Everybody should support sustainable agriculture because it will help alleviate health problems, environmental pollution and help strengthen communities, as I will show in later posts – but Christians have added incentive to do so, since it is a way of worship, Biblically relevant and connected to teachings of Jesus.
Why should agriculture be so important to Christians, you may ask. Well:
First, agriculture is Biblically relevant – agricultural and food themes are ever present through allegory and metaphor in describing our faith. God is concerned with the way animals are raised and killed, crops are grown and food eaten, which he showed through numerous dietary and agricultural laws and guidelines in the Old Testament. Yes, we have the new covenant with Jesus which allows us freedom in eating choices, but the sentiment behind God’s Law in the Old Testament still is important to us today, and was upheld by Jesus in the New Testament.
Second, agriculture has served as a cleavage between faith and works; our current industrial agriculture does not reflect biblical stewardship principles, it reflects exploitation. It is rife with human rights atrocities from pesticide-laden workers in banana farms to the unfairly shrinking salaries of small American farmers in the face of government-subsidized big agri-businesses. It also damages our environment, which in turn damages us and entire ecosystems. Continually through this blog, I will illustrate some of the biggest negative environmental and human impacts of industrial agriculture and explain why Christians should not support these practices.
Third, agriculture is important because food, the lack thereof and also too much, is a source of much human suffering, which Christians seek to alleviate as Christ did. Food security is an issue for millions of people worldwide. Malnutrition and obesity plague many countries. In America, over 13% of people are food insecure, which means they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from or they are actually hungry, while 60% are obese. This is important because some people argue that industrial agriculture is good because it feeds more people, ergo, fewer people go hungry. In a later post, I will address the flaws of this statement.
[Source: Jesus and the Orangutan: Environmental Ethics. Thank you Caroline!]
Latest posts by Caroline D'Angelo (see all)
- Why Christians Should Support Sustainable Agriculture - July 30, 2010