Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Dolphin Tale: Should we save Dolphins? part II

This is a continuation of a post on my previous post on why or why should we not take the time to save wounded dolphins.

1.) We are called to have dominion over creation. This doesn't mean that we rule over it in the sense of ruthlessly destroying creation the way much of humanity has done when they decimate fish and animal stocks. Instead we are to cultivate the creation, and included in that creation, are God's creatures. I remember when my buddy threw a rock at a crab after I prompted him to do so when on foreign study in Israel (at En Gedi-where David hid from Saul). Someone came up afterwards and said to him, "S$#$% you and your dominion-over-creation thinking." That really isn't true dominion type thinking. Neither he nor I were actually acting consistently with our belief and worldview.

2.) From a Darwinistic worldview, it does not make sense to me why you should help sick animals. Even cute ones like baby dolphins. The healthy ones are supposed to survive and produce stronger offspring. Helping sick animals only stops that process that made the dolphins what they are. Yet I would imagine many of these marine biologists are complete Darwinists, so to me, that seems a bit on the irrational side. Again, this is just how I see it from that worldview, but would welcome thoughts from someone who fully lives according to that worldview.

3.) God does seem to genuinely care about animals, aside from the general verses which speak of him providing food for ravens (Luke 12:24). In the book of Jonah, God "reasons" with Job and rhetorically asks him, "Should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?" Should I destroy the animals too? It is possible that we learn something of God's concern for animals-though I wouldn't build a theology around it!

4.) Difference between man/animals. I'm actually not a big dolphin fan because they have eaten way too many snook and redfish in front of me and ruined some quality fishing opportunities. But I do appreciate them and enjoy pointing them out to folks who have not grown up with them in the way that I have. There is a creator-creature distinction between us and God. Yet creation is further divided between man/woman, and under us are creatures (Psalm 8). People are more important than animals.  Many people don't believe this, and that is consistent with a Darwinist worldview.

But the Christian worldview does not allow such equality. Sometimes our love of animals (and I do love them) can literally cross the line where animals are elevated above people. Love your dolphins, cats, and dogs, but be very careful that a good thing can become a bad thing when it replaces the ultimate command-loving God and loving other PEOPLE. If you love your pets more than you love your neighbors, then you are not having dominion over creation; in fact the reverse has become true.

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