The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter from James C. Davey Concerning Hunting and Vegetarianism - 4 Sep 2002
and Our Response - 6 Sep 2002
Sir, I would like your input please.
For those who desire and belief to be a vegetarian, I have no problem. I am one who hunts and I only harvest what I will eat. When I recover a deer, I always kneel touching the animal and pray thanks to God for the opportunity to harvest the animal and the purpose for which it was harvested. I am Omnivorous. I do and will continue to respect others for how they live. But, I also research my (unofficially speaking) opponents view points for what I would consider "makes sense" to me for the sake of learning something I don't already know or possible change for self improvement. As an individual I have been on the receiving end of people who push their beliefs. Anti-hunting groups and vegetarians who insist that I adopt the lifestyle they live. I argue constructively with them in a non-confrontational manor. However, at times some who haven't the skills to argue get frustrated and become what I consider violent natured and prejudice because I will not adopt the point of view or they just lack the leadership and communication skills to persuade me to change.
There are two issues I would like your opinion on. One is how do I deal with those who insist on adopting their belief. Two, Please educate me biblically on vegetarianism. I am a Christian. Church of Christ raised and crossed into Baptist on occasion during twenty-two years of Active Military Service.
James C. Davey
Our Response - 6 Sep 2002
Thank you very much for your letter, I'll do my best to answer it. Also please accept my apology for not answer it sooner. I was out of town yesterday.
You asked: "There are two issues I would like your opinion on. One is how do I deal with those who insist on adopting their belief."
Answer: If you could read the mail that we receive (some of it hate mail), you would see that we're on the opposite sides of the same issue. Your letter to me is an example of the proper way to respond - Be polite!
Most of the wars and terrorism we have had throughout history have had a religious context. The "I'm right, your wrong" mentality is and has been the major problem. The 9-11 attack on the US is a typical example.
Constantine was responsible (for the most part) for justifying war and violence in the name of Jesus Christ, which in my understanding was a total reversal of Jesus' stand on being peacemakers. Once we justify violence of any kind, we find ways to justify most forms of violence. (This is really answering part of your second question.)
Your letter to me didn't overly try to justify violence, only your desire to hunt for food; which, if you're going to argue for your point of view is probably a good position to take.
You also asked: "Two, Please educate me biblically on vegetarianism. I am a Christian. Church of Christ raised and crossed into Baptist on occasion during twenty-two years of Active Military Service."
Answer: You might want to read one of my sermons which addresses the will of God vs. the concessions of God.
If we look at the original intent of God, the whole world was to be vegetarian (vegan) as described in Genesis 1:29-30. Immediately thereafter in verse 31 we are told that everything God had made was "very good". There were to exceptions.
We know that in heaven there will likewise be no death (Revelation 21:4). Isaiah paints us a similar picture in his prophecy of the peaceable kingdom in 11:6-9. Jesus tells us that the peacemakers are the sons (children) of God (Matthew 5:9) and Paul tells us that the while of creation (humans, animals, environment) wait eagerly for the sons (children) of God to free it from the corruption to which it has been subjected (Romans 8:18-25). Furthermore, Jesus tells us to pray for the heavenly will of God to be done in earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). If we believe Jesus, and the prayer that most Christians recite, shouldn't we also strive to bring it to pass, at least as far as is humanly possible? Death is overcome in heaven, and without death there can be no eating of another living being.
We don't need to kill to eat, there is an abundance of plant foods available to us.
Among Jews, and remember we incorporate their Bible in our Christian Bible in its entirety, sport hunting is considered evil because it takes pleasure in the death and suffering of another living being. There isn't even a prayer of thanksgiving for animals flesh, because it came as the result of death, and the killing of one of God's other creatures. Yet, there are prayers of thanksgiving for all plant foods and some specific foods (grapes, bread, herbs, etc.). Also, among the Jewish community, you will not find a hunter rabbi, as we find hunter pastors in Christianity. I believe that we Christians have missed a major point of understanding in our Hebrew (Old Testament) portion of our Bible.
There are many more passages in the Bible that address the vegetarian and peacemaker aspects, which I believe are closely related, but we'll stop here for the time being.
Please let me know if I'm addressing what you were seeking, and I'll be more than happy to try to help with any other questions.
In the Love of the Lord,
We welcome your comments
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