I can’t stand dogs. Beyond their incessant need to bark, piss and shed hair I have found little use for them as creatures to be tamed and enjoyed as pets. You might think that I have never been a dog owner but you would be wrong about that. The first dog I ever had was a kind brute. A large Springer Spaniel we called Duke. Duke was our dog up until I was six or seven and I did like Duke. My father might tell a different story mainly because he was the one response for shoveling up Duke’s refuse scattered all over the back yard. I remember my father shoveling Duke’s poop. I don’t think he liked Duke.
There have been other dogs in our family. A few would bite us as children, one shed hair year round, and I am fairly sure that one was struck by lightening and was the strangest creature on the face of God’s earth. Needless to say I’ve never had a dog do anything to make me feel like they were creatures worth keeping around. I have no idea why we as American’s idolize dogs the way they do. Visit any developing country and pay attention to the dogs barking, peeing, and scavenging their way through the filth of poverty and pollution of a city and you can see why dogs do nothing to endear themselves to me.
Dogs remind me of demons. Low-life, worthless, vagabond creatures that won’t live up to the glory they’ve seen and in every way bring the world around them down. I’ve never met a demon I’ve liked.
It’s no surprise to me then that the demons and the dogs associated so closely the other night. As a small team of us drove into a remote village in Eastern India after sun-down we prayed. We were invited to walk through the boroughs of a village and sing, pray, and proclaim Jesus is Lord. Step by step we marched through the village with guitar song and clapping. We rejoiced that Christ is the King over all things and that he had sent us with a message of joy that these destitute villagers could be freed of their bondage and sin and be reconciled to the King over all kings.
The dogs were fine with the singing, they were fine with the message of Jesus’ power and creativity. The dogs have been cowards while we painted and done manual labor in this country. Yet the dogs could not be silent with the message of the cross was preached. As if they were more important, as if they were more valuable, as if they were the point of all history and worthy of all glory they began to bark. Just when the declaration of the victory of the cross and the triumph of King Jesus in his death and resurrection was proclaimed, just in that moment the dogs began to bark. The demon-filled dogs began to draw attention away from Jesus and onto themselves. I hate dogs.
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Demons come as dogs and make commotion and distraction in the midst of the gospel message. Demons must be rebuked like dogs, told to shut up and be silenced by the authority of Jesus Christ.
Demons and dogs, dogs and demons. I pity neither, I love neither. They suppose that they, by their supposed freedom, are kings of the universe. They are the refuse of society, the low-life’s of the spiritual realm. They are dogs. The God of peace, who brought back Jesus from the dead, will soon crush Satan and his dogs under your feet.