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A Vegan Steakhouse

What’s all this stuff about being “vegan” these days? I went to the Farmer’s Market today and experienced a vegetarian’s paradise. A farmer showed me collard greens so large that one leaf seemed like enough to feed a small family. That’s not normal. And who needs 25 types of apples? When I grew up, it was, “Stefan, do you want an apple or an orange?” A Gala, a Fuji, and a Jonagold weren’t even one of my options.  Also, I only knew two types of potatoes: the good ones in the pantry and the ones that went bad and sprouted green vines. Yet now, veggies and fruits are “in.”

I have alot of friends who now consider themselves “vegan.” One of my friends always corrects me, insisting that he’s only vegetarian, not vegan. Whatever. I’ve tried out the vegan lifestyle a number of times, however, it usually only lasts till I’m finished with my salad…then on to the meat. It’s funny that being a vegetarian (or vegan) often becomesabout what you don’t do more than what you do. It’s almost like the person who says, “I’m a Christian…and I don’t…” The vegan/vegetarian can explain countless things they actually do eat, in more varieties than the mind can imagine, but often the listener get’s stuck on, “You mean you don’t eat meat? Seriously? What about fish?…” Similarly, the world watches Christians, and often, rather than thinking of all they actually do in the name of Christ, they get stuck on what they don’t do.

By far, Jesus’ life and ministry was characterized much more by what he did, like loving the unlovely, touching the untouchable, freeing the captive, and helping the helpless, far more than the idea that Jesus was that guy who didn’t do certain things. As a matter of fact, it was the religious types who always got ticked that He didn’t obey what they thought were the rules.  He lived holy and blameless, but He lived fully and free. His faith led to action in the world, not reclusion and seclusion to avoid all that’s out there that might be bad. (That’s delusion.)

To me, it’s the difference of a clean, comfortable cozy, Christianity, or the fiery, full, freedom of following Jesus. In Galatians 5, Paul says,  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

May we be known not as the religious bunch who simply strive to avoid bad things to either earn salvation or to maintain it, but rather may we be known as people truly set free to walk in joyful obedience as a response to what Christ already did for us.

FYI… I don’t always eat my collards. I avoid brussel sprouts and okra, and I love spinach…whether it’s served with salmon or steak. Bon Appetit’ There’s No Place Like Hope, Stefan


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