All we like sheep have gone astray." (Isaiah 53:6)
Posted May 6, 2004
Written: May 2, 2004
Culling The Greenheads
'That kind of persuasion
does not come from the one who calls you. "A little yeast works through
the whole batch of dough." I am confident in the Lord that you will
take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay
the penalty, whoever he may be. (Galatians 5:8-10, NIV)
Two days ago I took three greenheads to market. They were young adult sheep in their prime, but they had to go. I will not tolerate rogue sheep and risk having the entire flock lead astray.
Each spring as the grass gets greener on the other side of the fence we tend to have more problems with sheep going through the strands of electric fence into adjoining pastures. Once an animal learns it can burst through the electric fence it can do so at will, without pain. Our close observation of the flock can minimize the problem. For example if sheep seem too tempted to go through a pasture fence we sometimes merely move them to a different pasture.
This spring was different. We had three ewes that were constantly in the wrong pasture. I finally isolated them one day and painted their heads green with a special paint for marking on wool. I kept them from the flock and inside a barn for about a week. I had no problems with sheep leaving the pasture that week. I then returned the three "greenheads" to the pasture....sure enough sheep were going through fences again, and guess what color they had on their heads. That's right...GREEN. So we had properly identified all the rogue sheep.
Since they were near the end of pregnancy we did not wish to sell them at that time. So I tried various management practices to reform the greenheads hoping they would not lead others into the same bad habits. We had them on the farm for several weeks giving their newborn lambs time enough to grow before we weaned them and sold their mothers. It was a struggle because we could not reform the greenheads, and it was not practical to keep them in the barn all the time. I'm sure you have some understanding of my dilemma during that period.
What about the church? Who are the greenheads? The worst ones are not in the congregation. The worst ones are the civil leaders, the politicians, the public school systems, and any in our culture that go the wrong way. The Bible says, as shown in our key Scripture verse, that "A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough." I had to sell three sheep that otherwise were prime looking animals at a nice productive age. I really hated to remove them from the flock; it was a hard decision in one way, but easy in another. It was hard because they were productive, but it was easy knowing I was separating my flock from three rogue sheep.
Christians need to begin making some hard decisions. When will we take inventory of all the rogue influences, especially those who adversely affect our children? When will we decide that public schools, for example, are leading our young lambs into places away from The Good Shepherd? Why let the greenheads lead our children astray? There are too many Christians who lack the wisdom to distinguish between those who can be reformed and those who(or what) cannot (e.g., Geenheaded public school systems).
And by the way, if
I had sheltered my lambs in the barn (church) on Sunday to protect them
from the rogue influences, and then put them back in the pasture Monday
through Saturday, you know as well as I do that the Sunday management
would not have negated the behavior of the greenheads the rest of the
week. If you are a pastor you should realize that you have some responsibility
about where the children of your congregation are grazing Monday through
Saturday. Isolating the lambs in your barn on Sunday is not good enough.
If we don't take drastic action soon God may paint our heads green.