Principles for Pastoring Animals

10 thoughts on “Principles for Pastoring Animals”

  1. So thankful for this post. I recently had to spend money i didn’t necessarily have to help an injured pet. Though it wasn’t a thousand dollars, as I was expecting, I felt guilty for not sending the money to a third world country instead. Your post helps me to feel better about helping her. I was surprised how much her suffering affected me. It also helps me to feel better about bonds I have developed with animals through the years. I had bonds with my childhood dog, and my horse as a teen that were stronger than any bond i had with any humans. Weird, but somehow we understood each other. He certainly gives us these creatures for many reasons, and our ability to care for them is litmus to our character, (Provers 12:10). And we can learn so much about Himself from them, (fish as professors in Job12:7, and oxen as an object lesson for caring for people in I Cor 9:9). And it is by showing us their value that He proves our own. In Matthew 10:29, two sparrows are sold for one penny. In Luke 12:6, it is five for two, meaning one little guy is thrown in for free. One little guy was worthless? Not so. He knows when they fall, and they are not beyond His care. Struggling with feelings of worthlessness in my own life, these verses are of inestimable value to me. I cannot see a sparrow without thinking about it. They are little feathered theologians. Thank you for your post.

  2. This is a keeper. Thank you for writing about, for modeling how you bless animals you greet. The story about the little bundle of energy who was aging and with whom you got down on her/his level was touching. I can picture you doing that with a small child, too. Question for you: Do you think we should/could infer from the Hosea passage you cite that in the new heavens and new earth we will all be vegetarians? Or will we even eat for that matter? I know it’s speculation. Just wondering.

  3. This post is meaningful for me given that my wife and I lost our cat, Marbre, on April 25 after enjoying her presence with us for 17 years and 9 months. We still miss her very much, and a week ago Saturday we had a small memorial service for her with a few good friends who knew her, including the family that had originally given her to us in October 1998. Marbre was with us through all kinds of life events, and even now when I think about the last time I looked in her eyes and told her how much she meant to us, I cannot help but tear up. She was a true companion. While we are not given complete insight into the new heaven and new earth, like C.S. Lewis I have a suspicion that the renewing of creation will include our animals as well. But that is all in the care of a sovereign and merciful God who is personally engaged with his people and promises us the fullness of life, both now and in the age to come.

  4. Lots of Bible references is a red flag to me, without context you can make it say whatever you want.

    For example, 1 Timothy 4 ‘All things are to be received with thanksgiving’ the immediate context is people who forbid marriage and forbid eating certain foods. So in context the verse is actually meant to support eating animals rather than pastoring them.

    I enjoy animals a lot, God’s creation is awesome. We should pray for the people who mistreat them to repent, and have laws against cruel and inhumane treatment. I certainly agree that we can enjoy them and be thankful for them! But I don’t have any idea how you can read the Bible and come away with any theology or doctrine that has pastoring animals of any significance in following Jesus Christ. Someone could live their entire life without ever seeing any animal and not be any less a disciple of Jesus than a lifelong animal pastor.

    Unless you do things like take verses which are clearly meant as a metaphor for people (sheep) and meant to highlight Christ as Shepherd, and try to force the attention back to the literal. It reminds me of the original hearers of Jesus’ parables, they were confused by them instead of finding the real meaning.

    Sorry, it’s hard for me to get jazzed about animal pastoring when millions of babies are slaughtered every year at the altar of the god Convenience.

    1. Buenas tasedrUna duda para los que teneis el Kindle 3, no es algo incomodo tener que estar pasando los libros de .epub a formato kindle con el calibre siempre?

  5. “I don’t have any idea how you can read the Bible and come away with any theology or doctrine that has pastoring animals of any significance in following Jesus Christ.”

    There’s a good reason for that, groovyman. Namely, that no such doctrine or theology exists.

    But the good news is that this article has really ministered to people who have placed animal care above human care. So there’s that.

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