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Freeganism and Our Message


For a while it seemed like freeganism was kind of a side issue to what we stand for as Jesus Christians.  However, it is becoming more and more clear that it is crucial to what we stand for.

Many years ago, we did an informal survey of our members, looking for things that we had in common with one another, and the only thing we came up with was that we all came from families where things like shopping for a bargain and not wasting resources were taken fairly seriously.  I don't know if that is still the case, but it intrigued me at the time.  In fact, it kind of worried me, because I wondered whether we were just a bunch of misers at heart, and because I knew our message went much farther than that.

I also knew that "environmental issues" were not on the horizon at all when we first started this community (back in the days when we just called ourselves "Christians").  I tended to think of environmental issues as a political specialty for greenie fanatics.

But now we have the media beating a path to our door with literally dozens of articles about freeganism, and we are fast becoming serious spokespeople for a philosophy that just naturally grew out of our faith in Jesus.  With the dating show (and another one that I don't want to go into details about now), we started to think more seriously about what it is that has caused the worldwide interest in freeganism, and how likely is it that this will steer us away from our true calling.  What we discovered is that freeganism fits right in with the teachings of Jesus, and with Bible prophecy, and captures the essence of both messages.  Because of our religious beliefs, we actually have developed a lifestyle which may be more consistent with the philosophy than is the lifestyle of those who have adopted an image of themselves that is exclusively "freegan".

We have also seen how environmental issues are at the heart of so much that Jesus taught (even though they were not obvious at the time).

See, Jesus taught about an addiction that the world has to money.  He saw the whole cosmic spiritual battle to be one between faith and money.  He talked about it being like the eye to the body, i.e. if you get something in your eye, your whole body becomes unable to function.  You not only cannot see where to walk, but every muscle in the body reacts to get the offending speck out, because it is so painful.  This was just another way of saying that the love of money is the root of all evil.

This addiction has grown over the centuries until we now have a world so wealthy that its "poor" people are plagued by an epidemic of obesity!  While a large proportion of the rest of the world is suffering from serious malnutrition, the West (e.g. Australia, America, and the United Kingdom) continues to reach out for more and more money, with which to buy more and more junk.  This obsession with money and the stuff it can buy is gobbling up the earth's resources at an alarming rate, and it has created a situation where we are ploughing literally millions of tons of perfectly good food into landfill year after year while the rest of the world goes to bed hungry.

Even the people speaking out in protest against all of this continue to buy and continue to seek after more money.  Take the micro-banks, for example.  They actually condemn charity, asking their investors to simply lower their expectations about how much more profit they can suck out of the villages of the Third World.  Money is loaned (not given) to extremely poor people to purchase some tiny item to get them started in a business, so that they can then start selling their goods and services to their equally poor neighbours and extract enough from them to (a) repay the loan; and (b) give a little something extra (called interest) to the nice people from the micro-bank who made it possible for them to join the money-making rat race.

We should be doing everything in our power to boycott EVERYTHING that is being sold in the West, knowing as we do that it is being taken out of the mouths of the world's starving masses.  And even the non-food items that we are buying by the ton had to be produced somewhere.  Land that could have been used to produce food for the locals has been used to grow cotton, rubber trees, woodpulp, and other non-essentials like tobacco, tea, coffee, and even spices that we waste by the ton in the West.

All that Jesus told us to do was to stop chasing after money, and to let God give us what we need.  The prosperity teachers tell us that this means that we can end up even richer than the other guys if we give enough money to them.  But, no, what God provides mostly is contentment.  We are HAPPY with food and clothing and a roof over our heads.  And this is what the whole world needs to learn to accept.  Can you see how a serious attempt to obey the teachings of Jesus starts to come together with what is needed to solve the problems of the poor in today's world?

Jesus just said for us to share what we have with the poor.  One way is to sell what we have and to give the proceeds (money) to them.   
But as the world economy has developed, we have reached a point where money alone will not produce crops in countries suffering from droughts and exploitation.  They need food (and clothes and shelter and clean water) not money.  But money can be a start, if we give them enough that they can afford to start importing those things from US, then the imbalance will start to sort itself out.  We in the West need to actually GIVE to the rest of the world.  Never mind all that talk about teaching them how to fish.  They already know how to fish (or farm or raise livestock), but the multi-nationals have taken their catch.  We need to reverse it with some seriously sacrificial charity.

Like Jesus said, "Sell what you have and give to the poor.  Forsake all, if you want to be my disciples."

"But how will WE survive, if we do that?" everyone asks.  For starters, we Jesus Christians are surviving (and even growing fat) right now by eating mountains of food that we find in the huge bins behind supermarkets.  Of course, if everyone does it, then the waste will stop; but we are confident that there will still be enough for everyone.  Not decadent luxury for everyone; not obscene waste; not ostentatious and useless trinkets; but enough of what we really need.

The world can see the problem right now, but almost no one is willing to take the drastic steps that are needed to right the wrongs.  And those steps steps are what Jesus taught.

And then there is Bible prophecy... the mark of the beast.  It fits right in.  The Bible says that this horrific disease called exploitation is going to eventually lead to a significant change in the economy, where people will be given a microchip implant under the skin on their right hands, that they must use to do all of their buying and selling.  It will be oh, so efficient!  But it will be a precursor to the greatest suffering that the world has ever known. Suffering that will be even worse than what is happening right now.

When America is destroyed as God's punishment on that country for its greed, the replacement government will be even worse.  Traditional freegan philosophy has little grasp of this, because it has left the Bible out.  But it's all there in the Bible.  And it fits perfectly with the rest of what Jesus said and with what we see happening in the world today.  Only those people who have learned how to survive WITHOUT the present economic system will be able to escape God's judgment on that system.  The Bible says of the last days that "God will destroy those who destroy the earth."  How perfectly environmental!  It was all there 2,000 years ago.  A description of the verichip, a prediction that the end will be related to the human race "destroying the earth", and a description of the solution:  drop out of the rat race and live by faith and love.  Build a whole new world with a whole new lifestyle.

Sadly, the prophecies say that this new lifestyle will be hated by those who are not prepared to let go of their addiction to money and all that it can buy; but we have further assurance that there is going to be an unbelievable divine intervention just before the end, and God will set up this new government supernaturally.

Yeah, I know that intellectuals don't like talk about things that are supernatural.  But if the predictions about the economy as it is today aren't miraculous, I don't know what is?  And if the description of the solution to the dilemma that has arisen through global waste is not supernaturally accurate, I don't know what is.

I'm going to bet my life on the rest of the story too.  Great trouble, followed by a cosmic revolution, called the "return of Jesus".  Exciting stuff, and I think we have plenty of reason to  believe that it really is going to happen.

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