This past weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the MPE Conference for homeschooling families. I have such a wonderful gem of a husband who said, “it’s time we invest in you and your career.” I came out of the workshop with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm for the calling I am positive was given to me by God Almighty.
One of the workshops I attended was called Cat and Dog Theology. At first, I didn’t want to go, it didn’t sound like it would be very interesting, it wasn’t a good fit for our family. I could go on. But as Boo and I were getting ready for the next class, I actually asked her which one she wanted to go to, and she picked that one.
And I’m glad she did. Wow. Within one hour, I had a radical shift of thinking in my theology.
This post is going to be my feeble attempt at trying to explain what I learned.
Mr. Sjogren started his talk by presenting some statistics. We all homeschool for different reasons, but it seems the majority choose to homeschool for religious reasons. That being said, it then becomes fairly scary that 70% of all homeschoolers will “ditch God” after leaving home, that 75% of abortions are done by “Christians,” and that 85% of all churches are dying. [Please understand, I’m just quoting his statistics. I haven’t backed them up with any sources yet. It’s on my very long to-do list.]
So what is it? What’s missing from our churches? What is the fundamental teaching that we are forgetting to teach our children?
Let’s start by playing a game. Fill in the Blank: “The main character of the Bible is __________.” “Jesus endured the cross for ________.” “God wants us to go to church, to go to Heaven for _________.”
Now, if you are anything like me (and I apologize to those who aren’t), you will fill in those blanks with “God, my sins, to be with Him.”
But try thinking of it this way instead: “The main character of the Bible is God,” “Jesus endured the cross for the glory of God,” and “God wants us to go to church, to go to Heaven for the glory of HIS name.”
We have an instant filter. I don’t know if it’s just in America, or elsewhere, but we have a very humanistic filter, that God did/does all these things for us and it just isn’t so.
My proof starts in John 12:27-28.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross just to save me from my sins. Jesus came to earth to glorify the name of God the Father! I’m sorry, but I am very humbled by that thought.
And then there is Psalm 30:9.
“What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
God wants us to go to Heaven in order to bring glory to his name forever!
And let’s not forget Paul. Why did Paul become a missionary for the Gentiles, which, let’s face it. With the Jewish religion accounting for approximately 0.20% of the world’s religions, “Gentile” is just about everybody else. Let’s turn to Romans 15:8-9.
For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;
I will sing the praises of your name.”
Paul became a missionary to the Gentiles so that they could glorify God.
I could stop right there. I really could. That point in the speech was where I realized I had experienced a radical shift in my theology. The Bible was not written for us, for me. The whole Bible was written for the glory of God. And I have missed that point for 37 years.
But I won’t stop there. The title of this post, after all, is Cat and Dog Theology. So I must explain, right? The joke goes like this: A dog says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God.” A cat says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God.”
This brings us to the two very different viewpoints of Christianity.
Cat theology walks away from hell because they are worried about going there. A dog runs towards heaven because they have fallen in love with God. One example of this is the parable of the man who found the treasure in the field in Matthew 13:44.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field..
Did you notice that? In his joy. Heaven is the joy of discovery for a dog, but a relief of escape for a cat.
In our prayer time, cat theology goes something like this: “Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins.” But a dog wants to finish the prayer with “so that we might honor and glorify you.”
|My dog wouldn’t leave me after I had been gone all day.|
And our worship time. Oh my word. Mr. Sjogren touched a nerve there. When you listen to the worship songs, both contemporary Christian music and the older hymns, how many of them talk about what God has done with us? Listen, I mean really listen for the songs that have “me, my, and mine” in them. That’s cat theology, cat-like thinking. A dog worships God for who he is. Songs like “How great thou art.”
After I heard that, I really started paying attention to the words that I was hearing on the radio. I mean, our dial has been set to K-Love for years now. And in our song service yesterday? Out of about 8 songs, only 2 were what I would qualify as “dog songs.”
There are a few more, but I’ve already written quite a bit. One last thing that really struck me hard, was when Mr. Sjogren said “Most Christians don’t believe in ‘to live is Christ, to die is gain,’ but more like ‘to die is second best and at least you’re not going to hell.’ ”
I learned a lot in that hour. The most important being that I have been cat-like in my thinking for way too long, and I want to rediscover the joy of falling in love with my master again. Just like a dog.
For God’s glory,
[Talking with Boo today, she told me she was actually expecting it to be a talk on the difference between boys and girls. lol. I sure do love her.]