Challenging Church Compassion – 21: Christian Bowhunters an Oxymoron
These comments are in response to the article: Christian Bowhunters use archery as a way to spread the word about God by Beth Slaughter Sexton.
Bryan White, the founder of the local group in Georgia, is quoted in the article as saying, “All of us were very involved in our faith and we said, “Wouldn’t this be a neat ministry to use archery in someway to minister to people.” Today it is a part of the ministry of Solid Rock Baptist Church. On the surface, some might believe that it could be a nice way to spread the Gospel message.
So, why do we believe that the term “Christian Bowhunters” is an oxymoron?
Because the people who call themselves Christian Bowhunters say that they believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, yet at the same time they also fail to follow His teachings on compassionate living.
They make killing a part of their so called ministry.
To be a Christian means that the person is a follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings, and not just a believer. This is exactly what James wrote about in 2:18-20…
18 But someone may well say, “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
Jesus tells us that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48), and that we are to pray for our heavenly Father’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Thus, if people are really Christian, they will strive to end the pain, and mourning, and death that is absent in heaven (Revelation 21:4), and so prevalent upon this earth.
These bowhunters are doing just the opposite, which voids their claim that it’s a Christian ministry. It also makes the SolidRockBaptistChurch seem more like the HardHeartedBaptistChurch.
The only one who is empowered by the hardness of the human heart and the shedding of blood is Satan, so from our point of view, they are really advocating for the devil.
Let’s go on and see if these bowhunters and the Church are following what Jesus teaches us in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-9):
- If these bowhunters were really poor in spirit, they would not let the lust of their flesh to kill another living being control their lives, and have no empathy for that animal’s desire to live.
- If these bowhunters truly mourned the suffering of creation, they would not add to the suffering and death.
- If these bowhunters were truly gentle, they would not seek to kill another living being.
- If these bowhunters truly hungered and thirsted for righteousness, they could not defile the God given rights of animals by killing them.
- If these bowhunters were truly merciful, they couldn’t kill anyone.
- If these bowhunters were truly pure of heart, they wouldn’t have hardened their hearts to the extent that they can take another’s life and lead children astray.
- If these bowhunters were truly peacemaking children of God, they would do everything in their power to free creation from its present corruption, instead of adding more bloodshed.
Even after looking at these few things that Jesus taught us to live by, there seems to be no way that they could be considered a ministry for Christ.
There seems to be no way that their actions would be considered worthy of any heavenly blessing. It just seems to be an antichristian ministry. To us, even their claim to be Christian seems blasphemous.
Jesus said of people like these in Matthew 23:15 –
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel about on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
When there is unrepented sin in our lives, such as taking pleasure in killing, when the lust of the eye or the lust of the flesh or the boastful pride of life comes before God, we bind ourselves with the sin, and harden our hearts.
In essence, when people live this way, they have been bound by the devil, and he can come in and plunder them; and from the way the world is today, he does a good job of it, too.