Thursday, April 07, 2005

Elephants and parallels to our society

I was telling my pastor about this story I had seen on the news years ago. It has some very interesting implications.

There are some wildlife preserves in Africa which have been repopulated with wildlife from another preserve. Years later, they began finding several rhinoceros dead, with fairly massive injuries. After some investigation, it was discovered that bull elephants were doing it. However, the experts were confused, because this is not normal behavior.

After trying a few different things, they came to the realization that all of these elephants were essentially "teenagers." There were no older males on these particular preserves. These young males were essentially trying to fill the role of an adult male before they were ready, and they became confused and more violent than normal.

As a result, the solution became apparent: Older bulls were brought in from established preserves, and once that was completed, the killing ended.

Now that you've read my version, here's the story as seen in the news.

I think many of the implications for us and our society are obvious. We have problems with young men becoming violent without any apparent reason. I look around my neighborhood and see a lot of kids without fathers, and very few with adult friends. We may not be elephants, but I believe God intentionally created a commonality in many of His designs, and humans and elephants are both mammals.

My men's group was discussing Ephesians chapter 6, but we stopped at verse 4. Our current meeting time prevents many of us from helping with youth and children's ministries at the same time. We are going to have to decide if we want to adjust our meeting time in order to do our part to help raise kids. We will take two weeks before we make a final decision, so we are going to spend some time praying and thinking about it in the mean-time. We want to do this, but we also want the men's group to be there for men who come needing support from other men.

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I'm a Christian and political moderate (I tend to be more liberal on core issues and more conservative on the hot-button ones). I have a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies and Philosophy.