Monday: Caring for Other Creatures

“For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (Ps.50:10).

Image © Providence Collection from

Image © Providence Collection from

What in this text touches on the topic of our stewardship of the earth?

Read Revelation 4:11. How does this text contrast radically with the common atheistic notions of a creation without a creator, a creation that comes into being purely by chance alone?

Creation of the animals was not an accident or an afterthought. God intentionally created them. It was His will that they should exist, and this principle should guide our treatment of them (see also Exod. 23:5,12Prov. 12:10Luke 14:5).

Indeed, cruelty toward animals and indifference toward their suffering are widely recognized as symptomatic of personality disorders. Many organizations have been established to promote good treatment of animals, and rightly so.

However, at the same time, some people have gone so far as to claim that humans are not intrinsically more important than animals, and so humans should not be given preferential treatment. This, in many ways, is a train of thought that flows logically from an evolutionary model of human origins. After all, if we and the animals are separated only by time and chance, why should we be any more special than they are? One philosopher has even argued that a chicken, or even a fish, has more “personhood” than does a fetus in the womb or even a newborn infant. However ridiculous these ideas might sound, they can be derived, with a fair amount of logic, from an atheistic evolutionary model of human origins.

Of course, such ideas are not supported in Scripture. Humans have special status in God’s plan in contrast to the animals.(See Gen. 3:21Exod. 29:38Lev. 11:3.)

Put yourself in the mind of an atheist evolutionist and work through the reasons for why you think that animals should be treated no differently than humans. What should this tell you about how important our presuppositions are in determining the outcome of our thought?



Monday: Caring for Other Creatures — 16 Comments

  1. Some of the creatures are so dangerous to our lives, so how to take care of such, because we don't even see eye to eye.

    • If you want to take care of a dangerous creature you can at least start by taking care of the environment they live in.

    • Sin has made some situations very difficult, but our response should always be with compassion and the best for those situations. Some of those dangerous creatures help to maintain a critical balance in nature. Removing a predator from it's natural environment can bring more suffering and upset the balance of that environment. Heavenly wisdom and God's leading is available to all who seek it wholeheartedly.

      In our part of the world, the wolf and the mountain lion are a vital part of nature's balance, and when removed from an area, this balance becomes lost. However, when human life is endangered, humans must get the preference once all other options are exhausted. It is also the responsibility of humans to not take unnecessary risks. Nature demands proper respect.

  2. The evolutionist believes that evolution happens under the principle of the survival of the fittest. Thus for an evolutionist to sponsor the equal treatment of all life forms is to reject the driving force of evolution. Can you be an evolutionist while contradicting in practice its main tenet?

    In response to Brayton, as individuals we can lessen the danger of animal encounters that could result in serious attacts by knowing more about the animal's habits and habitats. Such knowledge can help us avoid dangerous encounters or exciting the animal's agression. If we live in or near the habitat of "dangerous' animals, we should take action which will not attract the animals to our home area.

    We should also co-operate with government agencies whose mandate is to protect animal habitat, and to remove dangerous animals from human habitat. Their are many things we can do with a little research of the specific critter needs where we live. Start by not being terrified but do learn how to respect them.

        • As the lesson points out, God created humans with a special status on this earth. Thus, in situations where certain animals pose a danger to humans, they need to be controlled in ways that are practical. That includes mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats, lions, tigers, wolves, and others around human habitations.

          At the same time, we need to make sure we do not attract such animals to the area where we live.

          Spiders play an important role in the ecology, but we don't usually appreciate them in our homes. 🙂

      • While driving the other morning I accidentally ran over a squirrel I was really hurting when I realize what had happen and became sadden by this, reflecting on my duty to protect and care for these creatures I had to seek forgiveness. The squirrel ("they too have their story") are really fascinating to watch. All things bright and beautiful; all creatures great and small. God made them all. He must have given us all these creatures for a reason. I think for entertainment as well as to be our companion. Ellen White emphasize that we should explore and enjoy nature in all its form.

    • I have to confess that I had a wrestling match in my mind whether or not I should say anything since I feel you make a point. However, after thinking about it I can see some problems. The immediate one I see is that even though evolutionists value all life the same they don't treat it the same. Environmentalists see both humans and insects as being on the same level except when habitat is involved in which case the insect takes precedence and man gets the boot.

      Most people who believe in evolution have the idea of the "survival of the fittest." That basic concept, however, did not come from Charles Darwin for the concept was already active in science before he wrote his Origin of Species. Perhaps the closest influence came from Alfred Russel Wallace who "was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection, which prompted Charles Darwin to publish his own ideas in On the Origin of Species" (,_Alfred_Russel). The term itself actually originated later with Herbert Spencer who was a philosopher and a social Darwinist.

