We Are Not Animals

     Recent events continue to remind us that our society has lost its moral direction. The seeds of this dissolution were sown and fertilized many years ago but a very rapid decline in public moral order has taken place over the last sixty years. Civility has grown rare, for many people there are no standards of personal morality, and violent solutions to everyday problems are increasingly embraced. Sad to say, people are behaving as animals.

     Yet we cannot be altogether dismayed. The historical record indicates that moral awareness in societies goes through up and down cycles. When the New Testament came into being the Roman Empire was not a place of moral enlightenment. Passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 indicate that sin was the norm in that world. But as Paul would say to them, redemption from sin in Christ was available even in the midst of rampant degradation. That redemption is also available today.

How did we get to this present point of heightened immorality and violence? First, there has been a rejection of fundamental spiritual principles about the nature of man. Human beings are not mere animals. We are “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). As soon as we worship the creature instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25) we are in trouble.

     The second problem area is the rejection of Biblical principles about human interaction. Many in our world have bought into the idea of the primacy of the individual. This is manifested in love of self and “looking out for number one.” Instead we ought to follow the Lord’s instruction and practice the golden rule (Luke 6:31: “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise”). It would help immensely if we would also remember Paul’s admonition for us not to think more highly of ourselves than we should (Romans 12:3).

     The third societal mistake is the rejection of Biblical principles concerning sexual behavior. Genesis 2:24 reads, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” This principle verse is the foundation of everything the Bible teaches about sexual behavior. Any movement away from this historic fundamental teaching undermines families and contributes to the destruction of society. We are truly reaping what we have sown (Galatians 6:7) and the crop includes broken homes, parentless children, loneliness and depression.

     Perhaps the most crushing element of the problem of ascendant animalism in our culture is the failure to allow the Christian perspective to have a place in public discourse. As soon as anyone presents the views that man is more than an animal, that he should always practice the golden rule and that traditional marriage is a proper and effective way for families to be organized that person is shouted down by a politically correct chorus. It is no wonder that people with these historic and significant views feel marginalized.

It is also sad because God has left us the answer, an answer that has been available for almost 2000 years. It is for us to place ourselves under His mercy and grace. It is for all human beings to become one in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26-28). God’s love is manifested in Christ and is exemplified in His sending His Son to die for all mankind (John 3:16). The gift of a better world here and eternal life later is right before us all in Jesus Christ.

     Yes, our world is a mess and too many folks are acting like animals. But it does not have to be this way. Let’s do our part to help by spreading the message that we are made in His image, that the golden rule is indeed the best rule and that God’s way for the home is a blessing that is right.