Cat and Dog Theology

A while back I ran across a book entitled, “Cat and Dog Theology.” The premise was 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.”

If you know anything about cats and dogs, you know how true this is! It is said that dogs have masters and cats have staff. In the “theology” department, both the dog and cat believe in God, but each has a very different relationship with him. You could say that dogs seek God for who he is, not for what he can do for them. Whereas cats who wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” Cats seek God for what he can do for them, and not for who he is.

Are you a cat or a dog? Chances are we are a little of both. I like to think I am a dog, but I know I have some cat in me. Of course, I would like God to bless me with health and a good life. But if that’s the only reason I come to him then I am missing the point. It’s not that cat theology is so much wrong as it is incomplete.

If I only come to God and say, “I’m hurting, make me feel better,” or, “I’m sad, make me happy,” then I am missing the point. Of course I can come to God in times of trouble. In fact, he invites us to do so. But, if that’s the solo reason, the picture is incomplete. Donald Miller in his book, Blue Like Jazz, says that we often make the mistake of thinking of God as some “cosmic vending machine” who dispenses what we want when we put in the proper change and push the right buttons.

Being Human connection: God wants to enjoy a relationship with us, not a laundry list of things he can do for us.

“God is not a vending machine where we insert our blessing of obedience expecting to take a token of choices.” -John Cotton Richmond