Animals are people, too.
FEBRUARY 8, 2024
Animals are people, too. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. Change of subject, that’s how we’re going through Proverbs. There are multitudes of subjects in this particular book, and the only way you can teach it Is to do it by way of subject, because there is no credible outline of the Book of Proverbs. You could make, no, you can’t. You’ve got to do it by subject. And so, a new subject today, I said animals are people too at the beginning of this broadcast. They aren’t. And the Scriptures are very clear about that. Some of the animal rights activists are, well, they’re wacko, there’s something wrong with them. You know, I think it was Chesterton who said that when people no longer believe in the real God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything. Well, I’m not going to go that route, but let me tell you something. You ought to meet my German Shepherd, Annie. She is the sweetest. She’s big, and she’s transgender, too. She looks like a male. Female Shepherds, German Shepherds, are generally small. And male German Shepherds are generally much bigger than the female ones. But my German Shepherd, Annie, weighs 115 pounds, and so she’s intimidating. And she’s big, and man, if you come to our door, she sounds vicious. I hope there are no thieves listening right now, but that’s all a farce. She’s the sweetest natured dog we’ve ever had, and she’ll lick you to death. Not only that, she will take the thief to where the silver is and show him where it is, cause she likes people and she likes to please them. But she’s a wonderful dog. But if you mess with my Annie, my wife will kill you. If you mess with Annie, I’ll help my wife do that because we love that dog. And when we do, and we treat her properly, we’re doing something that’s being faithful to Scriptures. Proverbs 12:10.
A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
And let me go outside of Proverbs, Deuteronomy 25:4.
You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.
You say, what does that mean? That means treat your ox, who’s doing all this heavy work for you with kindness and with compassion and with mercy and make sure that ox is taken care of properly. I love dogs. I’ve even put up with and been kind to the cats that we’ve had in our family. And over the years, we’ve had a bunch of them. One of them, Bilbo, was almost human. I mean, she and, or he and Anna, my wife, would often talk together, and I think they understood each other. But Bilbo didn’t like me. And we had an agreement. Bilbo would not scratch me and would be kind to me, and I promised Bilbo that I would feed her and be kind to her. But the agreement was, if she was in the room before I got there, I had to leave. And if I was in the room before she got there, I keep saying she, I think Bilbo was a he, he would leave. What am I, why am I telling you this? This is not solid Bible teaching, Oh yeah it is! People who treat their animals with cruelty, should be judged and will be judged. Christians don’t do that. Christians are kind. Did you know that C.S. Lewis, and he’s my hero, so if you know any dirt on Lewis, keep it to yourself. Always, if you’re going to pick a hero, make sure they’ve been dead at least ten years. And Lewis has been dead a long time, and he wasn’t perfect, but I really love C.S. Lewis. One of the great passions of his life was dealing with animal cruelty. He wrote about it, he talked about it, and he was passionate about it. I used to think that that was kind of weird. But the more I studied the Bible, and the more I realized, God’s creation is to be respected and loved and treated properly, the more I realized that Lewis was right about that, too. There’s an old story, it’s a sermon illustration, and it’s theologically awful, so don’t write me letters, I know that. If you’re going to get to heaven, it’s because of the grace of Christ. It’s because of your faith in him. It’s not for anything else, being good or nice or anything like, I know that. So, don’t write me letters, but it’s a good story. A man went to heaven, and St. Peter was standing at the gate, and he said to him, when the man told him his name, I can’t find your name in this book, the Book of Life. And I’ve looked everywhere, you’re just not here, so I’m so sorry. And the man turned away and walked away, and as he was walking away, the Father spoke to Peter. Wait Peter! Ask him if he’s the man who fed the birds in the park every day. And so, Peter said, sir, don’t leave yet. Come back here. And he said, did you feed birds in the park? And he said, yeah, that was me. They looked so hungry. And in the winter, they look to me. And God said, let him in and welcome him. I know, that’s not good theology, but it’s good Biblical understanding of how Christians are called to protect the environment in general, and animals in particular, even when they die, that we might live. Alright, enough about that. Let me show you, and I’ve said when we started talking about Proverbs, you have to be careful, cause these are not promises, they’re principles. And I’ve heard people, parents say, God did not tell me the truth about what I’m going to teach you right now. Yes, he did. He just told you that this is the way things work out almost all of the time. Let me give you some verses. Proverbs 13:24.
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Chasten your son, parenthetically your daughter, while there is hope. And do not set your heart on his or her destruction.
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13 through 14.
Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod and deliver his soul from hell.
Now, does that mean that if you discipline properly and kindly, and that you do the discipline with hugs also, that your child is going to grow up and be a missionary, or a monk, or a preacher? No, that’s not what Proverbs is saying, but Proverbs is giving some wisdom. And we’ve forgotten it in our culture in a lot of places. We’ve made children the center of our universe. And we’ve worshipped at their altar. And we’ve created snowflakes who can’t function in a real world. On college and university campuses all across America, they have created safe places for irresponsible young people who don’t know how to deal with the real world, and that was a mistake, and it was a mistake because their parents made a mistake too, worshipping at the altar of their kids. If you’re a father or mother, be faithful to what God says. I’m not saying beat them all the time, you shouldn’t do that very often at all. But discipline, and discipline with love. And remember, they’re the child, and you’re the parent. And sometimes children should be required to do it just because you teach it. Just because you say it, and I can’t promise that everything’s going to be fine if you do that. But most of the time, I can promise, after a lot of years of being a pastor. Most of the time, it’ll be a lot better. I’ve watched for a very long time. I’ve watched children and parents, and you should trust me on this. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. What a perfect way to wrap up this week’s exploration of Proverbs. And do keep in mind, you can stream this episode and every episode of this series on our website for free. Of course, that would be keylife.org and don’t forget, tomorrow, Friday Q&A, of course, that’s when Steve and Pete will answer questions like this. What does seeing is believing mean to a blind person? That’s a great question, right? Be sure to join us.
Jesus is not surprised by my failures. Jesus is not annoyed by my quirks. Jesus is not wavering in his faithfulness to me. Jesus is not about to change his mind on me. Jesus is not regretting having a relationship with me. Jesus is not hiding from me.
Well, that little excerpt was from an article slash poem by Alex Early and it is so good. You’ll find that piece in the 2024 edition of Key Life Magazine. Claim your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine or to mail your request go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again just ask for Key Life Magazine. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You could charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.