My first blog was a rant about dogs. Rants are no more than a writer venting his frustrations in print. Generally people don’t take them too seriously because it’s just blowing off a bit of steam and making an overstatement for shock value. The comments garnered are usually of a negative nature. So it was with my dog rant as several people took offense at my comments. My apologies to anyone I personally offended.
Words are powerful and can bring life and healing or death and destruction. Any fool can shoot off his mouth and do untold damage. A bit like giving a machine gun to a skinhead at a party and saying ‘have fun.’ Without discipline, skill, and most of all the guidance of the Holy Spirit, people will get hurt. Please have patience with me as I learn that skill and seek His words. Let me try to restate my sentiments more accurately about dogs…
There’s something basically wrong with our society that we would largely ignore poverty and extreme hardship in much of the world, while spending huge amounts of money on recreational animals. It just doesn’t seem right. To the one who commented on my first dog blog that half his church had dogs, I’d be interested to see what their outreach programs were like. But then I guess people in dog parks need evangelizing too.
My friend from Africa said he was shocked when he first arrived in Canada because he saw cars with dogs riding as passengers when people could have been there! Our sentiments towards our animals often replaces what rightfully should be spent on people. “All things are lawful but not all things are profitable.” Of course it’s ok for a Christian to have a dog but it may not always be the best way to direct our resources and attention in light of our brothers lack, even in our own city. Yes, we are free to spend our time and money on our own pleasure, but in the end we have to give account to a holy God who is not deaf to the cries of the poor and needy. Choosing to lavish our animals with love and time is being insensitive to the emphasis of the scriptures. We are to be good stewards of animals but more importantly we are to love people. In Matthew, Jesus briefly described His Fathers’ love and care for animals but it was only to point out how much more He cared for His children.
Volunteering for the Salvation Army has been an eye opener for me. The enemy has ravished a whole generation of people with drugs. Apparently for every addict that ends up at Main and Hastings, there are twenty elsewhere that are every bit as addicted but still functioning in our society. The need is astronomical but we only give it lip service. I’m not advocating giving them handouts but we do need to pay attention. When our society is that much in need of Jesus, God looks to His church to take their mandate more seriously. We tend to bury our heads in the sand and trivialize his calling by being involved in all sorts of time wasting endeavors.
When I go home and see my neighbor walking his dogs it doesn’t add up. A 5000 square foot house, two people, no kids, and three very expensive dogs. In the country he emigrated from, only royalty could afford that. Mind you, he is not a Christian. I believe the church should be setting an example of being free of this kind of consumption. The great commission excludes animals. Jesus said “from now on you will be fishers of MEN.”
For the record I don’t hate animals. Some of them I really love. My favorite one is steak.