I noticed that Fizz on Facebook wrote "Gregory, you are presenting yourself in the image of "the good Shepherd"-(the image of priests). Shepherds/ Sheep Herders operate with no intention of setting the sheep they have domesticated/enslaved free."
Actually if Fizz goes to the website he will see that I am a shepherd and if he would also note that I am less than a century old he should understand the sheep were domesticated when I got here.
If you were to come to where the sheep roam here you would see lots of desert and meadows and most of the time the gate is open. In fact the place is not even fenced all the way around and the sheep can leave anytime they want.
In fact I have often told a story of one that insisted upon leaving. It continued to run over the hill toward the open desert until exhausted from running up and guiding it back to the flock I just let it go and never saw it again.
The meadows are irrigate with water that naturally comes out of the ground. I dress the fields by distributing the water evenly so there is a lot of grasses, clover and vegetation for the sheep and other wildlife. I plant trees for shade, fruit and nuts and so that the leaves feed the microbes and fauna of the soil.
The truth is I set my sheep free every morning. They come up and go into a pen every night because they know the fields belong to the Bobcats and Coyote at night and they are concerned about their lambs. I shut the gate so that no one is tempted to eat the sheep.
In the morning I let them out into the fields. There are some fences around the field but the gate to that land is almost always open and the fences do not go all the way around. They can leave anytime and have occasionally done so but are always happy to come back to the field.
There was a sheep that kept leaving the flock. The third time it did I did not go after it to show it the way back. It never was seen again.That sheep was determined to leave the flock. It was not just lost. It wanted to go its own way.
I have found lost sheep before that could not find the rest of the flock much less a safe place to spend the night. I did not force them to go back to the heard but I did guide them back because I knew where the sheep wanted to be and needed to be in order to survive.
The sheep will only survive for a short time without my attention and care. Until they evolve into something else they will need my aid and I am willing to give it. It is a thing of nature called a symbiotic relationship.
The sheep depend on me being their to protect and guide them. If you lived night and day with sheep on the open range you would began to understand the roll of a shepherd. What you see in most churches is not what I do. If you read the books which are all free online you would begin to see the real message of the Bible and it is quite different from what most religionists imagine and the truth of it will set you free if you change directions.
We also have a few cows that could get out of the fields if the wished. We are surrounded by open range land in the high-deserts of Oregon. We care for the cows in a similar way that we care for the sheep. We even brand the cows but that is not to enslave them but to protect them from two legged predators that would steal them.
The image of a priest he might be talking about is the result of a photo taken for NewsWithViews.com where I publish articles from time to time. The picture was me with a black Tee shirt and a white Tee shirt which was the photographers idea. He thought it made me look more ministerial than my regular clothes. As he was volunteering for the photo-shoot I accommodated him.
In ancient times a priest was usually the eldest member of the family who served the whole family by managing extra funds of the family for its benefit with individual needs in mind. Families consisted of grandfathers, Married Sons and their families and unmarried uncles and aunts.
This was the foundation of all society. But societies also had priests who were the people who would be given funds or items of social sacrifice for the care of families that might need assistance, such as widows and orphans. Religion was how you provided for the needs of society, your duty to your fellowman and so men chosen by society to serve as priests of society managed those contributions for the good of all. This natural and voluntary sacrifice of the people, for the people, by the people was called Corban. This Corban was also called Religion.
Two forms of religion within societies rose up in the world. Those that operated on free will contributions and those who chose to force their neighbors to contribute. One was based on love and charity and one was based on force and covetousness. They produced two different kinds of societies.
The priests of one society were chosen becomes of their compassion and desire to serve. The priests of another society are actually called bureaucrats and they merely exercise authority one over the other. This usually requires the invention of another group of priests.
Those are the ear-ticklers who are hired to make the people feel good about coveting their neighbors goods and sending the bureaucrat priests to their neighbor's door to force them to provide for what they want such as free schools to babysit their children, free health care and old age social security so they do not have to take care of the needy of their family or their elderly parents. This of course the the Corban that Christ said made the word of God to none effect.
So there are lots of different kinds of Shepherds and priests and the kind makes all the difference.
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Brother Gregory in the wilderness.