Animals and the Christian Faith

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God created animals, according to the Bible, just like humans. Animals are not the result of chance encounters or unforeseen natural processes. God would have created all animals, including crawling insects and land animals, according to Genesis 1: 24-25. We even learn from the Bible that they contain the breath of life (Gen. 7:15).

It is not Christian to kill entire populations and wild species. Respect life, says the Bible. (Photo taken from “76,786+ Best Free Animal Photos & Pictures 100% HD Royalty Free Downloads”)

We humans are unique from all of creation because we were created in the image of God, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love or appreciate other parts of creation as much as we.

When it comes to potential support for the idea of ​​animal rights, the Bible provides a bewildering array of answers. In the genesis story of the Book of Genesis this is illustrated. On the one hand, Genesis 1:26-30 asserts that because they are made in the image of God, people are to rule over other animals. This has been employed by various Christian theologians throughout Church history to support the idea that non-human animals exist solely to serve or be useful to people, which has tragically resulted in extensive use and abuse. animals in the hands of humanity.

plant-based diet

But in recent years, Christian theologians have argued that a more accurate interpretation of Genesis 1:26-28 and 1:29-30 shows that God originally predestined a plant-based diet for all nonhuman land animals, not just humans. :

God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree having seed in its fruit; you will have them for food. And to every animal of the earth, and to every bird of the sky, and to everything that crawls on the earth, to everything that breathes life, I have given every green plant for food. And so it was.

As a result, it becomes clear that whatever “domination” is must be consistent with the notion of not eating animals. This implies that the word “dominion” should be interpreted to mean “to watch over”, “to govern”, “to be responsible for” or “to direct”. In fact, several English translations of the Bible substitute these meanings for the more archaic word “dominion.” (Wikipedia, Christianity and Animal Rights)

God deemed the creation of animals “excellent” when they were created (Gen. 1:25). When the creation story in Genesis 1 ended, God reviewed “all that he had made” and declared it “very good” (v. 31). Considered as a whole, and not just in terms of humanity, the creation was “extremely excellent”. Humans are the pinnacle of God’s creative work, and as bearers of his image, we have a connection to the divine that no other part of creation has. However, we should not allow this fact to overshadow our admiration for the rest of creation or diminish our duty to it.

Treat animals well

Overworking animals is prohibited under the Mosaic Law found in the Hebrew Scriptures, and it compels humans to help stray and lost animals. Many injunctions are expressly stated to benefit creatures rather than owners.

Many passages present a positive view of animals and imply that mankind’s attitude towards them should be one of benevolent responsibility.

The animals of friends and foes must be helped, by law, even if there is no obligation to do so. Exodus 23:4-12, commands the Israelites to take care of any cattle and donkeys they come across that belong to their enemies.

God’s love for animals

God loves animals. May the Lord rejoice in his work is the psalmist’s statement in Psalm 104:31, but it is followed by a lengthy description of God’s dealings with animals, including wild goats, badgers, beasts of the forest, juvenile lions and animals of all sizes. (see verses 18-30). The same word translated “happy” was used by the psalmist to describe his personal joy in God in a few additional verses. He emphatically declared, “I will rejoice in the Lord” (Psalm 104:34).

When we think of the pleasure we have in raising our own children, it is easy to see how much God loves to see animals. Even creatures we have no creative connection to are entertaining. It makes sense that whoever did it all loves it under these circumstances.

Factory farms with appalling conditions where sheep are “raised” should be shut down. (Photo from “Sheep Stock Photo-iStock”)

According to Proverbs 12:10, “The righteous regard the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” This significant verse involves a biblical categorization of people into two distinct types: those who are “righteous” and “righteous” and kind to their animals, and those who are “wicked” and cruel to the creatures in their care.

Animals teach us the justice of God. This lesson is provided by Israel’s requirement of substitutionary atonement in the Bible. The Scriptures declare that defying God is a sin. In response to this rebellion, God’s justice demands punishment. In other words, God demands justice. Human sin demands a proper replacement or the culprit must take responsibility. To help His people understand this truth, God instituted the Israelite sacrificial system. In order to meet the demands of His divine justice, He ordained that this mechanism regularly slaughter innocent animals (Lev. 16:1-34). The consequences of human wickedness would fall on defenseless animals. This terrible spectacle was a sign of things to come, when the blameless Son of God would offer himself as a real, lasting, and substitutionary sacrifice for all the sins of mankind (Rom. 3:21-26; 2 Cor. 5:21 ; Heb. 10:1-18).

Stop animal sacrifice

The teachings and spread of Christianity put an end to animal sacrifice because, in the eyes of Christians, Jesus – who is frequently depicted in the New Testament as the last sacrificial lamb – died for all human sins.

We are taught to treat animals with care and respect through the Bible and Judeo-Christian tradition. Any person of faith and morality cannot defend the enormous torture and suffering that is lawfully inflicted on billions of animals each year, as it is a flagrant violation of the precepts of our religious beliefs.

No to animal cruelty

Christian principles are violated by modern animal agriculture. It is decimating populations and entire species of wild animals, imprisoning large numbers of animals in appalling conditions on factory farms, destroying the environment, wasting scarce resources and endangering human health.

The suffering and destruction of animals wrought by modern society – clear violations of the spirit and text of biblical law – could hardly have been predicted by the scribes of the Bible.

It is human to provide better conditions for animals on farms. (Photo from “2 140 3 Cows Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images – iStock

Fortunately, concepts from the Bible can hold the answers to many of these questions. If followed, these teachings, which encourage respect for the planet and all its inhabitants, could avoid many environmental concerns and guarantee the survival of humanity.

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