The orthodox Christian theology of Hadley Robinson

The Christian Hunter & Fisherman

by Hadley Robinson

There is such a thing as a godly hunter & fisherman.  The Bible, God’s Word, gives some guidelines that every Christian should know.

1. Respect of living creatures

All livings things were designed, created, and given life by God Himself and so must be respected, just as we would respect the game on some other’s man property, even if we had permission to hunt there.

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (Gen. 1:24-25)

2. Our dominion is total

Man rules over everything in the Creation. Everything is subject to him and is to be subdued by him.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; 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. 1:28)

3. Killing is just

Everything that “moves” or “lives” can be food for man. This means, among other things that we can raise/hunt and then kill animals for food.

Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.  (Gen. 9:3)

The voice spoke to [Peter] a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." (Acts 10:15)

4. No eating of blood

No man may eat it – not just the Jews. Blood is sacred – even that of the animals because it is a symbol of life and only God can give it and take it away as He has life in Himself.  The command given here was to Noah and all his descendants, which includes us Gentiles, as well.

You must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. (Gen. 9:4)

5. Hunting and fishing must not be wanton

Most Jewish Kosher law is based on just one verse “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk” (Deut. 14:21). God does not care much about goats but He cares about men’s hearts which can become cruel and evil based on what they do. Instead, our character should be characterized by mercy and charity. Similarly, Deut. 22:6 forbids taking both a mother bird and her eggs/chicks for food. If we obey, the promise given is extraordinary: It will go well for us and we will have a long life. This specific blessing has but one other instance: If we obey our parents. We must be careful when we hunt or kill animals – they are not ours but God’s.

6. Cruelty not allowed

Who is the righteous man in God’s sight? He does not abuse animals.

A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. (Prov. 12:10)

This also means that the death of animals is to be quick and humane, just as we would wish our own death to be. Death is so important in God’s eyes that even the animals are held to account for the death of other animals.

And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.  (Gen. 9:5)

Summary

For over a thousand years, the deaths of animals in the Temple sacrifices were a symbol for what all sinful men deserve. This is known as penal substitution: Something or someone else gets what we deserve. Man’s treachery against the Creator is so vile that a man’s death for his own sin cannot save him – the payment is not great enough.

But that is where the Gospel comes in: The death of Christ is sufficient to all “…who are called to belong to Him”, have repented of their sin, and have put their faith and trust in Him.  We worship and love Jesus Christ because He first loved us (1John 4:19).

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