The Shepherd's Guide
The Shepherd's Guide is a Christian Business Directory for Tyler that just came out here. Advertisers in it, have signed that they have made professions of faith. From Attorneys to Ceramic Tile, everyone listed is a Christian. Before I comment, I need to quote some lyrics from Steve Taylor's song, "Guilty by Association".
So you need a new car, let your fingers take a walk,
through the business guide for the 'born again' flock
You'll be keeping all your money in the kingdom now
and you'll only drink milk from a Christian cow
Don't you go casting your bread to keep the heathen well-fed
Buy Christian pockets instead...
The biblically minded will probably remember Jesus' words, paraphrased, "If you love just those that love you, what good is it, everybody does that. You should be better, like your father in heaven." So, why The Shepherd's Guide?
From the publisher of the guide selling the advertisements, to the business listed, the primary goal seems to be to get more customers, make more money. Sounds like a good idea on the surface, the bare surface, using their profession of faith to get more business. Could this be the kinds of things that the sinners mocked the Pharisees about? Love of money, maybe not. It could be just unbelief and insecurity about the Father's love, or his ability to provide our daily needs. Food, clothes, shelter, cable TV. Yep, greed is too strong of a word. Or is it?
It is interesting how church, ministry and businesses (like those listed in The Shepherd's Guide) have taken the Biblical warnings against love of money (or possessions), twisted it a little and used it to focus on how you need to be responsible with it and how you can invest that money in their work. Or by buying from other Christians. Spend money with other Christians, they love it.
It's not really strange to see money-minded compare that money to seed being sown for the gospel. What a heresy! But it's so frequently and so systematically taught that it's easy to rationalize. I've even heard preachers say they could stand before the throne of God with their checkbook and demonstrate that they've been "financially faithful". I wonder what they'll do when Jesus refers them to Matthew 7:21-23. The Christian world is financially fat. God don't need more money; He needs more laborers.
The quote on the cover is a good reminder, "My Sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me..." John 10:27.