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Living Like Animals

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I recently read an article on LiveScience.com which purports evidence that homosexuality is a normal practice in the animal kingdom. Whenever such research is released it is invariably used to make the connection that since homosexuality occurs in the animal kingdom, therefore it should be considered equally normal in the kingdom of men. The Live Science article notes: “Homosexuality has been observed in more than 1,500 species.” It continues, “The argument that a homosexual way of living cannot be accepted because it’s against the ‘laws of nature’ can now be rejected scientifically.”
Is that really the case? It may be “natural” in the animal kingdom, but is it supposed to be “natural” for man? From what are we supposed to define what is natural and unnatural for human kind?
Researchers in the article imply that homosexuality is moral, or at least amoral. Taking their cues from the animal kingdom, these researchers have essentially said that since the animal kingdom behaves this way, therefore, it’s okay for man to behave that way as well.
That many in the animal kingdom engage in same-sex relations is not in dispute. However, to equate homosexuality as a moral, or natural behavior for people is another thing entirely. The researchers are essentially taking their behavioral clues from the animal kingdom, i.e., looking at models of behavior in lower life forms and extrapolating those behaviors upwards to man—and that is a problem.
Man was not made to be like the animal kingdom. Scripture demonstrates that man is to take his behavioral clues, not from animals, but from God. We see this first in Genesis 1:26 when God says, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” What is an image except for something that is to resemble something else? I take a photograph of my daughter. It looks like her. From the picture I can discern certain traits my daughter has. But I cannot look at her picture and discern the traits of her dog. So it is with man. Man was made in God’s image, to reflect his abilities and character. We are supposed to be able to look at people and discern some of the characteristics of the one who created us. We are therefore supposed to get our moral imperatives from God’s character, Jesus’ life, and the Bible. The animal kingdom cannot demonstrate right or wrong behavior for us because the animal kingdom lives under a different order than we do. We are not to imitate lower creatures. Rather, we are to imitate up the ladder. We are designed to imitate God.
If, according to researchers, we can take our cues for behavior from the animal kingdom then we would be in serious trouble. Are we sure we want to imitate the behaviors of the animal kingdom and call it right, or moral?
  • The California Sea Lion has a harem of females at his disposal during mating season. For humans that would be polygamy—shall we imitate that?
  • The female Australian Redback Spider consumes its male counterpart after mating, with the male willingly—and literally—jumping into the female’s mouth. For humans that would be cannibalism—shall we imitate that?
  • The male spider Harpactea sadistica forces itself on its female counterpart, piercing the female’s abdomen with its needle-like penis over and over in act called traumatic insemination. For humans this might be akin to rape—shall we imitate that?
  • Some dogs are known to kill their own young. For humans that would be infanticide—shall we imitate that?
  • Some lions have been known to kill their younger rivals to keep the females for themselves. For humans that would be murder—shall we imitate that?
Human behavior is supposed to be much different than the animal kingdom. We are to take our cues from God, because it is him that we are to represent. We were designed to think, feel, and act like the Lord. God’s injunction to us is to, “Be holy, for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16). Taking our behavioral cues from the animal kingdom serves only to degrade man’s status before God, whereas imitating Christ elevates us to that position that God originally intended.