Twenty-first Evangelical Christianity, meet modernism. Modernism, meet the Evangelicals. Wed together and you get what could be called Vegan Christianity. Vegan Christianity, simply put, is a type of Christianity that seeks to look at the world and Christian practices the way many vegans look at food: fuel to sustain you that at times is enjoyable because it tastes good, but knowing how it sustains you is the real joy of it. I have no disagreement with the life giving, sustaining power that comes from the means of grace and other things that give Christian’s vitality. To have a problem would cause me to need to reconsider the nature of eternal life given to us from God. The tension rises over the term eternal life, for the life that has been given us is meant to do more than keep us alive, such as a fatally ill person on life support. The Christian’s life may feel this way at times, but its fundamental nature isn’t that of living on life support. We have a life that comes from the very Son of God. We have been grafted into a vine that is filled with the life and light of the world because it is the life and light of the world. We Christians aren’t to read the Bible, say prayers, attend worship and cast our burdens upon Jesus because we need a little more of the IV drip to keep us alive. In other words, these things are more than what we need to not die. Life is more than not dying. God created us for more than not dying and Christian salvation is more than not dying. The means of grace are more than fuel to sustain life. They are given to add to the richness of life, even when they feel mundane and empty. It is to renew us to our Creator, our Father.
Let us not live our lives to get by. Let’s enjoy the good gifts of God as good. See this world as God made it as inherently good and the things that come from it as good. To do otherwise is to live like the Gentiles. See the world as good because its Creator is good and wants it to be enjoyed. The Creator doesn’t create and give only what is needed to survive. He gives life and life is more than spinach, hold the salt.
Let us not us not live to survive until we die. Let’s enjoy the good gifts of God as gifts. All good things come down to us from the Father above, the Father of Lights. What do you have that you did not receive? Receive the good gifts from the hand of a good God and Father. He made his world good and says take and enjoy. As your hands are held out to receive the broken body of your Savior and to receive his blood shed for the remission of your sins, don’t clinch them tightly when he offers you the gift of a wife, children, friends, good books, good food, good drinks, good land, beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Don’t clinch your hands tightly when he holds out resources for you to use to enjoy. If you gives you money to take a vacation, then take a vacation. If he gives you money to buy your daughter a pretty dress for Easter then buy her a dress for Easter. If he gives you the money to buy your wife a pretty dress for Easter, then buy her the dress and may the wife receive it with hands opened gratefully. Your Father loves you and wants to bless you and according to Numbers 6:24-27 He has already given you his blessing. So just as we open our hands when a benediction is read over us to receive God’s blessing as we depart from corporate worship, let us hold open our hands on Monday and receive his good gifts. The Lord bless you, keep you and cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord life up his countenance to you and give you peace.