Herd Mentality

Bobby G. Richardson
Matthew 7:1-14 Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are living in the last days. And, because we are living in the last days, it is vital that everyone who intends to make Heaven their eternal destination to be very mindful of some major pitfalls. In this lesson, I hope to share with you an example of "stinking thinking" that every child of God should guard against ... within AND without the Church.

In a previous study, I mentioned the migrating herds of zebras, gazelles and wildebeests along the vast eco system of the African Serengeti. And, it is with that thought in mind that I would like to pick up with this study. The very first thing that must be understood is that these herds are NOT being protected and guided under the safe oversight and caring hand of a shepherd, as with a flock of sheep. Therefore, they are at a much higher risk because of the elements as well as being exposed to roaming bands of various predators. A flock of sheep, on the other hand, enjoy a totally different environment. However, even in the more favorable environment of sheep, there are still many dangers, which is why a good shepherd is so vital to the flock. It is said that herd mentality describes how people are influenced to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items. Examples of herd mentality means to "keep up with the crowd", and is manifested by people sharing the same philosophy, buying all sorts of consumer products, following modern trends and fashions and such. It is said that people with herd mentality can be broken down in two groups ... One that lends itself to religious points of views, and how those beliefs dictate their actions, while the other lends itself to influence by the media ... more liberal and based upon what others "perceive" as being right (following trends, social norms, etc.). The sad thing is, many salt of the earth church going type people are watching, listening to and taking in the wrong information, and getting the wrong advice. The term "herd mentality" is derived from the word "herd," meaning a group of animals, and "mentality," implying a certain frame of mind ... or how large numbers of people act the same way at the same time. Companies spend vast sums of money trying to stay ahead of the curve, and predict how you and I will spend our money. They advertise, entice and persuade people to enter into their gate (so to speak). And, while there is nothing inherently wrong about that, a child of God had better pay very close attention to the information they take in AND the advice they take. Also, we had better never forget that there is a difference in a herd and a flock.

There are two spheres of thought. One is the many "herds" of the world ... the vast majority. And, the other is the many "herds" of "professing" Christians ... of which only a remnant is the tried, true, called and chosen. Hopefully, we won’t lose sight of these important distinctions as we go along. But, what I am saying is that the True Church of the Living God is NOT a denomination. And, it is NOT even the majority within the vast numbers of "professing Christians". Instead, it is just a small remnant among the vast numbers of the many "herds" of "professing Christians". That is just the simple facts.

Another very important thing to remember is that, while there can be a certain amount of safety in large numbers, when it comes to the ways of God, the crowd is WRONG! And, it is sad to say, but the herds of the world ... AND far too many "professing Christians" ... erroneously take comfort in large numbers, and have been lulled into a false sense of security because of their numbers. Think back over Biblical history and ask yourself this question, "When did God ever use a large number ... an overwhelming majority (or strong force) ... to do anything really significant?" In the examples which come to my mind, God used a small, out-numbered, rag tag team of mis-fits and out-casts ... who put their total trust and confidence in God ..., and wrought mighty works among them, and defeated their foes. This is because, when people fear God, and are faithful to God, and are walking in His statutes and ways, the Angel of the Lord is encamped round about them, and His hand is upon them, to lead, guide, guard and protect them. However, that cannot be said for those who are hard headed, stubborn and rebellious, and who do things their own way. The backsliding and rebellions of God’s chosen people ... Israel ... caused them to lose many battles they should have won, and to even be taken captive, and the temple destroyed, simply because they had forsaken God. Now, that is tragic! But, I am convinced that the same thing is happening all around us, today. As God’s people, fishing for souls, we need to genuinely love people, and manifest an humble and obedient heart ... and a broken and contrite spirit ..., NOT a haughty, arrogant and self righteous attitude. Failure to understand that one simple thing will prevent us from winning souls, and being an inspiration ... another tragic situation.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Exodus 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Psalm Chapter 1:1-6 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

Matthew 4:17-19 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

Jude 1:1-25 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 9:16-27 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Romans 12:1- 21 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.


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