Posts Tagged ‘Worship’

Woof and Worship?

Posted: October 11, 2008 in Christianity
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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.

In the town of Littleton Colorado, a colony of prairie dogs are going to be removed or euthanized for the expansion of a church. The colony of 30 prairie dogs is on a vacant lot on church property. The church is searching for a place to relocate them, but have found no takers at this time. Of course, protesters are picketing the church (Rock of the Southwest Church). The expansion is to be for a new youth center that serves the youth of the community. It appears the more things change the more they stay the same.

In the Bible, we see people were already worshiping creation instead of the creator (2 Kings 23:5). We are to be stewards of what God has given us. Unfortunately, many today have taken this to the point of idolatry. This is not just the typical tree-huggers, but Christians too. In Colorado they are more worried about a colony of prairie dogs, than the youth of the community. Has our country so devalued the value of humans, that animals and the earth are equally or more valuable? We have people who will sit in a tree for days or picket for prairie dogs in Colorado, who at the same time would support a woman’s right to choose to abort an unborn child.

Some Christian leaders have also become wrapped up in this. What starts out as good intentions, can quickly get off track if we are not careful. We can become so focused on an environmental or social gospel, that we forget the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is great if we can feed thousands of hungry kids. But if we feed them and never lead any to Christ, did we really gain anything in the end? We have given them a full stomach here, but let them slip into eternity in hell. It is great to be faithful in taking care of the planet. We should not support the abuse of animals or the environment. But if that is our main message, who are we serving and worshiping? We must remember where and on whom our focus belongs. We are called to do all these things, but we also must make sure everyone knows why we are doing it. It is not because it is the nice thing to do. It is because we are commanded by God to care for the poor and needy. It is because God tells us to be good stewards of the Earth. And in doing so, others can see the love of Christ in us. We must remember that even the best things that we do, if not done for the glory of Jesus, is nothing but filthy rags. Everything we do should be for His glory. Lets remember Jesus came to save sinners, not prairie dogs.