I have some more tough love to deliver. If you are one of those who is more upset over the shooting of ‘Cecil the lion’ than the crimes being committed by ‘Planned Parenthood,’ then there is something wrong with you. If you bother to actually read the facts in the lion story, you will find that the dentist was duped. He believed he was legal in his actions, having paid $50,000 for what he thought was a license to hunt the lion. So, agree with hunting or not, that man was trying to obey the law. But Planned Parenthood is actually violating the law. So, where is the outrage? Nowhere! Instead of putting an end to the crimes of Planned Parenthood, the government and Planned Parenthood are going after the group exposing this crime and the media is helping to deflect from Planned Parenthood’s crimes by finding and focusing on a dead lion. I am telling you that, if you have fallen for this, there is something wrong with you. If you care more about a lion than a murdered child, there is something wrong with you — period! I just couldn’t figure out exactly what it is that is wrong with such people until I read a comment from a Face Book friend. He nailed it, and I would like to share his words with all of you who cry for Cecil but not for the murdered children:
IN response to why people care more about a dead lion, my friend — who will remain anonymous to protect him from the hate I am sure will follow — my friend writes:
“People, on the other hand, are real. They are here. They impose themselves on our lives. They burden us. They surround us. To care about people is hard. It requires us to live, act, think, and speak differently. We have to accommodate people. We have to tolerate people. We have to do things for people, especially the most vulnerable and helpless people….
It can be hard to love people. And if you say you love people, life is going to constantly demand that you prove it. If you say you love people, you certainly can’t kill your own child, and you can’t support the killing of children, and even if you don’t have kids, you have to be patient and kind with other people’s kids, and other people generally. This is very different from loving lions. You can love lions passively, in the abstract; people must be loved actively, in reality.”
This goes straight to the heart of these claims about ‘love’ in our society, and it explains what I have been trying to help people understand better than I ever have. God is love, but He is agape love: the type of love described in my friend’s words. If we actually love people — individuals — then it places demands on us. It requires we actually care, and if we care, we have to do things that will inconvenience us. But if we love humanity in the abstract, then it is easier — because loving a thing does not require us to do anything. It does not demand we change the way we live or act toward others. In fact, by loving humanity in the abstract, we can claim the moral high ground while maintaining a totally self-centered and self-serving life.
The problem is, if you love humanity in the abstract, you are worshiping an idol! In this case, we make the abstract notion of ‘humanity’ into our idol and we worship it (and ourselves through it), but we do not love any of the individuals in humanity. This is also the source of the immorality behind all collectivist systems of government (i.e. socialism). Anything that hides the individual from us and focuses us on the collective makes the sum of all individuals into an abstract thing that we can worship without having to change the way we live as individuals. This allows us to feel good about ourselves by saying we love humanity while, at the same time, we can continue to worship ourselves because our fake love does not require us to actually do anything for anyone unless we feel like doing it.
This fake love is also why the world hates God. God demands that we love the individual: not the abstract idea of man, but the actual man. But, as my friend says, if you love the individual, this forces you to set aside yourself and serve those other people. This is the love God demands from us, and that is why people reject Him. We would rather love ourselves, because that means we can serve ourselves. But if we obey God and love others — individually — then we have to deny ourselves and serve others. Too few of us care to do this, and I include myself at the head of the list. The difference — at least where I am concerned — is that I am trying to love others by realizing it is about God. This forces me to do things I do not want to do, but then, agape love does not demand that we like what we do, just that we do it of our own free will. That is love: the willful setting aside of our own desires to serve other individuals.
If you wonder where this teaching is in Scripture, I’ll close by leaving you with a parable that Christ used to teach exactly this lesson:
Matthew 21:28-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Parable of Two Sons
28 “But what do you think? A man had two [a]sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘[b]Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes [c]will get into the kingdom of God before you.