Thursday, January 14, 2010
FULL transcript of the show with pastor Debbie!!
On January 26th 2010 the 65th WILD TIME show went on air – this time with a twist as it was the first ever show on video.
WILD TIME host Thomas Janak spoke to pastor Debbie McFarland about “animals and christianity”. The show was recorded on Debbie’s blog tv page.
Due to some sound related issues, we have decided to give you a transcript of the show:
WILD TIME – Animals and Christianity
Thomas Janak (TJ): Welcome to WILD TIME, the animal welfare/world conservation show with myself Thomas Janak. This show runs in different formats and is on for over two years now. This is the 65th show of WILD TIME but the very first on video.
It is never great to start a show with an apology but the reason why I am not really shaved is because I am in Ireland, Ireland has the coldest winter in 30 years and I have no water. So, today’s topic is “Animals and Christianity”, which brings me to my guest pastor Debbie McFarland. It is also interesting to know that WILD TIME, this very show, will continue on TGIF Radio from next week on. Debbie, thanks for doing this and thanks for doing this on your (blogtv) account and very welcome to the show!
Debbie McFarland (DM): Thank you, glad to be here.
TJ: Very when we talk about, or when I talk to people about animals, especially here in Ireland, it is a very catholic country still, when I say to people that when I go to heaven my dog will be waiting there for me, people say “You’re mad, animals have no soul”. Well, I work with traumatised animals and I believe that I see their souls. So, how come that many religions, especially the monotheistic ones say that animals have no soul?
DM: Ehm, I don’t know actually or I didn’t even know that other religions thought that way. There is no reason for them to feel that animals have no soul. In fact, the bible calls Jesus “the lamb of God” it also calls him “the lion”.
TJ: I am always surprised at that … say that again! (delay, background noise). OK, I didn’t catch the last bit but, anyway, it would have been surprising to me if they wouldn’t have been somewhat relevant to the whole story of, ehm, of us, really.
The next question I’ve got for you is probably a tricky one – There is so much going on with evolution and stuff. Say it wasn’t true that God exists …
DM: I didn’t quite catch the end of what you just asked …
TJ: Ok, I just said, lets just imagine people say it can be proven now that we have evolved rather than having being created by a deity… a lot of people believe that we have been planted on this planet but not by God, would that make a difference to your beliefs?
DM: I am having a hard time hearing … (types on keyboard) … ehm, I believe that God created animals and he created humans and there are some things that we adapt but I don’t believe that we have evolved because per se …
TJ: Ok …
DM: … and the reason I don’t believe that is because you don’t see it now.
TJ: OK, that’s arguable … I think a lot of people have probably evolved, I mean our behaviour certainly has. Here in Europe, even 20 years ago, you couldn’t even talk to animals and their souls, so there is a shift in beliefs and there is more spirituality and I believe that our behaviour towards each other has evolved.
DM: The word “evolved” and referring to beliefs are two different things. I think there is shifts in believe as time goes on based on different forms of information.
TJ: You know, I mean, you have this ministry and you’re up against a lot because in world history a lot of wars have been fought due to different religions and belief systems. A lot of people got killed for sort of not believing in the right church and all that kind of stuff, and people say a lot: Ok, I believe in God but I don’t believe in religion”. What do you say to someone that comes to you and says, “Look, I don’t really believe in Christianity because I don’t understand it”. ?
DM: I believe that they have a choice. I had a choice in whether or not to believe in Christianity. I believe it is one of the hardest things to believe in because there is really no concrete evidence one way or the other, so it is sometimes a very difficult job especially when you are trying to do it intelligently.
TJ: That’s another thing these days with “scientific evidence”, I actually do believe that if you believe in something, and experience something that nobody else experiences, it doesn’t mean it is not real, it is just that they haven’t experienced it. It is like asking someone to explain love to you – you either feel it or you don’t but because of the scientific community and the world we have created, ehm, a lot of believers are being looked at and seen as sort of being idiots.
DM: You cut off at the end … I think the gist of it was if you don’t … you can’t prove it scientifically doesn’t mean it still doesn’t exist.
TJ: Exactly. Well, you now there is …
DM: When you look at …
(both talking at the same time)
TJ: Sorry for cutting across, continue on
DM: Well the reason I didn’t do acupuncture, I am gonna throw that in, is because you can’t see it, you can’t measure it but it works. I would like to have something where I can put my hands on and wrap my mind around it and that’s something you can’t wrap your mind around.
