Animals in the Christian Faith

Many of my best friends know how much of a dog lover I am. I would like for you to meet one of the greatest loves in my life:

The more I read the Bible, the more I understand the nature of God. When I understand that Jesus is reconciling all things to himself (2 Cor. 5:19), that what God is reconciling exists beyond my own pain, and, the pain of others, but, he is recreating humanity. In Revelation, we see a beautiful picture of a Kingdom from Heaven coming down to our present earth (Rev. 21) to redeem the groaning of Creation (Romans 8). All of the disasters, suffering, and pain of our present creation will end. All things will be reconciled.

We will be reconciled with ourselves.

We will be reconciled with God.

We will be reconciled with each other.

We will be reconciled with creation.

In Genesis 1, we see a beautiful picture of a Creation that is full of peace and no violence exists. In Genesis 1, we also see a Creation that is free from Carnivorous  eating. Both, from us eating them, and, them eating each other. A few chapters later (after the consequences of the fall), we see God allow humans the ability to eat animals (under circumstance).

In a prophetic vision in Isaiah 11, we see a vision that is restored to peace. We see a vision where:

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.

 

In this beautiful portrait we see the painting of what a reconciliation between animals with each other and with humans looks like. It wasn’t until the fall, where we the consequence of sin enter humans and animals. Animals began fearing humans. We all lost peace with each other. The fall of man resulted in our loss of peace.

When I look at my dog, I see a humble servant, a kind friend, an unconditional love and support. He exists for my pleasure. He is defined by his ability to love and protect his masters. How could I not love him? I think God would want me to love him, because, God breathed life into him like he did into me. He is covered with God’s beautiful presence (Romans 1). Why wouldn’t I want to do my best to love him, and, care for him (even when he pukes in my bed).

The Christian Faith comes for us to come with new eyes to see and new ears to hear. To love the things God loves. To care for the things God cares about. If what was once at peace, and, will once again be in peace, why not participate in that now? Violence didn’t exist before the fall, nor, will it when things are reconciled. Why would we physically or emotionally harm animals? They’re the beautiful creatures that were sent here for our pleasure and fellowship.

Hope this reaches you well and love your pets.

(This blog does not apply to Cats.)

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Animals in the Christian Faith

  1. Mike says:

    (This blog does not apply to Cats.)

    Priceless.

  2. ymirose says:

    Lovely reminder of God’s plan for ALL creation. you know, except cats.

  3. Susan says:

    Amen to everything you said. Except your anti-feline comment.

    A favorite 4th century prayer from Basil the Great:

    “O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our companions the animals to whom you gave 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 you in song, has been a groan of travail.

    May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for you, and that they love the sweetness of life.”

  4. Matt says:

    Mike,

    Well conceived and well written. Reminds me a bit of the chapter in CS Lewis’ ‘The problem of pain’ dealing with the pain of animals.

    I’m encouraged and inspired again to look forward to our reconciliation in Christ.

    Matt

  5. Mike, cool site…
    thanks for following me in Twitter (@ChristianNoob).

  6. Krista Johnson says:

    Enjoyed the post. I totally jive with what you’re sayin’. What I’m most looking forward to about the new Earth? Taking a nap with lions. No lie.

    And as far as the feline comment (clever!).. take a look at this video. Maybe it’ll change your mind.

  7. Carmel says:

    OMGsh… just reading the first few lines and had to respond. Been in the faith for awhile now and only just in the past few years becoming more amazingly aware of God reconciling nature… ok, excuse me while I read some more here. You rock.

  8. Laurie says:

    Love that Isaiah passage and the idea of reconciliation with all of creation!
    I’ve wanted to go to a “Blessing of the Animals” for a few years now, but haven’t gotten a chance yet–I think it’s mainly Episcopal churches that do this. The whole idea ties in with what you’re saying here.
    Although our corgi might have a fit if too many cats attend! (Personally, I enjoy cats as well as dogs).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: