The rights of the Earth. And of bugs. And of trees.

Before the UN, a proposal that Bolivia has already enacted, a new frontier of rights legislation:

Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is now threatened.

The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia’s Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January.

That document speaks of the country’s natural resources as “blessings,” and grants the Earth a series of specific rights that include rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

It also establishes a Ministry of Mother Earth, and provides the planet with an ombudsman whose job is to hear nature’s complaints as voiced by activist and other groups, including the state.

“If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) who have rights are humans or companies, then how can you reach balance?” Pablo Salon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN, told Postmedia News. “But if you recognize that nature too has rights, and (if you provide) legal forms to protect and preserve those rights, then you can achieve balance.”

via UN document would give ‘Mother Earth’ same rights as humans.

How would one determine the inalienable rights of an insect?  Or of a plant?  Or of “Mother Earth”?  What would be the basis of those rights?  If this might some day be enacted, what do you think it could lead to?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    It would lead to the complete dissolution of the United Nations.

  • SKPeterson

    It would lead to the complete dissolution of the United Nations.

  • Pete

    As a chain saw owner, I’m a little nervous. Please advise.

  • Pete

    As a chain saw owner, I’m a little nervous. Please advise.

  • Doug

    What happens if malaria breaks out and they have to enact a mass killing of mosquitoes? Will someone be prosecuted for genocide?

  • Doug

    What happens if malaria breaks out and they have to enact a mass killing of mosquitoes? Will someone be prosecuted for genocide?

  • Tom Hering

    Why shouldn’t Bolivia (and Ecuador before them) enact laws that reflect indigenous values and beliefs? And why shouldn’t they, as member countries, bring their views to the U.N. for consideration?

  • Tom Hering

    Why shouldn’t Bolivia (and Ecuador before them) enact laws that reflect indigenous values and beliefs? And why shouldn’t they, as member countries, bring their views to the U.N. for consideration?

  • Jonathan

    Great. Let’s add neo-paganism to the UN Charter.

  • Jonathan

    Great. Let’s add neo-paganism to the UN Charter.

  • Carl Vehse

    Because such views are more at home in an insane asylum.

  • Carl Vehse

    Because such views are more at home in an insane asylum.

  • Rich Shipe

    Pete @ #2: Haha!

    This reminds me of children’s rights. NYU professor Martin Guggenheim wrote a very good book called “What’s Wrong with Children’s Rights.” http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Childrens-Rights-Martin-Guggenheim/dp/0674017218

    One of his points is that if an individual, in his case a child and in this case a bug or plant, can’t defend itself then it is really just a matter of two other entities fighting for control. So children’s rights (and bug’s rights) aren’t really about giving rights but to giving power to some at the expense of others.

  • Rich Shipe

    Pete @ #2: Haha!

    This reminds me of children’s rights. NYU professor Martin Guggenheim wrote a very good book called “What’s Wrong with Children’s Rights.” http://www.amazon.com/Whats-Childrens-Rights-Martin-Guggenheim/dp/0674017218

    One of his points is that if an individual, in his case a child and in this case a bug or plant, can’t defend itself then it is really just a matter of two other entities fighting for control. So children’s rights (and bug’s rights) aren’t really about giving rights but to giving power to some at the expense of others.

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    Sounds to me like Pres. Morales has watched “Avatar” a few too many times …

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    Sounds to me like Pres. Morales has watched “Avatar” a few too many times …

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This is not only idolatry; it’s also plain stupidity. Does this mean we shouldn’t eat anything ever? After all, plants and animals are part of “Mother Earth,” and we certainly wouldn’t want to be accused of ecological cannibalism by picking an apple off a tree and eating it!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This is not only idolatry; it’s also plain stupidity. Does this mean we shouldn’t eat anything ever? After all, plants and animals are part of “Mother Earth,” and we certainly wouldn’t want to be accused of ecological cannibalism by picking an apple off a tree and eating it!

  • collie

    @9 Reminds me of a Star Trek episode, where all the vegetation on one of the planets the Enterprise visited had feelings, even the groundcover. The crew couldn’t walk anywhere without hearing “Ow! Ow!”. I think of that sometimes when I’m pruning back the shrubs. lol

  • collie

    @9 Reminds me of a Star Trek episode, where all the vegetation on one of the planets the Enterprise visited had feelings, even the groundcover. The crew couldn’t walk anywhere without hearing “Ow! Ow!”. I think of that sometimes when I’m pruning back the shrubs. lol

  • John C

    …. the document speaks of the country’s natural resources as “blessings”
    Sounds interesting, almost Christian.
    I think the Christian notion of earthly stewardship has failed and I am prepared to listen to other voices — but not yours Carl.

  • John C

    …. the document speaks of the country’s natural resources as “blessings”
    Sounds interesting, almost Christian.
    I think the Christian notion of earthly stewardship has failed and I am prepared to listen to other voices — but not yours Carl.

  • Orianna Laun

    It makes me want to quote a Minnesotan radio talk show host: “The Earth is NOT your mother.”
    The earth and all its fulness is a blessing. Problem here is that there is a difference not defined between “dominate and exploit” and using for the benefit of the people (oh wait, I forgot, people aren’t as important as a 4-inch, non-native fish). Let’s just see if everyone involved with the discussion would like to go back to an agrarian society without fossil fuels and get them to un-dam the Hetch Hetchy to restore it to its pristine beauty, thereby taking away San Francisco’s drinking water. Then we’ll see if they are serious about such things.

  • Orianna Laun

    It makes me want to quote a Minnesotan radio talk show host: “The Earth is NOT your mother.”
    The earth and all its fulness is a blessing. Problem here is that there is a difference not defined between “dominate and exploit” and using for the benefit of the people (oh wait, I forgot, people aren’t as important as a 4-inch, non-native fish). Let’s just see if everyone involved with the discussion would like to go back to an agrarian society without fossil fuels and get them to un-dam the Hetch Hetchy to restore it to its pristine beauty, thereby taking away San Francisco’s drinking water. Then we’ll see if they are serious about such things.

  • Dan Kempin

    Rich, #7, has it right. Don’t fall for the argument. This isn’t about rights, it is about power.

    Perhaps more troubling is that the adoption of international law presages the enforcement of international law. (Not in the classic sense of rules governing the interaction of sovereign bodies, mind you, but in the sense that international law trumps national law.) Not to wade in to the specific problems of the Ivory Coast, but no one seems to find it troubling that foreign armies rolled in there and installed the leader that they deemed legitimate. What gives them the right to do that?

  • Dan Kempin

    Rich, #7, has it right. Don’t fall for the argument. This isn’t about rights, it is about power.

    Perhaps more troubling is that the adoption of international law presages the enforcement of international law. (Not in the classic sense of rules governing the interaction of sovereign bodies, mind you, but in the sense that international law trumps national law.) Not to wade in to the specific problems of the Ivory Coast, but no one seems to find it troubling that foreign armies rolled in there and installed the leader that they deemed legitimate. What gives them the right to do that?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    The Confessional basis would be the same as the confessional argument of a “natural right” to marry.

    This is not so farfetched as it seems.

    What this ignores is that the entire earthly point of the Law and creation is to serve man´s happiness.

    This is the Lutheran and Confessional idea that men are endowed with the “inalienable right” to pursue happiness. That clause , I propose , is the most confessionally Lutheran clause in our entire body of foundational documents in the USA. Happiness cannot be truly pursued on earth without Old Adam being drive by alot of restrictive rules. We don´t like them.

    To violate God´s ordering of nature that we call the ecology, is to eventually degrade human existence. This is wrong and sinful. To have Laws against this moral crime is good, right and salutary.

    This is true even if it wars against that most sacred of American Legal Doctrines that is THE true central “original intent” foundation for American Law called “Property Rights”.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    The Confessional basis would be the same as the confessional argument of a “natural right” to marry.

    This is not so farfetched as it seems.

    What this ignores is that the entire earthly point of the Law and creation is to serve man´s happiness.

    This is the Lutheran and Confessional idea that men are endowed with the “inalienable right” to pursue happiness. That clause , I propose , is the most confessionally Lutheran clause in our entire body of foundational documents in the USA. Happiness cannot be truly pursued on earth without Old Adam being drive by alot of restrictive rules. We don´t like them.

    To violate God´s ordering of nature that we call the ecology, is to eventually degrade human existence. This is wrong and sinful. To have Laws against this moral crime is good, right and salutary.

    This is true even if it wars against that most sacred of American Legal Doctrines that is THE true central “original intent” foundation for American Law called “Property Rights”.

  • helen

    1 SKPeterson April 13, 2011 at 6:40 am
    It would lead to the complete dissolution of the United Nations.

    Sad to say, I’m beginning to wonder if that’s bad. And I remember the hopefulness when it began.

  • helen

    1 SKPeterson April 13, 2011 at 6:40 am
    It would lead to the complete dissolution of the United Nations.

    Sad to say, I’m beginning to wonder if that’s bad. And I remember the hopefulness when it began.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dan @ 13

    Interesting. I think I disagree with you. Americans should be interested in the Rule of Law. The rightful ruler, who won a free and fair election without any doubt, then by law, invited foreign armies in to assert that Rule of Law.

    I don´t find a problem with this in any way Dan.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Dan @ 13

    Interesting. I think I disagree with you. Americans should be interested in the Rule of Law. The rightful ruler, who won a free and fair election without any doubt, then by law, invited foreign armies in to assert that Rule of Law.

    I don´t find a problem with this in any way Dan.

  • Louis

    It depends on the spin one puts on it. If it is about responsible and sustainable exploitation, it is not bad. If it is about some sort of PETA’sque antropomorphism, then it is nonsense. Do not be fooled by the language used though, different cultures use different modes of conversation. In some societies, understatement is preferred, in others, overstatement, and strong poetry and metaphor in others yet.

