Saturday, February 18, 2006

Okay, This Is What I'm Talking About

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,

David Moyer

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.


h b said...

yeah, baby! see you in the morning ;)

i will be bringing my friend heidi whom i met at a business NOT listed in the directory.

h b said...

however, the most we can do is pray that the "evangelical best" these people strive for WILL reach some non-believers and that the guide is not merely a marketing strategy.

SuperMom said...

i have a hot AND smart wife......... as to the verse in galatians, if i were to pimp out harlots to men of the world, shouldn't i (being a good christian) encourage them to do their best work for the household of faith? it is detestable to swallow and share the concept that the church HAS to find a better way to "market" jesus to the world. if we must help God further His kingdom, how strong is our God? i know what i am talking about, because i used to believe the same sh*t!

not soooooo anonymous

Michelle- This One's For The Girls said...

Well, you've certainly given us all something to think about...

I'm still sticking with my Christian (pro-life) doctor. I guess because I've had a baby come out of my womb limp and lifeless and not crying for the next 13 minutes, only to let out a pitiful wimper, I've developed some strong opinions on that subject.

As far as counselors go- I would never consider, not even for a mili-second, letting any lost person try to speak any kind of counsel into my life. Counseling is soulish stuff, sister. When my soul is being counseled, I want the Holy Spirit and the Bible to be tools being used. (But I probably wouldn't go looking to the Shepherd's Guide for this one either-- I would definitely want a personal reference.)

Other than that, I can agree with you. I think we should definitely use the market place in a strategic way for loving people into the Kingdom. So, I guess I would have to say that I can't think of many reasons why I would need to consult a Shepherd's Guide. :)

Thanks for bringing this up. I've never really had an opinion about the Shepherd's Guide before. Blog on! (And I promise I'll think of you everytime I see a Jesus-scented candle!!!)

SuperMom said...

Yes, there is a "soul issue" when dealing in counseling, but much of it is scientific. My sister-in-law is a counselor. I would not classify her as a believer. I would go to her in a heartbeat if I needed counseling. I think there is a danger in saying a lost person has no insight. You've never taken advice of any kind from someone who isn't a Christian?

I also want to the Bible and the Holy Spirit to guide me in these things. Seeking counsel from a non-believer shouldn't keep me from that.

What's funny to me is that I can't believe I am saying these things. Not so long ago I would have been right along with you on this :-)