God’s Word and The Sport of Hunting

How do Christianity and the sport of hunting go together?
This is an all to often asked question that many people will ask us. And, it’s a great question! Let me start out by saying that there are three main reasons why we hunt. One, we hunt because it gives us an opportunity to be in close contact with all of God’s unique creatures and the natural beauty that this great earth encompasses. Everything on this earth belongs to God, who created it. Our Creator has given us the privileges associated with hunting and expects us to manage well what He entrusts us with. He says in Psalms 50:10-12, ‘For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. Every bird of the mountains and all the animals of the field belong to me. If I were hungry, I would not mention it to you, for all the world is mine and everything in it.’ God created the birds and the animals in which we enjoy. However, he gives us domain over these creatures when he says, ‘God created humans in his own image’and said to them’fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground’.’ (Gen.1.27-8) More in line with man’s relationship to animals are the references in Genesis 1:26 when God again mentions man’s dominion over the animals. By stating that we have dominion over the animals, we mean we’re supposed to be good stewards. For example, we are to follow all fish and game laws, protect habitat, monitor herd sizes, and enforce seasons so that animals will continue to be around for our use.

Second, God gives us an opportunity to harvest animals for the purpose of feeding our families, friends, and the poor. Genesis 9:3 indicates that the Lord has given us animals as well as plants for the consumption of man. God gives man animals, fish and even plant life to consume but not for his abuse and/or destruction. What this doesn’t mean is to be sadistic. A sadist by definition is an act of torture where the prolonged suffering of a person or animal gives the torturer pleasure, and the more suffering the better. Because we as hunters emphasize the importance of the quick and humane kill and do not enjoy the suffering of an animal, we by definition cannot be sadistic.

Throughout biblical times, there were great hunters mentioned in the text. There was Nimrod who in Genesis 10:9 was termed a ‘great hunter’! Ishmael in Genesis 21:20 and Esau, the brother of Jacob (Gen. 27:3, 5, 30, 33.) was deemed a ‘cunning hunter’. The Bible also uses hunting metaphors in at least nine different verses throughout the Bible. In fact, Jesus himself helped his disciples catch fish to feed the people. These hunters took animals to feed their family and friends. Just like the men of biblical times, no animal that we harvest goes to waste. Much of the meat we harvest is donated to people in need or programs such as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

The last reason we hunt is probably most paramount. God has given us a passion and a dream to foster a non-threatening environment conducive for spiritual growth for all who love to hunt or just simply enjoy the outdoors. In Mathew 4:19 it says, ‘Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

So, does the Word of God say we can hunt? we believe it does. We hope that you will join us in the fight to maintain our rights to hunt. We sincerely hope that the Rugged Cross Outdoors team will capture both your attention and your heart.

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