I know I’ve made promises in the past about not being too political or controversial on this blog. I always want my blog to be one that duck hunters and those who love duck dogs can come to and be able to get good, relevant information about those things. However, the riots in Charlottesville, VA are too important for me to remain silent about. I hope you will take the time to read this whole blog and then share it on your Facebook wall in hopes of starting a dialogue with your friends and family. I said a “dialogue”…not a fight. As most of you know by now, I am a full time duck dog trainer and bi-vocational pastor. Like I’ve always said…”I train duck dogs to make a living, but I pastor a church to make a difference.” That is my life’s motto and my life goal.
I train all colors of Labrador Retrievers for hunting as well as all other types of dogs for our basic obedience training. One thing that is certain is this…regardless of the breed or color of their coats, all of my dogs are…well…dogs. They all have 4 legs, 2 ears, 2 eyes and most have a wagging tail. When it comes to duck dogs for hunting…I don’t favor one color coat of dog over another. A great dog is a great dog.
When I hear any particular person in the human race spew hatred toward another person of the human race simply over the color or lack of color in their skin, it breaks my heart. Any group that claims the name of Jesus or the word Christian as part of their group’s identity but hates another human, DOES NOT know the Jesus of the Bible. America does not have a “skin” problem…we have a SIN problem. The prophet Jeremiah once said “the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Who can really know it?” When I see the atrocities that went on in Charlottesville and in other places around the country over the last few years, I have come to realize exactly how wicked the human heart really can be.
Over the last several decades we have seen a dramatic fall in the number of people who are part of the Christian church in America. We can debate why that is at another time, but suffice to say, people have been leaving local churches in droves. Maybe, as pastors, we have not done enough to convince people how awesome Jesus is. Maybe people just don’t believe in God anymore. Maybe it is the degradation of our society from everything on TV and the internet. Maybe it is all of the above. One thing I am certain of this…Jesus Christ changes hearts and lives. I’ve seen countless people with anger in their hearts and hatred running through their veins be transformed when they turned from their sins and said YES to Jesus. Did you know that Jesus came to die for the sins of the entire human race & not just some a select few?
I’ve seen thousands of dogs come into our kennels. I’ve watched some of these dogs be trained by master trainers and then be transformed into duck hunting rock stars!! America needs to turn to The Master who will, if we submit to Him, transform us to look and love just like Jesus did. Jesus was no respecter of persons. In fact, listen to what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew:
“43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?”
Did you see it??? “love your enemies and bless those who curse you…” How is that even possible you ask??? Only 1 human figure ever made the promise to be able to transform the human heart and actually accomplish it…JESUS. There is only one hope for change in our country and only one thing that can keep our country from devolving into a third world nation. All of us need to submit our hearts to God, humbly fall on our faces, and ask Him to send his Spirit and change hearts once again. All of our hearts.
Brian Johnson, Pastor & Dog Trainer