    J Dean – we are part of nature, and we have been omnivores for millions of years. There is convincing evidence that Australopithecus Afarensis (ie, Lucy and her kin) hunted as well as foraged. If you have a problem with evolution, well, a literal reading of Genesis will convince of the same, namely that we are omnivores within out natural environment.

    All this to say that if this statement is of the radical Vegan/PETA/Greenpeace variety, it misses the mark. But if, as I said above, it is merely a statement of environmental stewardship voiced within a specific cultural context, there is little wrong with it.

  • Louis

    It depends on the spin one puts on it. If it is about responsible and sustainable exploitation, it is not bad. If it is about some sort of PETA’sque antropomorphism, then it is nonsense. Do not be fooled by the language used though, different cultures use different modes of conversation. In some societies, understatement is preferred, in others, overstatement, and strong poetry and metaphor in others yet.

    J Dean – we are part of nature, and we have been omnivores for millions of years. There is convincing evidence that Australopithecus Afarensis (ie, Lucy and her kin) hunted as well as foraged. If you have a problem with evolution, well, a literal reading of Genesis will convince of the same, namely that we are omnivores within out natural environment.

    All this to say that if this statement is of the radical Vegan/PETA/Greenpeace variety, it misses the mark. But if, as I said above, it is merely a statement of environmental stewardship voiced within a specific cultural context, there is little wrong with it.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    This is just loopy. I won’t worry about it too much here in America. Not for a few years anyway.

    I’m more worried about the UNCRC, which seems a more imminent threat. Dr. Michael Farris (Chancellor of PHC) will be talking on this issue tomorrow night at our local home school conference in Albuquerque in a free session that’s open to the public.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    This is just loopy. I won’t worry about it too much here in America. Not for a few years anyway.

    I’m more worried about the UNCRC, which seems a more imminent threat. Dr. Michael Farris (Chancellor of PHC) will be talking on this issue tomorrow night at our local home school conference in Albuquerque in a free session that’s open to the public.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Louis @ 17

    Actually Louis, all mankind (and probably beasts?) were vegetarians until after the flood. It was only then that God told mankind that it was ok to eat the flesh of animals.

    I take the significance of this story in a sacramental way of the Sacrifice needed to give and sustain Life. I look at this story in the same way as I see the killing of animals and innocent animal blood shed to cover naked and fallen Adam and Eve.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Louis @ 17

    Actually Louis, all mankind (and probably beasts?) were vegetarians until after the flood. It was only then that God told mankind that it was ok to eat the flesh of animals.

    I take the significance of this story in a sacramental way of the Sacrifice needed to give and sustain Life. I look at this story in the same way as I see the killing of animals and innocent animal blood shed to cover naked and fallen Adam and Eve.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #16

    “The rightful ruler, who won a free and fair election without any doubt, ”

    Ah, but there is the rub. Who are you to be declaring the “rightful ruler” of someone else’s country? Besides, I’m not really arguing the virtues of this particular case. It just strikes me that we have become quite open to the idea of “supranational” troops marching in to enforce their will at gunpoint. For the good of the people, of course.

  • Dan Kempin

    Fws, #16

    “The rightful ruler, who won a free and fair election without any doubt, ”

    Ah, but there is the rub. Who are you to be declaring the “rightful ruler” of someone else’s country? Besides, I’m not really arguing the virtues of this particular case. It just strikes me that we have become quite open to the idea of “supranational” troops marching in to enforce their will at gunpoint. For the good of the people, of course.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 19, because permission to eat flesh was given at the same time as the sign of the rainbow, the eating of flesh can be seen as the flip side of that sign – something meant to remind us of just how deeply fallen we are. And so to remind us as well of our need for the Savior, and of our (and all Creation’s) hope for eternal life and a new (cleansed) Earth.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 19, because permission to eat flesh was given at the same time as the sign of the rainbow, the eating of flesh can be seen as the flip side of that sign – something meant to remind us of just how deeply fallen we are. And so to remind us as well of our need for the Savior, and of our (and all Creation’s) hope for eternal life and a new (cleansed) Earth.

  • DonS

    I agree with Rich @ 7 and Dan @ 13. This is about power. Pure and simple. It’s about gaining control over something that is not otherwise yours to control.

  • DonS

    I agree with Rich @ 7 and Dan @ 13. This is about power. Pure and simple. It’s about gaining control over something that is not otherwise yours to control.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The ECO nuts are on the loose.

    Katie, bar the door.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The ECO nuts are on the loose.

    Katie, bar the door.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 21

    Profound Tom.

    I´m gonna go get me a cup of dunkin donuts joe and ponder that for a bit.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 21

    Profound Tom.

    I´m gonna go get me a cup of dunkin donuts joe and ponder that for a bit.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 24, you had better make sure that joe is fair trade, or you will be violating the rights of those coffee plants.

  • DonS

    FWS @ 24, you had better make sure that joe is fair trade, or you will be violating the rights of those coffee plants.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    donS

    Good point!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    donS

    Good point!

  • steve

    This is no doubt a power grab by the ruling Party for Socialism and Bolivian President, Evo Morales, who is a fan of Che Guevara and ally of Victor Chavez and Fidel Castro.

  • steve

    This is no doubt a power grab by the ruling Party for Socialism and Bolivian President, Evo Morales, who is a fan of Che Guevara and ally of Victor Chavez and Fidel Castro.

  • steve

    Oops. The above should read Hugo Chavez… got my writers and politicians mixed up. :)

  • steve

    Oops. The above should read Hugo Chavez… got my writers and politicians mixed up. :)

  • steve

    John C #11:

    “Sounds interesting, almost Christian.
    I think the Christian notion of earthly stewardship has failed and I am prepared to listen to other voices — but not yours Carl.”

    This is a peculiar statement. I’m wondering on what basis you make this clam.

  • steve

    John C #11:

    “Sounds interesting, almost Christian.
    I think the Christian notion of earthly stewardship has failed and I am prepared to listen to other voices — but not yours Carl.”

    This is a peculiar statement. I’m wondering on what basis you make this clam.

  • WebMonk

    fws – you’ll not find a single significant YEC group that agrees with you that animals didn’t eat meat until after the Flood. That view is definitely on the fringes of the fringe of the fringe of YEC beliefs.

    Sometimes fringers might be right, but not the fringes of the fringes of a fringe group.

  • WebMonk

    fws – you’ll not find a single significant YEC group that agrees with you that animals didn’t eat meat until after the Flood. That view is definitely on the fringes of the fringe of the fringe of YEC beliefs.

    Sometimes fringers might be right, but not the fringes of the fringes of a fringe group.

  • Porcell

    DonS, at twenty -two: This is about power.

    Yes, it’s about power, though more fundamentally about a Green pseudo-religion. These people have substituted environmental and animal-rights activism for Judeo-Christian transcendentalism. When true religion is given up, a vacuum is created into which ersatz religions including fascism, communism, environmentalism, and animalism runs riot. Another pseudo-religion would be the sexual “revolution” that substitutes perverse sensuality.

  • Porcell

    DonS, at twenty -two: This is about power.

    Yes, it’s about power, though more fundamentally about a Green pseudo-religion. These people have substituted environmental and animal-rights activism for Judeo-Christian transcendentalism. When true religion is given up, a vacuum is created into which ersatz religions including fascism, communism, environmentalism, and animalism runs riot. Another pseudo-religion would be the sexual “revolution” that substitutes perverse sensuality.

  • steve

    Porcell @31,

    Don’t forget that it’s not just the Greens (as if it ever was). The global anthropogenic climate change “consensus” is a boon for the extreme Left.

  • steve

    Porcell @31,

    Don’t forget that it’s not just the Greens (as if it ever was). The global anthropogenic climate change “consensus” is a boon for the extreme Left.

  • DonS

    Porcell @ 31, Steve @ 32:

    Yes, Porcell, this kind of stuff is initiated by genuine true believers in this earth-worshiping paganism. But in my view the political left jumps on the bandwagon not because they believe all this stuff, but because it is a means to power. The fact that they are not true believers is indicated by the lavish lifestyles many of them lead. There is nothing more jarring than a horde of political fatcats descending on an exotic locale, like Bali, in their fleets of private jets, to attend an “emergency” climate change conference.

  • DonS

    Porcell @ 31, Steve @ 32:

    Yes, Porcell, this kind of stuff is initiated by genuine true believers in this earth-worshiping paganism. But in my view the political left jumps on the bandwagon not because they believe all this stuff, but because it is a means to power. The fact that they are not true believers is indicated by the lavish lifestyles many of them lead. There is nothing more jarring than a horde of political fatcats descending on an exotic locale, like Bali, in their fleets of private jets, to attend an “emergency” climate change conference.

  • steve

    DonS, #33

    Agreed, but there are true believers and then there are true believers. Evo Morales may or may not care too much about the environmental tenets of Andean religious traditions, but he’s certainly a true believer in Marxism. He dresses like the average non-mestizo Bolivian, lives off a modest salary, and shares an apartment. In many ways, he resembles the Ahmedinejad type of true believer, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. They can’t so easily be influenced by the money and prestige like the jet-set Left.

  • steve

    DonS, #33

    Agreed, but there are true believers and then there are true believers. Evo Morales may or may not care too much about the environmental tenets of Andean religious traditions, but he’s certainly a true believer in Marxism. He dresses like the average non-mestizo Bolivian, lives off a modest salary, and shares an apartment. In many ways, he resembles the Ahmedinejad type of true believer, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. They can’t so easily be influenced by the money and prestige like the jet-set Left.

  • Joanne

    Are you all prepared to listen to another voice? Because I am the voice of Mother Earth; she speaks through me. She says she would like you all to live in peace and harmony and stop cutting down her trees and eating up her animals. I think that having recourse to International Law will make my job of speaking for Mother Earth much more important, don’t you think. The politics could make it a tad dangerous, but rights are rights. Don’t squash my bugs and ask permission before you eat any vegetables. She wants you to pay fees for using her dirt which will go into her rights bank which I will oversee for her. Mother Earth, who cannot speak for herself, is so fortunate to have someone who can speak to help her claim her rights, is that not so?

