Questions From Readers
How should a Christian view hunting and fishing?
God permitted Noah and his descendants to kill and eat animals, provided they bled the animals before eating them. (Genesis 9:3, 4) This directive emphasized that animal life should be respected as having originated with God. Thus, Christians do not kill animals merely for sport or for fun and with wanton disregard for life.—Proverbs 12:10.
There is an additional aspect involving our attitude. The apostles who were fishermen were likely gratified by a good catch. Yet, there is no indication that they bragged about their prowess at fishing or hunting or that they went fishing or hunting to compete with others, to prove their manhood, or to have the thrill of the chase, the fight, or the kill.—Psalm 11:5; Galatians 5:26.
Thus, we might ask ourselves: ‘Am I an example in showing respect for Jehovah’s view of life? Does hunting or fishing dominate my thinking and conversation? Does my way of life reflect the hunting culture, or does it show that I am a minister of God? Does hunting or fishing put me in close association with unbelievers or cause me to neglect my family?’—Luke 6:45.
Some who hunt or fish for food may feel justified in putting aside spiritual matters during hunting and fishing seasons. However, we show faith and trust in God when we do not let anything take priority over his interests. (Matthew 6:33) Furthermore, Christians obey all of “Caesar’s” laws regarding hunting and fishing, whether the authorities enforce them or not.—Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1.
To conform to Jehovah’s view of hunting and fishing, some may need to adjust their thinking with regard to his standards. (Ephesians 4:22-24) On the other hand, we need to respect the conscientious decisions of others. Appropriate in this case is the apostle Paul’s counsel: “Let us not be judging one another any longer, but rather make this your decision, not to put before a brother a stumbling block.” (Romans 14:13) Showing such unselfish love and respect makes for peace in the congregation and pleases our Maker, the Source of all life.—1 Corinthians 8:13.a