You and I as Christians tend to think the same way as the world around us. It is not because we lack faith, but rather that secular thinking is pressed upon us by the culture. However, we are called to conform our thinking to the truth expressed in the Bible. As Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” How can we conform our minds to Christ’s?
At Worldview at the Abbey, we earnestly seek to conform our minds to Christ’s, and one way we put this into practice is through zoo and museum tours. Zoos and museums are the worship centers of secular culture; people go there to experience the awe and wonder that Christians experience in church. They choose not to worship God and instead worship His creation.
Last Friday, Worldview at the Abbey experienced a zoo tour led by Bill Jack. He gave this tour as an example so students can lead their own tour in the coming weeks. During the tour, Bill sought to undermine the secular concepts that have invaded Christian thinking and replace them with biblical truth. For example, when the students visited the giraffes, Bill asked them whether or not the giraffe was designed or an accident. The students responded that it was designed. He then asked who designed it. Many students answered, “God.” Bill responded that they can use the J-word, Jesus. Bill led the students through this line of questioning at every animal we visited, reminding all of us that Jesus designed each animal.
This reminder is required to retrain our thinking. As we go out into the culture, we need the courage to speak truthfully, to unapologetically describe each trend and object in accordance with the Bible. This mindset is not politically correct, but it is biblically correct. The students learned that secular culture either worships animals or destroys them. Some members of culture seek to preserve animals, but they elevate animal life so highly that human life is diminished in comparison. Examine the laws concerning eagle eggs versus unborn human beings and you will see the difference. Other members seek only to exploit animals for their value, like those who kill rhinos for their horns. This selfish destruction opposes biblical stewardship.
Christians can help non-Christians take care of animals. One way to inspire good stewardship of animal life is to eat the animal. By “eat,” I mean find a way the animal benefits man so others will have a reason to take care of it. For example, bison were nearly wiped out by those who sought to harm the Native Americans by destroying their main food source. Today, around half a million bison are owned by ranchers who sell the meat, which is delicious and low in cholesterol and fat. Bison are now being preserved because man has found a use for them, and thus he is interested in keeping them healthy. We can be good stewards of animals and use them for our benefit.
Retraining our thinking is neither an easy nor fully comfortable process. Confessing out loud during the tour that Jesus designed each animal was uncomfortable, but it is true. We as Christians need to bear witness to the truth. We need to enter the public square and proclaim truth, not only so others can hear it, but so our children can watch us stand for what is true.
By Nathan Pegors