By Patrick Hawthorne
“Extra…Extra….Read all about it. Sheep arrested in unprovoked slaying of wolf; Shepherd fined for violating dangerous sheep statute!”
Warning: The following post contains tongue in cheek humor with a purpose. Turn away if your religiosity makes you so thin skinned you barely have enough covering to keep from bleeding to death.
The other day, in a poor attempt to mind my own business, I came across a social media snippet of an over-the-top preacher whose message I disagreed with. While I understood the point he was attempting to make, his delivery was kind of like smelling overly sweet and greasy donuts on an empty stomach. While the donuts may look appealing to the eye, one bite could result in an all day audience before the porcelain prince.
That being said, the preachers message was not very gospelish but neither was it heretical. It just kind of sat there like a hair on a biscuit, serving no real purpose other than to look unappealing. And, in my humble opinion, his message could possibly lead a baby believer down a path of error. Either way, that was not what got my knickers in a knot.
Out of the whole situation, what made me sad was the manner in which another pastor released the media snippet. He kinda chunked it out there with nothing more than a short one liner message stating that it was not the gospel. The problem is that he offered no teaching for his sheep followers as to why or how the other pastor was in error. Nor did he offer correction for a few of the comments that were bitter against the errant preacher.
The Bible tells us, in 1st John 4:20, If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” When any shepherd (pastor) does not correct a sheep (lay person) whose comments are directly aimed against the man and not the message there is a problem. When comments are seeded with such words as ” I loathe that man” – meaning intense hate or dislike – and are not corrected, a slippery slope has just been laid.
Do I think the non-correcting pastor , the errant and over-the-top teacher, or the commenting lay person are evil? Heaven’s no. I have no doubt they all love the Lord with an intense love. However, leaders need to be accountable for their sheep and to reign in the snipers so that none go rogue.
It is a fact that all of us will stub our toes in this earthly walk. The question is, “Will we learn from it and not kick that rock again?” This is just something for those in authority to think about. After all, we don’t want any headlines involving killer sheep, now do we? Be blessed.
If you are interested, please check out an associated post Who Called the Bible Police??