1. CVA Podcast
2. Activist Opportunities
3. HGC video
translated into Polish
4. Dr. Halteman's Lectures
Video from Compassion Over Killing
Christianity and Violence: The Revelation to John
1. CVA Podcast
The latest CVA podcast features an interview with Joe Camp, the director
and writer of all of the Benji movies. He is a Christian and is very
active in animal kindness. He was talking about a new project he's
working on dealing with something called Naked Horsemanship. It has to
do with taking better care of the horse by not using horseshoes and
We also talked quite a bit about the Benji films and his experience
working so closely with animals for so many years. He stresses the
importance of only working with the animals in a way as to instruct them
rather than forcing them to do anything. He explains the training
techniques they use, and how every animal is actually the companion
animal of one of the cast and crew (mostly his, in fact). There is also
the first Bible study segment.
Lorena writes: The CVA is going to "Step It Up" and we need you! This
April 14th thousands of people are going to gather at more than 900
events around the country to call for action on climate change. Factory
farming contributes to 17% of global warming gases emission and is among
the top most polluting industries. The CVA urges all members to
participate at "Step it Up 2007" events in their areas by either tabling
or leafleting with CVA material. This is a prime time to raise awareness
and spread the word about the transition to a plant-based diet as good
stewardship of all of God's
Creation: humans, animals and the environment. Please visit
http://events.stepitup2007.org/ to find events in your
area and contact Lorena Mucke at [email protected] if interested in
participating. We would like to hear from you by the end of the month to
have enough time to send you material. Thank you!
4/1 IN Vincennes Point of Grace Christian Concert
4/1 AL Montgomery Toby Mac Portable Sounds Tour
4/1 MO Springfield The Afters Christian Rock Concert
4/1 MS Laurel Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
4/2 OK Duncan The Afters Christian Rock Concert
4/3 AR Jonesboro The Afters Christian Rock Concert
4/4 AR Little Rock Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
4/5 OK Enid Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
4/6 CA San Diego The Katinas -Christian Rock Concert
4/6 MS Tupelo Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
4/6 KS Manhattan The Afters Christian Rock Concert
4/7 FL Deland Point of Grace Christian Concert 4/10 FL Panama City
Thor Ramsy "Comedy Person" - Christian
4/13-14 MI Detroit Acquire the Fire Christian Rock Conference
4/13-14 AR Little Rock omen of Faith Conference
4/15 CA Sacramento The Katinas -Christian Rock Concert
To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities
in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at
the home page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to
identify upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at
[email protected] if you might be able to help.
3. HGC video translated into Polish
A CVA member in Poland has translated our video "Honoring God's
The file is 80 megs at
Those interested in the English-language version in DVD or VHS may
The links to the lectures by Dr. Matt Halteman, mentioned in last week's
CVA Update are at
Plenary Lecture (mp3) "Living Toward the Peaceable Kingdom"
Class Lecture (mp3) "Animal Rights & Christian Responsibility"
Lecture notes (pdf) "Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation"
"Animal Rights and Christian Responsibility"
5. Clever Video from Compassion Over Killing
Easter Bunny Eggsposed:
6. Christianity and Violence: The Revelation to
[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It
is being archived at
Many people have found Revelation's apocalyptic vision appealing. The
destruction it depicts offers an end to suffering and the promise of a
better age, which often comforts people whose lives are filled with
It offers hope for ultimate victory for the select "good" people,
while (equally satisfying to many people) "evil" people receive their
I have yet to meet a person of any faith who, believing in a future
apocalypse, does not also believe that they are among the elect who will
enjoy everlasting bliss. Another reason that many Christians have found
Revelation attractive is that those bent on "holy war" in God's name
claim support from Revelation's imagery.
Revelation poses a challenge for those who regard the Bible as
steadily revealing the scandal of scapegoating, "sacred" violence.
Revelation features many images of war and death, which appear to come
at the hands of God and God's forces. However, I think one can
faithfully and reasonably receive Revelation in ways that accord with
"God is love."
Evidently, Revelation aimed to both encourage those who were victims
of Roman persecution and to inspire those who would likely find
themselves traumatized by the anticipated conflict between God's empire
and that of humankind (then represented by the Roman Empire).1 When
Revelation was written, its readers were familiar with the genre of
apocalyptic literature, such as that found in the Hebrew Scriptures, the
Gospels, and Paul's
epistles.2 Readers likely understood that Revelation uses metaphors
and should not, as done by some Christians today, be taken literally.
Revelation is consistent with a nonviolent Jesus. In Chapter 5, John
the Seer describes the one who is "worthy to open the scroll and break
its seals" (5:2). An elder told John to expect the Lion of Judah, a
traditional symbol of military power. Instead, John the Seer wrote, "And
between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I
saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain" (5:6). People have
always regarded the lion as having control over life and death.
According to a Girardian view of the Bible, God desires that we assume
the status of the Lamb. The Lamb is often the victim of sacrificial
violence and is never the victimizer.
Proponents of Christian "Holy Wars" have pointed to images in
Revelation that, they claim, endorse violence, but alternative
understandings are possible and reasonable. For example, "Now war arose
in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the
dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no
longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown
down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the
deceiver of the whole world - he was thrown down to the earth . . . And
they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their
testimony" (12:7-9, 11). The "war" involved the voluntary sacrifice of
the slain Lamb and the testimony of his followers, who proved victorious
without killing their opponents.
Revelation chapters 19 and 20 describe the final confrontations,
which many Christians have understood to depict heaven at war with
satanic earthly forces. Interestingly, the "sword with which to smite
the nations" (19:15) comes from the mouth of "Faithful and True", who
sat upon a white horse (19:11-12). There is similar imagery later: "And
the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the
sword that issues from his mouth"
(19:21; see also 1:16, 2:12, 2:16). It is reasonable to regard the
coming from the mouth as Jesus' voice. If so, a voice alone cannot
commit acts of violence, but what the voice says could unleash a torrent
of violence. Jesus' teaching that God does not want us to generate
community by scapegoating violence would undermine the fragile "peace"
(see Matthew 10:34-37; Luke 12:51-53) that scapegoating generates, but
ultimately only communities grounded on love are stable and just. Those
who resist God's truth ultimately cannot unify themselves via
scapegoating, and there is war of all against all. Jesus recognized that
the universal, satanic, human attempt to destroy the perceived evil
("Satan") in the midst of every community ultimately destroys the
community. In other words, the attempt of Satan to cast out Satan is
futile, because "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom
cannot stand" (Mark 3:23-26; see also Luke 11:17-18).
I agree with Wes Howard-Brook and Anthony Gwyther that Revelation is
both descriptive and predictive. The early Christian churches faced real
persecution from the Romans, and they anticipated greater struggles as
they rejected the Roman Empire in favor of God's realm.3 In addition to
official sanctions from the government, they risked social ostracism.
John the Seer encouraged readers to contemplate the day when the
righteous will prevail while the forces of evil destroy themselves. It
is remarkable that Revelation 21:1-6 describes "a new heaven and a new
earth" where "God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every
tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more" (21:3-4). This vision
accords with Isaiah's prophesy of a future "Peaceable Kingdom" (11:6-9)
in which all Creation will live harmoniously at the end of time.
1. Howard-Brook, Wes and Gwyther, Anthony. Unveiling Empire: Reading
Revelation Then and Now. New York: Maryknoll, 2000, pp. 117-118.
2. Ibid., pp. xxvii-xxviii, 148-149.
3. Ibid., pp. 117-118.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.