Ray Rooney, Jr.: The Silence of the Shepherds
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 10:38 AM

If you are keeping abreast of the news from a reliable source these days (AFR, OneNewsNow, Fox News, Todd Starnes…those are my favorites) then you are hearing about regular people taking and making remarkable stands.  A florist and a baker have stood for the biblical definition of marriage by passing on providing services for homosexual marriages.  Cheerleaders have stood up for their First Amendment right to include Bible verses on banners and signs.  A professional football player stood tall for the right to life by passing on a team visit to the White House because of the President’s speech to Planned Parenthood.  A high school valedictorian stood for freedom of religious speech by tearing up his planned remarks and praying the Lord’s Prayer.  A Sergeant in the military took a stand for traditional marriage when he celebrated his promotion by throwing a party and serving Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.  The list could go on.

Make no mistake.  There have been and continue to be repercussions for those who take biblical stands today.  Some are being sued and are facing financial ruin and even jail time.  Some are being harassed.  All are being ridiculed, mocked, and vilified.  But thank God it is spreading.  It seems like every day there is some new story about someone who refuses to drink the political correctness Kool-Aid and takes a stand for their personal convictions born out of their biblical values.  Bakers, florists, athletes, students, soldiers, and even an occasional politician.  Have you noticed who is missing? 

The Church leader. 

How is it that leaders of any and every Christian denomination and church aren’t at the front of the line standing tall and being firm and loud on the issue of biblical marriage as the government zealously paves the way for legitimizing homosexual marriages?  What church leader is standing with the bakers and florists who are in trouble because their religious convictions would not allow them to participate in a homosexual union?  There was a lot of outrage expressed by conservative and pro-life groups over the details that came out during the Gosnell murder trial recently in Pennsylvania, but I cannot recall hearing from any denominational executive or leader.  Those were living born babies who were brutally and ruthlessly butchered.  And everybody knows Gosnell is not the only one murdering babies born alive despite botched abortions.  Nothing from the Church?   When the cheerleaders in Texas were sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation it was the Liberty Institute that successfully defended their right to put Bible verses on banners and signs.  What church leader stepped forward to decry the attempt to infringe on their religious rights?  Have all our church leaders bought into revisionist history that teaches a mythical separation of church and state?  Where do you suppose those cheerleaders learned those Bible verses? 

Let’s just say it.  Either the leadership of the American Church have themselves bought into the pluralism and secularism of culture or they (as a whole) are just plain scared to be seen standing shoulder to shoulder with the members of their flock who are engaging a sick society.

Could it be that even though technology has soared over the past two millennia the world has little changed?  Jesus Christ looked around at the sad state of affairs concerning the people of God and “[w]hen he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36 NLT).  Does it not look the same today?  God’s people are still confused and helpless and there is no unified voice from the shepherds of the Church encouraging, soothing, assuring, or taking command.  There seem to be few clergy willing to take the risks many of their brave sheep are taking.  The shepherds will only do their shepherding on certain days and within the walls and boundaries of their safe zones.  Thank goodness there are Christian voices out there doing what the Church leaders are failing to do. 

But it begs the question: “Why?”  Why won’t Church leaders cry out “Abortion is what Gosnell was doing only a few minutes before!”  Where is the denominational leader decrying the trampling of the rights of the Christian baker or florist who doesn’t want to be a part of a homosexual union?  Are they going to wait until the government forces them to perform the homosexual wedding rites?  The Church leader was told he or she was no longer permitted to pray before ball games and graduation ceremonies. They hardly said anything.  Are they going to remain silent as the students themselves are prohibited from praying or recognizing the things the Church leaders told them was important in church on Sunday? 

America has a long and storied tradition of Church leaders preaching to the nation; speaking up for holiness and out against unrighteousness.  Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, Dwight Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham are just a few Church leaders whose voices captivated and guided the nation.  Conservative and family groups have taken up the slack where there is little or no voice being heard from the Church but how much longer is America going to have to wait to hear from the leadership of the Church?  How much deeper into sin is the country going to have to sink until denominational leaders say “Enough!”  How many more sheep are going to be consumed by the wolves until the Church’s shepherds stand up and put an end to it?  What more do they have to see until they speak out and lead?

It’s time for the Church’s shepherds to own their callings and responsibilities. 

[Y]ou shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. And though you were my shepherds, you didn’t search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord…I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, and I will stop them from feeding themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey. (Ezekiel 34:7-10 NLT)


Ray Rooney, Jr.