  • Joanne

    Are you all prepared to listen to another voice? Because I am the voice of Mother Earth; she speaks through me. She says she would like you all to live in peace and harmony and stop cutting down her trees and eating up her animals. I think that having recourse to International Law will make my job of speaking for Mother Earth much more important, don’t you think. The politics could make it a tad dangerous, but rights are rights. Don’t squash my bugs and ask permission before you eat any vegetables. She wants you to pay fees for using her dirt which will go into her rights bank which I will oversee for her. Mother Earth, who cannot speak for herself, is so fortunate to have someone who can speak to help her claim her rights, is that not so?

  • steve

    Joanne, who speaks for the llamas sacrificed to Pachamama? Do they not have rights?

  • steve

    Joanne, who speaks for the llamas sacrificed to Pachamama? Do they not have rights?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    The llamas have a right to not be used as spectacles for the amusement of young children in petting zoos.

    But they understand that it is their duty — along with rights come responsibilities, you know! –to submit their lives to The Goddess.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    The llamas have a right to not be used as spectacles for the amusement of young children in petting zoos.

    But they understand that it is their duty — along with rights come responsibilities, you know! –to submit their lives to The Goddess.

  • steve

    Mike, thanks for the clarification. But that doesn’t help all those Catholic llamas. Oh, I long for the day llamas can be free to worship as they see fit!

  • steve

    Mike, thanks for the clarification. But that doesn’t help all those Catholic llamas. Oh, I long for the day llamas can be free to worship as they see fit!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    By the logic of the proposal, inanimate objects would also have rights. What is the right, say, of the part of Earth known as a rock?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    By the logic of the proposal, inanimate objects would also have rights. What is the right, say, of the part of Earth known as a rock?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    fws,
    “Actually Louis, all mankind (and probably beasts?) were vegetarians until after the flood. It was only then that God told mankind that it was ok to eat the flesh of animals. ”
    I used to think something along those lines, however evidence from scripture would seem to indicate otherwise.
    Noah wasn’t given permission to eat flesh, but to eat of everything that moves.
    This actually indicates that people ate and were allowed to eat meat even before the flood. Infact you have a case of this with cain and Abel. Abel was raising and sacrificing sheep. Sacrifices are eaten.
    Even before the flood, Noah is given special instruction concerning clean animals. Almost all the way through the whole old testament, the fact that an animal was “clean” was indication that they were good for eating.
    Added to that, a person could make a good argument that even in the Garden the eating of meat was expected, as there is already there a distinction made between livestock and wild beasts in creation.
    Then, added to this is that when we get to heaven, a new heaven and a new earth, we are told we will be eating the finest of meats, even as we drink the best of wines.
    But after the flood, Noah was given permission to also eat lobster with his lamb chop.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    fws,
    “Actually Louis, all mankind (and probably beasts?) were vegetarians until after the flood. It was only then that God told mankind that it was ok to eat the flesh of animals. ”
    I used to think something along those lines, however evidence from scripture would seem to indicate otherwise.
    Noah wasn’t given permission to eat flesh, but to eat of everything that moves.
    This actually indicates that people ate and were allowed to eat meat even before the flood. Infact you have a case of this with cain and Abel. Abel was raising and sacrificing sheep. Sacrifices are eaten.
    Even before the flood, Noah is given special instruction concerning clean animals. Almost all the way through the whole old testament, the fact that an animal was “clean” was indication that they were good for eating.
    Added to that, a person could make a good argument that even in the Garden the eating of meat was expected, as there is already there a distinction made between livestock and wild beasts in creation.
    Then, added to this is that when we get to heaven, a new heaven and a new earth, we are told we will be eating the finest of meats, even as we drink the best of wines.
    But after the flood, Noah was given permission to also eat lobster with his lamb chop.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m still stuck on JohnC’s comment @11. Since when did the Christian notion of “ecological stewardship” fail? Isn’t the problem–call it the rape of the earth, unsustainability, environmental exploitation, whatever–precisely that we haven’t even implemented or properly observed the Christian notion of stewardship?

    Anyway, the public sphere, as Neuhaus frequently pointed out, abhors a vacuum, so if the public determines that ecological health is a worthy goal (and it is) but also excludes Christian language and concepts from public reason, then they will find some other language to describe and solve the problem–in this case, rights language. And rights language is a profoundly dangerous idiom whenever it is spoken.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m still stuck on JohnC’s comment @11. Since when did the Christian notion of “ecological stewardship” fail? Isn’t the problem–call it the rape of the earth, unsustainability, environmental exploitation, whatever–precisely that we haven’t even implemented or properly observed the Christian notion of stewardship?

    Anyway, the public sphere, as Neuhaus frequently pointed out, abhors a vacuum, so if the public determines that ecological health is a worthy goal (and it is) but also excludes Christian language and concepts from public reason, then they will find some other language to describe and solve the problem–in this case, rights language. And rights language is a profoundly dangerous idiom whenever it is spoken.

  • Joanne

    The rocks have rights but cannot speak, but they do have a voice, my voice. I speak for the rocks and they want, um, respect and dignity and equality and fees from rock climbers and people who stare at them in nature parks. These fees will go into my Mother Earth rights bank to support worthy causes.

    Did I tell them I want my own seat in the UN? No, the rocks are mine, they don’t get their own separate account. Who’s speaking for Mother Earth here? Me only me.

  • Joanne

    The rocks have rights but cannot speak, but they do have a voice, my voice. I speak for the rocks and they want, um, respect and dignity and equality and fees from rock climbers and people who stare at them in nature parks. These fees will go into my Mother Earth rights bank to support worthy causes.

    Did I tell them I want my own seat in the UN? No, the rocks are mine, they don’t get their own separate account. Who’s speaking for Mother Earth here? Me only me.

  • Tom Hering

    “… you’ll not find a single significant YEC group that agrees with you that animals didn’t eat meat until after the Flood.” – Webmonk @ 30.

    I agree that men and animals ate flesh before the Flood. The point is, God didn’t give permission to do this until after the Flood.

    “Abel was raising and sacrificing sheep. Sacrifices are eaten.” – Bror @ 40.

    Your example is post-Fall, eh?

    “… when we get to heaven, a new heaven and a new earth, we are told we will be eating the finest of meats …”

    Do you mean Isaiah 25:6? I thought Zion was meant to be a prophetic image of the Church, and the feast a prophetic image of the Sacrament. Not a literal picture of the eternal state.

    “… rights language is a profoundly dangerous idiom whenever it is spoken.” – Cincinnatus @ 41.

    Like “inalienable rights” and the Bill of Rights? ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    “… you’ll not find a single significant YEC group that agrees with you that animals didn’t eat meat until after the Flood.” – Webmonk @ 30.

    I agree that men and animals ate flesh before the Flood. The point is, God didn’t give permission to do this until after the Flood.

    “Abel was raising and sacrificing sheep. Sacrifices are eaten.” – Bror @ 40.

    Your example is post-Fall, eh?

    “… when we get to heaven, a new heaven and a new earth, we are told we will be eating the finest of meats …”

    Do you mean Isaiah 25:6? I thought Zion was meant to be a prophetic image of the Church, and the feast a prophetic image of the Sacrament. Not a literal picture of the eternal state.

    “… rights language is a profoundly dangerous idiom whenever it is spoken.” – Cincinnatus @ 41.

    Like “inalienable rights” and the Bill of Rights? ;-)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    The Cain/Abel example is post fall, but it is also pre-flood, and need I remind you God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice?
    So we can debate what happens before the fall with the eating of meat, though there is at least some evidence that Adam and Eve were not meant to be vegetarians. And the prophetic image of Isaiah 25, does include the sacraments, but I don’t think it ends there, as the sacrament is but a foretaste of the feast to come.
    However, to say God only gives permission post flood for the eating of meat in general is wrong, it was clearly permitted and eaten before hand, otherwise God would not have been pleased with Abel’s sacrifice.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    The Cain/Abel example is post fall, but it is also pre-flood, and need I remind you God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice?
    So we can debate what happens before the fall with the eating of meat, though there is at least some evidence that Adam and Eve were not meant to be vegetarians. And the prophetic image of Isaiah 25, does include the sacraments, but I don’t think it ends there, as the sacrament is but a foretaste of the feast to come.
    However, to say God only gives permission post flood for the eating of meat in general is wrong, it was clearly permitted and eaten before hand, otherwise God would not have been pleased with Abel’s sacrifice.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@43: Yes, exactly like “inalienable rights” and the Bill of Rights. To quote Jeremy Bentham, natural rights are “nonsense on stilts.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@43: Yes, exactly like “inalienable rights” and the Bill of Rights. To quote Jeremy Bentham, natural rights are “nonsense on stilts.”

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    If Mother Earth is going to have rights, I think she needs to answer for her actions in Haiti, Australia, Japan and the myriad of other autocracies going back to the dinosaurs that she has, dealt to all of us who have to live with her and on her. If the UN recognizes mother earth as something or someone that is entitled to unalienable rights don’t they also need to recognize that she is responsible for more deaths and destruction of property than all of the oppressive dictators in history? Won’t she be forfeiting her rights if she continues to abuse her power? If I did that sort of thing I would lose my rights. I would probably lose my life! What about the responsibility of having rights and power? Am I missing something?

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    If Mother Earth is going to have rights, I think she needs to answer for her actions in Haiti, Australia, Japan and the myriad of other autocracies going back to the dinosaurs that she has, dealt to all of us who have to live with her and on her. If the UN recognizes mother earth as something or someone that is entitled to unalienable rights don’t they also need to recognize that she is responsible for more deaths and destruction of property than all of the oppressive dictators in history? Won’t she be forfeiting her rights if she continues to abuse her power? If I did that sort of thing I would lose my rights. I would probably lose my life! What about the responsibility of having rights and power? Am I missing something?

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    Sorry, I don’t know how that comma got in between “has” and “dealt” and that last line should have read: “What about the responsibilities attached to having rights and power?”

