By Martin Cisneros
Since the 10 Commandments of driving and of quite a few other things have been issued, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon with the 10 commandments of an animal rights protest.
A public protest is an opportunity to draw the attention of the media and of concerned citizens to an issue that's needing to be addressed. Sometimes, however, a protest can go horribly wrong and turn into a PR nightmare for those who are innocently trying to bring light and restitution to an important issue. These ten principles are meant to try to prevent the occasional nightmare and to create constructive conversation among Christians about the nature and rolls of Christians in society and in addressing gross misconduct on the part of a fallen society. These can also serve as guidelines to abide by in organizing a Christian protest against animal cruelty, getting animals delivered from all of their afflictions, and bringing animal abusers and fellow Non-Christian protesters to a place of being won to Christ when they see genuine effectiveness through the Power of the Holy Spirit in manifestation through us. So, remembering the Voice of God in the Charleton Heston "10 Commandments" movie read the following:
1. Know your Covenant Scriptures and the Biblical principles involved so you can intelligently answer Christians who try to imply that real Christians don't involve themselves in these types of issues.
2. Whenever possible, do a 1 to 3 day fast before the protest, praying for protesters, those being protested, and any other issues and lives involved.
3. If you form a public prayer circle around the business in question, tread softly as you remember Jesus' warnings, in the Sermon on the Mount, about having more outward showiness than genuine heart communion with God.
4. Avoid hatred and violence at all costs.
5. Avoid threatening, abusive, and destructive behavior, as these usually cost you the flow of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Whose delivering, attention grabbing, and conscience convicting power you want Present and Active in the behalf of all present and involved. Threatening, abusive, and destructive behavior can also cost you credibility with your fellow believers, and it can cost you dearly in public and media sympathy in the cause.
6. Avoid profanity and slander - even if you need to research the [local] issues and a Thesaurus a little more thoroughly than your Non-Christian counterparts in the Animal Rights Movement.
7. Keep it honest, factual, and avoid generalizations. It would be better to just be a silent, prayerful Apostolic writer of epistles to all parties involved than to drop the ball this early in the game with looking people right in the eyes and telling them utter nonsense that won't stand the test of investigative scrutiny.
8. Invest as much as you are prayerfully led to into guarantying your accuracy and keeping a website and relevant advertising well maintained, and keep pressing the media, your city council, and your local Churches as an organization and as "concerned citizens," and fellow Christians on the issue. If you're loving, prayerful, and careful about your facts and your conduct, there's no reason not to win your cause and lead everyone involved to Christ!
9. If living animals are involved, always be working together with the Holy Spirit and with fellow believers on practical plans for giving animals a new home and a new life. This is always partly as an answer to those who ask you about alternatives for the animals immediately involved and also in the event that the Holy Spirit and the Angel of the Lord do anything unusual where you wind up suddenly having the joy of relocating those animals.
10. Maintain an obvious Christian Presence at the protests with your T-shirts and with the naming of your animal rights group. Again, this will draw media attention and fellow Christians into the religious implications of the discussion. If you wear PETA T-shirts, embroider the sleeves or your pants with distinctly Christian input. If you and your Christian friends are all organized as a local chapter of this or that "religiously neutral" animal rights organization, there's nothing keeping you from also incorporating a Christian expression with all or most of the same people. You'll just need a different address and business phone number to avoid "conflict of interest" griefs/accusations from either state/local laws or supporters of that other "religiously neutral" animal rights group.
In closing, please bare in mind that Christians are called to active duty in the behalf of all life everywhere, to be salt and light, and to inherit blessings in this life by faithfully walking the straight and narrow through the principles that Jesus taught regarding sowing and reaping by abiding in His Word and letting His Word abide in you. We have faith in the promises of God regarding the liberation of Creation through the power of the Holy Spirit as Christians grow further and further in conformity with the image of Jesus Christ. So, there is no reason for any of us to sorrow as unbelieving vegans would who have no fervent hopes in God's plan of unfolding grace towards all life everywhere.
As the knowledge and expectancy on this Covenant grows in our hearts, the Holy Spirit can do in a matter of moments what we haven't been able to accomplish in the 2500+ years that there's been an animal rights movement. Keep that in mind, that as we put on the whole armor of God in relation to this particular aspect of the Scriptures that though the devil will kick and scream and tear at the flesh as he's being cast out, the victory has already been won. "It is finished!" applies as much to this as to anything else related to any other aspect of redemption.