Do Pets Have Souls?
Please stop leading your readers into heresy. Your sad stories about how you want to be buried with a dead cat may be tear jerkers for crazy cat ladies, but are just wrong biblically.
Animals don’t have souls and won’t be resurrected. If you don’t stop leading people to believe lies, you will be resurrected to judgment. The cat is dead. Get over it.
I sent a brief response (two words) to the above correspondent but felt a longer response was merited here.
Do our pets have souls?
The first step in answering this question is to define what a “soul” is.
Good luck with that.
In the Older Testament the word used for soul is “nephesh” which basically refers to something that is living, that has “the breath of life” in it. In the New Testament, the word “psyche”carries basically the same meaning.
Theologians and various traditions define it for the Christian world as something immaterial inside a person that exists independently from the body and is the source and essence of who we are, especially spiritually.
The concept is shrouded in mystery and all definitions await the consummation of all things to determine their veracity.
I say that it is the eternal, spiritual, essence of who we are, the part that lives beyond the body, created and sustained by God.
I am not saying that animals share the same position as humans in Gods economy.
Humans are uniquely created in the image of God.
The preeminence of humans in the acts of creation does not necessitate that animals have no importance at all, or negate the possibility that they may possess something of eternal value in themselves.
My beloved Chester had a personality.
He was capable of love, sorrow, joy, and sadness.
He was capable of relationship.
He was a unique and beloved creature…and had many of the characteristics that we define as being of the soul.
That’s because in some way we don’t understand fully he was a creature with a soul of his own.
Because so much of our religion has become about personal salvation, we forget that the whole creation will be redeemed.
I’m confident that includes Chester and me.
More than anything else, I’m confident that love never fails and is never lost when a loved one passes…it simply goes with the beloved to wait for our arrival.
I do not need a theological doctrine or chapter and verse to believe what I know… in my soul.
I know I’ll see my buddy again.
I suspect that Jesus is a dog guy, but He loves the whole creation.
He may even let the guy in that wrote me that letter…I’ll let Chester handle him from there…