On October 19th in Zanesville, Ohio, a local zany decided that he had enough of life's troubles and decided to check out permanently. Prior to check out time, he released into the surrounding area of his home an assortment of wild game animals that he owned, raised, and kept on his "farm" compound. He had been raising these animals for many years and was known to local neighbors as somewhat of a troubled individual, but as one who devoted his life to his love of animals, high power assault riffles, and not paying taxes to Uncle Sam! You gotta love this guy!
In his group of "pet" animals that he raised were lions and tigers and bears! (Oh my!) Also included in this assortment of carnivorous, cantankerous, carousing, colossal, eclectic collection of meandering behemoths were some animals of the "more milder sorts" - wolves, baboons, leopards, camels, monkeys, and cheetahs. These animals were seen roaming the local area as police authorities quickly descended on the newly-released, dangerous horde. Residents and motorists were advised to stay clear of the area until the animals could be captured or "put down"!
After many hours of tracking these released animals by the police authorities, the vast majority of the animals had been reunited with their previous owner. Grizzly shots of dead grizzly bears, lions, and Bengal tigers filled news sites and airwaves, provoking outrage and debate between animal lovers and human lovers. The animals that were killed included 18 tigers, nine male lions, eight female lions, six black bears, three mountain lions, two grizzly bears, one baboon, and two wolves (And a partridge in a pear tree)! There were a few animals that were caught and taken to the Columbus Zoo.
On the more serious side, the release of these wild animals serves as an example and a dire warning to all of us Christians about the release and unimpeded roaming of "dangerous ideas" in our world. "Dangerous ideas" can be defined as an idea that clearly contradicts clear Biblical teaching or presuppositions. For example, the idea of evolution states that all things came from a fortuitous combination of inorganic material billions of years ago. On the other hand, the Bible clearly teaches that all things are a direct result of a creative act of a personal God. One of these ideas is definitely wrong while the other is absolutely true. The two different ideas will spawn other related ideas that will determine how we view and live all of our lives. "Dangerous ideas" such as humanism, materialism, communism, Islam, socialism, multiculturalism, tolerance, secularism, and a host of other false worldviews and religious ideas have been released upon mankind like a plague of Egypt and are now destroying more lives than all the wild animals released in Zanesville could ever accomplish in a thousand lifetimes.
Read the following story taken from The Journal of Summit Ministries about "wild animal thinking" running amok England - an idea that is gaining large strongholds in the United States:
During the 1970's, I was a primary school teacher in inner London and fully subscribed to the prevailing philosophy of "multiculturalism". I believed then that children from immigrant families would perform better scholastically if their own culture were promoted in the classroom, making them feel proud rather than ashamed of their parent's background. But I gradually became aware of the disastrous consequences for our society of what has become an ideology. Education ought to have played an important part in the assimilation of the children of immigrants into the mainstream British culture. But something has gone drastically wrong. assimilation is no longer considered a respectable social policy. Multiculturalism and bilingualism have been the fashion for thirty years. The notion that one could actively encourage integrated individuals subscribing to a minimum of common core values is now condemned as chauvinism, racism, cultural imperialism, or even cultural genocide.
Multiculturalism is based on some fundamental misconceptions. First, there is the erroneous and sentimental belief that all cultures, deep down, have the same values, or, if these values are different, that they are all equally worthy of respect. Multiculturalism, being the product of relativism, is incapable of criticizing cultures, of making cross-cultural judgments; it emphasizes differences but fails to teach immigrants allegiance to common values or even to the country that has received them with such generosity. Furthermore, the truth is that not all cultures have the same values, and not all values are worthy of respect. There is nothing sacrosanct about customs or cultural traditions; they can change under criticism. After all, the secularist values of the West are not much more than two hundred years old.
Respect for other cultures, for other values than our own, is a hallmark of a civilized attitude. But if these other values are destructive of our own cherished values, are we not justified in fighting them by intellectual means - that is, by reason and argument and criticism - and by legal means - by making sure the laws and constitution of the country are respected by all? While religious beliefs are to be tolerated, religious practices and institutions must not automatically or necessarily be accorded the same freedom if they conflict with the law or constitution of the wider state.
As Christians, we are admonished in II Corinthians 10:3-5:
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Like the police authorities in Zanesville, Ohio and the former teacher in the United Kingdom, we must see the terrifying consequences these dangerous worldly ideas and arguments pose and develop a plan and a strategy for their capture, incapacitation, and final destruction with a zealous godly determination! The more time that is wasted in debating among ourselves as how to deal with these "wild animals" or ignoring their potential effects, the more freedom these animals gain and the more destruction they will impose. It will also be harder to ultimately hunt them down and provide safety for those in their path.
Let us not fear these "lions and tigers and bears" we may encounter in the world's way of thinking, but may we courageously face them with the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit at our disposal! We can not allow these "animals" to continually run free. They must be hunted down and exterminated with due diligence. Lion and tigers and bears - BEWARE!
Stay Holy, My Friends!
1. Ibn Warraq, Academic Questions, Spring 2011, p. 15-16.