Valuing Men Above Animals

By Connie W. Adams

We live in a convoluted world. Recently a young woman received a three-year sentence for killing her own newborn baby in a motel room. Near that time a man was given a fifteen-year sentence for killing some cats. In our nation we have had nearly forty million legal abortions in the last twenty-five years, but you had better not kill a kangaroo, rat, or any creature on the endangered species list. Partial birth abortions are now permitted. Twice Congress has voted to outlaw them and twice our President has vetoed the legislation. Animal rights groups are loud and often effective, sometimes to the point of placing the interest of animals over those of people.

How did we get to such a place? Acceptance of the general theory of evolution has led inevitably to the conclusion that man is simply a graduated animal, no more, no less. As such, it is reasoned, he is not entitled to more consideration than any other animal. In some cases, not as much. Say all you will about high-blown scientific theories. The fact remains that when you teach long enough that man is an animal, it is inevitable that he will begin to behave as animals governed by instinct and without conscience. If the survival of the fittest is the guiding force of evolution, then on what grounds can ethnic purges or the Nazi Holocaust be condemned? Such a notion contributes directly to dehumanization and to anarchy in the moral realm.

Jesus was questioned one time about whether or not it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. A man with a withered hand was present. Their concern was for their point of argument, not the welfare of the man with the withered hand. Jesus said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matt. 12:11- 12). He proceeded to heal the man. What Jesus stated here was based on a generally accepted premise: A man is worth more than a sheep.

God’s Natural Order

In the creation, God made man of a higher order than the animal king- dom. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26). Man was created to have dominion over the rest of God’s creation. That is where the issue is joined with the humanist. He does not believe that there is a God to create anything and explains it all with the general theory of evolution. If there is no God, then animal rights people have a point. But that is a mighty big IF.

Given that premise, then abortion, suicide, euthanasia and the extreme views of some environmentalists make sense. But if man is here as the result of divine creation and is made in the image of his creator, then that makes him unique in the universe. There must be something special about man. Dogs do not write books nor do monkeys build hospitals. What animal possesses a conscience? Man alone in the universe is endowed with the rational ability to receive divine revelation and act upon it. All the pontificating of men of science every time they find some old bones as to how old they might be and where they fit into the scheme of evolution cannot change the fact that man is of a higher order than the brute.

The Psalmist’ Question

David pondered the vastness of the universe and wondered why man had been so wondrously blessed. He said “When I consider Your Heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For you made him a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen — even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth?” (Ps. 8:3-8).

Here we are, tiny specks on one small planet. We are 240,000 miles from our moon and 93 million miles from our sun. As scientists develop more sophisticated equipment to look deeper into space, we are amazed at the number of solar systems far beyond our own. Yet, here is man on this earth stamped with the image of his Creator, blessed with the ability to receive revelation, ponder it and act upon it to his own betterment. No other creatures in the known universe are so advantaged.

The conviction that man was created by Almighty God can only tend to make us better. How do you account for man’s desire to worship? If he does not worship the true and living God, he will worship something of his own making. But he will worship something! Birds build nests, but do they build altars? Otters build dams, but do they build houses of praise? The belief that the God who made me and addressed special revelation to me so that I may thereby please him makes me sensitive to my responsibility to him and to others made in his image as was I. Take that away from us and life becomes a journey from nowhere to nowhere with no rules, no compass, no map. All that is left is a selfish struggle for survival. If I have to injure or maim a fellow human on the way, then there is no standard to determine the rightness or wrongness of the action. If there is no God then there can be no basis for ethical or moral behavior.

In a question period after a debate between Phil Roberts and the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, I asked the atheist what ethical standard would make it wrong for me to hang him. He thought a moment and said, “Well, it would be unpleasant for me.” I asked “Yes, but what if it would be pleasant for me?” Whose pleasure prevails? Would it not be the stronger of the two? Isn’t that what the survival of the fittest is all about?

Our Modern Dilemma

As long as origins are taught without reference to God; or human behavior (sex education, abortion, suicide, euthanasia, homosexuality, communal living), or death education, or a hundred other issues with no reference to a divine standard by which all such matters are to be finally determined, then just that long we will have lying, cheating, divorce, murder, and mayhem in our streets, homes and schools. Judges and juries will pervert justice. Presidential and Congressional scandals will continue. Homes will disintegrate. Anarchy will reign.

There is much talk of getting back to basics in education. The most basic question of all is “In the beginning

            ? “I am going to put GOD in that blank. What about you? When I do, that will solve a multitude of issues including the subject of this article.