This is going to seem like a very random post. But follow along - it should all come together.
I am not a gun person. I am not a hunter. I know people who shoot and I know people who hunt. But it isn't my thing. I have a hard time killing a bug let alone shooting a deer or a duck or whatever.
I see hunting as very different than butchering. I will freely admit that I prefer to turn a blind eye to the killing part of enjoying the meat on my plate.
I feel differently about people who hunt and then consume that meat and they specifically hunt for that purpose.
What I don't find any joy in is someone who kills an animal for fun, who celebrates the violent death of that living creature, who then gloats and parties it up.
Yes, I believe that animals have a purpose to feed other animals and people. I do not believe that animals serve a purpose to have humans enjoy killing them.
There was a guy I have been following on Facebook for a few years now. I don't always agree with the stuff he says and posts but there was always something I found in what he had to say that I enjoyed. He claimed to be a God guy and he works to bring others closer to Christ through worship.
But then he went hunting and killed his first deer and posted video and pictures that were very bloody and very joyful and very celebratory of the killling of an animal.
I found it distasteful and heart breaking.
I left a comment and I unfollowed.
And he left a quick reply that I didn't like one sermon so I quit the church.
Um. Dude. YOU are NOT my church. You are someone I paid a scant amount of attention to on social media because you were consistently seeking Jesus, even in dark times and through struggles. If you think posting on Facebook and writing a blog and making videos in any way makes YOU a CHURCH, you don't understand what church is in the first place.
Here's what church is to me.
It's a family. It's people who come together seeking a single purpose - Christ. We might not all know that we are seeking Him when we walk in the doors. But eventually, the journey leads us to that Truth. Church is where the seekers gather to learn, to worship, to praise. Where we support and love and listen and share.
There are people in my church who hunt and people who are vegan. People who are opposed to homosexuality and people who support gay marriage. People who are appalled at assisted suicide and people who believe in a right to die. People who are pro-life, people who are pro-choice. People who are rich, people who are poor.
You get the idea, right?
There is a guy in my church who is an avid hunter. And I love him. Not because he hunts. Not because he refrains from bloody pictures of hunting on social media. He hunts, I don't. I love him because he is seeking the same thing I am.
There is a woman in my church that I love dearly. She doesn't hold the same position on homosexuality as I do. She strongly believes that she is biblical in her position, just as I strongly believe that I am biblical in mine. I love her. She is seeking the same thing I am.
So, random dude on the internet, when I unfollow you because I find your sharing to be distasteful, inappropriate for my kids to see... it's not because you've given any kind of sermon and I'm certainly not quitting your "church." I was never part of your church.
I can and do love people with different opinions than my own. I can and do love people who believe differently than I do - because really, we all believe differently, don't we? I can and do listen to sermons that I don't agree with and I haven't left my church family yet.