Videos from SMTV interview








Recently, Supreme Master Television, the station devoted to vegan spiritual leader Supreme Master Ching Hai, asked me some questions in an interview for their online TV station. They generously gave me the footage and permission to use it however I wanted. I have edited them and added them to my YouTube Channel (@keithakerscolorado). At some point they may put some excerpts from the video on their web site, and I will post a link here if that happens, but you can view six substantial excerpts of this interview on my YouTube channel right now.

The questions concerned my two most recent books, Disciples and Embracing Limits. So some questions were about the history of early Christianity and some were about the environmental crisis. Here is a list of the videos:

Related to Embracing Limits:

Are we close to the sixth great extinction?

How do livestock and factory farms affect climate change?

Are plant-based diets the best way to save the planet?

How is compassionate and ethical awakening important for saving the planet?

Related to Disciples:

Was Jesus influenced by the Pythagoreans and the Essenes?

Why do you think that Jesus was a vegetarian who opposed animal sacrifice?

Thanks to SMTV for interviewing me and allowing me to edit and publish my video responses!

5 Replies to “Videos from SMTV interview”

  1. Hi Keith — The links to the two “Disciples” topics took me to two of the “Embracing Limits” topics. Hope they can be fixed. (The “Embracing Limits” links are fine.) Thank you.

      1. Jesus is love and loves animals, there is no doubt. He never intended for there to be death or suffering in the world. After sin entered the world, everything got messed up and the world is not how God ever intended it. There are plenty of verses in the Bible where God talks about how we should care for animals and how He cares for animals (Proverbs 12:10, Matthew 6:26). However, in order to try and prove the case that God was against animal sacrifice in the temple, you need to ignore lots of the bible and basic fundamental Christian beliefs. Those are major errors and not believing that Jesus died for your sins, for one, is a salvational issue. Teaching others these things as well, will result in being judged with greater strictness (James 3:1). I am a vegan, largely for ethical reasons, and also for health reasons. But I love Jesus more than animals, and I understand I can’t change who Jesus was and make Him into who I want him to be, (for any topic, not just animal welfare). Gods ways are higher than our ways. Trust not in your own understanding. I use to wonder as a child how God lets all the animals in factory farms suffer, as they are so innocent and don’t deserve it. And I came to the conclusion that God numbs their pain, even though it appears they suffer to us. That’s the only way I could reconcile it. It deeply troubled me and I couldn’t understand it but i had this faith that He was good and somehow it had to make sense. Now, I don’t know what exactly they feel and they might very well feel the full pain. (The big thing I’ve learned regarding all the suffering in the world is God allows free will.) The point is to trust God and to have a faith that believes He is good even no matter what our eyes see and what we understand in our human brains. The truth is God is just and He is also merciful. He gave His Son to die for us, and He also loves His Son and did not want Him to suffer. But He loved us so much that He let His Son die for us, because it was necessary, because of justice. The truth is God ordained the animal sacrificial system that we see all throughout the Old testament of the Bible. He commanded it through Moses. He told them exactly what animals and how many and how often they were needed to be sacrificed. (Now killing an animal is not torturous like factory farming today, for the record). Animals were used as sacrifices for the exact reason that it pains you and me and many to think about it. “Why does this poor, young, innocent, beautiful animal have to die?” Simply, because of our sin. Yes, my individual sins are causing that beautiful creature to die. (Specifically, an innocent life is needed to die for another. Because a sinful being can not die for you, as it/he/she would need to die for its own sins.) That is supposed to make me feel terrible. For my sin. So that I realize how terrible sin is. That the wages of sin is death. Either I die, or the animal. I would rather the animal take my place. And the fulfillment is, I would rather Jesus takes my place. Recognize that He is that innocent, beautiful, perfect, lamb. As much as it pains us to imagine a little lamb be killed for our wrongdoings, understand that the Son of God was immeasurably more innocent, beautiful, and perfect. There is no getting around the fact that the wages of sin is death. As soon as Adam sinned and ate the fruit, they began to die, and death entered the world affecting all living things, just as God warned. When you see death, and suffering, and hate it and are grieved by it so much and just wish it didn’t exist, turn your hatred to the cause, which is sin. And your own individual sin. And thank God that we don’t have to die forever because Jesus willingly laid down His life for us, (it was not taken from Him), and that we can one day live with God forever in a world with no more pain or death as He intended.
        You can be an animal lover and a Christian, they are fully compatible. But do you seek and desire the truth? If the truth is contrary to what you believe or want to believe, will you accept it? (There is only one truth, the truth, not “your truth” and “my truth”). Or do you insist on what you believe to be right and force the Bible to conform? Who is the God here?

        1. The arguments which you are using depend on a particular interpretation of the Bible. In general I’ve never seen a discussion over what the Bible “really” means ever fully resolved. Even those who believe in the (so-called) literal interpretation of the Bible don’t agree on what it means. Many Mennonites, for example, say that war is never justified, but most Southern Baptists believe that the U. S. war in Vietnam was fully justified. (I’m with the Mennonites on this one.)

          Fortunately, I doubt we’ll come to blows (figurative or literal) over whether animal sacrifice is justified. The Temple in Jerusalem, the only place where animal sacrifice could legitimately be offered, was destroyed in the year 70 and has never been rebuilt.

          I do not rely on the literal interpretation of the Bible, for one thing because I just don’t know what that would even be. The Bible says many things, often contradictory. Instead, after studying the Bible thoughtfully for many decades, I rely on the Holy Spirit to interpret the Bible and as a guide for matters not clearly covered by any interpretation of the Bible.

          This is certainly not a salvational issue, and making it one is actually in contradiction to scripture. Matthew 25:34-40 states that those who acted kindly to the “least of these” will be saved, even if they did not know Jesus at all.

          I would suggest that if we are to come together in a single place to worship, that we not dogmatically assume that our interpretation of the Bible (or the interpretation of our denomination, sect, or religion) is the correct one, or even that the Bible is the sole source of moral authority. I would let the Holy Spirit guide us, not the dictates of a particular sect, denomination, or even religion. “By their fruits you will know them.”

        2. The Bible is contradictory on animal sacrifice. The latter prophets opposed it. The Bible is not univocal on much of anything.

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