Last time was the beginning of the end of my insight on how veganism is a lot like Christianity. As I mentioned there are some who think begin a vegetarian is not enough, you have to be all in and be a vegan and give up all animal products. There are also those who say you must be a vegan for the right reason: Animals rights.
Both of these arguments bring to mind similar points about Christianity.
- If you’re going to be a Christian aim to be “all in”. The bible clearly states that you can’t serve two masters. We are instructed to be in the world but not of the world. At some point in time, you must draw a line in the sand and try your darnedest to live like a Christ. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be perfect or you will go through a metamorphosis and come out as a holy roller, but you’ve got to give a sincere effort.
- You have to be a Christian for the right reasons. Being raised a Christian does not make you a Christian. It makes your parents good Christian parents. Marrying a person who is a Christian does not make you a Christian. Even going to church every Sunday, does not make you a Christian. Being a Christian is about having a personal relationship with God/Jesus. It is something you have to consciously come to terms with yourself. If you are doing it for any other reason than your own personal conviction (in my opinion), you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
The drawback of course to the vegan debate mentioned earlier is that it implies there is one way to do it and anything less is failure. I’m not sure if I agree with that.
One day I was listening to a blog by vegan activist and cooking instructor Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Of course being an activist she has strong opinions about the importance of people embracing a vegan diet. But she had this to say (and I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t do nothing, just because you can’t do everything.”
Her point? Do as much as you can. If you can give up everything except cheese…then give up everything except cheese. From her perspective having 10 people become 50% vegan is just as good as 5 people being 100%. Do what you can.
It’s the same way with Christianity. If you’re not “there” yet, it’s okay. Keep pushing, keep trying. Don’t give up or “back-slide” just because you aren’t doing it right (whatever that means).
There are many out there that like to lay out a list of Christian Do’s and Don’ts. Each denomination it seems has its own twist on what’s the right way to do Christianity. Too many churches have this Code of Conduct (written or not) of what it takes to be a member in “good standing.” And most of us fail to meet these standards. We aren’t doing it right despite our best efforts.
But Jesus lays it out pretty simply: Love God; Love one another. We could spend a lifetime just getting those two right.