By Martin Cisneros
The F.A.Q.s are more fast paced with simply highlighting some of the "frequently asked questions" that I've received over the years, from different aspects of how to apply this teaching to explaining why the usage of animal slurs is "profane." Why is the term for a female dog, or another word for a "donkey" considered using profanity in society? I answer that and many other questions of conscience here.
13. What about Paul's warning in Galatians about other gospels?
In context, Paul was talking about circumcision as a condition of fellowship in the Spirit and Bread of Christ, inspite of the fact that many people try to broaden his comments along those lines. And furthermore, as to Paul's warnings about other gospels, the original gospel of Christ was always understood by the early Christians to be good news for every creature. St. Paul, again, in Ephesians 2 spoke in the plural when speaking of the Covenant[s] of promise.
14. Aren't you just introducing another "law"?
From the beginning there was always the plan of God to bring all life to completion in Himself. The Scriptures are always promise-laws in that certain outcomes are promised based on principles that God is introducing throughout history. I'll leave the additional question with the theologians as to whether or not God is specifically causing all of the different crisis of history or whether or not God's just anticipated all of the different crisis of history and has made arrangements to subdue them to His will through His unlimited resources that He simply makes available in their time.
Whether or not God ever "reacts", I'll leave with the theologians and those more mystical than myself. Hosea 2:18 and all of the Scriptures that God's awakened in my heart regarding this issue aren't part of some other "law", other than in the sense that they haven't had their dispensation come forth until now.
15. Martin, as Christians, we're not supposed to build our doctrines out of the Old Testament!
The early Apostles and Christian prophets built their doctrines out of the Old Testament. The only time the church was ever away from the Old Testament was when it became anti-semitic.
Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Spirit is totally built around God fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Holiness was an Old Testament requirement that the early Apostles said still applies under the reign of Jesus Christ.
All of the comments by the Apostles about the excellence of Scripture and it's place in the lives of believers are references to the Old Testament because the New Testament, while being completed before the ending of the first hundred or so years of the Church wasn't available in every Christian bookstore at the time!
It's a mistake to assume that everything prophesied in the Old Testament has already been fulfilled. The book of Hosea is alluded to and even directly quoted enough times in the New Testament to give it the early Apostolic seal of approval for usage by the Churches.
16. Can't this be used to breed more Phariseeism? After all, aren't these "just" animals?
Anything can be taken to the twin extremes of either licience or Pharisaical judgmentalism that divides and destroys. The Hosea 2:18 Covenant must be seen as one of the, if not the, most unselfish covenants that God has ever asked us to participate in. It bids us to minister the same everlasting compassions that have been ministered to us to those who've truly been the "least" in our estimation of God's creation. It bids us to share the healing we've received and to speak "peace" to those who've known the most agitation and uncertainty.
It tells us to look at God, the Master Potter, and see what He will do and to expect Him to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh! Who among us can claim to be anything without the Holy Spirit of God poured upon our flesh? The Hosea 2:18 Covenant calls us to the depths of God's compassion and infinite grace!
Remember that Nimrod, Esau, and Balaam were all called wicked by our Lord. Nimrod and Esau were hunters and though little is said, in Scripture, of the day to day life of Balaam, one particular incident of animal cruelty on his part has been immortalized by both holy testaments!
17. Isn't the veganism you're advocating because of this Hosea 2:18 passage simply a guise for "worshipping and serving the creation rather than the Creator," as St. Paul warned us about?
I don't see how the healing covenant [for instance] would be worshipping and serving the creation rather than the Creator. It's simply a part of the atoning work of Christ. Jesus Christ provided as much provision for our bodies as for our spirits, and perhaps a great deal more for our bodies than our spirits because on a certain level our bodies are needier than our spirits.
That's not to say that our spirits weren't burdened with a great many intolerable needs when Christ reach out to each of us, but merely an observation of how much weaker our bodies are than our spirits and minds. But, standing expectantly on the New Testament for bodily healing to flow to our bodies from the High Priestly Ministry of Jesus Christ isn't an act of worshipping our bodies, but it's an act of humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God and seeking His exaltation above this situation, along with our own in His Name, [though always in subjection to His divine majesty].
No covenant of the Scriptures is ever an act of preferring ourselves over God. And no covenant of the Scriptures is ever an act of preferring the cosmos around us over God. On the contrary, the more and more we acknowledge the covenants Paul spoke of in the plural in Ephesians 2 is to give more and more honor to God and to submit ourselves further and further to the reign of Christ!
18. What about Jesus' comments about humans being worth more than birds in the sight of God?
There are two answers to that.
Number 1: Jesus was inaugurating the first part of the New Covenant in that century and was primarily concerned with reuniting both Jews and Gentiles through His atoning and self-sacrificial mediation work. So, man is more important than animals from the standpoint of timing, in that God was beginning with mankind because God was going to the root of the introduction of all of the problems, evils, pains, and confusions into the creation by first dealing with mankind. This does not invalidate future Covenants that God would establish with other beings, as in the instance of animals. By man came the fall and by man would come the resurrection of the dead, according to 1Corinthians 15.
Number 2: Just because someone is greater than someone else in royal dignity doesn't mean that the subjects of that kingdom should be treated as the scum of the earth, which is exactly how animals have been treated at the exploitative hands of mankind. The Scriptural principle from cover to cover is that the elder shall serve the younger, as in the case of the preexistent Christ serving mankind, Esau being relegated to a subordinate position to Jacob in the Old Testament, first born redeeming the latter born, and countless other Biblical examples, allegories, etc. To claim for mankind a greater dignity than the animals doesn't make us less accountable for how we treat animals. It makes us more accountable and more at their service, until God's eternal purpose of completing all life into His absolute fullness is accomplished.