You know what it’s like. People start a conversation at work, or at a party. At first you listen and say nothing, and then you get drawn in even if you don’t want to, someone says, “what do you think about this?” and you mumble and offer an opinion, and before you know it you are in the debate you did not want to partake in in the first place.
A few friends were discussing religion and the conversation turned to Heaven. What it is like. Who will and who will not be there. What if someone we don’t like is there. And so on.
Then someone asked whether animals go to Heaven.
Some thought this unlikely since animals have no souls; others believed they’ll meet their pets in Heaven. Their pet cat or dog will be there waiting for them.
This set me thinking.
Which animals in particular would go to Heaven? The good ones? Whilst the bad ones are destined for hell.
Are there bad animals? Do they think, plot and plan like humans, or are they slaves to their own instincts? Can they possibly sin? When a dog is bad and bites people is it because he is inherently evil, or is it a defence mechanism? Just instinct?
Would all animals go to Heaven? Including the cows, pigs, sheep and chickens we kill to eat?
I would hate to come face to face with my Sunday roast admonishing me for what I have done.
What about the mosquito I killed in the garden this morning? Will it haunt me for eternity? Buzzing around me and biting my bottom. For I heard somewhere that they wear gowns open at the back in Heaven, just like the ones you get in hospital. This is to allow your angel wings to grow on your shoulders apparently.
And all those fishes caught by Peter and the disciples when asked to cast their nets in the lake by Jesus. Will they be there too?
The point I’m trying to make here is that religion relies on Faith. When Christians engage in debate such as this not only do they risk confusing themselves, but they also risk confusing those who are new in their walk with the Lord.
I really don’t know whether my beloved Max will greet me in Heaven wagging his tail. In the meantime, I try to steer clear from such hypothetical discussions.