Thanks for writing back.
I enjoy conversations about my faith even with our opposing views as long as we can be respectful of one another.
You are correct in saying that the bible doesn't say that Adam and Eve killed animals for their skins. However, it is the most likely case and it is consistent with God's demand for blood for the remission of sin. Because of man's sin an innocent animal gave up his life to cover the nakedness. Just as an innocent Savior went to the Cross and gave up his life for our sin. This theme is consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments.
Again, I certainly have no problem with your interpretation of scripture or your chosen lifestyle. My problem lies in the assertion that I am not a Christian because of my interpretation on this. It simply isn't so nor is it yours to judge. We live in a fallen world, full of sin and death. God's rules changed when man fell.
I do hold animal life with high regard and reverence. However, I do not equate it with human life (God's special creation by His own words) nor do I elevate it to the level or plane that God designated to Man. We are created in His image, a direct reflection of the Living God; no other creature is. Elevating animals to human status is heresy that finds its roots in many pagan cultures. They are beautiful creatures that are uniquely created and are to be taken care of. We are given dominion over them and the earth to be good stewards of God's creation and provision.
Now as a vet I disagree with some of the previous comments made about animals not feeling pain as we do. I assure you they do. But because we live in this imperfect, fallen world, suffering both human and animal does occur and things can never be the same as they were in the Garden. At least not until His return.
We are made to toil the land when before the fall the earth brought forth food on its own. now the cursed earth brings forth thorns and thistles. Because we toil the land we created unnatural amounts of food in concentrated areas. Because of this animals, insects, etc that feed on these crops proliferate into unnatural populations. Reproduction is exponentially more successful in these animals than it would be without crops.
Overpopulation, disease, and many other problems would occur if animal populations were not managed by our state and federal departments of wildlife and fisheries. Hunting has long been one of the many tools used by these agencies to control populations. Several of the diseases that could or would occur can be transmitted to human beings, such as avian flu, anthrax, and rabies to name a few. Being stewards of creation unfortunately involves population control in this fallen world. My point is that both your position and my position are a matter of opinion. Both of us can find scientific data to support our positions. Both of us can even find scripture that we believe, wholeheartedly, can support our positions.
What it boils down to is that you and I have differing opinions. My salvation is NOT, however a matter of anyone's opinion. I am His, souled out to Him, and I have the Joy and peace of knowing that cannot be taken away by anyone or anything or any circumstance. I believe you are a Christian. I believe that nothing can change that if you are truly His. But the truth is only you can know this truly for yourself, as only I and my Lord can know the condition of my own heart. Therefore, it is futile for either of us to judge the other and it only serves to discredit both of us if we are truly His.
Neither of us will ever change the other's position on hunting. We both know that. There is no profit in throwing rocks at each other, calling each other names, or saying that the other is not a Christian simply because we have a very different view on this. Shouldn't we be more focused on winning the world to Christ?