In my complete shock at finding an actual "Shepherd's Guide", I sent an email to whoever it is who responds to their "contact us" emails. I told them I thought this was wrong, and didn't do anything to further the Kingdom, yada, yada, yada. I wasn't hateful or rude. I'm not even sure why I did it, except that I was feeling especially outspoken and probably just a tad teed off. I certainly didn't expect anything in response. But surprise, surprise, Mr. Dave Moyer responded:
Although I may disagree with some of your comments, much of what you share is right on target. As a corporation that has been blessed to be in business for over 25 years, we have always been sensitive to the "great commission" even while our particular focus is on the Church - the visible body of believers. You will find that within the pages of The Shepherd's Guide there are clear evangelical messages - for salvation, growth in your walk with the Lord, inspiration, encouragement, etc. We regularly include the Billy Graham "steps to salvation"; confident that many readers have not yet received Christ. Many non-Christians use the Shepherd's guide as a resource because of the perceived "trust factor" (their words, not mine). This is where the Shepherd's Guide and its family of thousands of advertisers are at their "evangelical" best - serving as stewards of God-owned businesses, testifying of the "hope that is within" by doing business His way, making a difference, not so much by what we say but what we do! With that said, I want it to be perfectly clear our primary focus on believers is intentional and biblically mandated: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do well to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10)
I also want to assure you that we don't believe that Christians are more trustworthy; however, we believe they should be - we are "new creations"!!
Thanks again for your comments and for your heart for the lost.
Together for Him,
I went back to the website to copy some of what I read upon first discovering it. However, it has been changed. Either that, or I am hallucinating. The first time I read their home page, it was a much longer shpeal and it didn't include the soft focus image of a shepherd. Anyone else know what I'm talking about? One of the statements that stuck out in my mind, though I can't remember it word for word, was something like you would know the people were trustworthy because they were Christians and you'd know they were Christians because they had to sign a statement of faith before they were allowed to advertise. However, try as I might, I could not find it on there today. I don't know what that means.
I thought about just letting this issue die. I was feeling kind of bored with it. But I feel the need to further explain myself. I still don't understand the need for this directory. Is one plumber's crack more righteous than another? (No offense to plumbers) If I wanted a Christian doctor or counselor, couldn't I find one easily enough, being a Christian? Wouldn't word of mouth be enough? Personally, I wouldn't seek out a counselor or doctor just because they were a Christian. If they are any good, they are going to take my beliefs into account. Seriously, would a non-Christian marriage counselor tell me to divorce my husband or do something immoral to save the marriage? And if they did, shouldn't I know the difference? Do I need a couselor to pray for me? Do I need an intercedant? And as far as the praying doctor goes, will God say "Sorry, I can't answer your prayer to heal. But if your doctor asks for it, I'll do it. His carries more weight"?
And do these people really believe that someone who is not a Christian is going to pick up this directory, read the "steps to salvation" and suddenly convert? And if they aren't a Christian, but "trust" Christians more, why aren't they a Christian in the first place? I can't believe they actually perceive that as outreach. This is their "evangelical best"?
I know just as many immoral Christians as non-Christians. Just because they say they follow Christ doesn't mean they do. Signing a piece of paper doesn't make it so. This directory is someone's idea to make money by marketing to Christians. It's no different than a Jesus-scented candle. I think saying, "Come do business with me because I'm a Christian" is repulsive. It's the opposite of what we should be doing. It is one step further to living in the bubble.