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    Sorry, I don’t know how that comma got in between “has” and “dealt” and that last line should have read: “What about the responsibilities attached to having rights and power?”

  • Tom Hering

    “… to say God only gives permission post flood for the eating of meat in general is wrong, it was clearly permitted and eaten before hand, otherwise God would not have been pleased with Abel’s sacrifice.” – Bror @ 44.

    God accepted Abel’s offerings for the sole reason that deaths took place, i.e., they acknowledged that life itself is forfeit for the transgressions of sin. Genesis 4:4 says nothing about Abel eating the offerings. That is speculation. And saying that God not only permitted meat-eating before the Flood, but was pleased with it, is pure fantasy. Really. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “… to say God only gives permission post flood for the eating of meat in general is wrong, it was clearly permitted and eaten before hand, otherwise God would not have been pleased with Abel’s sacrifice.” – Bror @ 44.

    God accepted Abel’s offerings for the sole reason that deaths took place, i.e., they acknowledged that life itself is forfeit for the transgressions of sin. Genesis 4:4 says nothing about Abel eating the offerings. That is speculation. And saying that God not only permitted meat-eating before the Flood, but was pleased with it, is pure fantasy. Really. :-)

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    Joann @42.

    So if you are the voice of rocks and have a seat in the UN then you must be the person I talk to about remuneration for the rocks that attacked my truck and dented it all up. Oh, and the rock that tripped me and caused me to break my arm. And also the rock that gave way when I was trying to climb on it and I fell and hurt my tail bone and also the piece of sand that scratched my eye all up and I had to have surgery to get it fixed. While you’re at it maybe you could talk to your rocks about their behavior and treatment of the other things in this world. We all gotta live together, you know. I’m not sure I would want your job… but I would like your money! Er, the rocks money, I mean.

  • http://lastdanceofthejackalope.blogspot.com JD Loofbourrow

    Joann @42.

    So if you are the voice of rocks and have a seat in the UN then you must be the person I talk to about remuneration for the rocks that attacked my truck and dented it all up. Oh, and the rock that tripped me and caused me to break my arm. And also the rock that gave way when I was trying to climb on it and I fell and hurt my tail bone and also the piece of sand that scratched my eye all up and I had to have surgery to get it fixed. While you’re at it maybe you could talk to your rocks about their behavior and treatment of the other things in this world. We all gotta live together, you know. I’m not sure I would want your job… but I would like your money! Er, the rocks money, I mean.

  • Joanne

    Loofbourrow, who is this trouble maker. You heard of him, yeah me neither.

    Mother Earth and all her precious Rocks speaking through me are soverign entities and cannot be held responsible for injuries acquired in the misuse of nature. However, I must tell you that in perusing your listing I’ve identified several fines and fees owed to Mother Earth from your unauthorized and non-credentialed interactions with her rocks. Please send, um, a money order for $ 15,000 to, um, Mother Earth, 1515 Bluebird Terrace, Madison, WI.

    Nice talking with you, ME
    Power to the things!

  • Joanne

    Loofbourrow, who is this trouble maker. You heard of him, yeah me neither.

    Mother Earth and all her precious Rocks speaking through me are soverign entities and cannot be held responsible for injuries acquired in the misuse of nature. However, I must tell you that in perusing your listing I’ve identified several fines and fees owed to Mother Earth from your unauthorized and non-credentialed interactions with her rocks. Please send, um, a money order for $ 15,000 to, um, Mother Earth, 1515 Bluebird Terrace, Madison, WI.

    Nice talking with you, ME
    Power to the things!

  • Joanne

    And you meat/veggie folks. Didn’t God make Adam and Eve clothes of animal skins to wear for their trip out of the Garden. Now, if it was ostrich skin, they could have eaten the ostrich. Or bear skins, you can eat bear. Oh yeah, and if it was leather, they could have had hamburgers as a going away dinner. Just saying.

  • Joanne

    And you meat/veggie folks. Didn’t God make Adam and Eve clothes of animal skins to wear for their trip out of the Garden. Now, if it was ostrich skin, they could have eaten the ostrich. Or bear skins, you can eat bear. Oh yeah, and if it was leather, they could have had hamburgers as a going away dinner. Just saying.

  • Pete

    Gene Veith @39

    Rock is here to stay.

  • Pete

    Gene Veith @39

    Rock is here to stay.

  • Tom Hering

    Joanne @ 51, yes God did. Though the animals, who are under mankind’s dominion, have suffered all the effects of mankind’s Fall, they’re without sin. (It wasn’t they who disbelieved and disobeyed God.) So the point of the skins is clear: not only is life itself forfeit for the transgressions of sin, but the death of an innocent is required to cover transgressors in the sight of God.

    So eat your hamburger. :-) You absolutely have God’s permission to. Just acknowledge you’re getting life from the death of an innocent, and that it’s an omnivore’s choice, i.e., you can eat meat but you don’t have to.

    (I’ll be clear: vegetarians are not morally superior to meat eaters. But compassionate carnivores – those who believe the animals they eat should both live a good life and die a merciful death – are morally superior to uncaring carnivores, who consume plastic-wrapped flesh from the hell-holes called factory farms.)

  • Tom Hering

    Joanne @ 51, yes God did. Though the animals, who are under mankind’s dominion, have suffered all the effects of mankind’s Fall, they’re without sin. (It wasn’t they who disbelieved and disobeyed God.) So the point of the skins is clear: not only is life itself forfeit for the transgressions of sin, but the death of an innocent is required to cover transgressors in the sight of God.

    So eat your hamburger. :-) You absolutely have God’s permission to. Just acknowledge you’re getting life from the death of an innocent, and that it’s an omnivore’s choice, i.e., you can eat meat but you don’t have to.

    (I’ll be clear: vegetarians are not morally superior to meat eaters. But compassionate carnivores – those who believe the animals they eat should both live a good life and die a merciful death – are morally superior to uncaring carnivores, who consume plastic-wrapped flesh from the hell-holes called factory farms.)

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, do you avoid “plastic-wrapped flesh from the hell-holes called factory farms”? Always? Even at restaurants?

    I’ll be honest: I would love to consume only organic, local, free-range, antibiotic free, ad infinitum meat, but I can’t afford it on my budget. Am I morally inferior to you, O conscientious carnivore?

    This is one reason many regular folk find vegetarians and their allies unpalatable (*ahem*): too much self-righteousness.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom, do you avoid “plastic-wrapped flesh from the hell-holes called factory farms”? Always? Even at restaurants?

    I’ll be honest: I would love to consume only organic, local, free-range, antibiotic free, ad infinitum meat, but I can’t afford it on my budget. Am I morally inferior to you, O conscientious carnivore?

    This is one reason many regular folk find vegetarians and their allies unpalatable (*ahem*): too much self-righteousness.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 54, I’m a vegetarian. Most supermarkets and restaurants offer vegetarian choices these days, so that’s not a problem. And I should tell you that I didn’t give up meat all at once. I first reduced my intake to the point where I was only eating meat two or three times a week (for a total of about 2 lbs. a month). At that point, I’d found so many tasty, satisfying, low cost alternatives that there was no good reason to continue eating any meat. (For example, most people feel they haven’t suffered any loss after a meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.)

    The moral problem of being a compassionate carnivore rather than an uncaring carnivore is a problem for meat-eaters alone. As a vegetarian, I’m out of it, so how can I be self-righteous about it? Further, God doesn’t condemn the meat-eater, so neither do I condemn the meat-eater. This doesn’t mean, however, there aren’t issues of suffering involved with the eating of meat. Suffering for the animals in terms of a painful life and a fearful death (“The fear of you and the terror of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the sky”).

    If you, or anyone else here, wants to examine the issues, I’d recommend two books. 1: Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals by Hal Herzog (Herzog writes as a non-Christian and a non-vegetarian). 2: Dominion: the power of man, the suffering of animals, and the call to mercy by Matthew Scully (Scully writes as a Christian and a vegetarian – and a conservative Republican. He was George W. Bush’s speechwriter during his first term).

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 54, I’m a vegetarian. Most supermarkets and restaurants offer vegetarian choices these days, so that’s not a problem. And I should tell you that I didn’t give up meat all at once. I first reduced my intake to the point where I was only eating meat two or three times a week (for a total of about 2 lbs. a month). At that point, I’d found so many tasty, satisfying, low cost alternatives that there was no good reason to continue eating any meat. (For example, most people feel they haven’t suffered any loss after a meal of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.)

    The moral problem of being a compassionate carnivore rather than an uncaring carnivore is a problem for meat-eaters alone. As a vegetarian, I’m out of it, so how can I be self-righteous about it? Further, God doesn’t condemn the meat-eater, so neither do I condemn the meat-eater. This doesn’t mean, however, there aren’t issues of suffering involved with the eating of meat. Suffering for the animals in terms of a painful life and a fearful death (“The fear of you and the terror of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the sky”).