TJ: Hm, that’s probably true. You know the old saying: I just believe in what I see, ehm, seeing is believing, but when you look at things like acupressure, acupuncture or even spiritual healing, where you don’t use your hands .. it is actually because you don’t use your hands, I mean you use them but without touching someone, that people don’t believe it.
I believe the reason, I mean, I am a holistic animal healer and I work on traumatised animals and I worked with a vet for two years and unless I have some sort of a tool in my hand you just don’t look like a doctor, therefore people don’t believe you.
It is a bit odd, isn’t it, that we always have to proof something to someone.
DM: I think God did that on purpose, God has a lot to do with faith and if you could prove it there would be no reason for faith. I have seen people getting healed over and over and over again with prayer and I am not even on the same continent.
TJ: Yeah, and also, a lot of people who don’t believe say … people say for instance they’ve had a near-death-experience and they see angels and the white tunnel, a lot of people from India would see Ganesh, which is their God, so, logically, I would then assume that whatever is closest to your belief system is what appears to you while sceptics would say, “Look, how come they see different things?”, so you can’t really win that battle, can you?
DM: You bring up an interesting point, I didn’t realise that. It is probably whatever is in your subconscious, whatever is in your heart is what you gonna see.
TJ: What I am also really interested in is, ehm, a lot of people that I spoke to, you know, this is not the first show I did on religion, but, ehm, people think religion is very judgmental. In Christianity, what a lot of people have a problem with is that in Christianity you are born a sinner, while I personally believe, and I do believe in God, that I would like to work for my own sins.
DM: Well, that was a load of questions…(laughs)..
TJ: (laughs) .. sorry about that
DM: You just got to go with what you believe, with what is in your heart
TJ: How did you find God?
DM: Oh my … I was 12 years old. I always had a yearning in my heart to go to church, always and my parents wouldn’t take me and, ehm, sorry I am trying to talk in the radio station here, ehm, hold on … so, anyhow, I just had a inner yearning to continue to look for Jesus and one evening in the church service they had an (inaudible) and the power of God was just very real.
TJ: Ok, in a church or any other place where you have a group of likeminded people because of the energy you create it becomes special. What I do, I have my own shrine here at home .. what I am actually saying is, that I actually think God doesn’t need you to go to church because you can worship God in your own time and I think he is not bothered by it when you don’t go to church.
DM: oh yeah, you can worship anywhere, anytime. I worship a lot of times in my bed, I pray right before I go to sleep but the thing is, like you said, when you have several people with like minds and likeminded energy and spirits it invites a presence a lot more strong, a lot more deeper, more intensity that you just can’t seem to get at home.
TJ: In essence, when you meet other people like a Buddhist. One of the concept in hinduism and buddhism is that you could be reborn as an animal, for instance, but that would be a lower life form, which is the very thing I absolutely detest because I believe that nature, animals and humans all have the same value. What are your views on this? Do you think we are all the same?
DM: Ehm, I don’t know, (laughs), you know, I am really careful because things that the bible does not discuss… I really don’t want to put a judgement on that because that may be true.
TJ: Well, ok, the way I see it … there is always something, and that’s my personal belief, if I say and I always say I do believe in God but I also believe in many other deities and I think that is not something God is bothered by, you know, but Christianity it is often said, if I remember correctly, you should not have …
DM: I agree,
TJ: “you should not have any other God besides me”, so it is the monotheism that becomes the problem then.
DM: Yeah, that’s one thing, the bible says that he is a very jealous God, that there can only be one God and Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. You have to believe in Jesus because Jesus is the way to God.
I want to go back real quick on the souls of animals, you eluded to .. it might be the reincarnation thing.. I don’t know if it is that or if they just have their own souls but I do believe that animals do have souls.
TJ: Ok, that’s good (makes “thumbs up” sign) – you know, one of the problems that I have is that I have a very strong believe and I believe strongly .. and it bothers me that he sends me on the path to work with traumatised animals and then people sometimes from the church look at me as if I waste my time. Do you understand where I am coming from?
DM: Yes, I think they’re very foolish.
