A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Pets in the Biblical Rapture

Insuring they’ll be cared for by non-believers

If you’re a Christian who believes that the Rapture is coming this weekend, as several preachers are predicting, and you love your pets, you have a good news / bad news situation.

The good news: You’re going to heaven. The bad news: According to standard doctrine, Fluffy and Fido will be staying behind to endure the Great Tribulation that ensues.

The date of the Rapture, which leads into seven years of really bad stuff on Earth, followed by the Millennium, has been wrongly predicted many times before: like in 1844, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1942, 1975, 1988, 1992 and 1994. So odds are that it’s not going to be this weekend, either.

But what do you do for your pets if you believe that, regardless of predictions about this weekend, it could happen at any time, per the Apostle Paul’s prediction in the Bible, that “the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)?

This being America, one person’s challenge is another’s opportunity. Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, which offers to take care of your pets through the Tribulation, describes itself as:

… a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you’ve received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.

For $135, the company will guarantee to collect Fido or Fluffy (plus $20 for each additional animal) and deliver them to rescuers who have agreed to adopt them and care for them as their own.

The company is run by Bart Centre, author of The Atheist Camel Chronicles, who claims to have signed up 250 clients, with a bit of a spike in recent days.

To be part of Centre’s network of rescuers who will care the pets of Rapturees, you have to be able to demonstrate to the customers that there is zero chance of being raptured yourself. So the company requires that rescuers fulfill the prophecy in the Mark Gospel that “he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost shall never have forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Exactly what blasphemy you utter is not revealed by the company, but it’s guaranteed to make you seriously irredeemable.)

Is Eternal Earth-Bound Pets a tongue-in-cheek operation? Apparently not. From Centre’s p.o.v., it’s entirely logical and upfront – an insurance policy like any other. For the believers who care about their pets, it looks like a good deal. And, by ensuring that they can never be taken up to heaven, the company and its rescue network is betting on their own beliefs, too.

Here’s the wrinkle, though:

If you truly care about animals, why would you be prepared to leave them behind in the first place? Which is more important to you: your own heavenly future or taking care of innocent creatures to whom you’ve made a commitment by making them part of your family?

There are many versions of the story in which a man finds himself at the Gates of Heaven with his old mutt, and, when welcomed in, is told to leave the pooch behind. “No dogs in Heaven,” explains the gatekeeper. Sadly, the man turns away … only to discover that this was, in fact, the final test of his faith and character, and that his commitment to the dog turns out to be the key to his heavenly reward.

If there were, indeed, going to be a Rapture this weekend, or any weekend, I’d bet that those who were prepared to leave their pets behind (even in the care of an atheist caregiver) would, in the final analysis, be less likely to find themselves passing through the Heavenly Gates.

What do you say? This whole question has troubled a lot of believers who care about animals. Give us your thoughts in comment below or on Facebook.