So here is the question that has been going around in my head these days:
Are we just God's pets?Some folks seem to embrace a redemption/salvation scenario where God is unwittingly portrayed having an unrelenting purpose to be with His pets forever ... nothing His pets do can change His resolve ... the pets have absolutely no part in His decision ... He loves them unconditionally and does not care what they think about anything - including Him, His Son's sacrifice and the afterlife.
I find that this model of redemption/salvation to be somewhat of an affront to humanity because it robs us of divine dignity and reduces us to people who are handicapped and unable to respond to heavenly love. But maybe that is exactly what it should be. Maybe we are all divine dogs and cats - loved deeply by their Owner but not really respected by Him ... made by Him but not really in His image ... His to play with and stroke lovingly but truly unable to be a collaborator with Him in His kingdom . I find this to view to be somewhat condescending and demeaning.
On the contrary, here is a scripture that I resonate with:
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you." (John 15:15)I believe that these words of Jesus restore dignity to us. Believing in Jesus sets us free to be fully human and fully alive - both today and the day we pass from this life to the next. I do not believe that we are heavenly pets with pre-ordained destinations. I don't think that believers are puppets manipulated by a heavenly (puppet) Master. God is my friend, I just can't view Him that way.