Full disclosure, I’m well aware that I’ll probably shake some things up with this post. But we all need a good laugh, and perhaps a good stirring, every once in a while. If you’ve been around Christian sportsman’s circles, especially online, you will most likely be able to admit to seeing, and possibly confess to sharing some of these posts.
They have the best of intentions, I’m sure, but wow. Some of them just need to head back to the range for some more target practice!
1. “20 Feet Closer to God”.
What does it mean? By being 20 feet in a tree stand, and being in the solitude of the timber, you feel closer to the physical presence of God in your life. What’s the problem?God is omnipresent. That means he is literally everywhere, always. So, you were exactly “as close” to God before you left the ground as you are in a tree stand. That can actually be very encouraging.… or extremely convicting.
2.“Some people go to Church and think about hunting. Others go hunting and think about God.”
When we attend a church service for the purpose of worship, we are there to worship the eternal God. He is the creator of the universe and the savior of our souls. Our service to God in that moment is to worship Him as he deserves. We get to worship him corporately with our brothers and sisters in Christ for about an hour per week; that’s all. Allowing our mind to wander and be distracted in that moment, even if it is because of a big buck we got on camera, certainly doesn’t promote God’s design for his people in worship. This one should read something more like, “Some people go to church and worship God as he deserves. Then they go hunting and think about God more.”
3. “My Church”.
Nope. Just Nope. This quote is often used by non-believers to give a “brush-off” to the church itself, but I’ve seen Christians use it too. It’s a cop-out, and quite frankly, disobedient. Again, the intentions are good. The idea of being in a beautiful place and being free to worship God is incredible, but it isn’t the uniquely reserved experience for God’s people to gather and worship together in song, scripture, preaching, and giving. (See Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2, and Ephesians 4)
4. The “Baptized” Grip&Grin
These types of photos can be very special. However, they can also be extremely antagonistic, and I feel, very poorly represent the blessing of the harvest. Giving glory to God for a harvest is a very real thing when we put excellent effort into obtaining, caring for, and utilizing the game we have been blessed with. We need to be careful not to make praying over a harvest or pointing to the sky for a photo op something to grow our platform with. I’ve shed several tears over special hunts. I get it. I’m thankful too. But I’m not sure this gesture always accomplishes it’s intended design.
5. Genesis 27:3 “Hunt Game For Me”
Oh! This verse! Possibly the most poorly used verse in all of the outdoor world. Yes, there was hunting in “Bible Times”. Can we really say that it justifies and solidifies our right to hunt in the modern era? I’m not so sure. What I know is that when we apply proper contextual use, this verse is NOT God’s command to me to go and “kill game for Him”. God doesn’t “need” me to do anything. He especially doesn’t need my often meager hunting efforts to accomplish his larger plan for redemption of his people.
Scripture’s use of this verse in Genesis 27 places it in the midst of a great conspiracy. Isaac planned to bless Esau as he was dying. He told Esau to go out and bring some game home for him to eat because he loved it so much. You can read the rest. Isaac is not the “God” figure in this story. We are not hunting game for the pleasure of a dying, blind old man. Nor should we compare ourselves to Esau. We are not the victim of our own sin. We completely deserve to be left behind. Hunting in our time is a blessing from God that extends from his command to “have dominion” over all the creatures of the earth. I’ve never been comfortable with being on “God’s hunting team.” because I can’t prove that “team” exists.
Now that you’re mad at me…
I’ll say it! I’m totally guilty of sharing these ideas. Even believing them. But that’s the blessing of discernment. As we grow through God’s word, we will be able to see these inconsistencies. While these examples are actually quite comical in their poor theology, the real trouble is how they actually represent God in our world.
What are some of your favorite, or least favorite, Christian sportsman cliches?