Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why 'Watchdog of God'?

Despite the fact that the Bible makes no mention about a Christian being a dog (in fact, in 2 Peter 2:22 it refers to false teachers!), there are certain characteristics of a watchdog that I would like myself to be associated with.

My Shepherd’s Advocate
I am simultaneously a sheep and a watchdog. I am a sheep because I also once wandered astray and was sought by Christ my Shepherd, because He laid down His life for me, because I don’t follow strangers, and because He leads me with His loving rod.1 On the other hand, I am a watchdog because I am my Shepherd’s advocate, seeking nothing but intimacy with him, desiring nothing but his pleasure, wanting nothing but to bravely defend my Triune God and His cause from anyone who belittles Him or anything that diminishes his perfect glory. I am His servant, His advocate, His watchdog. I love borrowing these words of the great reformer and theologian John Calvin, “A dog barks when it sees that its master is being attacked. I would be a real coward if I saw God’s truth being attacked and remained quiet without making a sound.”2

As Dumb as a Dog

As a watchdog I am intimate with my Shepherd but never will I be arrogant to say that I completely know my Master. In view of God’s transcendence3, I am as dumb as a dog! I do pursue knowing Him deeper. I promote communion with Him in His Word, prayer and assiduous meditation. Yet I am just a finite, sinful (but redeemed) being trying to understand the infinite, sovereign, self-sufficient Being who created the whole cosmic universe with all its immensity and complexity. Therefore, after every theological pursuit, I can only exclaim with Paul: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”4 and like the disabled Mephibosheth to king David, I can also say to God: "What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?”5

A Guardian of the Sheep

Nevertheless, this transcendent God has given me a new heart and has made me like a docile canine. That’s why I love the church of God!6 I do my best to be a guardian of the sheep, keeping them from going astray and from being touched by the enemies7. And I will do it as long as I live. Semper Reformanda8 is the principle, always promoting reformation by the word because Christian life and church life are constant conformity to the image of the Son9. Let me clarify that I am not alone here. All genuine sheep are watchdogs. And all true woollies bark just all spiritual watchdogs bleat. They have great zeal for the purity of the church because they know that she is the Bride of the Holy One10. Hence, they are watchful and courageous. And, if they should, they are ready to bark even if they would be chased away.

Barking at Wolves and the Roaring Lion

Admittedly, I may not only be barking at sheep wandering off. I may also be barking at wolves (false teachers) and the roaring lion that is ready to devour (Satan)11. They are stronger than I in craftiness and power. So to bark is to risk. But my Shepherd makes no risk because He is Omniscient. Christ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.12 Therefore, I am unafraid to bark. For nothing can separate a lover of Christ from the love of Christ. In fact, all things work together for his good.13 So to bark at all costs because of my love for this great God is a joyful privilege14, not a burden.

To Guard, Bark, Bite for the Glory of God

And, actually, this blog is designed specifically for that. One may call this just a religious jargon. I call this my spiritual warcry! That means that I believe there’s no middle ground. It’s only either you’re a pro-Shepherd or an anti-Shepherd. Either you’re in the pasture or not. Either you’re a watchdog like me or a non-watchdog (that is, a goat or a wolf). And please make no mistake of my intention in saying that I am a watchdog of God. I am a mere watchdog! The one deserving of any praise in this blog is the very Treasure I desire to guard, the One who is supreme in all things – God alone. My single desire is to guard, bark, bite and even crunch for the glory of God. May my barks indeed please him, not dishonor him. And may every woolly watchdog like me never be silent!


1. See Psalm 23 and John 10:7-18.
2. As cited by Herman Selderhuis in his biographical book John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life, p.31.
3. God’s transcendence refers to His being uniquely above and beyond the being of the world. (see Isaiah 40:25; 55:8,9)
4. Romans 11:33-34.
5. 2 Samuel 9:8.
6. I refer to the universal church throughout the world, composed of all authentic believers.
7. As all elders are instructed to guard the flock (1 Peter 5:2) and all Christians to be watchful (1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 16:13).
8. Latin for “always reforming”, used by some Protestant Reformers.
9. See Romans 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18.
10. See Ephesians 5:23-27; Revelation 19:7, 8.
11. Matthew 7:15 and 1 Peter 5:8.
12. Revelation 5:5; 1 Tim. 6:15.
13. See Rom. 8:28, 38-39.
14. Paul even described it as “gain” in Philippians 1:21.


Congrats Bona! keep it up. My blog's sidebar now has a link to Watchdog of God.

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