Sins of the Sheep


1/22/20221 min read

Authoritarian leaders don't come to power in a vacuum. While they definitely have persuasive powers, charisma, and leadership abilities, they only stay in power because the sheep allow it to happen. In this dynamic, the sheep play a vital role in allowing authoritarianism to thrive. The reality of the situation is that the sheep don't understand they are doing this at first, and some don't ever understand.

In Steven Martin's book Biblical Shepherding of God's Sheep, he places the bulk of the blame on the authoritarian, and rightly so. However, there is a level of blame that belongs to those keeping the man in power. It's also important to understand these sheep may be involved in thinking they are doing the right thing. It can be confusing to see the difference, but once clear of the manipulation the fog should begin to lift.

Martin says this about the sheep, "[G]od shares his glory with no man, not even 'called men' who are promoted to demigod status by their adoring flock. Such flocks too often find for themselves a man who likes to lord it over the flock. Thus a sinfully symbiotic relationship is complete with an abusive authority figure coupled to idol-worshiping minions (e.g. Jer. 5:30-31)."

It is important and it is relevant to put our minds around this concept especially upon departure. Once an enabling sheep leaves the fold they bear responsibility. That responsibility is to seek out those that were damaged by their culpable actions within the 'community' that was so abusive. There is a reality to this situation that is difficult, but you can't circumvent the process. It is an important element to the true freedom that comes after it's all done.