‘The Scriptures possess a certain quality. They posses utility, at least when used wisely, so let’s grant them that. Let’s also acknowledge their capacity for harm when used unwisely.’ ~ VICTOR
Language and metaphor are tricky business. Used wisely, they open doors. They guide people through times of trouble, helping them reach safe ground.
Used unwisely, they cripple entire generations.
One of the factors responsible for the current state of churchgoers-and-believers-at-large is Christ himself. When He decided to stick to the metaphors of the old texts, talking of sheep and flocks and shepherds, He perpetuated a metaphor that was music to the despots’ ears. Sure, Christ brought down the Pharisees and the pagans with it, but He also paved the way for a new regency. A patrician/exclusive/exploitative/elitist belief system. Given enough years, with His presence gone all but in name, and His patronage diluted, the custodians of the faith inherited the perfect setup: a congregation of sheep in need of shepherds.
Straight from the Man’s mouth!
So the clergy, God’s agents on earth, appoint themselves the shepherd’s mouth-slash-muscle and treat people like sheep. They herd everyone to deliverance. Or so they claim.
Ironic, isn’t it? Christ’s rebellion against the powers that be, for all its noble and informed grace, paved the way for the Pharisees’ resurrection, not His.