Saturday, January 28, 2012

David Lipscomb on Animals

John Mark Hicks recently shared a quote from David Lipscomb that was so delightful for me that I simply had to repost it here. These are Lipscomb's thoughts, published in the Gospel Advocate, on the occasion of the founding of the Nashville Humane Society in 1887:

Some of the best citizens of Nashville are engaged in a good work in the organization of the Humane Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. The Lord has given the animal to us and we are his protectors. We have no right to cruelly use them. Many a man will be punished for his inhumanity to the dumb brute. The genuine Christian will treat the animal humanely. It is a sad commentary on our people that there exists the necessity for the organization of such a society. Many people in our own beloved land need to become civilized.

This should function as a potent reminder to us that a concern for the welfare of animals is not some ancillary political agenda that has been grafted onto Christianity in the these latter days. In fact, it is a longstanding concern among Christians for whom it ought to be a natural outgrowth of our core theology of creation. While Hicks' tongue-in-cheek suggestion that yes, dogs do go to heaven is more rhetorical flourish than substance, the reminder that "Animals are not throw-aways" is a profound Christian truth which warrants regular repetition.

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