    If you, or anyone else here, wants to examine the issues, I’d recommend two books. 1: Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals by Hal Herzog (Herzog writes as a non-Christian and a non-vegetarian). 2: Dominion: the power of man, the suffering of animals, and the call to mercy by Matthew Scully (Scully writes as a Christian and a vegetarian – and a conservative Republican. He was George W. Bush’s speechwriter during his first term).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    So are you as concerned about the well being of the animals that supply your dairy products, as you think compassionate carnivores should be. (BTW, it is that compassion that compels me to load # 5s in the shotgun, I like a clean kill on the birds I hunt, that and I don’t like trying to figure out where they ran off too, after I bring them down.) “do you stay away from breads that use eggs? Or is the abortion of animals for the sake of your health o.k. too?
    But seriously, perhaps I should say they were consumed, Abel’s sacrifice. Would you like that better? Either Abel or God consumed it, or both. But then if God was pleased to consume this animal, why would he begrudge Abel the consuming of the same. Your positing that only post flood was man allowed to eat, or given permission to eat is what is fantasy here. Sacrifices, are eaten/consumed. The normal practice being to offer choice parts to God, and eating the rest in feast like fashion. How could it be immoral to imitate God in the consuming of animals?
    But yes the requirement of the life of an innocent to sustain my life and the implications of that, are not lost on me. I just celebrate it with gusto.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    So are you as concerned about the well being of the animals that supply your dairy products, as you think compassionate carnivores should be. (BTW, it is that compassion that compels me to load # 5s in the shotgun, I like a clean kill on the birds I hunt, that and I don’t like trying to figure out where they ran off too, after I bring them down.) “do you stay away from breads that use eggs? Or is the abortion of animals for the sake of your health o.k. too?
    But seriously, perhaps I should say they were consumed, Abel’s sacrifice. Would you like that better? Either Abel or God consumed it, or both. But then if God was pleased to consume this animal, why would he begrudge Abel the consuming of the same. Your positing that only post flood was man allowed to eat, or given permission to eat is what is fantasy here. Sacrifices, are eaten/consumed. The normal practice being to offer choice parts to God, and eating the rest in feast like fashion. How could it be immoral to imitate God in the consuming of animals?
    But yes the requirement of the life of an innocent to sustain my life and the implications of that, are not lost on me. I just celebrate it with gusto.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “He was George W. Bush’s speechwriter during his first term.” As much as I liked George Bush, this is not a good endorsement, Tom.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “He was George W. Bush’s speechwriter during his first term.” As much as I liked George Bush, this is not a good endorsement, Tom.

  • Louis

    We are omnivores. For the ethicist, a counter claim could be made in saying that we ought to overcome natural inclination – but God tells us that meat is good. Thus the vegetarian ethicist goes against both Science and Scripture (and history, and archeology, and …).

    Furthermore, the vegetarian ethicist has to invent boundaries that are simply not there – I mean, we knowingly consume bacteria all the time – and we kill all the time, because we want to spare ourselves inconvenience (getting sick, itching, having our homes collapse on us…). And of course, dare I say it, so does the rest of living creation. Thus the vegetarian ethicist is creating an approach that is simplistic as well as artificial.

    Is our relationship with the animal kingdom (once again, how, and on what basis, do they make their definitions here) complex? Absolutely! Why is that a problem?

  • Louis

    We are omnivores. For the ethicist, a counter claim could be made in saying that we ought to overcome natural inclination – but God tells us that meat is good. Thus the vegetarian ethicist goes against both Science and Scripture (and history, and archeology, and …).

    Furthermore, the vegetarian ethicist has to invent boundaries that are simply not there – I mean, we knowingly consume bacteria all the time – and we kill all the time, because we want to spare ourselves inconvenience (getting sick, itching, having our homes collapse on us…). And of course, dare I say it, so does the rest of living creation. Thus the vegetarian ethicist is creating an approach that is simplistic as well as artificial.

    Is our relationship with the animal kingdom (once again, how, and on what basis, do they make their definitions here) complex? Absolutely! Why is that a problem?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As I keep telling my son animal lover that he is, I’ll stop eating meat, when lions do. But then he responds, just because they eat meat doesn’t mean you have to help them.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    As I keep telling my son animal lover that he is, I’ll stop eating meat, when lions do. But then he responds, just because they eat meat doesn’t mean you have to help them.

  • Tom Hering

    “So are you as concerned about the well being of the animals that supply your dairy products …” – Bror @ 56.

    Yes. I haven’t found a dairy producer I’m happy with yet. But I keep looking.

    “I like a clean kill on the birds I hunt …”

    That’s praiseworthy.

    “Sacrifices, are eaten/consumed. The normal practice …”

    We’re talking about the very first sacrifice to God by man. How could there have been “normal practice” yet? You’re arguing that because we all say “hello” on the phone, “hello” must have been the first word out of Alexander Graham Bell’s mouth. As for God “consuming” Abel’s sacrifice: how big is His toothpick?

    “… this is not a good endorsement …”

    Wasn’t meant to be. Just a reminder not to pigeonhole animal lovers and vegetarians.

  • Tom Hering

    “So are you as concerned about the well being of the animals that supply your dairy products …” – Bror @ 56.

    Yes. I haven’t found a dairy producer I’m happy with yet. But I keep looking.

    “I like a clean kill on the birds I hunt …”

    That’s praiseworthy.

    “Sacrifices, are eaten/consumed. The normal practice …”

    We’re talking about the very first sacrifice to God by man. How could there have been “normal practice” yet? You’re arguing that because we all say “hello” on the phone, “hello” must have been the first word out of Alexander Graham Bell’s mouth. As for God “consuming” Abel’s sacrifice: how big is His toothpick?

    “… this is not a good endorsement …”

    Wasn’t meant to be. Just a reminder not to pigeonhole animal lovers and vegetarians.

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, I enjoyed your argument: “But Mom, all the kids are doing it!” :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, I enjoyed your argument: “But Mom, all the kids are doing it!” :-)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    You might consider doing some research into the whole concept of a sacrifice, maybe even just research the Biblical concept of it. Ask your pastor for Kleinig’s commentary on Leviticus if nothing else. And then you will understand perhaps how blasphemous your question about God’s toothpick actually is.
    As for the rest you have no idea that this was the first sacrifice. It is merely the first one recorded. And there is a difference there. But that the concept Abel had, who had a much closer relationship to God, it seems than even Moses, should be any different than the one that God gives to the Israelites in Leviticus, is the conjecture that is most out of line with “Scripture interpreting Scripture.” And let’s face it, God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, he consumed it in his own manner.
    I don’t need to pigeon hold vegetarians, and I happen to be very much an animal lover. But the fact that the guy who wrote Bushes speeches also wrote this book you recommend, makes me not want to suffer, I figure the writing will be as stilted as the speeches.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    You might consider doing some research into the whole concept of a sacrifice, maybe even just research the Biblical concept of it. Ask your pastor for Kleinig’s commentary on Leviticus if nothing else. And then you will understand perhaps how blasphemous your question about God’s toothpick actually is.
    As for the rest you have no idea that this was the first sacrifice. It is merely the first one recorded. And there is a difference there. But that the concept Abel had, who had a much closer relationship to God, it seems than even Moses, should be any different than the one that God gives to the Israelites in Leviticus, is the conjecture that is most out of line with “Scripture interpreting Scripture.” And let’s face it, God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice, he consumed it in his own manner.
    I don’t need to pigeon hold vegetarians, and I happen to be very much an animal lover. But the fact that the guy who wrote Bushes speeches also wrote this book you recommend, makes me not want to suffer, I figure the writing will be as stilted as the speeches.

  • Tom Hering

    Sorry, Bror, but I just don’t see God consuming the burnt offering with fire as God somehow ingesting the burnt offering “in His own manner.” But I may not understand what you really mean.

    Are you serious when you accuse me of blasphemy? Wow. That certainly changes the tone of this discussion. I’m surprised, to say the least.

    And please don’t recommend a book to me (Kleinig) when you decide ahead of time that one I’ve recommended to you (Scully) can’t possibly be worth your time. Thanks.

  • Tom Hering

    Sorry, Bror, but I just don’t see God consuming the burnt offering with fire as God somehow ingesting the burnt offering “in His own manner.” But I may not understand what you really mean.

    Are you serious when you accuse me of blasphemy? Wow. That certainly changes the tone of this discussion. I’m surprised, to say the least.

    And please don’t recommend a book to me (Kleinig) when you decide ahead of time that one I’ve recommended to you (Scully) can’t possibly be worth your time. Thanks.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    I consider your question, possibly due to complete ignorance on your part, to yes be quite blasphemous.
    But sorry I had mistaken you for a Christian who cared to know more about God, and the scriptures he had given us. I see now that I was possibly mistaken.
    And Tom, I might have picked up the Scully book, had you given it a better recommendation. But I’m sorry, the speeches George Bush gave during his presidency were some of the worst cases of oratory I have been abused with in my short life. I am loath to read a book by the guy who wrote them.
    On the other, hand, Kleinig is a great speaker and writer, and happens to have written the finest commentary I have ever read, and I hate commentaries for the most part, and to boot, he makes Leviticus interesting. He also explains the concept of sacrifice, not only in Jewish circles but in the pagan surroundings marking similarities and differences.
    And yes, consuming is the word used for God’s participation in the sacrifice, and he does consume the sacrifice through fire. So your question, made in jest, does come off as a bit blasphemous. Just saying.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    I consider your question, possibly due to complete ignorance on your part, to yes be quite blasphemous.
    But sorry I had mistaken you for a Christian who cared to know more about God, and the scriptures he had given us. I see now that I was possibly mistaken.
    And Tom, I might have picked up the Scully book, had you given it a better recommendation. But I’m sorry, the speeches George Bush gave during his presidency were some of the worst cases of oratory I have been abused with in my short life. I am loath to read a book by the guy who wrote them.
    On the other, hand, Kleinig is a great speaker and writer, and happens to have written the finest commentary I have ever read, and I hate commentaries for the most part, and to boot, he makes Leviticus interesting. He also explains the concept of sacrifice, not only in Jewish circles but in the pagan surroundings marking similarities and differences.
    And yes, consuming is the word used for God’s participation in the sacrifice, and he does consume the sacrifice through fire. So your question, made in jest, does come off as a bit blasphemous. Just saying.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @ 64

    “But sorry I had mistaken you for a Christian who cared to know more about God, and the scriptures he had given us. I see now that I was possibly mistaken.”

    Words not chosen wisely dear brother….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    bror @ 64

    “But sorry I had mistaken you for a Christian who cared to know more about God, and the scriptures he had given us. I see now that I was possibly mistaken.”

    Words not chosen wisely dear brother….

