“Please, Don’t look for sin” (Podcast Version) The Backyard Preacher #43

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The Thrill of the Hunt

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I am not a big fan of hunting. Not because I am against it, but because I have certain beliefs that surround the act of hunting animals. First and foremost I believe that we must eat what we kill. God has given us various livestock that have been created for human consumption. I also do not have what it takes to kill, gut, and skin an animal. I am also a huge animal lover. So therefore I am not going to be a hunter. I think you probably know where this is going. Cecil a beloved lion in Africa was recently killed by an American who has a past time of hunting trophies. Now I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes. I am sure this man thought what he was doing was okay. We are known to justify anything that gives us pleasure. Obviously he has friends they must have known of his trophy hunting.  Many have probably been admiring his collection for years. I am just guessing but if one spends thousands of dollars for a head I am sure he had them mounted so all his visitors could view his conquest. I am also sure it is a very thrilling experience to stalk a deadly animal and kill it. Something that reaches back to man’s primal existence.

Let me make it clear, I am against the hunting of these creatures. It makes no sense to kill these animals.  God has placed them on this earth for us to be stewards of. God cares even for the sparrow, he surely cares for all of the other creatures of his creation. Switching gears a bit let me allow you to look at the hunter within. I found it very disturbing to see the hate in which many have placed on this man. Most people had no idea about this lion, until mob mentality took over.  Everything I read on social media is encouraging revenge on the dentist from Minnesota. Many are even asking for his death. How crazy is that! We humans have are priorities backwards. It is the human who was created in the likeness and image of God. It is the human who is a little lower than the angels, and it is the human in whom Jesus was incarnated in order to bring salvation to the world. So I say every person calling for the death of Walter Palmer is just as bad as he is. We humans like to seek out and prey on others. It is the thrill of the hunt. Who can we shame next? Who we can gang up on and destroy because they are doing something outside of the social norm. So who is the hunter? Who is seeking the thrill of the hunt? I am not saying Walter Palmer is innocent, but I am not saying you are either. You’re a social justice abuser. You cry over a lion no one has heard of, but no tears are shed over aborted babies. What in the world is wrong with us? I guess it is just the human condition, I really shouldn’t be surprised. Man is evil from birth. Yet does that give us the reason to persecute our fellow brothers and sisters. No, we should be able to respond in a dignified humane way instead of acting like the man we are shaming. So what would I say to Mr. Palmer? I think I would tell him that I understand that you are a hunter and have been doing this along time. For the most part you were under the radar.  Now everything is in the light. I am sure you are only sorry that you were caught. Maybe you should realize that these animals are rare and precious. If you committed a crime you should answer to the crime learn from this experience and move on with your life.

What comes to my mind when people hunt big game for no other reason but a trophy is their decreased sensitivity to life in general. On the flip side do those who throw stones especially through social media also have a disregard for life? It is certainly easy to run your mouth online, yet I doubt 90% of these social justice warriors wouldn’t dare speak to this man’s face. This guy kills lions with bows and arrows, I am sure that he also has plenty of high powered rifles laying around. Also Lions and big game are not necessarily innocent creatures. They are not my kitten who is sleeping next to me as I write this. A lion will kill you. Bears will kill you. They will have no remorse, and social media wouldn’t make a sound. These animals will even cannibalize their offspring. People talk about humanity being violent and humans being the destruction of the planet, the animal kingdom is much more ferocious. I am sure you have watched the lion killing dozens of gazelle on TV. I am not saying this to justify the actions of Mr. Palmer, I am saying it because there is always two sides to every story. God desires us to be good stewards of the world in which we live. We have majestic creatures in which we should protect if possible. Yet in reality many of the endangered species will go extinct just as the many before. Dinosaurs once ruled the planet and nature took its course, now only bones remain. So when I woke up today to notice social media going nuts over this dentist in Minnesota, my first thoughts were not about the lion it was about the cruelty that our fellow man shows to each other. This man didn’t kill another human, he may have broken the law but nothing deserving of death. So just think about it next time you’re out and about and maybe do something that could leave you shamed. I guarantee we all have been there. Or think of your past and the little secrets that you wish to remain hidden. Being aware that we are human, and giving each other grace will be a major step in helping your own life find peace. I have found that people who like to cast stones have some kind of issue which is putting their life out of balance. I could understand if this man killed another human being, but he did not. I am not defending his actions, but defending him from the absolutely crazy responses from our social media warriors. So speak easy and with reason, or don’t speak at all. Blessings!

