What if Christianity’s great, final vision–where sin and death are no more but have been swallowed up forever–what if this great, final vision is not just for us?
What if the specter of death is removed from all creation? What if this is indicative of a harmonious cosmos in which there is no fear of anything because death (whether natural or violent) is no more?
What if the great messianic banquet and the wine Jesus promised in the age to come indicate a feast without death?
In other words, might the eschatological picture of new creation entail a world of peace for animals?
Don’t tell me if this is right.
You see, I believe not so much in realized eschatology but in faithful realizing of what lies ahead. In other words, our calling is to see the new creation God is creating in Christ and bring it to bear on the present (by way of the cross).
So if the future is one of peace. If, say, the lion will lie down with the lamb and the ox with the bear–and not in the reclining posture of lion eating said lamb or of bear eating said ox!–then you might very well make a strong case for Christians to be vegetarians.
I know that Richard Bauckham wrote an essay on this, waxing theological on the phrase that Jesus was “with the wild animals” in Mark 1′s temptation scene.
So it’s been said before. But I’m looking for a loophole. If you would: please tell me why I’m wrong. We shouldn’t be vegetarians, should we?
Let me know. I’ll read it after I get done firing up the grill for a nice steak or something.