Other Vegan Views articles
Christianity and Boundless Love by John, Vegan Views 68 (Spring 1995)

It's a very sad fact that the Church has been a little 'economical with the truth'. Indeed, what the Church has been up to over the centuries is nothing short of scandalous. (Even the Catholic Encyclopaedia, the RCC's own official recorded history, admits that the original scriptures were subjected to "years of revision" and the Epistles "greatly interpolated").

No aspect of Jesus' teaching suffered greater censorship, suppression and distortion than his teachings concerning diet and the treatment of animals.

Boundless love, harmlessness and adherence to the vegetarian/vegan diet were fundamental requisites of early Christianity.

Hegesippus, earliest of Christian writers, says of James, the brother of Jesus and first ruler of the Christian Church in Jerusalem, that he "drank no wine, nor strong drink, nor ate he of any living thing, even his clothes were free from any taint of death, for he wore no woollen but linen garments only.

Animal lovers and truth seekers will be fascinated to read the "Gospel of the Holy Twelve" morning star of the secret gospels. Discovered at the turn of the century, this beautiful gospel (which was written circa AD 50) contains all the things Jesus really said and did.

"The revelation I've been waiting for all my life" is the remark we have most often received concerning this gospel. Reading through Jesus' words of love, in all their original purity is indeed a wonderful experience - yet at the same time profoundly saddening too. Here we find Jesus referring to the animals as our little "brothers and sisters", urging his followers to show love and kindness to all living things and to care for them and to help them in their need, forbidding hunting and meat-eating - even saying that those "whose hands are stained with blood and whose mouths are defiled with flesh" cannot be righteous. One can only weep at all the pain, suffering and destruction that entered tire world because these teachings were concealed.

In Chapter 32 Jesus says of his own diet, "For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of herbs alone do I partake".

In a later chapter, Jesus makes a prophecy: "And in those days ... they shall oppress even the beasts of the field setting up the abominable thing". Surely a withering condemnation of factory farming?

I can only describe this book as "profoundly beautiful" and cannot be too highly recommended.

The "Gospel of the Holy Twelve" is now available via any bookshop, or in case of difficulty, from the Society of Metaphysicians, Archers Court, Stonestile Lane, Hastings TN35 4PG.

Readers would also be interested in 3 other 'secret' gospels of a slightly later date, all staunchly pro-vegetarianism/Ahimsa. They are: the "Gospel of the peace of Jesus Christ", the "Gospel of the Essenes" (which features the original 24 Commandments of God). N.B. The precursor of the sixth commandment was 'Thou shalt not take the life of any living thing" (which puts the commandment in its proper context) and - to give it its official publisher's title - the "Essene Gospel of Peace Book 4 - The Teachings of the Elect" (which includes a remarkable prophecy)

A few excerpts are given below...

"Blessed are ye who abstain from all things gotten by bloodshed and death, and fulfil All righteousness; Blessed are ye for ye shall attain to Beatitude."

And as Jesus was going with some of his disciples he met with a certain man who trained dogs to hunt other creatures. And he said to the man, "Why doest thou thus?" and the man said, "By this I live and what profit is there to any in these creatures? These creatures are weak, but the dogs they are strong." And Jesus said, "Thou lackest wisdom and love. Lo, every creature which God hath made hath its end, and purpose, and who can say what good is there in it? or what profit to thyself, or mankind? And, for thy living, behold the fields yielding their increase, and the fruit-bearing trees and the herbs; what needest thou more than these which honest work of thy hands will not give to thee? Woe to the strong who misuse their strength. Woe to the crafty who hurt the creatures of God. Woe to the hunters for they shall be hunted."
And the man marvelled, and left off training the dogs to hunt, and taught them to save life rather than destroy. And he learned of the doctrines of Jesus and became his disciple.

And it came to pass that the Lord departed from the city and went over the mountains with his disciples. And they came to a mountain whose ways were steep and there they found a man with a beast of burden. But the horse had fallen down, for it was overladen, and he struck it till the blood flowed. And Jesus went to him and said, "Son of cruelty, why strikest thou thy beast? Seest thou not that it is too weak for its burden, and knowest thou not that it suffereth?"
But the man answered and said, "What hast thou to do therewith? I may strike it as much as it pleaseth me, for it is mine own, and I bought it with a goodly sum of money. Ask them who are with thee, for they are of mine acquaintance and know thereof."
And some of the disciples answered and said, "Yea, Lord, it is as he saith, we have seen when he bought it." And the Lord said again, "See ye not then how it bleedeth, and hear ye not also how it waileth and lamenteth?" But they answered and said, "Nay, Lord, we hear not that it waileth and lamenteth." And the Lord was sorrowful, and said, "Woe unto you because of the dullness of your hearts, ye hear not how it lamenteth and crieth unto the heavenly Creator for mercy, but thrice woe unto him, against wham it crieth and waileth in its pain."
And he went forward and touched it, and the horse stood up, and its wounds were healed. But to the man he said, "Go now thy way and strike it henceforth no more, if thou also desireth to find mercy."

And as Jesus was going to Jericho there met him a man with a cage full of birds, which he had caught, and some young doves. And he saw how they were in misery having lost their liberty, and moreover being tormented with hunger and thirst. And he said unto the man, "What doest thou with these?" And the man answered, "I go to make my living by selling these birds which I have taken."
And Jesus said, "What thinkest thou, if another, stronger than thou or with greater craft, were to catch thee and bind thee, or thy wife, or thy children, and cast thee into a prison, in order to sell thee into captivity for his own profit, and to make a living?" Are not these thy fellow creatures, only weaker than thou? And doth not the same God, our Father-Mother, care for them as for thee? Let these thy little brethren and sisters go forth into freedom, and see that thou do this thing no more, but provide honestly for thy living."
And the man marvelled at these words and at his authority, and he let the birds go free. So when the birds came forth they flew unto Jesus and stood on his shoulder and sang unto him. And the man inquired further of his doctrine, and he went his way, and learnt the craft of making baskets, and by this craft he earned his bread, and afterwards he brake his cages and his traps, and became a disciple of Jesus.

"Verily I say unto you, for this end have I come into the world, that I may put away all blood offerings and the eating of the flesh of the beasts and the birds that are slain by men. In the beginning, God gave to all, the fruits of the trees, and the seeds, and the herbs, for food; but those who loved themselves more than God, or their fellows, corrupted their ways, and brought diseases into their bodies, and filled the earth with lust and violence. Not by shedding innocent blood, therefore, but by living a righteous life, shall ye find the peace of God. Ye call me the Christ of God and ye say well, for I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

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