John 10King James Version (KJV)
10 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.
38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,
40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.
41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
42 And many believed on him there. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+10&version=KJV
Even us atheists, can still find some ideas of great value, within books considered as holy . For me, the parable of the good shepherd, is one idea of great value. Some believers might wonder, what? interest, would a non-believer ever have , in the bible. Those folk overlook the fact that we non believers, do see these ideas, as simply being philosophy of men. Some of which remain valuable.Many atheists can still see there is value in philosophy
We live in a extremely divided world. There is still much racism. Sexism.Violence.Hatred.Family dysfunction. Ongoing wars .And so on
Jesus was a forward thinking man, whom could see how all this disharmony, was actually like a huge cancerous threat to us all. He saw how it wasn’t ever going to be good enough, that we might only think to serve our own interests. While forgetting the plight of many others.
So why? would it ever be good enough,if the exclusive brethren sheep were rounded up. What about all those very many other folks,caught up in so many other abusive faith groups, and cults, all around the world, whom would then still be left to need to suffer-on. Some of these abusive groups being so small,and so hidden beneath all the folds of this widespread division, and so-called freedom of religion, that it would thus way remain highly unlikely, that the plight of their own group, might ever be able to receive the kind of media exposure, like what the exclusive brethren group most thankfully has done
And so we would all be doing these good folk, a great disservice ,if we were to simply forget all about them. Thinking only to save ourselves.
I really don’t give a damn, how many people will hate me, for daring to say these things. Iv’e become accustomed, to being someone, whom is despised. Some of it has been for valid reasons too. For indeed there are a large number of things, about my own life, that i would like to do very differently.If only it were possible, that i could re-live my life, all over again
I’m willing to wager, that there are also many exclusive brethren members, whom might feel this way too. And also many Catholic folk as well. Anglican Folk. Baptist Folk. I’m sure even Muslim Folk too. And so on
But alas, it’s not possible. All we can do is to try to do a little better,as best we can,from now on.However this does not mean that we shouldn’t still also, try to do something, to try to make amends . That’s why, some groups, like the Catholic church (for one),have finally agreed to try to compensate the people with whom their own Catholic group had allowed to be abused. And in that way, those folk whom were abused, can then also work towards compensating their loved-ones, whom they themselves may have hurt in some way. So that some form of justice, might then be served, for all involved. Lets face it, this abuse that may have been experienced by ourselves, also has an overflowing effect as well too. Our pain, being shared by other people, in which we will meet, along our pathway in life. And these folk,who lives have been effected ,detrimentally, due to the way us cult-bred folk have been taught to be. Are in fact also become a victim themselves too, in some way or other. Which is wrong. It is unjust
One of the very worst things about all this huge problem. Is that folk, have not cared to remember how to be good shepherds. Too often,folk in some less abusive faith group, have willingly turned a blind eye, to what has been continually going on, elsewhere ,within some-other highly abusive faith groups,and cults.
You might say,but how? can anyone say, that groups like the Catholic church, can be accused? of any involvement in our exclusive brethren groups abuse. When we can see how they have already moved to start compensation of those of among their own group, whom they may have directly abused. How can? the Catholic church ,be connected in any way whatsoever, with ongoing abuse, still happening within the exclusive brethren cult
Well they all played their own little part in this ongoing problem. For indeed, many will have still willingly turned a blind eye, to the plight of so many sheep.Worldwide . So very unlike, how a good shepherd, would act
Is that? what their Jesus would do . I say no
I cannot see it, as being so likely that he might. For to be honest, this does not sound so much, like the attitude of Jesus, that in many cases i see is written about within that bible
In some ways ,Pope Francis has been like a breath of fresh air. Sure, i can see how he might still tend to see us lowly unbelieving atheist folk ,as being somewhat lesser-folk, that what some believers, may still tend to see their own folk as being. But hey never mind about that. At least Pope Francis still helps to offer humanity some form of renewed hope
“Wounds of the Church” ….. Meaning, wounds of the whole? loaf
Let the Pope think whatever he feels comfortable , with thinking about us atheists. And lets just wait and see, if his idea of us atheists, generally matches-up with these kinds of accusations.
Personally, im not convinced, that Jesus even believed in God. Because,why? in the parable of the Good shepherd, would we read, that evidently Jesus had replied
Quote “34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” (my bold)
Ye are all Gods ?
To me, this is the words of a forward thinking man. A man whom even way back in those ancient times, could plainly see, how-many ideas about God, had actually been constantly invented, and created via thoughts, that were happening within the minds of men , right down throughout all time . A natural occurrence,and specially among lives of early human, whom obviously struggled to understand reason for the existence of human life on earth
It is not Jesus i see to be any good reason to need to fear. For indeed it is some of his followers, that do worry me most
Would? Jesus be so-concerned, with deciphering,”exactly” which sheep could be considered as being classed as “mainstream-sheep” . Or would? he perhaps just tend to see the “whole sad sorry situation”, is being all part of the whole one-loaf
I’m sure it is a very good thing for people to be like “Fishers Of Men”.Like our wikipeebia friend Fisherman is. And i can see how Jesus was also a fisher of men too. But much more than that, Jesus was also a good shepherd.A shepherd, whom could plainly see, how much disharmony and family dysfunction exists all around about us. For indeed Jesus also wasn’t prepared, to think to leave anyone out . Not even the lowly,or those prostitutes either, whom very many despised, even way back in those times
Likewise ,we folk should also not ever be prepared, to forget about the plight of those other folks suffering within other groups,around about us. Like those living within Gloriavale Christian Community for instance. Or those folk within Christadelphian group. Or even those live caught-up within the Westboro baptist too.Or folks caught up within Jane Whaleys ,Word of Faith Fellowship as well.Or even people suffering within Muslim groups either.Hindu Groups And so on
We share this planet,together, with other folk. I can’t help feeling, it may be pure folly, for us to ever think, that the plight of some other folk, is of no real concern of our own