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<font size=4>PARABLE OF THE QUARRELSOME SHEPHERDS </font><font size=3 color=blue face=Times New Roman>Once there were three shepherds who pastured their flocks in a desolate area. They went their separate ways by day but each evening they sheltered their flocks in a common fold. Although all worked for a common master they did not get along very well. One was naturally cranky, another was a jealous sort, and the third was very sensitive and his feeling easily hurt. Each night when the sheep were in the fold the men would gather about a common fire, eat their food and talk. Unfortunately their conversations often turned fractious and bitter. One night their quarreling grew intense. As they shouted and threatened one another, wolves were sneaking ever closer to the darkened fold. The men came to blows, it was an awful sight. While they battled each other, the wolves saw their opportunity. They dashed into the fold tearing at the sheep and scattering them. They mad off with several of the lambs.
The next morning the owner came to check on his sheep. He was shocked and angry at what he found. His sheep were scattered. Many were wounded, others were dead. The shepherds were battered and bruised but not from protecting their sheep. They had exhausted themselves fighting each other. The owner was furious. They were driven from his presence as unfit to serve him.
And the teacher explained that the sheep are Gods people, the shepherds his preachers. The wolves are those who would lead the people into a new kind of faith and worship. He that hath an ear should give heed to the parable. </font>
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Dr. Crump,Of all the parables regarding the Change Movement that have been posted so far, Im not surprised that Parable of the Slovenly Employee has received much howling and growling.
Winced, here are some questions for you: What is the purpose of Come As You Are? Why have contemporary churches that subscribe to the Change Movement made a big issue about it, even to the point of openly advertising it? Do they really think that this will foster more meaningful worship? Why dont they just keep silent about appearances entirely, if appearances have no bearing on worship? To my knowledge, traditional churches dont sport signs that advertise Come Dressed Your Best, because that would imply a certain "traditional" dress code and would turn some people off; they would feel out of place. Shouldnt the same apply to contemporary churches that advertise Come As You Are? As warped as it may seem, Come As You Are also implies a certain type of dress code: wear anything but a suit, tie, or long dress; that is, wear anything that doesn't smack of "traditional." Think thats being judgmental? No, friend, its just being observant and realistic. Seeing a Come As You Are sign in front of a church, how many folks do you think would show up immaculately clad in suit, tie, or long dress; that is, in "traditional" attire? Wouldnt their world view make them feel out of place?
I agree that there is no place for specific dress codes in worship, overtly or covertly, and that especially applies to Come As You Are. But given the freedom to dress down which Come As You Are certainly grants, many people from all walks of life will not only take full advantage of it, they will abuse it and deliberately appear as slobs, because diligence and effort are not required. Thats the lowest common denominator. Therefore, its better for congregations to drop the Come As You Are policy and instead encourage their membership to examine their own consciences and thereby give their VERY BEST in worship at all times, starting at least with some basic attention to their appearance.
PARABLE OF THE RELUCTANT WATCHMANOnce upon a time, a popular Movement swept across the land. Despite the fact that its underlying philosophy was monstrously flawed and unspeakably corrupt, it appeared most pleasant and desirable to outward appearances, which caused untold millions to embrace it.
Not too long after the Movement arose, a group of most discerning people established a web site on the Internet to warn the public at large about the inherent dangers and pitfalls of this Movement. The web site gathered a host of articles from discerning writers and published them as educational sources. These writers, in turn, based their arguments on one Book, which should have been the Sole Authority for all concerned. But alas, the masses had rejected this Book in whole or in part, for the worldly, controversial principles set forth in the Movement.
The web site offered various forums for people on both sides to discuss the issues at hand regarding this Movement. Needless to say, because the web site denounced that which the masses held as most popular, angry responses poured in. While some detractors provided their full names and responded with maturity and tact, the majority opposing the web site chose to conceal their identities by using just their initials, their first name only, a pseudonym like JasGuy, or simply Anonymous.
Thus feeling safe under the cloak of darkness, these latter detractors generally cast civility, maturity, and Christian spirit aside. Virtually unable to support their arguments with legitimate passages from the Book, the detractors principally resorted instead to name-calling, satire, sarcasm, and character assassinations. They branded the web site as legalistic, judgmental, unkind, gossip, slander, divisive, troublemaker, pharisaical, etc. It seemed that the stronger the arguments made by the web site against the Movement, the more hostile and malicious the detractors became. Some responses were so venomous and hateful that the reader could envision people gnashing their teeth, pounding their fists, screaming, yelling, and slamming their computer keyboards as they hammered out wretched messages. One such detractor, a Bible teacher in a Christian school, was so incensed that he seemed to lose all control and branded the web site as religious pornography and a theological looney bin, among other derogatory epithets. Having allowed such detractors to show their true colors, the moderators of the web site eventually banned the most uncivil of them from ever posting in the forums again.
And the Teacher stated that this parable should be self-explanatory, for the web site is Concerned Members, the Movement is the Change Movement, and the Book is the New Testament, the principles of which clearly condemn the likes of the Change Movement, as discussed throughout the Concerned Members web site. Many who oppose Concerned Members post messages under hidden identities, which are often taken as a license for manifesting uncivil or unchristian attitudes. If they become too raucous, the moderators ban them. One would think that people with strong convictions either way would not fear using their full names, be able to hold their own in any debates, and support their arguments with sound, New Testament Scripture in context, not that which is twisted to suit their own agenda. Resorting to name-calling, sarcasm, satire, incivility, and other unchristian behavior suggests that one has no legitimate argument and no scriptural basis on which to stand. Such people would be better off keeping silent.
Once upon a time, a king decided to tour his domain to see how his subjects paid him tribute and honor. For these events, the subjects met weekly in various places scattered all over the kingdom.PARABLE OF THE RELUCTANT WATCHMAN
There was a business man who discovered evil taking over his church. he was surprised to find out that it was not only taking over his church, but was taking over churches all over the world.
He tracked the sources back to an evil group that has long planned a "One World Government". Developing the "One World Church" using ecumenism was just one tentacle of the octopus.
He found that this group, incrementally over the past 100 years, had slowly taken over not only the churches, but the schools, the government and the financial institutions.
To accomplish this they had actually changed history, as well as had changed the Bible to support their goals.
The businessman was horrified. He looked around to see if others saw this evil and were trying to warn their fellow man. He saw no one.
He prayed to the Lord God and said, "Dear Lord; I looked and saw no one to do this. I'm so ill equipped. I have never studied to be your servant. Surely there must be someone better prepared?"
The businessman became the "reluctant watchman".
He started trying to warn others.
And not many would listen.
Soon he had visitors that wore hoods to protect their identity. Some were his friends, but others were his enemies. Neither wanted their identity known.
His friends asked him why he was doing this?
His enemies used threats and accusations to scare him.
The "reluctant watchman" prayed again. He said, "Dear Lord, I need help! I'm not trained and studied in your word, I've been a sinner, and a lazy man. Please send me your best preachers and elders to help me warn others."
The next day a man visited the "reluctant watchman" and said, "I'm an unemployed carpenter, I love the Lord, and I'm here to help."
Then, the next day came an old man that wore his years, and he said, "I'm a retired engineer, a student in ancient biblical history, and I have read most of the ancient manuscripts, including the Koran many times. I love the Lord and I'm here to help."
Then came a medical industry executive, and another businessman, a retired doctor, and then more came. They all could be identified because they didn't wear hoods, and by their admission of loving the Lord God.
And so the "reluctant watchman" along with his help from God, set out to work.
The moral of this story is; Your prayers may not always bring you what you ask for.
You may get exactly what you need.