The Explanation We Owe Concerning Life and the Lion
by Ron F. Hale
In the middle of the growing Planned Parenthood outrage concerning the trio of videos exposing the sale and trafficking of human baby parts, a 13-year-old lion was killed in Zimbabwe—his name was Cecil.
Suddenly, the tug of war between colliding worldviews became evident. One side lifts high the sanctity of human life, while the other side protests the hunting of vanishing breeds of animals for sport and recreation for the rich.
I am not an unbiased writer for I have pro-life convictions based on a Biblical worldview. It is very easy for me to make a higher moral equivalence for the sake of human life over any other of God’s creatures. Nevertheless, I believe this cultural tension provides the opportunity for people like me to present my case, so here it is.
First, based on my worldview, I see this episode through the prism of a God-created world. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. After creating the animal kingdom, God chose to create mankind for His pleasure, glory, and fellowship. He blew into man the breath of life and he became a living soul. The very stamp of God, the “imago Dei” (image of God) is imprinted into our being. We are eternal beings.
Secondly, based on being made in the image of God (imago Dei), we are the crown of creation. God’s work of creation concluded after He made Adam and Eve. It was as though the Creator saved the best until the last. Therefore, we are not an accident but a very special creation. Very quickly, we failed God through rebellion and sin, but our loving God still made a way for our redemption. God has a purpose and plan for each human life. The sacrificial price that Jesus paid on the cross offers a pardon to everyone — culminating in the promise of eternal life to those who believe.
Thirdly, God sees us as persons. We are uniquely made as male and female so that each sex brings their specialness of DNA together to create a new person. Conception introduces a new person into the God-given physical, spiritual, and intellectual development of becoming a living human being. No two humans are alike. Our FBI knows that no two sets of fingerprints are identical and uses this to their advantage. The shedding of innocent human blood means that someone or some collective group is guilty. The guilty will be judged for their actions by God and rightly receive in their lifetime or life beyond (or both) His merciful justice. The Bible pictures the blood of the innocent crying out to God—for life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11).
Last, I think lions are magnificent creatures! Having traveled to Africa on several occasions, I have great admiration for the king of beasts. Personally, the only way that I could ever shoot a lion would be in saving a human life (mine included). I am a “little game” hunter.
God has given mankind an assignment or dominion … “over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28). We are answerable to God with this responsibility. Therefore, a good Biblical worldview and the preservation of earth and its creatures go hand in hand. God has placed us in charge of His handiwork. We will not be able to blame the chimpanzees, monkeys, or baboons (or the devil) for our malpractice.
In closing, the death of Cecil the lion saddens me; more so if done illegally. In spite of that, the wholesale carnage of thousands upon thousands of unnamed preborn babies each year brings me great anguish and weeping. Even those killed and surgically processed for scientific research leave me appalled at the Frankensteinian means and measures of this ghoulish trade.
May God have mercy on our souls for we have forgotten who and whose we are. As a nation, we have forgotten the self-evident truth claim that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
No life—no liberty or pursuit of happiness.