Author Topic: Animals in heaven  (Read 6416 times)

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Offline Anastasios

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Animals in heaven
« on: July 18, 2003, 11:13:22 AM »
This might cause some controversy.

In the Church Fathers, some talk of a dipartate man (soul/spirit and body) and some of a tripartate man (body, soul, and spirit).

I tend to agree with the triparte distinction, although Met. Hierotheos makes a point in Orthodox Psychotherapy that the Fathers were not really trying to make one or the other dogmatic as they express the same truth.

In the tripartate division of man, the soul is the life force and the spirit is the immortal aspect that is the seat of wisdom.  The soul is our instinct but our spirit is our judgment and our contact with God in a rational way.

Now let's relate this to animals.  They have a body and they obviously have a soul since they are alive (animate) and have instincts.  At least one of the fathers claimed that animals do not have rational souls (or what in the tripartate division we would call spirit), however.

What I was wondering is this: given that animals have personalities, emotions, can make some reasoned choices, etc., and given that God loves all of his creation, and in St. Paul it is said that all creation will be renewed, would it be too much to suggest that the animal friends we love and have relationships in this life will be restored in the end of time?  I don't see why not--I am not saying that an animal has a nous since the Fathers said they do not, but that would not stop God from restoring the soul (ie animation and personality) of our beloved furry friends in heaven.

Of course this might all just be speculation but I wondered what your thoughts are regardless.  If we can't come up with anything dogmatic let's just state our opinions.

anastasios
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Offline Frobie

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2003, 11:22:57 AM »
All except the goats, Dustin. ;)

Offline TomS

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2003, 11:25:24 AM »
Anastasios,  have you been hugging trees again?

 ;D

Offline Anastasios

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2003, 11:26:57 AM »
LOL.  I miss my dog today so I thought I'd write about her. :-)
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Offline Anastasios

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2003, 11:28:22 AM »
All except the goats, Dustin. ;)

Matt knows that I love goats, and has just let the secret out! So I will just admit to it.  I even have a goat calendar in my office!

anastasios 8)
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Offline TomS

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2003, 11:30:27 AM »
Well, then you and my wife (Niki) will have something to talk about. Because she would like to move out to the country so she can have some goats!

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2003, 11:36:50 AM »
All except the goats, Dustin. ;)

And the mosquitoes!!!   :P

Seriously though, my former parish priest, an iconographer of renown and a very spiritual pastor, held the personal belief that love and memory keep all alive in Christ, and Fr. Andrew extended that love and memory to our beloved furry friends.  I tend to agree--God does not destroy that which is loved in His creation.

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Offline Elisha

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2003, 11:45:16 AM »
Well, it would sure help answer little Sally's question of, "will my dog fluffy be in heaven?"

Offline Anastasios

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2003, 11:46:03 AM »
Tom--No way! That is awesome!  My wife actually agrees with me that we can get some goats when we get a house--just 2 is all I want--and if we live in a non-regulated subdivision with at least 1 acre of land that is enough for goats (believe me, I already checked). I'll just fence in the back yard and voila!

In India I loved it because goats roam freely and would approach you and rub up against you.  They are so cute!

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Hypo-Ortho

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2003, 12:01:58 PM »
In India I loved it because goats roam freely and would approach you and rub up against you.  They are so cute!

anastasios

Oh, so very cute.  ;)

When my kids were small, my wife and I took them to the local animal farm/petting zoo, and "Voila!": GOATS!  The earthy male goats for some reason  :-X were very attracted to my wife and wouldn't leave her alone.  I had to fight them off so that she could get through the gate which they were blocking so that she could make a hasty retreat and as dignified an exit as possible!

Hypo-Ortho

P.S.  Never let on to her that I told this story!  ::)

Offline Linus7

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2003, 07:33:24 AM »
Wasn't it C.S. Lewis who said that he could easily see how God could create a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for men in the same place?

I hope God allows our old departed animal companions a place in heaven, but who knows?

I used to own several goats when I lived in the mountains in Tazewell County, Virginia. They are great and as smart as dogs, if not smarter. I could call them by name and they would come. I had a little pigmy goat named Heidi who could jump up as high as my head (I'm 6-1) from a standing position. She was cool.

You will enjoy your goats, anastasios. They're fun, but the males are a trifle pungent.

Oh! I almost forgot: probably the cheapest way to buy them is at the local livestock auction. That's how I got mine.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2003, 07:38:34 AM by Linus7 »
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Hypo-Ortho

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2003, 10:49:45 AM »
Wasn't it C.S. Lewis who said that he could easily see how God could create a heaven for mosquitoes and a hell for men in the same place?
<snip>
Oh! I almost forgot: probably the cheapest way to buy them is at the local livestock auction. That's how I got mine.

"Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!"  Do mosquitoes breathe?

Local livestock auction, eh, Linus?  Yum, yum!  Goat meat!  ;D

Hypo-Ortho

Offline Anastasios

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2003, 12:02:15 PM »
Yum, yum!  Goat meat!  ;D

Hypo-Ortho

Do you want to stay a moderator here for long?  8) (just kidding!)

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Offline Linus7

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2003, 12:18:10 PM »
Yeah. Don't eat 'em!

But you can milk 'em.

And goat milk is good, too.  ;D
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Offline nilus

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2003, 05:55:09 PM »
I would think animals will be in heaven as they to await said St Paul.  They are innocent victims of human beings sin.  And the fact that there plenty of stories about how animals have come to the aide of a distressed human.
Nilus
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Offline sinjinsmythe

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2003, 06:37:12 PM »
Are there any patristic sources to back any of this up? I am skeptical of animals being in heaven.
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2003, 07:14:42 PM »
I've seen a few Fathers say that animals would not be in heaven, but haven't seen one yet that said they might be there or definately would be there.

