There appears to have been something of a new fad emerging in recent years of holding pet blessing services in churches.
Most notably, two years ago St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast (a hub of ecumenical compromise) hosted such an event, which was repeated last year. We are unsure if such an event took place this year.
However, if it didn’t, stepping in to this particular breach was ‘Rev’ Tracey McRoberts (1 Timothy 2:12), ‘minister’ of St Matthew’s Parish Church, Belfast as she held what was described as a “special service for pets” by the Diocese of Connor’s website.
That same report (a screenshot of the headline, as well as a picture of Rev Tracey McRoberts holding one of the dogs in attendance is pictured below) states the service, held at the beginning of this month, featured “15 dogs coming along for praise and blessing”.
We are further told that “the congregation at St Matthew’s is joined every week by Buzz, Rex, Bracken, Rio and new puppy Millie, and this special service was an opportunity for more parishioners to bring their pets along”.
What an absolutely ludicrous spectacle this was and apparently is on a weekly basis.
One must wonder what on earth sort of priorities this church or ‘minister’ has?
When, for example, did St Matthew’s Parish Church, Belfast, last conduct a gospel mission, aimed at seeing sinners repent of their sins and place their faith and trust in Christ for salvation?
We have looked and looked online and can see absolutely no occasion in which such a thing has happened.
It is, no doubt, likely that it has been several decades, at least, since there was a gospel mission conducted by this church.
Yet, here it is holding such a risible service with the purpose of offering a blessing to dogs, who will, obviously, have absolutely no idea what is going on and are far more likely to leave a mess behind them than they are to be in any way benefited by such an exercise in futility and, frankly, silliness.
Where is to be the notion of reverence in church when such a circus act is introduced?
Psalm 89:7: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”
Dogs, indeed, despite our modern obsession with having them as pets, are thought of in a very lowly manner in God’s Word (Deuteronomy 23:18, 1 Samuel 17:43, Proverbs 26:11, Matthew 7:6, 2 Peter 2:22).
Regardless, of course, of what animal it is which was brought along for a blessing, the simple fact is that they do not have a soul.
Only mankind has a soul, breathed into us by God Himself at creation.
Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Yet St Matthew’s Parish Church and ‘Rev’ Tracey McRoberts are prioritising offering some utterly irrelevant so-called blessing to dogs rather than striving to see souls saved through the simple preaching of the gospel.
Of course, given what we already know about ‘Rev’ Tracey McRoberts, it is hardly surprising that orthodox Christianity is not one of her key priorities.
Back in July, we highlighted ‘Rev’ Tracey McRoberts’ participation in the Clonard Monastery Novena in west Belfast.
This was a brazen, shameless, outrageous act of ecumenical betrayal of her Protestant heritage and of the Word of God, which warns us not to be partaking in worship with deniers of God and His Word.
Ephesians 5:11 says: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Her participation in a foul, blasphemous event where Jesus is offered up as a sacrifice by a practitioner of Popish priestcraft and where Mary is worshipped was absolutely outrageous.
Indeed, holding such an inanity as a pet blessing service is almost admirable in comparison.
One certainly is left to wonder as to what exactly are the priorities of ‘Rev’ Tracey McRoberts and her ilk within the ordained ministry of the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church and Methodist Church, among others?
It certainly isn’t to preach of salvation through the blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It certainly isn’t to preach of the atoning death of Christ at Calvary.
It certainly isn’t to preach of the absolute necessity to repent of your sin and place your faith and trust in Christ for salvation.
Rather, there are the friendly gimmicks, the soft soap sermons, the ‘thought for the day’ type fluff designed to tickle ears (or bellies, perhaps, in the case of the dogs).
We are left with the sad conclusion that such ministers are akin to those dogs referred to by the prophet.
Isaiah 56:10-11 says: “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
Such watchmen are asleep on the job and are so obviously ill-fitted to the role they have found themselves in.
Let us not allow ourselves to be under the ministry of such “dumb dogs”, and let us not sit by idly and allow such “dumb dogs” to continue on in their role unchallenged for their failure to fulfil the role they find themselves in.
Let us continue to pray for times of refreshing from the Lord, times where, as we are told in Acts 6:7, “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith”.
This land needs a revival and let us never cease to pray to God that He would show mercy towards us and send a mighty revival to Northern Ireland and further afield.