I would like to respond to Rev. Hoffman's article entitled, "Christian Bowhunters - An Oxymoron", and help undergird his comments with some strong Scriptures on the subject, which when I have discussed with Christian hunters they could not rebut but refused to change their attitude on the subject.
First animals do have rights even according to the Bible which accords them at least two. The first is inferred--the right to be here and exist. If God didn't want them here and continue to procreate He would not have allowed their existence in the first place. Whatever He created He called good and who are we to say otherwise.
The second right which is found over and over again in the Old Testament is the right to be properly cared for and receive humane treatment. Even the farmers were commanded to leave a section of the harvest to provide food for the wild animals.
Many people don't realize Jesus Christ is PRINCE OF LIFE, which can be verified in Acts 3:15. As such He is the firstborn of all Creation and in the redemptive process for man and creation shed His blood that all things both in heaven and earth can be reconciled unto Him through the shedding of that blood.
The devil wants to duplicate everything in the opposite of Jesus Christ's nature so satan becomes the author and prince of death. He delights in the death of any being God created.
When God created the earth it was not His desire for any creature to die and thus forbade any creature from eating meat until the fall of man. It is still God's desire that death for any creature end and He shall bring it to pass when Jesus comes back to earth in His full capacity of Prince of Life to end the death of all sentient beings and banish all instruments of death from the earth so there shall "be no more harm on all My Holy Mountain" (Hosea 2:18 and Isaiah 11:5-9
Also hunting is an activity for too many that leads them to sin (drinking unto intoxicated, resulting in careless use of fire and rabble rousing, giving into lust, the thrill of the kill, pumped up adrenalin, blocking out all caution and safety resulting in sometimes the death of a fellow human, companion or domestic animal). Jesus says if an arm causes you to sin, cut it off and certainly if hunting is going to result in any of the above it would be better that person stopped hunting.
Many don't realize the two reasons for Christ dying on the cross. The first, of course, is to provide salvation for mankind. The second which most people are unware is to redeem all of creation and free it from the curse (Colossians 1:20).
In fact God loves the creation so much that He will make restitution to it for the animal sacrifices and other abuse of it by man by using man himself as a special sacrificial feast for the birds and animals (Ezekiel 39:17-20}.
And God did not create the animals for man. He created them for HIS PLEASURE, Revelations 4:11 King James version. And what pleasure does He derive from His creatures. The Bible answers that question very clearly, "Let all creatures that have breath PRAISE THE LORD"
God never intended death to enter the scene and He will not allow it to continue. It is far better to choose life than death. We become more Christ-like and fully pro-life by not killing any sentient being.
And in Romans 8:18-23 lies the strongest statement yet that the creation will also be with us in the new heaven and earth. You will see your beloved pet or pets there ready to greet you with wagging tails and yips of joy. The creation that existed on earth will be there but in a more magnificent and supernatural way, lasting forever .
For those who have made Jesus Lord of their lives, let's start to live like we will in heaven--preserving life rather than destroying it.
Richard W. Firth