Offline nilus

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2003, 08:15:31 PM »
Here are two prayers of St Basil the Great about animals.
The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof.
O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to Thee in song has been a groan of travail.
May we realize that they live not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life even as we, and serve Thee better in their place than we in ours.


For those, O Lord, the humble beasts, that bear with us the burden and heat of day, and offer their guileless lives for the well-being of mankind; and for the wild creatures, whom Thou hast made wise, strong, and beautiful, we supplicate for them Thy great tenderness of heart, for Thou hast promised to save both man and beast, and great is Thy loving kindness, O Master, Saviour of the world.
Nilus
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Hypo-Ortho

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2003, 08:23:29 PM »
Powerful, Nilus!  Thanks.

Hypo-Ortho

Offline Linus7

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2003, 09:59:08 PM »
St. Basil is great!

Wonder if he drank goat's milk . . .
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Offline nilus

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2003, 10:24:57 PM »
I know we Finn's have drunk goat's milk, let me tell you I have tasted better!
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Offline Linus7

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2003, 07:28:55 AM »
I know we Finn's have drunk goat's milk, let me tell you I have tasted better!
Nilus

Lol.  ;D

I like it better than cow's milk, but I am not really a big milk drinker either way.

My wife likes it, though.
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Hypo-Ortho

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2003, 10:58:21 AM »
I had some freshly-chilled unpasteurized goat's milk offered to me at a goat farm in Vermont once on an afternoon drive with my family.  It was quite delicious.  I determined that most of the customers for goat milk were families whose new-born infants were allergic to cow's milk.  Apparently, goat's milk is so much easier to digest than cow's milk for infants.

I'm still hankering to try goat meat too though!  After all, billy goats don't give milk!   ;D :P

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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2003, 01:32:47 PM »
Here are two prayers of St Basil the Great about animals.
The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof.
..........
Nilus

Thanks for this post, Nilus. I have been following this thread with an immense sense of sadness. I recently had to "put" my pet "to sleep"; and  literally, due to timing and circumstances,  I had to do the task myself. No amount of assurances from my vet  or from my equally grieving wife that I had no choice could allay my grief. Prayer seemed (seems) the only answer. And maybe study.
I found that YES, the Church does have teachings about the souls of animals. That all creation is imbued with the Holy Spirit and that all creatures do have souls. That only the soul of "man" possesses the ability to become god-like (our familiar theosis).
So I don't think I'll find my precious Sparkie, German Shepherd Dog and loyal guardian of our farm, in heaven. But then I have to get there to see, don't I?
I followed this line of study a bit further and finally discovered that our "Green" Patriarch Bartholomeos I is not off on a tangent with his ecology statements and that these are outright Orthodox positions. And to think I wondered what he was doing up at the Baltic Sea talking about earth and pollution when he was really doing his job. Hence, I'm humbled yet again in my ignorance.

Demetri

ps. We've just finished our dairy goat pen and IF it stops raining I'll finish the barn/manger for them before acquiring two at next months local fair. I guess this means I might be the only forum member who subscribes to "Dairy Goat Journal", huh?
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Offline Stray

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2003, 02:57:55 AM »
A place with nothing but humans in it sure does NOT sound like Heaven to me! L.O.L. Stray
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Offline Brigid of Kildare

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2003, 05:36:24 AM »
Nilus,

Thanks for those wonderful prayers and Stray, I hope you find a good home in Orthodoxy!

Here's how a Lutheran answered this very question:

Q. My four-year-old son wants to know if he will see his dog when he dies and goes to heaven. Will he? Do I tell him that even though God created all the animals too, people are the only ones that go to heaven?

A. In the "Q&A" column of the January 1995 issue of the "Northwestern Lutheran" (the official periodical of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod), Rev. John Brug gives the following helpful response to the question, "Will there be animals in heaven?"

Since animals do not have immortal souls, we might think the answer is no. Several facts, however, make one hesitant to be satisfied with a simple "no." Our eternal home is a new earth (Isaiah 65:17ff, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Isaiah 65:25 speaks of it as a place in which the wolf and the lamb live together peacefully.
 
This may be figurative language, but one other passage suggests animals might be in our eternal home. Romans 8:21 says that "the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage." In this present, sin-cursed world, we inflict suffering on animals, and they inflict suffering on us. At Christ's coming, when this world is freed from the effects of sin, animals, too, will be freed from suffering.
 
That text also says the creation will be "brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." That might mean there may be plants and animals in the new earth as there were in the first earth. If there are animals on the new earth, they will be good creatures of God as the animals of the first earth were.
In short, the answer is a cautious "maybe."

http://www.lcms.org/cic/animals.html
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Offline Stray

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2003, 02:54:54 AM »
All except the goats, Dustin. ;)
NOW I get it, you mean THOSE sort of goats!/quote]
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Offline prodromos

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Re:Animals in heaven
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2003, 05:22:52 AM »
I'm still hankering to try goat meat too though!  After all, billy goats don't give milk!   ;D :P

We roasted goat on the spit this Pascha, Hypo. Absolutely delicious! ;D Lamb has quite a strong smell when roasting which is entirely absent with goat so it is much more pleasant all round.

Hypo, let me know if you ever decide to visit Thessaloniki. I'll take you to a little place in Nea Redestos which specialises in roast goat 8) (after which I'll steal you away from your wife and take you to Mount Athos for a few days).

John.