|What is the difference
between a man and an animal?
“I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them,
and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of
men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea,
they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All
go unto one place; all are of the dust; and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man
that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Wherefore I
perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is
his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:18-22).
We live in a society in the United States which increasingly personifies and anthromorphises
animals. Increasingly we speak of “animal’s rights” and other characteristics and privileges of
man as belonging to animals. As my brother says, “Animals doe not have rights; men have
rights. Men have responsibilities to take care of animals.”
The best illustration of what I am speaking of in our society increasingly proposing is an
exchange between a reporter who was championing “animal rights” and a prosecuting attorney
who was prosecuting an animal abuse case. Trying to explain the difference between humans
and animals to the reporter, the prosecutor asked, “If your daughter and your dog were both
trapped in a burning house, which one would you save?”
The reporter answered, “Whichever one I came to first.”
I love my dogs. My brother and I used to cry because we were homesick for our dog when we
went away to visit our grandparents when we were kids. I have cried when my dogs died. But,
my dogs will become crispy critters if it is a choice between my dogs, my children, my
grandchildren, or any other person. When all is said and done – a dog is a dog.
Part of the propaganda of the personalization of pets is the concept of evolution origins as
taught in our schools. Man is considered nothing more than an animal.
The problem of Nazi Germany was their depersonalization of people. Rather than raising
animals to the position of people, they demoted certain people to the level of animals. No
matter which direction you go, it is wrong to place animals and humans on the same level.
There are some ways that men and animals are the same. Both are flesh and blood. Both
were created by God out of the dust, and the body which they are given here on this earth will
die and return to the dust of the ground. Both man and beast will rot and return to the dust.
There are some people who fail to live up to the difference between man and animal in this
world. The difference is what the response to natural instinct or the lusts of the flesh are. The
difference between man and beast is the ability to act contrary to natural instinct and the lusts
of the flesh. Notice, I said the ability to act, not that man always acts that way. Morality is acting
contrary to the lusts or desires of the flesh. When men live immoral lives they are living like
beasts. That is made manifest by God’s word.
At times it is difficult to tell the difference between a man and a beast. When they both die and
are lying on the ground, who can tell the difference? Who can know whether there is a
difference in the distribution of their spirits? Who knows whether a man’s spirit will ascend and
an animal’s will descend? The answer is, God. God knows. And since God knows, he can and
has revealed it to us.
Only man was made a living soul. Only man was made in the image and in the likeness of
God. See Genesis 1 & 2.
God is a spirit. Man, therefore, is not only a physical being; but, a spiritual being as well. Man is
not in the image of God because he has two eyes, two ears, one nose and one mouth. He is
made in the image and likeness of God because he, too, is a spiritual being in addition to
being a physical being.
That is why there is a sacredness to the life of man that is not associated with the life of
animals. Man as the culmination of the Creation of God holds a special place.
Only man goes to the hadean world. See Luke 16:19-31 and the story of Lazurus and the rich
man. Man alone in Creation will face the judgment of God (2 Corinthians 5:10). Dogs, cats,
parakeets, cows, horses, rabbits, chickens, etc. do not have souls and the capacity to face
judgment. “All Dogs Go to Heaven” may be an entertaining animated movie, but it is not a