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2.15.2006    |    "a holy place"
A local church, named Dayspring, has a deer problem. Seems the deer were eating vegetation, probably making their lovely 206 acres look just a little less than perfect. Well, what did they do? From the story in the WaPo:
After more than a year of debate, Dayspring's environmentally conscious leaders agreed that some of the deer feasting on vegetation on the church's 206-acre property had to go.
So, they hired some hunters to thin the deer herd, which was done with efficiency, using shotguns. Oh oh. Enter those who think hunting akin to genocide. Seems that Dayspring is a pacifist-leaning organization, and, apparently, includes some folks who have great problems with killing deer.

One such was Jennie Gosche, who is quoted as saying the following:
I feel that it [hunting] is violent, and I feel that Dayspring is a holy place...I feel that violence is never the answer to any problem.
Well, it's nice to have feelings, isn't it? This is typical of "Christians" who have ignored one of the necessary foundations of the Christ's church: the Bible.

If "violence is never the answer to any problem," someone forgot to inform God of this. Violence, against those who sin, is a constant theme in the Hebrew Scriptures, and is promised at the end times, from God, against those who do not follow Christ in the New Testament. Violence must be for God's purposes, not ours, that I'd agree with. And, to be fair, it's not settled for me as to whether most hunting qualifies as serving God's purposes.

Getting back to Dayspring, this case appears to be an example of obeying God's command in Genesis 1:28:
"Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Still, it's hardly black and white. Deer can't sin, lacking souls. These deer do what deer do: they foraged for any food available to them. Open question: does one's desire to have a more aesthetically pleasing plot of land outweigh the right of some of God's creatures to live?

I'm not sure, but my instinct says that those deer should live.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course deer have souls, just like all creatures in creation. What a disgusting practice hunting is. It figures that good, "God-fearing" pacifists will turn to killing when it suits their purposes. Killing those deer isn't the same as the war in Iraq? Tell that to the deer, both those you've killed and those who ran in fear for their lives and those who are left behind. Effective methods of birth control of deer exist. Why weren't those methods used if the deer were such a problem? Why are deer, sentient creatures, less important than trees and bushes? It is so easy to kill in this society. Dayspring and its pacifist leaning are a sham.

8:52 AM, February 16, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.