away, the flock will play. But Galatians 6:7-8 offers hope:
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation
Frank L. Hoffman
Mary T. Hoffman