CG7 on Animals

Rebuilt Gymnasium in Sardis, Turkey.


The March 2009 edition of CG7’s Bible Advocate had the following in an article by Wayne Hrenyk:

Adam tilled the garden and named the animals. When he sinned and the curse came upon the earth, matters changed — and more then just weeds resulted.

To clothe us from our shame, animals were killed. Though not guilty of the sin, animals have endured a portion of the curse upon humanity ever since. “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22).

People have abused and misused each other, and the same charge can be made in our dealings with the animal kingdom. Thousands of animals were slaughtered by Roman gladiators, altogether for sport. Dogs were raised for the main purpose killing other dogs to entertain men. Roosters too have been used to fight with razors attached to their legs as weapons.

With the Industrial Revolution and mass commercialism, dogs, cats, monkeys, rats, mice, and other animals were used for experimentation on items from cosmetics to household cleaners to cancer cures. These animals suffered while scientists sprayed bleach into their eyes to see what damage might happen. Is this what God envisioned when He created the world and the animals?

In the Bible, God reveals His care for the animal kingdom. Beasts of burden were to be given a day off just like their owners (Exodus 23:12). Animals were given the Sabbath off (20:8-11). Resting our animals today reveals love, care, and responsibility that we should have, as God does! As Christians we have a responsibility to treat God’s creation with a healthy, spiritual respect.

“You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together” (Deuteronomy 22:10). And why not? Does this now show God’s concern for animals, because the donkey would be at a definite disadvantage? God did not intend for animals to suffer at the hands of men! God did not intend for man to use animals till they drop of exhaustion or to train animals to attack and kill other animals for sport…

Proverbs 12:10 states, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” The truth is that the attitudes and behavior of God’s people toward animals should be far above that of evil and unbelieving people. There should be a Christian response as to how we care for and treat all of God’s creation.

God’s plan for the new kingdom age is that man and animals will be restored to their previous nature:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).

This suggests that God’s perfect will is that all the elements of God’s creation find a way to co-exist in peace and prosperity. What we need to see is that God requires that we act honorably with His animal creation.

As God has authority over the world and the animals’ kingdom, He has placed that in the hands of people to act upon as God would. If we honor God, we should honor His creation. If we honor God, we are not going to abuse the animal kingdom, because God wouldn’t. We would not place animals above the station God has given them. Otherwise, we begin to worship the creature more then the Creator. At the same time, we should not abuse animals but love them in a way that represents a loving Creator.

As one who has raised many farm animals, as well as visited commercial farming operations, I agree that humans should act properly towards animals as I strongly disagree with certain commercial farming practices.  I also opposed “sports” like cock-fighting (a local group was raided for that not too many miles from where I am writing this earlier this month).

This does not mean that I support many of the actions of animal-rights groups such as PETA, but I do agree that animals often should be treated better than they now are (specifically, I tend to advocate reduced stocking rates, the elimination of hormones and antibiotics to promote growth, more natural diets, increased ability for movement, and  reasonable sun exposure, to cite five examples, for those that raise animals commercially).

Perhaps I should add that animals are, in a sense, apparently awaiting the return of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom.  Notice what the Bible states:

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:19-21).

The creation, includes animals.  And the time of the “glorious liberty of the children of God” that the Apostle Paul is speaking of, happens at the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom.

AsCG7’s Wayne Hrenyk indicated, it is during this millennial reign that abuse of animals – and of humans – will apparently cease.

May God speed the day–thy kingdom come.

An article of related interest may include:

Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?

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