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    fws,
    I do think you are right.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    fws,
    I do think you are right.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    What I was trying to say in the last post is, if you were offended by my calling your question blasphemous, then you should know that you were the one who changed the tone of the dialogue, when rather than considering the points I was making you decided to poke fun at the concept of God eating. Of course I do also imagine that Jesus did have a toothpick at one point or another, perhaps he used his fingernail. He ate meat as he celebrated the passover, and he also is recorded to have eaten a few fish.
    We shant forget the fattened Calf Abraham had slaughtered for him.
    But I also stand by and say he, in finding Abel’s sacrifice to be good, consumed it if but with fire.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    What I was trying to say in the last post is, if you were offended by my calling your question blasphemous, then you should know that you were the one who changed the tone of the dialogue, when rather than considering the points I was making you decided to poke fun at the concept of God eating. Of course I do also imagine that Jesus did have a toothpick at one point or another, perhaps he used his fingernail. He ate meat as he celebrated the passover, and he also is recorded to have eaten a few fish.
    We shant forget the fattened Calf Abraham had slaughtered for him.
    But I also stand by and say he, in finding Abel’s sacrifice to be good, consumed it if but with fire.

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, what is blasphemy? Apart from blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, it’s irreverence toward the sacred. I don’t believe your notion that God (who is Spirit) eats meat “in His own manner” is a sacred notion. It’s an arguable assertion, and my counter is that what God took to Himself in the sacrifices was life itself. Life that belongs to Him as the Creator, and was forfeit because of sin. In that it was perfect and innocent life (unblemished animals) that died for sins, the sacrifices pointed forward to Christ. So, bringing in the sacrifices as evidence that meat eating is part of God’s original order seems ridiculous to me. I mean, will there be fear, pain, death, and grief – all of which animals experience – in the eternal state? Or, when those things are done away with for us, will they be done away with for the animals too? My answer is “yes” because the animals are under our dominion. They shared in our fall, and will have a share in our glory.

    Now, if you don’t like the speeches Scully wrote for Bush, how about the 2008 acceptance speech he wrote for Sarah Palin? “For a season, a gifted speaker [Obama] can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.” I could be wrong, but it seemed to get people who’d never heard of her excited about her. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, what is blasphemy? Apart from blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, it’s irreverence toward the sacred. I don’t believe your notion that God (who is Spirit) eats meat “in His own manner” is a sacred notion. It’s an arguable assertion, and my counter is that what God took to Himself in the sacrifices was life itself. Life that belongs to Him as the Creator, and was forfeit because of sin. In that it was perfect and innocent life (unblemished animals) that died for sins, the sacrifices pointed forward to Christ. So, bringing in the sacrifices as evidence that meat eating is part of God’s original order seems ridiculous to me. I mean, will there be fear, pain, death, and grief – all of which animals experience – in the eternal state? Or, when those things are done away with for us, will they be done away with for the animals too? My answer is “yes” because the animals are under our dominion. They shared in our fall, and will have a share in our glory.

    Now, if you don’t like the speeches Scully wrote for Bush, how about the 2008 acceptance speech he wrote for Sarah Palin? “For a season, a gifted speaker [Obama] can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.” I could be wrong, but it seemed to get people who’d never heard of her excited about her. :-)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    I do not argue for the original order of things from Abel’s sacrifice. I argue for the eating of meat pre flood from that. I have emphasized this aspect of my point making twice now. You are not proving yourself apt at following argumentation at this point.

    I argue the eating of meat, or the possibility of it, prefall on the basis of a distinction between domestic and wild animals at creation. I even find it peculiar that god could warn against death at that time in an innocent state if death in animals were not able to occur. Humans to be sure were not suppose to be able to die, to extend that to animals is conjecture at best. And the fact that heaven itself is spoken of as a feast where meat will be eaten.
    Now if you don’t want to eat meat that is your choice. But don’t make out as if you have some moral imperative to do so.
    As for the rest, I would ask that if you don’t read kleinig, you atleast read the old testament. God consuming the sacrifices is a central concept to the sacrifice, and yes I know he is spirit, thank you. He still does what he wants. You finding it preposterous enough to retort with such blasphemy as you did, proves ignorance of the O.T. It is to poke fun at the sacred. And you did, ignorantly or not. BTW, I take scripture seriously enough I do not just throw this stuff out there. The bible being now an object of countless hours of study for me. A book I read through entirely at least once a year, so if you don’t agree with me, fine. But you might realize, that I don’t speak on it from ignorance.
    As for your taste in speeches, I’ll let you have it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    I do not argue for the original order of things from Abel’s sacrifice. I argue for the eating of meat pre flood from that. I have emphasized this aspect of my point making twice now. You are not proving yourself apt at following argumentation at this point.

    I argue the eating of meat, or the possibility of it, prefall on the basis of a distinction between domestic and wild animals at creation. I even find it peculiar that god could warn against death at that time in an innocent state if death in animals were not able to occur. Humans to be sure were not suppose to be able to die, to extend that to animals is conjecture at best. And the fact that heaven itself is spoken of as a feast where meat will be eaten.
    Now if you don’t want to eat meat that is your choice. But don’t make out as if you have some moral imperative to do so.
    As for the rest, I would ask that if you don’t read kleinig, you atleast read the old testament. God consuming the sacrifices is a central concept to the sacrifice, and yes I know he is spirit, thank you. He still does what he wants. You finding it preposterous enough to retort with such blasphemy as you did, proves ignorance of the O.T. It is to poke fun at the sacred. And you did, ignorantly or not. BTW, I take scripture seriously enough I do not just throw this stuff out there. The bible being now an object of countless hours of study for me. A book I read through entirely at least once a year, so if you don’t agree with me, fine. But you might realize, that I don’t speak on it from ignorance.
    As for your taste in speeches, I’ll let you have it.

  • Tom Hering

    “I argue the eating of meat, or the possibility of it, prefall on the basis of a distinction between domestic and wild animals at creation.” – Bror @ 69.

    Which passage in Genesis 1-2 makes that distinction? I’m guessing you’re referring to 2:19, and the fact that animals were brought to Adam as possibly suitable helpers. But all and every beast was brought to Adam. Where’s the wild/domestic distinction in that?

    “I even find it peculiar that god could warn against death at that time in an innocent state if death in animals were not able to occur.”

    Why is the existence of death among the animals, before the Fall, necessary for God to warn Adam and Eve of death? Isn’t it enough that God knows and foresees all things?

    “Humans to be sure were not suppose to be able to die, to extend that to animals is conjecture at best.”

    After the speculations you’ve just made, you’re saying I’m the one relying on mere conjecture?

    “And the fact that heaven itself is spoken of as a feast where meat will be eaten.”

    Isaiah 25:6 again? “A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine.” Speaking of the riches of a feast, as a feast is known to us here and now, is a poetic way of speaking about the abundance of God’s love – to be known in both the Church and the eternal state. But is Isaiah 25 really made up of metaphors? Let’s see: “Is like a rain storm (4), like heat in drought (5), like heat by the shadow of a cloud (5), as straw is trodden down (10), as a swimmer spreads out his hands (11).”

    “Now if you don’t want to eat meat that is your choice. But don’t make out as if you have some moral imperative to do so.”

    As I clearly stated before, vegetarians aren’t morally superior to meat-eaters. How can they be? God gave His permission to eat meat after the Flood, and God is the one who decides what is moral. However, it’s the nature of permission that it still leaves one free to follow conscience, and to persuade the conscience of others – so long as it’s not made a matter of judging someone’s faith. Paul puts it nicely (of course): “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him” (Romans 14:2-3). Neither vegetarianism nor meat-eating are indicative of one’s standing with God.

    “I would ask that if you don’t read kleinig, you at least read the old testament.”

    There’s an old Testament too? Wow. Who knew?

    “You finding it preposterous enough to retort with such blasphemy as you did, proves ignorance of the O.T.”

    I rest in the certainty that I’ve blasphemed nothing but the “sacredness” of your preferred interpretations.

    “But you might realize, that I don’t speak on it from ignorance.”

    Never thought you did, Bror.

  • Tom Hering

    “I argue the eating of meat, or the possibility of it, prefall on the basis of a distinction between domestic and wild animals at creation.” – Bror @ 69.

    Which passage in Genesis 1-2 makes that distinction? I’m guessing you’re referring to 2:19, and the fact that animals were brought to Adam as possibly suitable helpers. But all and every beast was brought to Adam. Where’s the wild/domestic distinction in that?

    “I even find it peculiar that god could warn against death at that time in an innocent state if death in animals were not able to occur.”

    Why is the existence of death among the animals, before the Fall, necessary for God to warn Adam and Eve of death? Isn’t it enough that God knows and foresees all things?

    “Humans to be sure were not suppose to be able to die, to extend that to animals is conjecture at best.”

    After the speculations you’ve just made, you’re saying I’m the one relying on mere conjecture?

    “And the fact that heaven itself is spoken of as a feast where meat will be eaten.”

    Isaiah 25:6 again? “A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine.” Speaking of the riches of a feast, as a feast is known to us here and now, is a poetic way of speaking about the abundance of God’s love – to be known in both the Church and the eternal state. But is Isaiah 25 really made up of metaphors? Let’s see: “Is like a rain storm (4), like heat in drought (5), like heat by the shadow of a cloud (5), as straw is trodden down (10), as a swimmer spreads out his hands (11).”

    “Now if you don’t want to eat meat that is your choice. But don’t make out as if you have some moral imperative to do so.”

    As I clearly stated before, vegetarians aren’t morally superior to meat-eaters. How can they be? God gave His permission to eat meat after the Flood, and God is the one who decides what is moral. However, it’s the nature of permission that it still leaves one free to follow conscience, and to persuade the conscience of others – so long as it’s not made a matter of judging someone’s faith. Paul puts it nicely (of course): “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him” (Romans 14:2-3). Neither vegetarianism nor meat-eating are indicative of one’s standing with God.

    “I would ask that if you don’t read kleinig, you at least read the old testament.”

    There’s an old Testament too? Wow. Who knew?

    “You finding it preposterous enough to retort with such blasphemy as you did, proves ignorance of the O.T.”

