Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth will be holding a weekly woof and worship service. This is a service where people can bring their dogs with them to church to worship. Yes, they are serious about this. The Rev. Rachel Bickford said she came up with the idea while reading in Psalm 148 ‘Let all wild animals, creeping things and flying birds give God praise.’ I am pretty sure holding a worship service for them is not what was intended by that verse. And we wonder why the Christian church has lost it’s influence. Our salt has lost it’s flavor and is no longer useful. There are people like Bill Maher who constantly mock Christianity. When people watch him and see junk like this, they say you know he is right. Most of what he says is worthless, but unfortunately there is some truth in what he says. We have let Christianity in America become a punch line to a joke. We need to be the ones calling out Christians who do things like woof and worship services.
“This was something I had prayed about and thought about,” Bickford said of opening services to dogs. “Dogs bring such hope in a world where we’re surrounded by such hopelessness. As I’ve gone through my ministry, I’ve noticed how dogs change people’s lives. Studies show they can lower blood pressure. . . . And I thought it would be just so much fun.” When did we stop preaching that Jesus is the hope for a world surrounded by hopelessness? I don’t know if Rev. Bickford knows or not, but Jesus changes lives forever. He does more than lower our blood pressure for an hour. This is just another example of a church more worried about getting people into their pews, than they are about helping get people to Heaven. (Does a dog count as a full person for attendance purposes?)
The Christian church in other countries looks at us as an example of what not to become. The church is growing greatly in places like China and Iran. The church in China is actually praying for persecution to continue for at least 5 more years. They have said that if it becomes acceptable to be a Christian, they fear greed will make it become more like the American church. People are praying for persecution so they don’t become like us. Maybe we should be praying for persecution, so that we become more like them. Maybe even something like a financial crisis would lead us back to where we should be. It is time for the American church to stop depending on wealth and prosperity and start depending on faith and truth.