© Sid Galloway BS, M.Div.
Just an old sheepdog of the Good Shepherd
Communicating conclusions from 100's of PhD scholars (& children)
Supporting the authority of His Word & the consistency of His character
Human Rights? Slavery? - Animal Rights? Cruelty?
What about God's right to command compassion for all of His creatures?
PURPOSE? As an absent-minded professor, this personal website developed over the years simply as a place to store (remember/retrieve) my own devotional research, thoughts, gratitude, and awe for our Creator/Rescuer/Lord - Christ Jesus.
YOU? Possibly some of my rambling ruminations in this site might deepen and strenghten your own personal relationship with Him as you actively serve others His Way - for His Honor.
Reducing cruelty, restoring broken lives, exposing deception, helping seekers find the Truth (John 14:6) in an age of uncertainty, requires repairing the only foundational cornerstone on which to rebuild - His Way (Isaiah 53:6). The cornerstone must be the consistent character of our Creator, as He has revealed Himself to be - the Good Shepherd. For God has clearly made known that the fullness of His care extends to all of His “nephesh” creatures that He originally designed to live in peaceful harmony - all creatures great and small - both nephesh animals and especially people. (Lev 17:13-14; Pro 12:10)
God's priority repeated throughout His written Word (graphae) and seen most clearly through His only begotten Son, Jesus (John 1:1-5; John 1:18) is clear. It is His concern for the weak, vulnerable, and oppressed who suffer spiritually and physically at the hands of predatory people. This is the Good Shepherd's biblically-revealed priority, therefore consistent compassion is the only accurate reflection of His glory (Heb 1:1-3; Isaiah 1:23).
Organizations (Christian parachurch organizations, NGO's, etc) often become "one-issue" focused and so won't address certain significant subjects that might offend a percentage of their supporters. This is understandable if the desire is to avoid diluting their specific message, but when it's done to protect "funding" (i.e., for money), then something is wrong with both motive and method. Then it is the compromise of truth, causing confusion and doubt. Remember, "politically correct" can apply to all groups on various sides of an issue, since peer-pressure tempts everyone.
Privately, many leaders, pastors, theologians, and scientists have told me they agree, but either won't or can't address certain subjects publicly. Many are worried that they will lose support, position, or esteem if they share what they are convinced the evidence demonstrates to be the full truth. I'm ashamed to admit that I've given in to compromise in subtle ways many times in the past. Sadly, every compromise in belief led to consequential actions . . .
Actions are the fruit produced by root beliefs. History demonstrates that when a culture even unintentionally teaches a view of a cruel "Creator" its people will tolerate, practice, and eventually exalt cruelty. Never forget the root and fruit of predators like Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Saddam Hussein, homicide bombers, racists, et. al. Escalating oppression of the weak and vulnerable (tolerated by passive sheeple) is the inevitable result of a distorted image of the Creator and His Way. Beliefs have consequences.
"While the horrors of the Holocaust largely discredited eugenics, Mr Black [author of, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race] warns that it was merely rebadged as ‘human genetics’ and ‘genetic counseling’, and that its ideas are still widespread. He is a political liberal, so he unfortunately fails to realize that the same pseudo-science of evolution that spawned both American and German eugenics is the one entrenched in the media and educational systems today." ("America's Evolutionists: Hitler's Inspiration, by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati)
"But here, Christianity provides a counterchallenge to remind them that they have not escaped the probe lm of contradiction. If evil exists, then one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must one posit an ultimate source of moral law . . . . Why cannot evolution explain our moral sense? . . . . This is the latest approach . . . to explain good and evil apart from God. . . . Why do we need a designer? . . . The truth is that we cannot escape the existential rub by running from a moral law. Objective moral values exist only if God exists. Is it all right, for example, to mutilate babies for entertainment? Every reasonable person will say no. We know that objective moral values do exist. Therefore God must exist." (Dr. Ravi Zacharias, p. 108, JESUS AMONG OTHER GODS: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
[* Please note, once again Ravi clearly demonstrates the logical necessity of a moral God as the source - the first cause - for any claims of right or wrong. However, RZIM has recently chosen to avoid the crucial cornerstone connection between the Creator's character and the Way (when and how) of His creation. Only the full good news of Jesus Christ the Creator of both Old Eden and the promised New Earth can sufficiently answer these questions with intellectual and moral consistency.]