    I rest in the certainty that I’ve blasphemed nothing but the “sacredness” of your preferred interpretations.

    “But you might realize, that I don’t speak on it from ignorance.”

    Never thought you did, Bror.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    Genesis 1:25 (ESV)
    And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

    Now, See I would have handled that, by actually reading the three chapters of Genesis that have anything to do with the world pre-fall.
    And it is not God I am concerned about, but what would be the meaning of death to Adam or Eve if they had not seen it?
    Isaiah 25:6 again? “A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine.” Speaking of the riches of a feast, as a feast is known to us here and now, is a poetic way of speaking about the abundance of God’s love – to be known in both the Church and the eternal state. But is Isaiah 25 really made up of metaphors? Let’s see: “Is like a rain storm (4), like heat in drought (5), like heat by the shadow of a cloud (5), as straw is trodden down (10), as a swimmer spreads out his hands (11).”
    Yes, Tom, I realize that it is poetry. Heaven is still spoken of here as a feast with the choicest of meats, an analogy that is even carried out in the temple, a picture of heaven on earth in all its glory and riches, where the priests themselves eat the choicest of meats. And I am aware that poetry does not have to be taken literally, though you have examples through out the Bible where poetry is just another form a relating facts. I won’t be dogmatic about it, but it must be admitted that even heaven is spoken of as a feast where meat is eaten. Meaning that God even now approves of eating meat, and does not see it as a mere necessity but a great blessing in earthly life.
    “As I clearly stated before, vegetarians aren’t morally superior to meat-eaters. How can they be? God gave His permission to eat meat after the Flood, and God is the one who decides what is moral. However, it’s the nature of permission that it still leaves one free to follow conscience, and to persuade the conscience of others – so long as it’s not made a matter of judging someone’s faith.”
    Here Tom, you speak out of both sides of your mouth. Why would you try to persuade me to your side if you did not feel this was a morally superior to that of Meat-eaters. You even make it a matter of conscience! I could possibly give you a break if you were doing it for health reasons. But no, you don’t eat meat, because even though God gives us permission as you say, you find it some how wrong. Perhaps permission that God gives because of our hard hearts, such as that with divorce? But that isn’t the sense of it at all.
    Where in Genesis 9, god gives permission to eat meat as you say, the emphasis is not on the fact that Noah can now eat meat, but now he can eat of everything that moves upon the earth. Me being a hunter going to High School in California, I gave that one extensive thought and research. I have continued to do so.
    As for your blasphemy here. Think about it. and Think about it hard. Most baptists do not find themselves guilty of blasphemy for the vile things they teach about baptism and the way they treat their children in the name of God. Yet it is blasphemy. They would say they are not poking fun at God, or God’s word, but the Lutheran interpretation of it.
    You could have merely disagreed with me, or probed to learn more in a civil manner. Instead you decided to poke fun at the idea that God consumes the sacrifices, asking how big is his toothpick is. This before finding out if there is any basis to the idea that God is consuming the sacrifices. You are so cock sure of your own conjectures, that you brush aside as a silly notion worthy of mockery the opinions of a man who has makes his living studying the word of God, who has spent thousands of dollars pursuing this not only as a career choice, but a passion, who regularly spends an hour or more studying one verse of scripture tracking down and studying the etymology of words in Hebrew and Greek. But rather than ask a man such as this where his ideas come from, and how he got there. You would rather just poke fun at the idea as absurd. Never once questioning to yourself, how blasphemous that question would be should my “pet interpretations” prove right. And in that sense, if you weren’t assuming I spoke from ignorance, why would you presume to poke fun at the idea before you find out if it has any basis in reality? Is it so far fetched that God can consume meat? Yet he does so, explicitly on many occasions, not only in the person of Jesus Christ, who eats fish even with his glorified body, and celebrated the passover numerous times, commanded the passover even. But also eats the fattened calf, and consumes the offerings of the pious in Judges 6, and Judges 13.
    Do you see the predicament?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Tom,
    Genesis 1:25 (ESV)
    And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

    Now, See I would have handled that, by actually reading the three chapters of Genesis that have anything to do with the world pre-fall.
    And it is not God I am concerned about, but what would be the meaning of death to Adam or Eve if they had not seen it?
    Isaiah 25:6 again? “A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine.” Speaking of the riches of a feast, as a feast is known to us here and now, is a poetic way of speaking about the abundance of God’s love – to be known in both the Church and the eternal state. But is Isaiah 25 really made up of metaphors? Let’s see: “Is like a rain storm (4), like heat in drought (5), like heat by the shadow of a cloud (5), as straw is trodden down (10), as a swimmer spreads out his hands (11).”
    Yes, Tom, I realize that it is poetry. Heaven is still spoken of here as a feast with the choicest of meats, an analogy that is even carried out in the temple, a picture of heaven on earth in all its glory and riches, where the priests themselves eat the choicest of meats. And I am aware that poetry does not have to be taken literally, though you have examples through out the Bible where poetry is just another form a relating facts. I won’t be dogmatic about it, but it must be admitted that even heaven is spoken of as a feast where meat is eaten. Meaning that God even now approves of eating meat, and does not see it as a mere necessity but a great blessing in earthly life.
    “As I clearly stated before, vegetarians aren’t morally superior to meat-eaters. How can they be? God gave His permission to eat meat after the Flood, and God is the one who decides what is moral. However, it’s the nature of permission that it still leaves one free to follow conscience, and to persuade the conscience of others – so long as it’s not made a matter of judging someone’s faith.”
    Here Tom, you speak out of both sides of your mouth. Why would you try to persuade me to your side if you did not feel this was a morally superior to that of Meat-eaters. You even make it a matter of conscience! I could possibly give you a break if you were doing it for health reasons. But no, you don’t eat meat, because even though God gives us permission as you say, you find it some how wrong. Perhaps permission that God gives because of our hard hearts, such as that with divorce? But that isn’t the sense of it at all.
    Where in Genesis 9, god gives permission to eat meat as you say, the emphasis is not on the fact that Noah can now eat meat, but now he can eat of everything that moves upon the earth. Me being a hunter going to High School in California, I gave that one extensive thought and research. I have continued to do so.
    As for your blasphemy here. Think about it. and Think about it hard. Most baptists do not find themselves guilty of blasphemy for the vile things they teach about baptism and the way they treat their children in the name of God. Yet it is blasphemy. They would say they are not poking fun at God, or God’s word, but the Lutheran interpretation of it.
    You could have merely disagreed with me, or probed to learn more in a civil manner. Instead you decided to poke fun at the idea that God consumes the sacrifices, asking how big is his toothpick is. This before finding out if there is any basis to the idea that God is consuming the sacrifices. You are so cock sure of your own conjectures, that you brush aside as a silly notion worthy of mockery the opinions of a man who has makes his living studying the word of God, who has spent thousands of dollars pursuing this not only as a career choice, but a passion, who regularly spends an hour or more studying one verse of scripture tracking down and studying the etymology of words in Hebrew and Greek. But rather than ask a man such as this where his ideas come from, and how he got there. You would rather just poke fun at the idea as absurd. Never once questioning to yourself, how blasphemous that question would be should my “pet interpretations” prove right. And in that sense, if you weren’t assuming I spoke from ignorance, why would you presume to poke fun at the idea before you find out if it has any basis in reality? Is it so far fetched that God can consume meat? Yet he does so, explicitly on many occasions, not only in the person of Jesus Christ, who eats fish even with his glorified body, and celebrated the passover numerous times, commanded the passover even. But also eats the fattened calf, and consumes the offerings of the pious in Judges 6, and Judges 13.
    Do you see the predicament?

  • Pingback: Mother Earth,,, WHAT? « YOU DECIDE

  • Pingback: Mother Earth,,, WHAT? « YOU DECIDE

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, is this about respecting you for your education? Why do you keep bringing it up?

    Regardless, and so we don’t keep going around in circles, let’s take a quick look at the animals in Scripture, from beginning to end.

    Genesis 1, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’ God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth’ … Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind;’ and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

    Here we have the animals being blessed by God, and as a result, living and multiplying. And God calling it all “good.”

    Moving on …

    Genesis 6, “‘And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.’”

    God saved all the animals from the Flood, and most of these were kinds that man would never eat. Further, the food for both man and the animals in the Ark (and we know what the Ark is a picture of) was gathered – not hunted or slaughtered. “The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works … (Psalms 145).

    Moving on …

    Psalms 40, “Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired …” Matthew 12, “‘It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice.’” Hebrews 10, “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offerings You have not desired … in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.’”

    While the sacrifices were effective as Law, they were ineffective in removing sins (otherwise one sacrifice would have been enough). What relation, then, can those sacrifices have to the eternal state – what picture of the eternal state can we possibly derive from them? Or what picture of God, who plainly says He wasn’t pleased by them? (Apart from the innocent and unblemished animals being a type of Christ?)

    Moving on …

    Revelation 4, “… in the center and around the throne, four living creatures …”

    Not men, and not angels, but animals – because that’s how their appearance is described. Even the one with a face like a man’s can be understood to be a primate. (And all the eyes indicate spiritual perception.) Will we eat that part of Creation that worships God together with us? (Even if the passage is entirely symbolic, the point it makes is the same: all Creation will worship God.)

  • Tom Hering

    Bror, is this about respecting you for your education? Why do you keep bringing it up?

    Regardless, and so we don’t keep going around in circles, let’s take a quick look at the animals in Scripture, from beginning to end.

    Genesis 1, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’ God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth’ … Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind;’ and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

    Here we have the animals being blessed by God, and as a result, living and multiplying. And God calling it all “good.”

    Moving on …

    Genesis 6, “‘And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.’”

    God saved all the animals from the Flood, and most of these were kinds that man would never eat. Further, the food for both man and the animals in the Ark (and we know what the Ark is a picture of) was gathered – not hunted or slaughtered. “The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works … (Psalms 145).

