As a preface to this little "bloggett", let me state that I am anything but a fan of pets, including dogs. I believe there are plenty of legitimate reasons for this opinion and sentiment. However, when it comes to other people and their dogs, I was gently encouraged, by Heaven I suppose, to rethink somewhat my attitude towards the dogs that my friends and family have.

While reading ("audio booking" actually!) a new book from writer David Teems, on the life of William Tyndale, I came across something that oh so gently rebuked some of my stubbornness regarding other people's dogs, and by extension, a much bigger and more important (if there be such to a dog-lover!) application of this idea.

In the middle of this gripping, quite serious look at the life and works of the great martyred reformer William Tyndale (who translated the Bible into English – with much of the King James version being taken almost directly from Tyndale's translation), came this quote (perhaps borrowed from an earlier Englishman) from William Tyndale – "Love me, love my dog!" 

I was shocked! I was shocked both by the fact that this subject came up at all (in this otherwise somewhat scholarly and theological presentation), and even more that I would apparently have such a difference with this great man. But Mr. Tyndale quickly explained why he included this thought. There was nowhere here presented a requirement for me to have great affection for his dog or even like his dog in any aesthetic sense. But if I loved and cared about him, I would, by extension, care about the things he cared about, treating them with a type of love and respect that represented my relationship with him. The great William Tyndale then went on to reveal the bigger picture. In an even greater way, if my love for and appreciation for and respect for God, is real, then my love for Him should, and indeed would, flow through to all He loves and cares about – including everyone of my fellow human beings. God's children made in His image are His focus, His beloved, His adored – whatever their personality or behavior. 
Was there a requirement that I "like" each one of these "God-beloveds"? Heavens no. But I am compelled, by my love for God, to treat them with respect, to deal with them with a type of principled love that reflects the fact that I love (and am indeed first loved fully by) God.
In this book, author David Teems then throws in a clincher for me – C.S. Lewis, the great 20th century Christian writer and apologist, also commented on Tindale's "dog passage". Mr. Lewis, one of my spiritual heroes, fully supports the dog analogy notion Tyndale presented! (I seem to recall that CS Lewis was a big dog lover – I will forgive him for that, and shall not allow that knowledge to color my appreciation of his spiritual insights).
God certainly has ways to reach past our biases, to skewer our 'sacred cows' – dogs in this case – and help us grow more into His likeness, in the most unusual ways, from sources and places we would least expect. Congratulations again, Papa God!

God Bless,
Ricky Lee Jackson

What Fox News Says About Ricky Lee Jackson:

"He’s the new Joe the Plumber; now there's Rick the Doctor...
Some have joined Tea Parties, stormed town halls, others like family practice physician and country recording artist Ricky Lee Jackson have taken to the microphone... 
he wants his country back." 
~ Fox and Friends / Fox News

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