A Funny Thing

A funny thing happened on the way to Secular Humanism. The philosophy that began with man as the center of the universe, a self-aggrandizing, god-like individual who didn’t need God, has now become nothing more than just another of the planet’s inhabitants.
Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of PETA declares, “There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. Six million died in Jewish concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughter houses.”
How starkly different is the Bible’s view of humanity.
On the one hand, there is nothing on earth as valuable as a human soul. Jesus asked what good it would be “for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his own soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
Humanism degrades humanity; God values it above all else! After all, humans are created, uniquely, in God’s image (Genesis 1:16,17). In what sense are we an image of God? Think of a shadow, an image that imperfectly, but distinctly, follows the image of its maker, or a son, who carries many, though not all, of his father’s characteristics. So is man, reflecting God’s glory, yet not quite attaining it.
Yet the thing that worries me is not the thought of an animal rights activists denouncing my T-bone steak, but that when we lower our estimation of a human’s value, it lowers our expectation of his behavior.
A cat isn’t responsible for disrespecting holy things, but a human is. An elephant cannot despise another race; humans do. Baboons cannot disregard God’s will, they don’t understand it; humans do both!
And one day one creature will stand before the God of all the earth, and he will be responsible for his actions. A rat is not a pig, is not a dog, is not a boy. One of them is a reflection, no less than of God himself.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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