Thursday, June 11, 2015


by Sam J Christopher

How often have you heard that? Whatever the issue, and whatever your personal persuasions, this is one ubiquitous advice you would have most certainly heard more than once in your life. “JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD.” And there seems to be no short supply of self-appointed personal and public advisers, to ensure that you don’t walk down life’s road without hearing repeated mouthfuls of this adage. It's as if this is the "golden rule" no.2 - handed down by the gods themselves. And it also is a handy tool to abruptly pull the rug from under the feet of a healthy challenge or even an earnest query. Its popularity is mostly because it provides the ideal instant smokescreen for someone who has just been caught with his pants down (...errr ...not literally of course.....), to coolly walk away without having to provide a rational justification for his claims or actions. This then leaves the other party no other choice but to raise their eyebrows, throw up their hands into the air and move on to contemplating more profound things, like ....hmmmm... did that Jenner feller really cut it off, or just flat-pack it?
But does it really end there?

Recently I overheard some controversy over some goings-on in a local church. Apparently a guest preacher had conducted some strange activities during the Sunday morning service. And it must have been really strange activities, for normally-placid and pliant members to pass comments/queries regarding the said goings-on. Seems some folks even cast aspersions over the theology and “spirit-led”activities of the preacher concerned.(Funny but one would think these would be the very background stuff that the church pastor would have normally checked out BEFORE permitting a visiting preacher to speak. I should know. I have yet to be invited to speak in my church!!) And in his defense, the pastor apparently whipped out that famous adage – 


Now, I may be wrong, but I am of the opinion that the primary role of a pastor is to be a shepherd and feed the flock. So what has me climbing the walls (again not literally) is, why, oh why in heaven’s name, would a shepherd feed his hungry sheep good & bad stuff? Doesn’t he feel led to sift through everything BEFORE pouring it into the feeding trough? A GOOD shepherd would, wouldn’t he? A shepherd with his eye on the ball (again not literally) would, wouldn’t he? A shepherd who is not lazy would, wouldn’t he? A shepherd who gives top priority to the well-being of his sheep would, wouldn’t he? A shepherd who has been ordained and commissioned personally by the Great Shepherd would, wouldn’t he? Surely he would be constantly aware that he would have to give an account to the Great Shepherd, who gave his life for those sheep, wouldn’t he?


Now, if that’s true about shepherding, why, a shepherd is not even necessary. In fact, even a church won’t be necessary. We can all stop fighting City Hall and save ourselves millions in construction bucks. We sheep could just bloody well roam the streets, rummage through whatever is piled by the roadside and JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD, right? Then the shepherd can just change vocations and become say, a car salesman. Yup, that’s it. That’s a lucrative job that he could get by just fine with “JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD.” 

Or maybe not. 

How about running a restaurant? That’s lucrative too, especially if he opens it 24/7. If customers complain about the food, he could just shoo them away with “JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD.” 

Fat chance. 

Maybe a doctor then. I hear some doctors can get away with murder these days. They just need to call it “abortion”. Yes. A doctor. How hard could that be? Hand a patient a pile of pills of various shapes and colors and give out a doctorly “JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD”. 


Well then, he could just retire and look after the grandchildren. Surely the little rascals would just luuuuuv to be given a whole bunch of choices and be told in a gentle grandfatherly way, “JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD.” And he can get back to concentrating on enjoying his retirement with nary a thought about the flames in the woodshed.

Yup that’s about the best deal for a JUST-TAKE-THE-GOOD-AND-LEAVE-THE-BAD kind of shepherd. I’ll drink to that. (Not literally, of course,)

"Woe unto the pastors who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD" - Jeremiah 23:1
"For the pastors have become brutes, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered" - Jeremiah 10:21
"And I will give you pastors according to My heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." - Jeremiah 3:15

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