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A0391_Apes Rights

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Date:      29th June 2008                                                                        (Sunday AM)                                                                       Ref: A0391

Place:     Kambah P.S.

Title: Apes Rights

Text:        & Matthew 6:26-27

Illust:     On Wednesday Spain's parliament voiced its support for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans. Parliament's environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans. "This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity," said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project.

I.                   The PETA Principle

A.               Monkey Business

i.                 Recently & regrettably more & more frequently we hear of PETA in the press. Whether it be the mulesing of sheep or a Kangaroo cull, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) radical animal rights organisation.

      Supporters of animal rights believe that animals have an inherent worth—a value completely separate from their usefulness to humans. … Animal rights is not just a philosophy—it is a social movement that challenges society’s traditional view that all nonhuman animals exist solely for human use. As PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has said, “When it comes to pain, love, joy, loneliness, and fear, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”

      Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable. If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a pig? Dogs and pigs have the same capacity to feel pain, but it is prejudice based on species that allows us to think of one animal as a companion and the other as dinner.

ii.               Rights, species prejudice, the view that you & I are nothing more than highly evolved animals, just another species of monkey

      Oxford biology professor Richard Dawkins says ‘We admit that we are like apes, but we seldom realise that we are apes’.[1]

iii.             This leads to things like the “Great Ape Project” founded in 1993, an international organization of primatologists, psychologists, ethicists, and other experts who advocate a United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Great Apes The idea is that they want to confer basic legal rights on non-human great apes: The rights suggested are the right to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture[2]. – Now legislated by the Spanish parliament

B.               A baby is a dog is a pig is a rat

i.                 Obviously we deplore vicious cruelty to animals; nobody likes to see defenceless horses, dogs, kittens etc mistreated & we applaud the work of bodies like the RSPCA.

ii.               The issue is what the worldview of PETA and other radical Animal Rights really advocates. While at first glance it looks like it ennobles animal life by asking us to;

      treat ‘all species ‘as our companions on planet Earth, commanding equal respect.’

           What it really does is demean human life. ~ To say that a whale is as valuable as a man does not dignify the whale so much as degrade the man.

iii.             This distorted worldview held by people such as ethicist Peter Singer and PETA founder Ingrid Newark influence the way they see themselves & how they treat people.

      The documentary “I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA” will give you a taste of why PETA is the most successful animal rights organization in the world and offer an inside look at one woman's lifelong quest to make the world a better place for all animals.

iv.             We see all around us where this philosophy that degrades humanity ends up.

      Singer argues that infants similarly lack essential characteristics of personhood - "rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness" - and therefore "[s]imply killing an infant is never equivalent to killing a person.[3]

           It also leads to just plain stupid airhead statements like this

      If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you can do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty – Paul McCartney

           And it has a dangerous destructive impact on people & families – take for instance this comment by a girl after watching the documentary on PETA’s founder.

      hey, i cried so hard, i couldn't watch the rest of it. i hate my dad, he used to kill chickens and he is not good with animals at all. he says he loves them he hates them. he is very mean to my animals. please help......Angelica Harmon

II.                 In His Image

A.               Wonderfully Made

i.                 This worldview that you are nothing more than another species of animal is in direct contrast to the clear presentation of the Word of God. & Gen 1:26-27

ii.               Created in the image of God, everything else was created by the spoken word of God, Man was crafted by God out of the dust of the earth and He breathed into Man the breath of life; & Gen 2:7

iii.             You are not a highly evolved ape, you are not just an animal. No you are special, made in the image of God. – Fearfully & wonderfully made:

         Psalm 139:13-16 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. (NKJV)

B.               Dominion

i.                 Not only special but also given, by God dominion, authority rulership over the earth. The animals. & Gen 1: 28 – Dominion:  control or the exercise of control; sovereignty

ii.               Animals are not our equal co-species; God  has given us dominion, authority, control. The earth and all its resources; animal, plant & mineral were created as the habitat for man, for our use. Too often we have abused the resources God has provided, but these green animal rights groups go way too far to hold a moral equivalence between a tree & a human.

iii.             Listened to Bob Brown leader of the Greens go on & on in the Senate over a tree in Tasmania that had burnt down, yet these groups are pro baby murder. They are happy to see a baby slaughtered in the name of pro-choice but heaven forbid you would kill an animal or allow a significant tree to die.

           I love animals – roasted, fried, bbq’d; One thing you find with most of these groups they are radical vegetarians – don’t eat meat. – Well God said we could eat meat.

         Genesis 9:2-3 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. (NKJV)

III.              Or More Value

A.               His Great Love

i.                 The idea that other forms of life are as valuable as human life is utterly refuted by the Word of God. The Bible teaches that human life is not only the most valuable life on earth, but that it is infinitely more valuable than any other form of earthly life. Not all the rainforests, not all the seal pups, not all the great whales, equal the value of one human soul. & Matt 6:26

         Matthew 10:31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (NKJV)

         Matthew 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (NKJV)

ii.               Instinctively we know this, when we see a hurting child, in poverty / disaster / neglect something deep stirred within us. – Know there is a difference. The spark of the eternal divine. ~ What an amazing thought & how wonderful it is to know that the God who made all things, loves and values you above all things!

         Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (NKJV)

iii.             God Loves you, you are unique, you are precious in His sight. – What a tragedy to just believe that you are a monkey on this pale blue dot spinning through the vast universe, no meaning, no purpose, no destiny; when God created you as a special unique man / woman, created in His image with purpose & destiny. Loved by Him

         Isaiah 43:4 Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you;. (NKJV)

         Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. (NKJV)

B.               Precious In His Sight

i.                 How do we know that God loves us? – Jesus.

         Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV)

         1 John 4:9-10 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (NIV)

ii.               Jesus Christ the son of God, not murdered by the Jews, but willingly giving up His life to be crucified to pay the price for your sin & mine. If you would really stop for a moment & think of all the things you have ever done wrong, the lying, stealing, lust, jealousy, hatred, bitterness, immorality; Think – unclean before God, but Jesus died so that you could be cleansed, the guilt & shame washed away in His blood

         Ephesians 2:4-5 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (NKJV)

iii.             You don’t have to be good enough to come to Jesus, the rich mercy of God, His Grace is that while we don’t deserve mercy, He gives it. That’s how much He loves you:

         1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (NKJV)

           |        Wonder       Awe |

You are not an animal, you are a child of God, you are uniquely precious to Him, don’t be fooled by this pagan worldview; Job said it best:

         Job 7:17  “What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, (NIV)

           Brings incredible comfort & security no matter what you are going through, to realise God loves you.  & vs 26-27

         Psalm 42:8 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. (NKJV)

IV.             Altar Call


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[1] http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/904/

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ape_Project

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Singer

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