Wayne's Worldview is a place to share my unique perspective of the world as formed from my interpretation of the scriptures and my experience as a Christian. As a pastor, I am asked a lot of questions about current issues, life dilemmas, personal problems, politics, biblical interpretation...etc.I offer these "How I see it" thoughts in effort to challenge people to think about their worldview, and to stimulate good conversations that will help us become more whole.
Welcome to the conversation.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why a Beast Feast

As our church annually hosts an event called the "Beast Feast"- a celebration of the goodness and bounty of God's creation and a time of fellowship with other outdoor enthusiasts. I have over the years been asked by many people to defend the practice hunting, fishing and of eating animals. Usually this comes in the form of an email or a message left on my phone by someone who has moral opposition to eating animals, who are offended that a church would host such an event. You may have been asked to give such a defense, or you may simply wonder what the Bible has to say about the subject. As I always go to the scriptures for guidance, I have discovered that the proper relationship between humanity and animals is important and sacred and is addressed in a great number of texts in the Bible. With the Bible as a guide, I have reached some general conclusions: Animals are not equal to man, yet have also been created by God. We both share creature status, while humanity alone is an image bearer of God. Animals are suitable for clothing, food, and even companionship, but are not to be treated cruelly or for sexual fulfillment. As appointed stewards of all creation we have a responsibility to God and will be held accountable for that stewardship. Animals are markedly different in that they are not assigned this same responsibility to God. My values are pretty much in alignment with that. I hunt, fish and enjoy the consumption of plants and animals that I or others have killed and prepared for food in clear conscience. While eating meat is not an obligation, the scriptures give us the freedom to choose. I also respect others who choose to abstain from eating animals. Many appeal to the question, "What would Jesus do?", supposing that Jesus would be a vegetarian today. I prefer the question "What did Jesus do"? Jesus wore clothing, including sandals. He rode a donkey that someone else owned. He ate bread and fish regularly, and fed the multitudes the same. He called fisherman to be his disciples. Jesus frequently dined with others, never calling negative attention to what was served. He told the parable of the prodigal son which included a feast with beef as the main course (fatted calf). And he annually celebrated the feast days, which in the case of Passover included Lamb as the main course.

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