Perspective is desperately needed on Cecil the lion

The unhinged outrage over the killing of “Cecil the lion” reached a fever pitch over the last couple weeks on social media, not just with rabid denouncements over the American who killed him but also with death threats and calls for his execution. As I have seen this trend, I cannot help but think of God’s judgment on us in His holy Word:

Romans 1:21-25

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

If the killing was illegal, then the hunter should be prosecuted for it and face the appropriate punishment. (Hint: That punishment is nowhere as severe as what the social media lynch mob wants to see, especially not the death penalty.) But let’s keep this in perspective: Killing a lion is not in itself fundamentally immoral. We know this from Scripture.

But this guy was not a serial killer of human beings made in the image of God. He is not John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. The outrage – and especially the death threats – is wildly disproportionate to the man’s alleged crime. And I am not naming him for a reason. He has gotten enough publicity out of this.

I am not saying we should not be unsettled or even angry about things like poaching. We have laws preserving natural resources for a reason, and people should obey those laws. But the Creator of the universe gave man, the pinnacle of His creation, dominion over all of creation in Genesis 1:28. Shrieking for a man’s blood because he killed a lion completely flips God’s creation order on its head and is a rebellion against God Himself.

The unhinged outrage over Cecil the lion is not compassion for animals, nor is it legitimate conservationism. It is idolatry and rebellion against God, especially when the social media lynch mob is calling for the murder of a man made in the image of Almighty God. Repent of this wickedness and worship of the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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