carpenterdaughter wrote:First, I feel the need to clarify something I said in my first post--the question, “What is amiss in me when I am more concerned over the eternal soul or well-being of my four legged friends than I am over the souls of my neighbors down the street?” That question was meant as a confession, not an accusation. That was my admission of my own nature.
My motivation for replying to these posts is to challenge our thinking, not condemn. I will say, though, that part of having our minds transformed always involves rejecting something. One might even say that that is what the process of sanctification looks like: a gradual progression of rejecting falsehood to cling more and more to Truth.
One of the ways we progress is through conversation and relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not always going to agree, but that does not mean that we are wrong to discuss our disagreements. Definitely, we should be mindful of each others’ hearts as we disagree. Most certainly, scripture is the anchor point and the ultimate gauge of what we should keep and what we should reject, but we also need to listen to each other and learn from each other.
Having said all that, what I would like to add to this conversation now is a question. WHY? Why does this question about whether or not animals go to heaven matter? Why is it striking a chord in us?
Well, I'll jump back in as I am not discussing whether they go to heaven or not . . . just trying to reply to our dear sis' questions.
I don't put an animals well-being over a human being. As much as I love my dogs, I've even told my parents I would look to put Bella and Cocoa in a nice home if they are adding to their challenges (my parents are elderly and have their challenges. But, they love my dogs, and they are like therapy for them, so they won't hear of it.
This is a theological forum and as such, it shouldn't be unusual to discuss this topic here. It doesn't mean that we are placing it as more important than the souls of others (I can't speak for everyone, and I don't always know myself, just saying). Yet, when it comes to these topics where the Bible doesn't appear to give a straight out answer, then discussions like these can go on.
I don't see why we would have to reject one or the other. In some cases that may be the case, yet I'm more about everything being reconciled in Christ, so, as you mentioned, it may be more of a priority issue.
Because one of our beloved pet's pass, and we grieve for the time, and want to see them in heaven, doesn't mean we are placing their souls as a priority over our neighbors. Maybe it does . . . maybe not. It is fine to grieve over something you love. It doesn't mean something is wrong with you. Maybe so, maybe not, I'm not God so I can't see what is going on in the heart unless He reveals it.
Now, I believe if the grieving goes on for a long time, then that may be off (again, not God so leave it to Him to say . . . he knows each). I grieved a very long time for my childhood pet . . . yet I don't grieve as long anymore . . . I miss them, but grieving passes quite sooner.
Sis, for me what I don't care for is that you say this is off, and then you seem to tag to it the condition of the heart for the person that you've deemed as off.
But that's me. It is a pet peeve of mine . . . bugs me when people do that because we don't know what is in another's heart . . . unless, of course, the Lord reveals (and not saying I am exempt from doing the same). Yet, I'll say that maybe I am reading more into there is . . . and you may just be posing it for us to consider it. And, I got my issues to so . . . you know, just saying.
Our reasons wanting to help the souls of our neighbors can be off too. Some may be seeking brownie points with God. Some due it more out of obligation. Yet, we should rejoice for the soul that does come to the Lord, no matter how they came to know Jesus.
People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord looks upon the heart - Proverbs