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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Lioness In Zoo Kills Man Who Invoked God

inthenewsKIEV (Reuters) – A man shouting that God would keep him safe was mauled to death by a lioness in Kiev zoo after he crept into the animal’s enclosure, a zoo official said on Monday.

“The man shouted ‘God will save me, if he exists’, lowered himself by a rope into the enclosure, took his shoes off and went up to the lions,” the official said.

“A lioness went straight for him, knocked him down and severed his carotid artery.”

The incident, Sunday evening when the zoo was packed with visitors, was the first of its kind at the attraction. Lions and tigers are kept in an “animal island” protected by thick concrete blocks.

Monday, 6/5/2006 Reuters

Analysis

This news account is rather peculiar, as it does not indicate whether the man in question was one who had faith in God, or who had taken drastic means to prove to himself whether or not God exists.  If a man doubts the existence of God, it seems rather extreme to place himself in mortal danger to find out!  “God will save me, if he exists” does not indicate a great deal of faith.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8).

Further, such an action tests God.  In the grand scheme of things, God tests us.  We do not have the right to test God.  Jesus showed his understanding of this as he answered the temptation of Satan.  Satan took Jesus up to the pinnacle of the temple, and said, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”  Jesus answered, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God'” (Matthew 4:5-7).

There is sufficient evidence of God’s existence to have convinced this ignorant man (or any other).  God is not a puppet to be manipulated.  He is not the one who must give account.  To demand God to prove Himself by jumping through some arbitrary hoops we have erected is to disrespect the Creator, and to show our willful ignorance of his majesty and power.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20-21).