Friday, February 6, 2015

DOES GOD GIVE US THE AUTHORITY TO KILL WOLVES?

Numerous times, while debating the wolf hunt with some Christians, I often hear how it is God that gave us dominion over animals and it is God that gave us the authority to kill them. Now, I've studied the Christian bible (cover to cover) more than once and I've not seen where in the scriptures God gives man the right to kill every animal on earth for their own selfish needs.

To examine the scriptures that are often cited as God giving man the authority to kill wolves I'll use my Concordia Self-Study Bible NIV 

Genesis 1:24 -29

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind."  And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds.  And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move along the ground - everything that has the breath of life in it - I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

So, according to those that kill wolves, it is ok because God gave them the power to rule over air, land and sea creatures.  God says to "subdue" them. God also gave man the power to rule over plants, trees, etc… (another part of scripture often clung to by people who destroy our environment). God says "let them rule" he says "subdue" and he also points out what they are to "eat." 

Nowhere in Genesis, prior to the great flood, has God said to eat the animals. He does however say "I give every green plant for food".  

Nowhere in Genesis when referencing animals does God say rule or subdue means to kill.  In fact, not even in today's world do those words get defined as kill.

To subdue: to bring under control by force. To conquer or bring into subjection. To bring under (land) cultivation. To reduce the intensity or degree of: tone down. 

To rule: to control or direct; exercise dominating power, authority, or influence over; govern.  To be superior or preeminent, dominate by superiority; hold sway over.

and if your bible uses the word "dominion" instead of rule…

Dominion: rule, control. The power or right of governing or controlling.

So let's move into the scriptures that appear after the great flood.

It isn't until Genesis 9 that God references eating meat and not eating anything live which of course would mean it is ok to kill.

Genesis 9:3-4

"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.  Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

"But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood in it.  And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting, I will surely demand an accounting for every animal."

Then God speaks of his covenant that is not only with man but with every living creature on the planet.

Genesis 9:9-11

"I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you - the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you - every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

God has made it clear in that last passage that animals are equally as important to him as man is.  He not only makes the covenant with man but with every living creature on the planet.  So… as for wolves, where in Genesis does God say it is ok to kill animals just to kill? Where does God say it is ok to kill an animal for its skull or its pelt? God is very clear that animal is to be killed ONLY for its meat and wolf hunters don't kill wolves for their meat. 

Same can be said for creatures that have gone extinct.  How many creatures have gone extinct and the reason is "human caused?" Hundreds. 

Later, in Leviticus, scripture changes. God no longer states "everything that lives or moves will be food for you."

Leviticus 11:1-8

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, Say to the Israelites: "Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud."

"There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you must not eat them.  The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is ceremonially unclean to you. The coney, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean to you. The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof, it is unclean for you.  And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.  You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you."

Leviticus 11:27

"Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening."

Leviticus 11:46-47

"These are the regulations conceding animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creatures that moves about on the ground.  You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten."

According to the dietary laws laid out in Leviticus man must not eat a wolf and the when God gave the authority to kill it was in reference to eating meat. 

So… you can sift through every scripture in the bible and you will not find one where God gives man the authority to kill wolves. Giving someone authority, power, the ability to rule, etc… does not give them the right to kill or torture.  I have authority over my children, I control the day to day schedule of my 8 year old, my husband and I hold dominion over our household, it DOES NOT MEAN we can bring harm to our kids. For those who use the scriptures to excuse their slaughtering wolves you are just bastardizing the book you claim is your guide to life and insulting the God you claim to follow.  The reality is you are just a coward with a perverted view of the world.  You most certainly are not a Christian. 

There is a saying that goes "with great power comes great responsibility" and that is the most important thing to remember when it comes to our wildlife and environment.

People twist the scriptures to abuse the gift their God has given them (power and superiority) and they use that gift instead for selfish purposes.  A wolf killer can rationalize their choice all they want but their  holy book isn't going to be there to back them up.  Instead, what they should be doing, since they believe they were created in God's image, is to act as God would. God saved his animals from the flood because he wants them to live.  If God had saved his animals just for human consumption or for a thrill kill he wouldn't have made dietary rules that forbade man from eating or touching some of the animals he saved.  Think about it! Abusing what your God created is all on you.