Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Couple Things

There were a couple things on the interwebs that caught my eye today, which I want to comment on here (an A la Carte of sorts).  I usually run into all kinds of interesting things on the internet each day, but these things today especially got me thinking.

1. John Piper posted a bit about the Olympics (it's actually an excerpt from a 1992 sermon of his).  I've shared before about how I love the Olympics, and also how my respect for Olympic athletes has dwindled as of late.  This sentiment from Piper, however, brings out a neat way of thinking theologically about the Olympics.  Take a look.

2. The second item is not necessarily from the internet, but from an episode of the Wretched Podcast I listened to today.  Todd Friel asked the question, "Is hunting for sport an OK thing to do?"  By "hunting for sport" he means killing animals not for their meet, and not to beneficially control their population, but just for the sake of killing an animal.  He finds at least these three reasons for why killing animals is permitted: killing for the sake of food, killing for the sake of taking dominion of the earth (like when animals disturb the human population, e.g., gophers digging holes in your yard), and killing to control animal populations (such as deer that would starve to death due to overpopulation).  All three reasons have significant theological implications.  He could not, however, think of a biblical justification (based on the charge from God for human beings to take dominion of the earth) for killing animals for sport, and therefore, I think his opinion was that killing for sport was wrong.  I'm not sure if I agree with him or not, but it has me thinking about it, and that's never a bad thing.

This got me to thinking, as I have taken up both turkey and pheasant hunting in the past few years.  I even purchased my own shotgun (as opposed to having to borrow from friends or family) this past year so I could go hunting with my own equipment.  I have to admit that these hunting experiences I've had over the past 3-4 years have been some of the funnest times of my life.  There's no rush like a tom turkey responding to your call from a hundred yards away, and then having him inch closer and closer until you can get a good shot at him.  I've been turkey hunting three times but have only only been able to shoot one once, and it was one of the most thrilling moments of my life.

In all the hunting experiences I've had, I've always harvested the animals for their meat.  That is, I've always used them for food (smoked pheasant is pretty tasty, although you have to make sure you don't swallow any lead shot as you eat it!).  But I've never been in a position where I would go without if I hadn't hunted these birds.  That is, I didn't have to shoot them and eat them in order to survive.  The primary purpose for my shooting the birds was for the thrill of the hunt, not out of a need for food.  Is that immoral?  Again, I'm not convinced that it is, but it's a good thing to think about.

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