Why sheep might be a bad symbol for believers.

"Sacrificial Sheep" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Sacrificial Sheep” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

In the bible, sheep aren’t pets. They are products. They were for some the backbone of the agricultural economy. Sheep provided wool and meat. That’s it.

They are submissive, frightful, vulnerable, weak, groupies, followers, and terribly naive.

They are also extremely sacrificial. Whether they want to be or not.

But they are also warm and delicious.

Someone once told me my job, when I was a pastor, would be turning lambs into lions.

Don’t be a sheep.

(Want to change from being a sheep to a lion? Join The Lasting Supper. Meow! I mean, ROAR!)


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12 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    You have been watching Katy Perry videos haven’t you? *wink*

  2. Kenton says:

    Oooh, I’m all for your empowering stuff, but I don’t like the idea of sheep becoming lions. Lions are the predators of sheep. How about sheep becoming shepherds?

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    But they are also warm and delicious.

    And a LOT of ManaGAWD mouths water for oh-so-delicious mutton.
    At least three Pastor’s meals a day of mutton.

  4. esbee says:

    Sheep are used as examples in the bible because they were what was around, people knew about them and how important they were to the economy. and delicate to raise and how people are like sheep and without a shepherd the sheep scatter and are taken by predators. The bible also mentions false shepherds and how they mislead the sheep because they do not care about them. Jesus is the only shepherd we need. And I am glad you care about the scattered sheep.

  5. Yes esbee. The analogy may have been partially useful then, although it still connotes the imbalance of power. But that is especially so today. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Laura Beth says:

    I apologize for going a bit off topic, but wasn’t sure where else to post this for you. (I’ll officially join TLS once I’m gainfully employed again – I’m sure there are better places to post there).

    I’ve been working on a weekly prayer routine and Wednesday has become my “pray for publishers” day. Interceding for you and your past, present and future projects – the people involved in them and the people they reach.
    Thanks for you work and the thoughts and conversations you spark!

  7. Merrydew says:

    I would rather that I be turned from Sheep into the Bride.

  8. Big fan of your work. Anyway- my friend has 2 pet sheep. They are kind of scary. Bruce is ok. Kind, bud doesn’t like it if you play with his dreaded. Beebe
    looks for openings to charge or crush you against fence. He’s 200 pounds, about what I weigh, but he has a lower center of gravity. If he came for me at a run I might not be able to dodge, and it would hurt. My friend tells me they ram each other full speed in play. Yeah, so I’ve worked w elephants and find sheep slightly scary. Just saying not to stereotype, that’s all.

  9. Ya, this would be generally. I’ve been chased down by sheep too. But that’s rare. Thanks for your story. Elephants!

  10. Kat says:

    I’d rather be a sheep than a goat. Just sayin.

  11. Lydia says:

    Ha! You have touched on one of my pet peeves. The “sheep” metaphor is taken way too far by most pastors. Must we remind the pastor he is a sheep, too? And we all have direct access to the Shepherd.