Research shows an inseparable connection between the rejection of our Creator’s true character (the Good Shepherd / Protector / Provider / Rescuer / Restorer) and the increasingly predatory cruelty manifested today against both humans and nephesh animals. Studies have even demonstrated a clear connection between sociopathic violent criminals and a past childhood environment that tolerated and encouraged cruelty to animals. Such "training" sears the conscience, hardening the naturally selfish heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10). In contrast, our Creator designed and called us all to serve as both our brother’s keepers and God’s zoo (animal) keepers Gen 1:26; Gen 1:29-31; Gen 2:15; Gen 9:3-4; Gen 9:9-10). Remember, we humans are very social beings, a fact proven by the way yawning causes others to yawn. Similarly, cruelty and compassion are both culturally contagious. The choice is ours.
"The Scientific Link Between Childhood Animal Abuse and Later Adult Crimes: Although a number of philosophers and theologians have speculated over the years that humans who torture animals become hardened and cruel in their attitude and dealings with other humans, there has been, until recently, no scientific basis for this speculation. Now, several social science studies support the notion that cruelty to animals can be a predictor of later violent crimes against humans. Thus, if one regards the view of animals as merely chattels as outmoded and the view of them as creatures deserving of legal rights as insupportable, one may be persuaded that human interests and animal interests converge in both the prevention of animal abuse and the punishment and treatment of animal abusers. Animals can help society to identify people at risk of committing further violent acts, and counseling such individuals while they are still relatively young can reduce the overall level of violence in society." (Livingston, Margit, "Desecrating the Ark: Animal Abuse and the Law's Role in Prevention" . Iowa Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 1, October 2001).
"Nephesh”, throughout the Hebrew Old Testament, especially in Genesis, is used in exactly the same grammatical form for both animals and humans - "nephesh chayah", yet translated as "living soul" or "living creature" by tradition, (Gen 1:20, 21, 24, 2:7). It means a being that can think and feel – therefore experience joy or suffering.
Human nephesh is unique (Gen 1:26-28; Gen 2:7) in that we can think and feel about God and so are responsible for our choices. We were created in God's image in a special way with a greater purpose. Animals were not designed to have the capacity to know God personally, so they cannot rebel against Him and are not accountable like humans. Therefore, instead of focusing on our rights as humans, the Good Shepherd expects us to focus on our responsibilities as humans to treat His creation and His creatures His Way (John 14:6).
* For related articles from others see:
- "The Carnivorous Nature & Suffering in Animals", R. Gurney MD
- "The Fall: A Cosmic Catastrophe", Dr. Sarfati PhD
- "Cosmic & Universal Death: Exegesis of Romans 8", H. Smith
- "Romans 5: Paul's View of a Literal Adam", Lita Cosner
Christians and non-Christians, who sincerely care about suffering, often mistakenly address cruelty and abuse concerns in a fragmented way as if these issues are separate - mutually exclusive. Some focus on creation, many on education, others on counseling for the abused, and some only on the protection of animals.
Effectively dealing with this cancerous problem of cruelty requires that we begin with a consistent view of our CREATOR, the GOOD SHEPHERD who sacrifices self for the needs of others. He is never a Great Predator who would sacrifice others for selfish desires.
Churches (some) as well as some Christian organizations have become social clubs and entertainment centers, serving primarily the providentially privileged, while millions of children and women are being enslaved, abused, tortured, and murdered here and abroad. In a related way, many Christians mock those who are concerned about animal abuse. Even worse, many Christian hunters glory in how the suffering of animals doesn't bother them - ignoring the biblical mandate that hunters show reverential respect for the suffering and death of nephesh animals (Lev 17:13-14). Sadly, I and so many other Christians have at times dishonored the Good Shepherd by presenting the opposite image of His character.
Please pray as we refine and refocus GSI to more effectively and efficiently fit His priority. In order to serve those who are suffering the most, I'll be reworking the website, writing more, and when time allows traveling to educate and motivate others. Together those of us who agree about the cancer of cruelty can multiply practical assistance to those in the most desperate need.
Just an OLD sheepdog of the Good Shepherd