RE: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

From: Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM (
Date: Tue Feb 05 2002 - 13:37:10 EST

  • Next message: "Re: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)"


    I am curious about your conclusions concerning those "things" referred to in
    the passages in Colossians and Ephesians. As you noted, the articles
    rendered appear to be neuter. Are we to assume that they are living? If
    so, those who are in heaven are probably angels, which would seem to
    validate your point, or, possibly, just resurrected humans. (Matthew
    22:30). On the other hand, on earth, the only neuter living beings seem to
    be overzealous Judaizers (Gal 5:12; Phil 3:2), Ethiopian treasurers (Acts
    8:27) , and really dedicated Christians (Matt 19:12...ouch!) Of course, in
    the animal kingdom there are several neuter species, but none seem to figure
    prominently in Scripture.

    But as too whether such animals, or their sexual counterparts, sin, I would
    vote no.

    And the reason why should be obvious, especially to sin
    is to transgress the Law. And animals, as did we, have but one Law.
    However, unlike us, theirs was, and is, the Law of Self-Preservation, either
    of individual or species. In Romans 8, this serving of self and species is
    called "vanity" or "futility" in comparison to Mans ultimate duty to love,
    and serve, others, even our enemies, and God. In fact, this is undoubtedly
    the "carnal nature" that we are warned so much to be against.

    An animal does not, knowingly, violate this Law, because it instinctively
    knows that such a "sin" leads to death. Thus, this is the "slavery to
    corruption" that is mentioned. And, by analogy, we, by our carnal nature,
    fear death...until we realize, and accept, that Christ has conquered death.

    We have this hope within us to be ultimately freed from all corruption, but
    I do not know what Utopia animals dream of.

    (I cannot believe I am writing this...just a few short years ago I was
    explaining to my daughter that "All Dogs Go to Heaven" was just an
    unscriptural title to a video...)

    PS, thanks to everyone in not quoting Eccl 3:19-21.

    Norm Woodward
    Warner Robins Georgia

    -----Original Message-----
    From: george murphy []
    Sent: Sunday, February 03, 2002 5:34 PM
    To: Walter Hicks
    Cc: Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM; Asa@Calvin. Edu
    Subject: Re: Do animals ever "sin" (was something else)

    Walter Hicks wrote:

    > Woodward Norm Civ WRALC/TIEDM wrote:
    > >
    > > Thanks for the response.
    > >
    > > Perhaps as expected, I do not agree with much of your conclusions, but
    > > have opened my mind on some concepts which I did not think about
    > >
    > > In that passage in Romans, it does seem to indicate that all creatures
    > > yearning for the time that we may reunite in that eternal Paradise on
    > > just as we were together in that earthly Paradise long ago.
    > In several recent posts, the theory that animals have souls has been
    > stated. No definition of a souls was posted -- that I noticed.
    > That Jesus was the Savior for man has not been brought into doubt by ASA
    > mwmbers (so far) ---- but what about the animals? If they really have
    > souls (as many think), then can they sin? Do they have a Savior also?
    > (Do Ducks have a "Duck Savior"?) Where all does this leave
    > "conventional" Christianity?
    > I wonder

            Almost by definition, animals that are not moral agents are not able
    sin. But sin isn't the only things creatures may need to be saved from.
    beings need to be saved (either temporarily or in an ultimate sense) from
    suffering, meaninglessness, & other things. For the Greeks, including
    hellenistic Christians, "corruption" was the major threat, & that concern
    to be in the background of Paul's language in Rom.8:21 about creation being
    free from its bondage to decay."
            God is the only savior in the ultimate sense, as Is.43:11 says. But
    isn't just a matter of citing a Bible verse. If there were any ultimate
    other than God then we would owe our lives in a fundamental sense to someone
    other than God and there would be a breakdown of the 1st Commandment.
    That's one
    of the primary reasons why the divinity of Christ is an essential teaching.
            & Col.1:15-20, as I've pointed out, certainly says that the
    reconciliation of "all things" to God takes place through the cross of


    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Feb 05 2002 - 13:38:11 EST