Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Two things in an internet comment section are certain: Godwin’s Law and people calling their opponents “sheeple”.
“American Sniper” has a line where Chris Kyle’s dad talks about sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves. He says that all people are either sheep, sheepdogs or wolves. I’m not a sheepdog by any stretch of the imagination, and I hope to heaven I’m not a wolf. So I guess that makes me a sheep. I think I am okay with that.
“Sheeple” is always meant in a derogatory fashion, but I can’t see how there is anything wrong with being a sheep. I love sheep, raised them in 4H for years. They are delicious, they keep you warm, they sound cute (usually), and to the point of this post, they are very easily led.
The Bible thinks quite highly of sheep too. Certainly likes them better than goats, anyhow (Matthew 25:32-33). Heaven is going to be chockablock full of sheep. The problem arises when sheep (or sheeple) are led by the wrong shepherd.
We live in an age of abundant information. There is simply too much to slog through and oftentimes, good investigation goes out the window in favor of timely decision making. For example, I totally bought into the whole “Shark on I-10”” photo before Steven Crowder proved it to be a hoax. It was just a picture I saw on Facebook. It could be true. But…. it wasn’t. We simply don’t have time to hunt down the original source of every bit of information we come across. If only people used APA citations on social media…
During the election, I had a couple internet and radio personalities I followed, and since I had always agreed with everything they said previously, I pretty much took their advice without question when it came to selecting our new president. But as election season ran on, these previously perceived stalwart pillars of truth began to get their stories jumbled, and their philosophies just didn’t make any sense. On November 8, I walked up to the election booth going on no one’s endorsement but my own. Which, I believe, is the way it should be.
Lucky for me, and the sheeple like me, there is one Shepherd that won’t ever get his stories jumbled, or have faulty philosophies.
|“Good Shepherd” (2010) via marysrosaries.com|
Any shepherd worth following must lead us as the original Good Shepherd would. Of course, fact checking is always important, but we don’t need to philosophical dissect every single opinion we come across, we just have to compare it to the way Christ leads us.
|Copyright Hilary Thompson (2017) All rights reserved|
I think that second part of John 10:14 is the key. We have to know the Good Shepherd, and his surrogates. As long as we recognize who the good shepherds are, by seeing how they follow Christ’s example, we can take their teachings to heart. But ultimately, the only shepherd worth following without question is the original one.
It’s just fine to follow someone blindly like a sheep…
as long as that Person is worth following.