The Day the Dogs Stopped Barking

The silence was eerie.

Every day for months my rescue dog, Winston, and I passed the same house on our morning walk. And every day, without fail, two big dogs barked at us. Their barking began as soon as we rounded the corner onto their block and didn’t stop until we were out of sight.

Roxie, a hound mix, and Lady, a Heinz 57, are outside dogs whose job it is to guard their master’s home. They take their responsibility seriously. Whenever a threat comes near their property, they sound the alarm. Nothing or no one who might pose a threat gets by them without a fuss. They’re the best security system in the neighborhood.

Until today.

Today when I rounded the corner, Lady and Roxie didn’t bark.

I knew something was different when I climbed the hill to their house, and they were silent. When I approached their yard—not a peep. Curious, I walked close to their fence, and they still didn’t bark. 

As I walked past their yard, Roxie gave me a quizzical look and Lady barely lifted her head. Their lackadaisical attitude made me wonder what would happen if I walked to their front door and let myself in.

I don’t know what changed and why they let us pass unannounced and unmolested. I suspect they finally grew used to us climbing the hill, passing their home, and walking off down the street. Apparently they decided it was no longer necessary to sound the alarm. We were familiar.

I wonder if Satan uses this same attitude to silence the church? 

Think about the inroads media has made in destroying the moral fiber of marriage. Slowly and subtly those with non-Christian worldviews have infiltrated our books, magazine, television and movies with alternatives to a lifelong union between a man and a woman. Adultery and promiscuity in TV and films were once shocking, but little by little we’ve become familiar with them. Divorce, once discouraged, is now familiar and touted as a better alternative. Homosexuality is just another option for sexual expression.

Antoine Dodson became an overnight YouTube sensation when he described an attempted rape by saying, “They’re climbing in your windows and snatching your people up.” Today Satan is doing the same because we, the church, no longer sound the alarm. We’ve become familiar with sin, and we cease to mourn, warn, or speak out against it.

In the name of tolerance, we’ve lost our voice. We sit silently by while our families, friends, and communities are carried away.

Like Lady and Roxie, we watch curiously as sin comes near our homes, but do little to protect those most vulnerable to its attack. I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone. Instead of championing the truth, I passively watch, feeling powerless to make a difference.

But we are not powerless. Scripture tells us, “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). And Ephesians 6:12: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

I’d like to suggest four ways we can sound the alarm against sin in our culture:

1. Participate in the political process. Donate to, campaign for, and vote for like-minded men and women with biblical values.

2. Pray intentionally. First Timothy 2: 1-2 commands us to pray for those in leadership roles. We must also pray for our spiritual leaders, asking God to give them boldness and courage to do what's right.

3. Speak the truth in love. Whenever the subject comes up, share the biblical reasons for morality in a way that emphasizes God’s good plan for healthy relationships.

4. View all sexual sin as equal. Some sins seem more offensive to us, but God views them all the same. Fornication (sex outside of marriage), adultery (sex involving a married partner), and homosexuality (sex between members of the same sex) are all wrong. Any sex outside of marriage is a sin in God’s eyes. Those engaged in it must confess, repent, and seek restoration to have peace with God.

Most of all, we must never, ever allow ourselves to become so familiar with sin that we cease to sound the alarm. Our family, friends, and communities depend on it.

How about you? Have you grown complacent about sin? Have you decided it’s a losing battle, so why fight it? Instead of keeping silent, I encourage you join me in take a stand for righteousness.

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  1. Powerful reminder, Lori! I wrote one time that we're sacrificing our children on the altar of tolerance. It holds true to this day, and even more as Satan has upped the ante in his fight for our children's and grandchildren's souls.

    We must sound the alarm!

    1. ". . . sacrificing our children on the altar of tolerance." Wow, Vonda, that's a powerful phrase. And a sobering one. May God raise up an army to act and speak on his behalf and may we be the first recruits!