Thoughts from Innisfree on the Stillwater: On animals and worldviews

I suspect that one of the driving forces of the greatest changes in society over the past 100 years versus the past several millenia has been specific movement of people away from caring for food animals.

One cannot help but learn about the brutal realities of the cycle of life to death to life when one cares for food animals. As a result, one cannot help but see the realities of the same cycle in every other part of life. Such realizations cannot help but make someone more pragmatic at the least, if not even a little fatalistic.

That kind of pragmatism then fueled all sorts of ways of thinking that dominated most of human history. And while, yes, that thinking justified all sorts of things we moderns consider savage and inhuman, it also gave birth to the world we have today and, to a great part, continues to sustain it long after most people have forgotten what it all might mean.

Now, being engaged in that kind of undertaking, I find my own thinking inevitably changed by the reality of what I do. In some ways I am softer. In some ways I am harder than I ever imagined I could ever be. My focus is different–dare I say, more focused–and the change in my view of the realities of life and death could not be more profound.

I understand the impracticality of a general return to agriculture, but I cannot help but wonder if we would not benefit from a return to some parts of the worldview it fostered. We need more pragmatism in a world sometimes blinded by the shining and ofttimes false optimism of modernity.  We could do worse than to revisit history, and I’m certain we can benefit from it.

DLH

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Worldview: Christmas Day 2010

A choir sings during the lighting of a 100 foot steel Christmas tree atop Aegibong Peak overlooking South Korea's border with North Korea. Image credit: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters via The Christian Science Monitor

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

–Isaiah 9:2-7, NIV, via Biblegateway.com

DLH

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Worldview: “Keep your head down” represents a compromise of the Christian worldview

I hear this idea or something like it often: “We should just keep our heads down and mind our own business.”

Usually, it comes from conservatively minded people, often from Christians, and mostly in relationship to ongoing world events the speakers find troubling. Every time I hear the idea expressed, I wonder how it jives with everything conservative Christians know about the faith and worldview we are supposed to possess.

How can we be salt and light, share the Gospel with the world, or let our gentleness be evident to all if we’re hiding from the world? How can we do the good works God has created for us to do if we keep our heads down? How can we be the citizens of a shining city on a hill if we’re minding our own business?

From my point of view, these ideas represent a fundamental compromise of the Christian worldview, and the result of that compromise has been the demise of the good our forebearers accomplished.

The Christian worldview is on that can only be lived out loud. Look at the history of our faith. It is filled with men and women who refused to be silent even in the face of exile and death. Many of our American ancestors came here as an expression of and because of their worldview. It was, in part, from their loud proclamations of belief that the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights derived their legitimacy.

Yet, modern American Christians, in great part, would rather hide when the command is to shout and make a spectacle. If we do not declare what we know and believe, how will anyone hear?

As for me, come better or worse, I will not be silent, nor will I be afraid.

DLH

Read more at my Worldview site...