Flipping through a church hymnal, I noticed hymns praising God with
words such as: “praise God all creatures here below,” “All creatures
of our God and King,” and “O brother wind, air, clouds and rain, by
which all creatures ye sustain.” In hymns the word “creatures” is used
to include all of the Creator’s animals – both human and nonhuman.
One hymn in particular names two nonhuman creatures: “God of the
Sparrow: God of the Whale.” This hymn includes the lines: “How does the
creature say Awe? How does the creature say praise?” Yet I find it so
difficult to understand how the people who sing these hymns, especially
if they are born again believers changed by God’s Holy Spirit, don’t
find it offensive to wear the skins and to eat the body parts and
secretions of God’s creatures about whom they have been praising Him.
So much of this hymn singing and praising comes across as people’s
attempt to fool God – something they surely must know can’t be done,
since God is all-seeing and knows the intent of the heart. Surely, the
Holy Spirit, who indwells those who are truly “born again,” would
convict them of their hypocrisy and their need to change their ways.
This behavior is particularly egregious in this day and age when
there is irrefutable proof that humans, through their cruel
self-centeredness, are destroying their own health, other animals, and
the earth – all the things for which they so hypocritically praise God.
Yet these same hypocrites marginalize and mock those who live
compassionately for the whole of God’s creation. It’s time that the
Church wakes up!