Cross Posted from Thus Said the LORD
In the course of teaching my class, “What the Bible Really Says”, I present what the job of a shepherd entailed during biblical times. The allegory of Jesus as a shepherd was never the imagery of a metro sexual male cradling a lamb in a field of flowers and butterflies – until the latter half of the 20th century. The pastoral picture of a peaceful, thoroughly feminized Jesus completely ignores the reality of shepherding in biblical times. The truth is that the life of the biblical shepherd was, as Hobbes wrote1)in Leviathan, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
Johnnie Moore at the Federalist tells of a Christian Pastor in Syria((Arguably the birthplace of Christianity) who has resigned himself to death, because he refuses to abandon his flock to the depredations of evil men. Moore compares this pastor with that of a biblical shepherd rightly understood, he writes,
If one sheep lies wounded, a shepherd is conditioned to fight with all his might for that one—and this shepherd (the pastor) stood in a blood bath of meticulous and intentional destruction by the very incarnation of hell itself born in the brutality of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
This pastor epitomizes the state of Christianity in the Middle East, its birthplace. What is tragic, however, is the West’s response to this decimation. We rightly decry the viciousness of ISIS. Murder is evil. Denial of liberty is evil. ISIS is evil made manifest. But what may be worse is the irony that the standard bearer of Western moral values((Which is to say Judeo-Christian values) — the values by which we measure the infamy of ISIS — is about to be extinguished accompanied by nothing more than the wringing of hands and heads bent with sorrow. Like the pastor above, Western Christianity has resigned itself to oblivion but unlike the pastor, there is nothing noble about its death.
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