- So God created man in His own image;
- He created him in the image of God;
- He created them male and female.
I never read that (or any other biblical passage) and got the impression that the beasts of the Earth merited, in God's eyes, the place of mankind.
I bring this up because I got in an e-mail discussion with a Christian PETA member the other night, a guy I knew from Ann Arbor.
On our side of infinity, we do have more in common with the animals than with God. Both humans and the beasts are finite, and God being infinite, he will remain to Be while we will die an earthly death, and later get on the plus side of infinity (standing outside of time).
But, God obviously thought we were worth more than the beasts because he instilled many things such as virtue, reasoning tools et al. that are uniquely attributable to man and not beast.
That is because we are made in God's image--we are God's image bearers. Therefore, on the personality side of the line, we have more in common with God than with the beasts of the Earth, and are worth far more in His sight. We have souls, can accept Christ's perfect sacrifice as redemption, can carry out the Great Commission, etc. Animals do not have the same kind of soul; they don't have a soul in the image of God.
Animals as far as I can tell are limited, and weren't given what we were. That's why I, myself, never could agree with PETA. I don't see beasts === humans. However, if by animal rights they mean a right for the animals not to suffer, then I am totally on board with that, but many nut job PETA people want HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ANIMALS! That is a perfect contradiction in terms.
Human rights presupposes a human. And animals are not human.