TJ: But it is not an isolated incident. I am really surprised now … I found something ,and you probably know this, and I like it a lot, it is from cardinal John Henry Newman and it says: “Cruelty to animals is as if man did not love God..there is something so satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, and who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.”
So, a lot of people from the church, apparently, would be kind to animals while other people say “look, they have no souls”, it is probably a personal belief.
DM: You know, I don’t know if the bible says anything about that, except that it relates, like I said, Jesus to the lion and the lamb, but it does say a lot about love and when you treat an animal cruelly, that is not love at all.
TJ: … I just want to type this … give me a second (types in chatroom) … The other thing about the love thing, you know, in Arabic they have a saying: “Beat your wife very day – if you don’t know why, she does!” – and for, I don’t know, millennia, centuries and decades, ehm, a lot of woman … you had no right to vote, people would say to me, ehm, woman are just made out of a rib, so there is a lot of inequality from the get go, isn’t there?
DM: Yeah, that shows you where the heart is, I just can’t understand how people can worship a God and allow man to be wickedly evil to their wife.
TJ: The other thing about, sort of, religion is that, for instance, when you do energy work, like I do, you get a feeling about people. And very often when I go to church or when I went to church, you see a lot of families that go to church because it is Sunday and it is about being seen and there is a lot of domestic violence as well in families of believers, so but there must be something in the bible that tells them how to behave. And I think this sort of thin puts a stain on religion over all.
DM: I agree with you and if that’s the reason they’re going to church then they would be better of staying at home. They’re not getting anything out of it.
The bible says that, that talks about not doing things for show. I could stay home, you know…
TJ: On the other hand side …
DM: … read my bible and I could do things on the internet … (TJ comes through on loudspeaker) … and I could get a fuzzy feeling and it would be great but I take my time and my gas money and get into the cold because my heart is to chase after Jesus, and I believe that he gives words and teachings to other people that I don’t get at home and I want that for myself and possibly there are things that I have to offer them that they’re not gonna get any other way.
TJ: I think that,ehm, once God is within you, because I believe he is everything, I am not chasing things any more. I am not, ehm, I am not there to look, I am there to find in a way, you know, ehm, because this way I won’t get disappointed like when I chase him.
DM: It depends on how you chase it. (laughs)
DM: I believe God chases us because we don’t sit still long enough to listen to him.
TJ: There may be some truth in that, to be honest. One of the things that would be great is if people go back and appreciate nature. We have to get away from the big cities, although I am from a big city myself. You’re much more connected to God when you’re living in the countryside and I think that nature is closer to the idea of “connectedness”.
DM: You know, a lot of the bible’s teachings were on nature, about how God even loves the squirrel, about the sea and how precious it is to God. About how we are all like the grass and the grass doesn’t even have to worry about being clothed …
TJ: And now we just cut the grass to impress the neighbour rather than leaving som e stones unturned to attract wildlife.
DM: That’s right (laughs)
TJ: We only have 5 minutes left, one thing I really wanted to ask you is, one of the things that I really don’t understand is: If I believe in God and still have a look at some other religions, why should I, you know, ehm, I hear people say “I am God fearing person” – why on earth should I fear someone who creates everything and is, in essence, a good guy?
DM: That’s a very good question – ehm, sgrocker (a peron in the chatroom) has an answer for that, that’s good. Ehm, fear is, ehm, you can think of it in a lot of ways. He doesn’t say he wants us to be scared and terrified and afraid and shaking at every moment about who he is. He wants us to respect him like a father, like you would your own dad. You know that when daddy says something he means it – end of story.
But daddy also lets you feel his love and he will do anything to protect you. So there is a balance in that. When you take just the fear of God without the love of God – why would you?
I wouldn't even bother.
TJ: Yeah, and also, when you look at it, when sgrocker writes about the “unforgivable sin” I personally don’t believe that he would not forgive me, whatever I do. The way I see it with the being re-born thing: If I mess it up I have another life to come to him, you know, but I don’t believe that, ehm, the concept of non-forgiving has anything to do with God.
DM: The unforgivable sin has, this is what I believe that is, if you totally walk away from God and say things like: “I hate you, die” that type of thing, that is unforgivable because you are not asking for forgiveness. (phone rings) .. you don’t want the God of forgiveness, you don’t want God at all.
TJ: Often it is really in the phrasing of things.
(looks at clock)
Outro … end of show!