      To properly understand Darwinian evolution one must understand Charles Darwin who was a devout atheist. Here is an article by Carl Wieland that gives an understanding of him through the eyes of the late Stephen Jay Gould.

      True Darwinian evolution sees no direction for anything, no purpose, no goal. A slug exists because some chemicals were in a particular place at a particular time by pure chance and out of that came the slimy critter. We too came on the scene through the same process. Like the slug there is no reason for our being. Both are a product of a roll of dice therefore since both exists by the same undirected heartless process, both are of equal value.

      Where "survival of the fittest" comes in is in the interaction of the environment which also has no reason for being. It is there because chance just happened to come up heads instead of tails but it does favor what chance produces in biology.

      The problem Darwin had with Wallace and others like him was that Wallace thought more along the lines of purpose, a directed goal, that we have a reason for being but to Darwin that was a real problem. To him there was no intelligence involved, no reason for being; we are just a happening, a quirk of chance and nothing more.

      Therefore, the real difference between evolutionistic atheism and Christianity lies in the philosophical reason why we are here. To the Christian, "God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth" (Gen. 1:27-28 NKJV) "For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground" (Gen. 2:5 NKJV). Therein is the strength of Christianity, we have real purpose, a reason for living while the atheist has no purpose, no reason to exist except perhaps to be a stepping stone for further evolution so they can truthfully say like those who don't believe in the resurrection, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" (1 Cor. 15:32 NKJV). To them we are actually no more important than the lowest life form or even the inorganic chemistry of a rock for everything is by unbiased chance rather than by intelligent design.

      So to say that evolutionists contradict themselves, in my opinion, is really not entirely correct; at least when considering the actual basis of real Darwinian evolution.

    • Andy, while I will stand by what I said concerning what darwinian evolution is there are things that science is looking into and considering that is not strictly along those traditional lines. Here is an article that was published in the Huffington Post by Dr. James Shapiro, a very well known evolutionary microbiologist at the University of Chicago, explaining what he means by "natural genetic engineering."

      What is interesting is how he sees the workings of biology within the cell. What he says appears to be more like what one would expect to see form an ID (intelligent design) perspective where things are goal oriented with purpose.

      Another interesting thing is that he openly states that how evolutionary changes within the cell are generated (by modifying the genetic code) is a big mystery to science and that experiments of a different order need to be done in an effort to answer the enigma.

      It is my current belief that as science digs deeper into such questions what will emerge will be even more puzzling questions concerning the ultimate origin of apparent purposeful engineering.

  3. most animals only get furious because we rattle them. Just look at 8 people in the ark and all those animals. If we learn how noah became approved by God then we too can live the same way with the most dangerous animals. Mark you a time is coming when the true worshipers of God will have to in to the wilderness. This means we have to learn from the waldenses

  4. Ellen White also encourages us to at least we must have a garden to take care of. by so doing I think thus where we are being tested as good stewards of the envroment, bearing in mind that God put them in the garden of Eden to take care of it.

  5. It is good to start caring and have personal experience with the environment in order to know what is edible and what is not because we obtain our food, water and air from the environment. Having good stewardship on the environment is taking good care of your individual self.

  6. Bible did not ask us to care for "dangerous animals."

    In my country, places like banks, shopping complexes among others, wit parking lot, welcom u for biz transactions. But the instruction therein is "Cars are parked at owners' risk." Unfortunately, some had been victims.

    Among lots of animals existing, if ur choice to care for include lion & predator, u're at a risk and one day u may be a victim. However, Tish had also offered his own thought, only u may not need to go beyond that stage.

  7. How can we care for the wild animals like the lion,leopard,elephant and others?
    We are to be the stewards of the other creatures not to treat them in a bad manner but treat them as God is expected from us.Everything were created by God and if so then we need to care for them as God is also caring for us.Let us do our earnest part in God creation.Amen

  8. Without doubt, any Christian worthy of the name has to have empathy for God's creation including the animals. What bothers me, however, is how some people have elevated their pets above human beings. It is okay to take care of our pets, but that does not mean we should neglect the suffering of humanity because of our love for animals. As our Sabbath School lesson points out, contrary to the opinion of many in the world, animals are not at the same level with us. God gave man dominion over animals. Contrary to what many believe, a dog is not man's best friend. Man's best friend is a human being. Yes, pet are good for us as they keep us company. But pets cannot do surgery, clean our teeth, do our taxes or mop our floors. Pets do not help change our tires or fly us to our destinations. Those tasks are done by humans. Therefore Christians who love their pets more than they love suffering humanity are misguided and they need to return to the Bible. The greatest commandment still stands: We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.


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