Dear Worldly Shepherds,

Is it alright if I ask you some questions? I seem to have embraced quite a few misconceptions. I’m not writing this to provoke an altercation… just hoping you can sort out my twisted perceptions.

I thought ministry was a verb, not a noun; service, not a business; laying one’s life down. I thought the word “church” meant “group of believers,” not “fancy building run by a bunch of deceivers.” I thought the bride’s glory was the Lord in her midst, not the who’s-who headcount in her attendance list; not the cherry wood pulpit and the fancy pews, or a long feature segment in the daily news.

Deep calls to deep and iron sharpens iron, so I assumed the This-And-That Fests and Daughters of Zion, the trendy Spread the Love quests and each Yearly Conference, would contribute to making some sort of difference. I thought Christian music sought to glorify God, edify saints, not get the crowd’s nod – I’m pretty sure the Bible says reward, not award… Guess I didn’t get the memo when “they” changed the standard.

I thought that we were all called to take up our crosses, but we seem to want to spend more time counting our losses, coercing the sheeple to “buy Pasi a ride,” when there might be one for whom that cash can better provide… I thought we were supposed to esteem Jesus first, others second, ourselves last… but it looks like as I learn how to Celebrate Me, my achievements and charity must be broadcast.

I thought writing books meant seasons of prayer, tempered with research, penned with care.  Hey, why struggle if you can plagiarize, market things well, and win a prize?

I thought it made sense to clearly sing the Name YesuJesus, Yeshua, Jisos, Jesu.  But no, “I give it to You, Ni wewe tu,” – Are we singing to the same person? “Wewe” who? What are you giving to whom, and should I join in your songs, if I don’t have a clue to whom your praise belongs?

I agree with you that killing a baby is sin, but what about lying – or stealing a pin? Will the divorced pastor tell us with a straight face that the homosexual can never find grace?

I thought social networks made a great mission field, a place to befriend, to challenge, and build, but it seems like they’re also great for a “humblebrag,” take a picture of your mansion, then praise God, let’s tag…

I thought certain body parts belonged to one pair of eyes, but it looks like nowadays it’s okay to surmise that one pair and one world are one and the same; let the people put it out there with no sense of shame.

I thought being a parent meant choosing to be smart, watching our children, keeping alert, not banishing them to posh New Age schools where their knowledge is hampered with devils’ tools…

I thought persecution meant things like being stoned, hated for Christ, human justice postponed, but it seems like now the dreaded word means not enough money, not enough Likes, false teachers disowned… Question the lies told by sheep in disguise and you’re met by fierce anger or genuine surprise…

I really thought there was a distinct separation between church and world, life and damnation… but it looks there’s no end to the blend of the trends – today’s church and the world are very much friends.

Dear Shepherds, I wonder… could there be the slightest chance that you’re leading us all in a dangerous dance? Are you feeding the sheep according to God’s will, or lying and fattening them for the kill?

As I think through these questions, I ask them of me…

Love,

Pea

shep·herd [shep-erd]
noun
1.a person who herds, tends, and guards sheep.
2.a person who protects, guides, or watches over a person or group of people.
3.a member of the clergy.
verb (used with object)
6.to tend or guard as a shepherd: to shepherd the flock.
7.to watch over carefully.

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