    Moving on …

    Psalms 40, “Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired …” Matthew 12, “‘It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice.’” Hebrews 10, “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offerings You have not desired … in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.’”

    While the sacrifices were effective as Law, they were ineffective in removing sins (otherwise one sacrifice would have been enough). What relation, then, can those sacrifices have to the eternal state – what picture of the eternal state can we possibly derive from them? Or what picture of God, who plainly says He wasn’t pleased by them? (Apart from the innocent and unblemished animals being a type of Christ?)

    Moving on …

    Revelation 4, “… in the center and around the throne, four living creatures …”

    Not men, and not angels, but animals – because that’s how their appearance is described. Even the one with a face like a man’s can be understood to be a primate. (And all the eyes indicate spiritual perception.) Will we eat that part of Creation that worships God together with us? (Even if the passage is entirely symbolic, the point it makes is the same: all Creation will worship God.)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom and Bror.

    This is interesting stuff.

    For Bror: How do you define sacrifice? How does Kleinig in his commentary define sacrifice? What is it for? what is it in relation to faith? Does sacrifice save us (yes I know the answer seems obvious but I am thinking Ap “Love and Fulfilling the Law”).

    How would you see the fall as having to do with this, and with the eating of animals, etc? Do you suppose that Adam and Eve killed to eat and that they made animal or grain or other sacrifices?

    For Tom: I am curious where you are going with this Tom. I love a good steak and it helps with my workouts at the gym. At the same time , being raised as a farm boy, I never felt really great about killing stuff even to eat em. But then, I notice that men and women who live close to the land respect life and always try to kill in a way that is not cruel , like Bror also as a conscience to do.

    I could see , maybe, that pre fall, animals were not eaten. Would you agree that , even if that were so, that this would have zero effect as to making any sort of moral assertion in a fallen world where God after the flood divinely institutes a good bar-b-que? I would like to know where you might take your thread of reasoning? Is the logic that man is designed to be vegetarian so there is some sort of (aquinan, not Lutheran) natural law argument for being that? Would it be that morally it is better to be a vegetarian out of respect for God´s creation? How far could someone push all that? What would be too far?

    For both Tom and Bror:

    In what way has the fall affected all these things? To what extent can we look to pre fall to determine what is commanded today in a fallen world?

    For example: I note here that Jesus points to pre fall marriage to condemn those who think that the letter of the Law is enough, and then we seem to take those very words and make them into a SUPER-letter-of-the-law, ignoring that that same Jesus sanctioned the very divorce laws that Jesus says are the letter and not the spirit and God´s intention. I think that has alot of bearing with how we look at all this. Was polygamy ok? Yes according to the letter, where marriage is always everywhere about property rights and women being the property of the male. According to the spirit, not so much…. Is it ok for women in society to be bank presidents and congresswomen when God´s original intent was for women to serve and be men´s helpers in a subservient position? In a prefallen world, no. In a fallen world?

    I would suggest that all this needs to be seen through the prism of how our Confessions define sacrifice , which falls under the general heading of “love” in our Apology. I would point to how art III “love and the fulfilling of the Law” treat this all as “synectoche” in their exegesis of Luke 7 and the woman “who loved much”. I am suggesting that this is exactly where our Confessions would treat this and other such discussions. We are talking about the Law of God here aren´t we as it relates to Love and other such sacrifices? And how this relates to faith alone in Christ alone.

    So does hunting to provide food for one´s family save us? does eating meat save us? Does deciding to be a vegetarian save us?

    I would answer a yes to all of those questions. But really it all depends on where the heart is.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom and Bror.

    This is interesting stuff.

    For Bror: How do you define sacrifice? How does Kleinig in his commentary define sacrifice? What is it for? what is it in relation to faith? Does sacrifice save us (yes I know the answer seems obvious but I am thinking Ap “Love and Fulfilling the Law”).

    How would you see the fall as having to do with this, and with the eating of animals, etc? Do you suppose that Adam and Eve killed to eat and that they made animal or grain or other sacrifices?

    For Tom: I am curious where you are going with this Tom. I love a good steak and it helps with my workouts at the gym. At the same time , being raised as a farm boy, I never felt really great about killing stuff even to eat em. But then, I notice that men and women who live close to the land respect life and always try to kill in a way that is not cruel , like Bror also as a conscience to do.

    I could see , maybe, that pre fall, animals were not eaten. Would you agree that , even if that were so, that this would have zero effect as to making any sort of moral assertion in a fallen world where God after the flood divinely institutes a good bar-b-que? I would like to know where you might take your thread of reasoning? Is the logic that man is designed to be vegetarian so there is some sort of (aquinan, not Lutheran) natural law argument for being that? Would it be that morally it is better to be a vegetarian out of respect for God´s creation? How far could someone push all that? What would be too far?

    For both Tom and Bror:

    In what way has the fall affected all these things? To what extent can we look to pre fall to determine what is commanded today in a fallen world?

    For example: I note here that Jesus points to pre fall marriage to condemn those who think that the letter of the Law is enough, and then we seem to take those very words and make them into a SUPER-letter-of-the-law, ignoring that that same Jesus sanctioned the very divorce laws that Jesus says are the letter and not the spirit and God´s intention. I think that has alot of bearing with how we look at all this. Was polygamy ok? Yes according to the letter, where marriage is always everywhere about property rights and women being the property of the male. According to the spirit, not so much…. Is it ok for women in society to be bank presidents and congresswomen when God´s original intent was for women to serve and be men´s helpers in a subservient position? In a prefallen world, no. In a fallen world?

    I would suggest that all this needs to be seen through the prism of how our Confessions define sacrifice , which falls under the general heading of “love” in our Apology. I would point to how art III “love and the fulfilling of the Law” treat this all as “synectoche” in their exegesis of Luke 7 and the woman “who loved much”. I am suggesting that this is exactly where our Confessions would treat this and other such discussions. We are talking about the Law of God here aren´t we as it relates to Love and other such sacrifices? And how this relates to faith alone in Christ alone.

    So does hunting to provide food for one´s family save us? does eating meat save us? Does deciding to be a vegetarian save us?

    I would answer a yes to all of those questions. But really it all depends on where the heart is.

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, my argument is that (A.) man and the animals originally ate only the green plants, (B.) now eat each other as well as the green plants, and (C.) will one day again eat only the green plants. “A” is as God intended, “B” is as God permits, and “C” is as God will make right again. Further, during this time of permission, men have two choices – to be herbivores or omnivores. Neither choice is condemned by God, but fallen man will be morally inconsistent no matter which choice he makes (in this as in all other things). Therefore, it can be argued that animal lovers – both herbivores and omnivores – can be more loving. And what in the world would be wrong with that?

  • Tom Hering

    Frank, my argument is that (A.) man and the animals originally ate only the green plants, (B.) now eat each other as well as the green plants, and (C.) will one day again eat only the green plants. “A” is as God intended, “B” is as God permits, and “C” is as God will make right again. Further, during this time of permission, men have two choices – to be herbivores or omnivores. Neither choice is condemned by God, but fallen man will be morally inconsistent no matter which choice he makes (in this as in all other things). Therefore, it can be argued that animal lovers – both herbivores and omnivores – can be more loving. And what in the world would be wrong with that?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    A sacrifice in the Bible, and as Kleinig describes it, is a feast offered in dedication to a god. In the Bible, the only proper sacrifices were those offered to God. They were eaten and consumed by the people offering and God receiving.
    I don’t know how the fall effected all of this. I know it introduced sin and death to man. I don’t know that animals were free of death before the fall. The text just does not say.
    Tom,
    Why do I bring up my education and study? Don’t know. Perhaps for the same reason you bring up Scully’s speech writing career.
    As for the rest of your posts, I don’t even know where to begin with the illogical steps you take there.
    Where does it say, any where in the scriptures that Man and Animals ate only Green plants before the fall. It doesn’t. I think the best you could do is point to Isaiah where it says the lion will eat straw like the ox. but then that is written in poetry so according to your own standards we’d have to rule that out as definitive of anything. Of course if I was going to make your argument for you, that is where I’d go.
    God saved animals on the ark, who knew. And right after he tells Noah he can eat of all of them. Yes he blesses animals, he blesses all sorts of things.
    It is apparent even from the wording of Gen. 9 that before the flood there were animals considered acceptable to eat. What they ate on the ark is immaterial. After word, God tells Noah, not you can now eat meat, but now you can eat of everything that moveth upon the earth, nothing is left off limits.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Frank,
    A sacrifice in the Bible, and as Kleinig describes it, is a feast offered in dedication to a god. In the Bible, the only proper sacrifices were those offered to God. They were eaten and consumed by the people offering and God receiving.
    I don’t know how the fall effected all of this. I know it introduced sin and death to man. I don’t know that animals were free of death before the fall. The text just does not say.
    Tom,
    Why do I bring up my education and study? Don’t know. Perhaps for the same reason you bring up Scully’s speech writing career.
    As for the rest of your posts, I don’t even know where to begin with the illogical steps you take there.
    Where does it say, any where in the scriptures that Man and Animals ate only Green plants before the fall. It doesn’t. I think the best you could do is point to Isaiah where it says the lion will eat straw like the ox. but then that is written in poetry so according to your own standards we’d have to rule that out as definitive of anything. Of course if I was going to make your argument for you, that is where I’d go.
    God saved animals on the ark, who knew. And right after he tells Noah he can eat of all of them. Yes he blesses animals, he blesses all sorts of things.
    It is apparent even from the wording of Gen. 9 that before the flood there were animals considered acceptable to eat. What they ate on the ark is immaterial. After word, God tells Noah, not you can now eat meat, but now you can eat of everything that moveth upon the earth, nothing is left off limits.

  • Pingback: WAR is Against our Water Air and Human Rights on the Earth « Blog Archive « JAS Graphic News

  • Pingback: WAR is Against our Water Air and Human Rights on the Earth « Blog Archive « JAS Graphic News

  • Helen K

    reference…

  • Helen K

    reference…


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X