OK – I almost didn’t respond to this prompt, because it is so reprehensible, but then, as I thought about it this morning, at 4:40am, I realized that I should respond to this prompt, just because it is so terrible.
I’m going to approach this from a biblical point of view, simply because that is how I live my life. In everything that I do in life, I try to live in obedience to the God who created me and gives me life. Therefore, when I read this story, I was appalled.
I am well aware that not everyone is a Christian, and therefore, not everyone lives their lives according to the biblical precepts that God has given us. However, even though you may not know scriptures, God writes His law on the hearts of all men, so that all may know what is right and what is wrong. Although not everyone is filled with God’s Holy Spirit, He has given each one of us a conscience (unless your heart has become so hard that your conscience is seared).
Even when Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong. They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what is right. (Romans 2:14-15 NLT)
Therefore, there is something innate, within the hearts of all men and women that is disgusted and repulsed at the thought of killing and eating another human being. This is because God’s law has been written on our hearts, and we know that to murder another human being is sinful and wrong.
Do not murder. (Exodus 20:13 NLT)
This is why cannibalism is sinful and wrong. It is also why abortion, infanticide, and all other types of murder are wrong. We have been given permission by God to eat of any and all other meat in order to survive, but to kill another human being in order to eat him/her is sinful and wrong.
One of the things that struck me as I read the story of Richard Parker and Tom Dudley was the fact that the men in that life boat had not gone without food for a long period of time. Indeed, the very longest that they had gone without any food was seven days at the most. I’ve fasted for much longer than that, and I certainly didn’t suffer!
Therefore, for them to plot to murder Richard Parker, a seventeen year old youth, and justify the murder because they were afraid of going hungry was ludicrous. People do not starve in seven days. There is no excuse for murder.
As far as I can see, this act was nothing more than a selfish, pre-meditated murder, and in answer to the question:
What would you have done?
I would like to believe that I would not even consider such a debased act. As Dudley and Stephens discussed and plotted to murder Richard Parker, it is obvious that neither considered the sanctity of life. Instead of being willing to sacrifice their own lives in order to save the lives of their friends, they sought to sacrifice the weakest person on that life boat. I would never want to be like either of them. Instead, I choose to model my life after that of my Savior, who said:
I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. And here is how to measure it — the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. (John 15:12-13 NLT)
It is obvious to me that these men had no love for anyone other than themselves… Look at the contrast between these men, who plotted to kill one another and eat one another for their own sake, and Jesus… He set the standard for how we are to live.
Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NLT)
Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now He’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. (Hebrews 12:2 The Message)
You see, because of His great unselfish love for us, Jesus willingly laid down His life, so that we could have eternal life.
“The Father loves Me because I lay down My life that I may have it back again. No one can take My life from me. I lay down My life voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it again. For My Father has given Me this command.” (John 10:17-18 NLT)
In the garden of Gethsemane, on the night that Jesus was unjustly arrested, Peter tried to defend Jesus by grabbing a sword and cutting the ear off the high priest’s servant, but rather than trying to run or fight against the enemy, look what Jesus did when Peter cut the servant’s ear off:
When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” And one of them slashed at the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “Don’t resist anymore.” And He touched the place where the man’s ear had been and healed him. (Luke 22:49-51 NLT)
“Put away your sword,” Jesus told him. “Those who use the sword will be killed by the sword. Don’t you realize that I could ask My Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?” (Matthew 26:52-54 NLT)
Do you see? Jesus willingly laid His life down for mankind, and He calls those who love Him to do the same… Therefore, as a child of the Most High God, and friend of Jesus, I would rather lay my life down protecting the more than 3000 unborn children who are brutally slaughtered in legalized abortions daily… I would rather lay down my life protecting those who would murder themselves… I would rather lay down my life to protect the many murder victims in this country, and around the world… and yes, I would have much rather laid down my life for young Richard Parker, than to murder him and feed off his body…
You see, mankind was created in the image of God, and every man, woman and child was created for a purpose God only knows, and it is He alone who has the right to give life and to take life… I firmly adhere to sanctity of human life.
Cheryl A. Showers