Monday, October 8, 2012

Animal House

I remember once hearing a popular conservative talk show host speaking against evolution.  He said that if monkeys could come up with a Social Security system on their own, then he would believe in evolution. I did a search for the quote, but came up empty.

So, besides the (obvious) physical differences, what is the difference between man and other beast like sheep, bulls or goats.  Well, if you need to think about it, let me offer something.

Man, after doing something wrong, may feel guilt.  He feels guilt because he has a conscience.  He has a conscience because he can tell the difference between right and wrong.  He knows the difference between good and evil. He is conscience of his guilt. Animals are not people. Try to explain to a cow the difference between right and wrong. Take your average bear and try to explain the difference of good and evil. Take your pet dog (or cat or horse or monkey) and try to explain what sin is. Animals can not know sin.  Animals cannot experience sin. They cannot know sin from experience. This means they are “innocent”.

How do we know sin? How are we conscience of sin? Because of the Law. The Law gives us a standard, or a target. Wherefore by works of law no flesh shall be justified before him; for by law [is] knowledge of sin. Rom 3:20. If we know the Law and know ourselves, we know we miss the mark.  We are conscience of not meeting a standard. There is interesting term for this in the Bible, dead works.

In Old Testament times, animals were to be offered as sacrifices for sin. They were innocent, having no knowledge of sin, by nature, incapable of sin. The offerer must have had knowledge of sin, felt guilt, and had a conscience.  Why else would would he offer a prize animal (without spot or blemish)? Before the innocent animal was killed, the offerer laid his hands on the animal’s head. The guilty sinner identified with the innocent animal. It was as if he transferred his sin onto the animal.  The guilty is spared death and the innocent is slain.

When someone acts as if they feel no guilt, or have no conscience, we may say that they act like animals.  What do we mean? They act as though there is no right or wrong, good or evil. Reminds me of a movie about a bunch of fraternity brothers that, well, acted like animals. They acted, for the most part, as if they had no conscience and felt no guilt.  The movie was aptly named.

The blood of bulls and goats that were shed at the altar of burnt offering were incapable of removing sin.  The blood of Christ, on the other hand, not only removes sin, but purifies your conscience of dead works. To what end? So that we may worship the living God. much rather shall the blood of the Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself spotless to God, purify your conscience from dead works to worship [the] living God? Heb. 9:14

"Tis by Thy blood we've been redeemed,
 And by it sanctified.
Now is our conscience free from sin,
 From dead works purified.

Hymn: Dear Lord, how precious is Thy blood


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