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 –
“JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD.”
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?
“JUST TAKE THE GOOD AND LEAVE THE BAD.
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.”
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." -