Tonight as we ate dinner, my wife said to me, “Don’t you think your post about vegetarianism was a little bit sacrilegious?” “Sacrilegious?” I asked. “Or blasphemous,” she said, “What’s the right word?” I began to feel uncomfortable. She said, “Maybe it’s just me. . . . You know me; I never even finish a book, except the scriptures. And I wouldn’t read those if they weren’t scripture.” This is true. My wife is one of the most spiritually sensitive people I know. She has no stomach for violence or distastefulness or darkness in media. She refuses to allow into her being anything that would offend the Holy Ghost. She will put down a book at the first taste of anything that is not virtuous, lovely, or praiseworthy. So, I trust her. I changed the last paragraph of that post. I will ask her if I should change more. And I apologize to anyone who might have been offended by my words. “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
I think I should also say this: I don’t propose to propound much doctrine here. Sacrilege and blasphemy was certainly not my intention; maybe whimsy. But then whim can be pretty sacrilegious, I suppose. You probably remember that passage from “Self-Reliance”: “I would write on the lintels of the doorpost, Whim. I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation.” Apparently all whim is not entirely whimsical. So, please accept my apology.
And know that I realize many of my capricious musings about God and the world may be entirely wrong. Theologian and pastor Brian McLeron writes, “We must never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God, whether in prose or in poetry.” I look forward with great earnestness to the day when I will learn how wrong I truly was. I think God will absolutely surprise and delight us with how low our estimation of what He has prepared for us really is. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.”
That said, I guess I should contradict myself, write a little doctrine (as I understand it), and let you know how holy and beautiful I find the whole idea of sacrifice in the Old Testament. I love the procession from sin offering to burnt offering to peace offering. These happened in a specific order for the ancient Israelite. We must first offer up our sins (made possible only through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which all other sacrifices prefigured), we repent and turn from darkness to light; then we offer up the whole animal: burnt offering as ultimate consecration; and finally we sit down at peace with God to enjoy a meal of communion together. “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”