but do all bugs go to heaven?

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our beloved mr. luse has a looong and very smart post over at apologia, entitled animal of the month, in which the question akin to "do all dogs really go to heaven?" is pondered.

i really cheesed off a good friend once because i gave her my loftiest reaction which is "nope, cuz they don't have souls." but i want them to go to heaven because i've known, and known of, quite a few grand animals and the thought of seeing them or seeing them again is very appealing -- assuming i make it m'self.

i'm pleased to report that according to the little i've read it looks like some really smart and trustworthy people think it is a possibility. and according to the most trustworthy person i've ever actually known, my nonny, they sure might.

this is actually a question that i've bumped up against several times. in fact, my first deep theological discussion was about this very topic. my nonny and i were in her backyard playing with "fury, too." fury, too was, as you can guess, the second "fury" my grandparents had -- a bright white alaskan husky with beautiful gray eyes and a perfect temper. i could brush her hair and put barrette and ribbons all in her fur for days and she still loved me. anyway, i asked my nonny about how fury, too got her name and as soon as i learned that the original fury had died, i asked if she was in heaven. nonny said she didn't know but she certainly hoped so.

so dogs can go to heaven just like people?
sure. where else would all the milk and honey come from?
that just means cows and bees are in heaven, yuck!
well if God lets yucky ol' cows and bees into heaven, surely He lets dogs in, too.

makes sense to me.


I like your Nonny.

It seems to me, absent deep theological study which I'm not about to do, that animals might, in fact, be in heaven. But that's because I conceive of heaven as a beautiful, busy, teeming place full of the wonder of God and his power. A place where ALL of God's creation is redeemed and exists as it should have from all eternity. If our fall condemned not only us, but all of creation, then why would our redemption not REDEEM all of creation?

At any rate, whatever Heaven is, it will be perfect for us--I think that means it includes the people we love, the scenery we find beautiful, the animals we need, and God, walking in his Garden. You know, the way it was supposed to be.

Of course dogs are in Heaven. What else are we going to eat?

Sorry, but how does a dog go to heaven if it doesn't have a soul? Does that mean bad dogs go to hell? Animals have no ability to truly sin -- so how can that be?

I just don't buy the animals in heaven stuff -- it just seems setimental to me.

With all due respect to your Nonny, and to the wonderful and loving animals I have known.

Well, we know, from certain sources, that there is a three headed dog in Hell, or at the gates of Hell. I certainly can imagine my neighbor's pit bull in hell, not as punishment for anything it did (dumb beast without reason and lacking an immortal soul and all), but to punish the folks in hell.

"What else are we going to eat?" If you end up in the wrong place: maybe each other.

Cin, I think that they may not go to heaven or hell based on whether they were good doggies or bad doggies (I think that's weird). But I do think it is possible that they go for us.

I've always thought that the theory that heaven was "only us and God and that will be enough" seemed a little too much like the whole Protestant "you can't revere the saints and Mary and still love God totally, because you're taking away from God" thing.

God is glorified (as we sing at Bendiction every Friday at SMV) "in his angels and in his saints."

Couldn't he also be glorified in his creation in Heaven? When we look at creation aright, it glorifies its maker.

Whatever it is, as I said above, it will be enough, of course. But our human-ness will still be a part of us in Heaven, though in a perfected way. When God made Eden, the perfect place, it was a place filled with a riot of creation. And our love for each other, and for his creation (including dogs!) is a mere foreshadowing of complete love later. I don't take that to mean that they will necessarily fall away and be non-existent. They will be more themselves than they ever were here on earth. Roses will be rosier, dogs will be doggier, and the like.

I think that is why the Chronicles of Narnia, with all the talking animals and stuff resonate so strongly with us. The horses in Narnia still serve man, but they are beings themselves--beautiful parts of creation.

Now, I don't think that that's a literal transcription, of course. Lewis didn't mean it to be. But it *does* ,in my opinion, speak to something deep in our souls.

And I don't think that anyone has the answer to this one! We'll have to wait until we're there. As scriptures say, now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face.

I like the comparison of Heaven and Eden. I never thought of it like that before. It's lovely. Thanks MamaT!

Those are some thought-provoking words, MamaT -- have to ruminate on that for awhile.

My opposition to the "animals in heaven" thing has always been based on sentimentality, and on the equation of beasts with human beings.

But I really like your line of thought.

Most animals that I personally know are very decent, currently 3 cats, a Samoyed dog , a rabbit and a guinea pig. As God created them all, I think he gave them souls as they suffer and love like the rest of us. I think more of them go straight to the afterlife than human beings who are capable of great cruelty towards each other and the rest of creation. We are much more capable of deliberate sin as we have more capacity to think than animals. I place my bet on God taking more animals and young children into heaven than adults as we sin more than they do.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on July 20, 2006 1:33 AM.

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