Matthew 12:12 (MSG)
Surely kindness to people is as legal as kindness to animals!”
I get so tired of Christianity being seen as a political position, as a religion. In truth, it is neither; it is a relationship with the Creator. But, as a ‘political position’ it is often seen as the non-environmentally friendly people, the ones who care just about a God who others see as non-existant or irrelevant…. especially when it comes to the care of animals, to whom are made less important that people. All sorts of abuse have been and are done under this ‘banner’ of religion.
I feel like oftentimes the above verse is used to justify kindness to people, which it should be, but at the expense of animals. But, God created them too. Yes, we have dominion over the animals; we are higher than them. But we are to care for them, to be good to them. They are not our slaves or servants. They are our companions, our providers, our helpers. They are not test subjects orsubjects for genetic mutations. They are God’s creation, something to help us see Him and His love for us. We have been given them to eat if needed, to aid us when we need. But we should not take advantage of that. God forgive me for all the times I have!!! They are His creation, His creatures and they are precious to Him. As to the least of these, so you do to Me… I believe as we come into a full relationship with Him, as we begin to see as He sees, we have more compassion; more love for everyone. Including animals. All of creation. If we are to esteem the Creator, we must esteem the created. Yes, I believe environmentalism is a very Christian thing, and it is a sin that we are not supporting it more. I should support it more. But, it must be done, as everything, with our eyes on Him. All must be done for Him. We cannot judge the actions of others or make environmentalism our chief goal or our religion. It should flow naturally out of a relationship with Him. With the God of the universe, of us all.
How to achieve such a thing? Simply by pursuing HIm and only Him. By living as He did here on earth, with compassion and generosity and love. Ruled by love. Not seeking self to the detriment of whatever is in the way, but instead living in moderation and giving to others as needed. There is no conflict between Christianity and environmentalism, provided it is done in this way.
Loving people does not exclude loving the world or animals, nor does it excuse our actions toward them.