Saturday, 15 October 2016

Shepherds.


"My people have been lost sheep, their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountain; from mountain to hill they have gone, they have forgotten the fold."  Jeremiah 50:6 (NRSV)

Christianity has grown old and corrupt.
The sheep have left the fold.
They have been led astray and abandoned.

"Thus says the Lord God:  Ah you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves!  Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?  You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep.  You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them."  Ezekiel 34:2b-4 (NRSV)

This sounds strangely familiar.
And not just because it resembles the words of Jesus.

When the covenant grows old and the shepherds become complaisant and corrupt God sends a messenger to prophesy against them.

Christianity has grown old and corrupt.
The shepherds feed themselves and rule harshly.

The time has come to renew God's covenant with humanity.

Hear the good news:

You have nothing to fear from God.

God does not punish us.
God punishes no one.

God does not force us.
Nor does He threaten or intimidate us.

There is no hell.
Hell is totally out of character for a loving God.

There is no devil.
There are no dark powers, only the goodness of God.

Sex is the consummation of love.
And love is the nature of God.

God loves us.
Even to the very last one.

This is the truth.
Not the carrot and stick religion of rewards and punishments which corrupt shepherds impose on the people.

They serve themselves.
And impose harsh penalties.

In this way they rule humanity.

It is  a millstone around our necks.

Cast it into the sea.

May it be gone forever.


[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission.  All rights reserved.]

Photo Credit: Храм Петра и Павла Flickr via Compfight cc

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