SHEEP WEEK: culling is killing

culling is killing cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
(click on the image to go to nakedpastor’s online print gallery)

Welcome to SHEEP WEEK, a week of my sustained critique of the shepherd/sheep analogy illustrated by my cartoons. This morning’s cartoon is “Culling is Killing”.

If you have a particular vision of what you want your people to be like that isn’t universal, that doesn’t include all, that isn’t all-encompassing, you immediately prohibit community. To pursue purity of the flock actually destroys it.

Everyone de facto belongs. I claim that the problem isn’t who belongs. No. The actual struggle is how we together creatively organize our inclusive universality.

“… the true heart of the Christian legacy: each individual has an immediate access to universality (or the Holy Spirit, or, today, of human rights and freedoms); I can participate in this universal dimension directly, irrespective of my special place within the global social order” (Slavoj Žižek, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously)

Perhaps you’ve experienced first hand the exclusion that results from culling the flock of “impurities”.

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  • David, not only have I experienced, I was one of those who culled. As part of the churches leadership, it was part of the job description to either convert them into the likeness of ‘us’, or suggest that they might be better off somewhere else. In our deception, we believed that God had a special purpose for our church, and if you didn’t fit into that purpose, the you need to go somewhere where you could – just not ‘here’. In retrospect, I realize that the greatest deception was never in the people, just us leaders. We had convinced ourselves that we were God’s appointed guardians of the ‘sheep’ and it was our self appointed duty to cull out anyone who tried to hinder that purpose. Religious Nazism at its finest LOL. Thank God for forgiveness and grace…and the power of God to change the way we think. I shudder to think that that’s what we called ‘leadership’.

  • Ya Shawn. Me too 🙁

  • In our church, we are looking for the sheep who aren’t quite right.

    For that is all of us.