Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Like sheep having no shepherd

Every now and then the power of this imagery just grabs me viscerally...the whole lost sheep metaphor for lost humanity.

Thig is, so many Christians think of a lost sheep as someone who is confused about right and wrong. Thus, after they get saved, they don't feel like lost sheep anymore because they now "know" what is right and are now on the "right" path.  Other than this being very close to legalism, there is another problem: the fullness of the metaphor is so shrunk and minimized to mean "goodness" that much of the whole existential sorrow of the metaphor is "lost."

The plain fact is that even when we are no longer "lost" in sin, we are still lost in the world.

The Bible states: "It is not in man who walks to direct his steps." This verse implies that a person is on a path, but even then...we need One who has a larger view of life, time, earth, everything, stuff...to direct us.

Other verses tell us: There is a way that seems right to a man but the end of that way is death.
And: Lean not to your own understanding.

The picture God gives us of humans is a pitiful one; sheep running hear and there, listening to the wrong shepherds, drinking from dirty water, sheep being pitifully confused.

When one looks at the food industry and the health industry for instance, one sees how pitiful human rationale thought, human comprehension, human history all are. With each generation new "progress" is made which is supposedly an advance in knowledge. Then the great minds of the following decades refute that earlier wisdom.

So in one generation we are told to avoid natural fats like butter and coconut oil and to eat carbs primarily and margarine and trans-fats. Then after all the sheep have followed this worldly wisdom, suddenly...we are told to eat fats again.

Or, one generation is told to always wear sunscreen and to avoid the sun. Then a later generation of scientists tell us that although the sun "damages" the skin, there really is no link between excess sun exposure and skin cancer...in fact, say these doctors, it looks asthough the folks who get skin cancers get them mostly in areas that rarely get touched by the sun...and people who use sunscreen have the highest rate of skin cancer. One generation says never remove a mold; it might be a melanoma and spread. The next generation says to remove it. One generation says heal epileptic seizures by removing grains, another generation says heal seizures by invasive brain surgery, another generation comes and says heal them by medication, then aother generation says heal them by removing grains. One generation says lobotomize depressed people. Another generation says use anti-depressants, then another generation says use anti-depressants but beware that they can make you suicidal.

This sheep confusion doesn't only affect individual lives but also the life of the earth. One decade, animals/fish/insects are relocated to a new region in order to balance some problem or other. Then two or three decades later, the scientists are bewailing that self-same relocation.

Trusting in human thought is a dangerous thing. We can try our best but we must always be aware that we simply do not know...and indeed, the folks who have created some of the worst disasters (economic, tribal, racial, medical, climatic, etc, etc, etc, ) have been "the great minds of our generation." It's scary to think that not only can we not trust our own minds, but we should be very wary of human reasoning and the many rumors of war (or propaganda) being told to us in the many spiritual,, natural, scientific, medical wars on this earth. We who live at the end of time should also be very aware of the many deceptions, lies, statistics, half-truths, false truths that exist in the media, the churches, the health system, the government, etc. We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves because our Lord told us "this world cannot receive truth."

God's directions generally do not make sense to the rational human mind. Heck, some of the most spiritual people have wasted so much of their time "understanding" the Bible with their rationalistic minds that they have lost their way.

Human rational thinking fails us, but so does human emotion. All we have left is a purified, sanctified, restored, glorified human intuition. The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord and the word of the Lord is a lamp to our feet. We have to understand when God is speaking to us. Whether by coincidence, dreams, or visions. We will hear a word in our heart that says, "This is the way...walk ye in it."

Remember: The Lord had compassion upon the people because he saw them as sheep having no shepherd.

God is not going to be angry with us because we feel idiotic and because we are confused about doing the right thing. He has great compassion. He understands our lives; he knows that we are dust and that we are blown about by every wind of doctrine and every new philosophy or science falsely-so-called that clutters our path.
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