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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Animal Sacrifices

Reading: Leviticus 1

It is hard to know what to say about Leviticus 1. As an environmentalist and believer in Animal Rights, it is hard to stomach. Yet we must note that our God, unlike most of the other God's in the area and the God's of peoples like the Aztecs and Incas, is not satisfied with human sacrifice, but rather with that of animals. That the Lord asks for the sacrifice of perfect animals (perhaps because before original sin this is how they would all have been) clearly indicates that God deems animals worthy to do Him honour - as we have earlier seen that the altar of natural stone is the desire of the Lord. Also, we note that God does not condone the random or vicious killing of animals - the sacrifices are steeped in tradition and God dictates very specific proceedures on how it is to be done. The ceremony is based on respect for God and for His creatures.

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+