Guns, and the Human Condition

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The country is saddened by the recent shooting resulting in the death of four Marines. As a veteran I think it touches me just a little bit more when I hear of the senseless deaths of my fellow men at arms. We still have fresh images of the shootings at Colorado, Sandy Hook, and the tragic deaths of our fellow Christians in a prayer meeting in Charleston. These are just the shootings that make the headlines let’s not forget the hundreds of shootings that take place in Chicago. People around the nation are starting to call Chicago Chiraq, in relation to Iraq and a warzone. For all purposes it seems we have a problem with violence in the country. Many on the left would say that we have a gun problem. Do they have a point? Do we have a gun problem? It is hard to actually know how many guns there are in the country, estimates put it in the hundreds of millions. Pew Research Center states that 52% of Americans are in favor of protecting gun ownership.1 I agree with the 52% I think that gun ownership in America is a right that has long been protected yet, over the years more restrictions have been placed on citizens who wish to be gun owners. Due to poor choices I have made in life I cannot own a gun based on legislation. More legislation is being looked at regularly in order to restrict gun ownership to more Americans. I support a person’s right to bear arms, and I always will. For me personally, after playing around with guns for 5 years in the military I really don’t care about my personal gun ownership; I had my fair share of gun play during that time.

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So every time that there is a tragedy in America involving guns, the gun control fanatics go nuts. They forget about the 2nd amendment “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This amendment has been scrutinized and played with over the years by the ever wise courts. Some conspiracy theorist would say the government is making moves in order to strip the country of their guns in doing so the military industrial complex can have unhindered control. While others believe that a society without guns would be a safer society. Some of them make agreeable points, without guns the mass shootings that I mentioned above probably would not have taken place. We do live in a different day of age from when the 2nd amendment was made into law in 1791. We were still war weary from our independence which ended in 1783. Tensions were still high with the British and the protection of our nation was in the hands of the people, people who were given the right to bear arms. This right proved useful during our next war with the British in 1812. Some may say without the right to bear arms we would not have a country today.

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Yet as I said today is a different world. We have a well-regulated militia. It is made up of the 5 branches of the military. Each state also has its own national guard. So it is easy to see that the 2nd amendment was probably for purely military reasons. I believe that the right to bear arms in the United Sates has survived because of the shear amount of guns in the country and because of public support. Guns are a part of American culture, we have a rich gun wielding culture that dates back to our founding days, it is encoded in the DNA of most Americans. Even the staunches gun abolishing liberal politicians have armed body guards at their service. Let me say this again I am indifferent on the gun issue it just creates a great intro into the true purpose of this article the human condition. The idea that regardless of gun ownership or not the human condition is one that is prone to violence, and committing terrible atrocities. We know this through our own history, one does not have to look hard to find that violence and man are synonymous. The difference is the technology in which man possesses. From rocks, to knives, bows, swords, guns, missiles, and atomic bombs, we are violent by nature. So I am a gun supporter not because I think guns are good, but because I don’t think that it makes any difference if they are legal or not. We Americans are especially violent. War is in our nature and even those who protest war, do so violently. Mother Teresa said it best “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” We only have to look at the holy text to find who we become when the ego is in control of our flesh. “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5, NIV) again God points out in Genesis 8:21 “The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” The psalmist writes “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalms 51:5, NIV) Surely it is not a gun problem that is wrong with the country it is a human problem. Are you ready for this answer to the problem? Okay. There is none. Yes, that’s right. If God says we are evil from birth who am I to argue. I am man, I know I am evil. Yet we have a solution that can put are ego into a state of remission. This solution is found in Jesus Christ. Through his teachings by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live much better lives.

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The thing is there is no answers to the senseless violence, wars, and terrible crimes that our fellows commit upon each other. We freak out and build walls, put up more security, we arm the police with weapons of war, and our military is continuing to create billion dollar war machines. Do I blame them? Absolutely not. It is in our nature to do such things. All of the left wing anti-gun fanatics who claim that peace will come through gun control or appealing the 2nd amendment are only fooling themselves. None of that will change anything, just fools thinking peace can come through the destruction of the tool. Peace has an opportunity to advance, in fact we live in one of the most peaceful times in human history. Life in the United States holds great value today; abortion aside. For most of human history life was cheap and violence was common place. Today I can get up go to work and not even think about being attacked by a group of bandits, or another tribe marching over the hill to attack my village.

Do I think that the 2nd amendment is written in stone? No. I don’t believe that any law is set in stone. We are human we make mistakes, we create laws that are good for the day in which they were created. I am far from a blind nationalist more of a citizen of the world. I do truly believe that the founding fathers intended the 2nd amendment to be used as a right for the protection of the country. Our culture and the sheer amount of weapons in the United States will insure that guns are not going anywhere anytime soon.

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Let me give a word of warning. A natural law set in place by God himself. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. (Matthew 25:52, NIV) I believe that this does not just not apply to those who are in the wrong. Those who live by the sword are also our military, police, and any other honorable profession that requires the use of arms. Jesus spoke the truth, many officers and soldiers die at the hand of another man’s gun. In closing we must continue on with our lives mourn the loss and know thyself. We must know and accept that we are human. Will there be more mass shootings unfortunately yes. Not because guns are readily available, but because we are man.

SOURCES

Kohut, Andrew. “Despite Lower Crime Rates, Support for Gun Rights Increases.” Pew Research Center RSS. April 17, 2015. Accessed July 27, 2015.