Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why My Dog Might Be the Final Authority When it Comes to Doctrine

...tongue and cheek musings and ramblings about doctrine and dog-ma...

I asked my dog what he thought about baptism. (I really did- It is a very important secondary doctrinal concept that deserves much attention, thought, and yes even passion, you know. And I was in need of some validation.) So, one day by accident, I found myself having a theological discussion with my terrier mutt.

Some time ago, while blogging about baptism on Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed site, I got all worked up at someone’s response. I was taken aback and a little more than bothered that this one person clearly did not share my particularly keen clarity of insight about baptism, and was not appreciating the subtle nuances surrounding the doctrine of baptism is the same way in which I did. Of course, this caused me great and severe consternation and angst. (I have mentioned that baptism is a very important secondary doctrinal concept that deserves much attention, thought, and yes even passion, haven't I?)

I began talking out loud excitedly to an empty room, and woke up little Rex who had been dozing peacefully at my feet. He looked at me curiously and with obvious concern. Perking his little ears up, he cocked his fuzzy little head to the side and looked at me pensively.

“What?” his brown eyes queried “What’s wrong. Why are you barking so loud? Is someone at that ‘window’ you always stare at?”

So, I said to him, “What to you think, Rexy? What is your opinion of baptism? (It is of course a very important secondary doctrinal issue.)”

Rexy just looked at me. I bet he's thinking (thought I) that sprinkling is better. I know he hates immersion. Yes, he definitely is a “sprinkle-‘em-once-when- they’re-a-pup-and-be-done-with-it” kind of a guy...

As he stared at me dully, I immediately knew his deepest thoughts (amazing how he can do that...)- “I just want you to love me and feed me and pet me and be kind,” he thought at me, “You could have the most fascinating, perfect, insightful doctrine, but if you don’t love me and aren’t nice to me, it doesn’t matter.”

And that’s when it hit me. A little Jack Russell mixed terrier knew more about the kingdom of heaven than perhaps I did. Without love I am nothing. Thanks, Rexy for reminding me that doctrine is dog-ma without love and faithfulness.

Leave it to a little dog to teach someone about the importance of love and faithfulness…

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