The old breed is almost gone. Border collies, Kelpies, Blue Heelers, and "Bitsers" (bits of this and bits of that) are seldom seen among the sheep any more. Instead of Old Blue guarding the flock, we see a new breed that is part poodle and part Basenji. Basenji can't bark, but they can yodel and howl.
Isaiah 56:9-12 is the only text in the Bible on sheepdogs. It describes "dumb dogs (that) cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber... greedy dogs which can never have enough, that cannot understand, they all look to their own way, every one for his gain."
A better description of toothless, spineless, voiceless shepherds of God's flock could hardly be found. We hear from them no warning growl to alert the flock of approaching apostasy. We hear no bark of authority from the pulpit. We see in them no fierce defenders of the lambs. Gone are the fangs, and the lightning attacks on ravening lions and wolves in sheep's clothing. How long has it been since we saw a pastor with backbone and grit who was set for the defence of the gospel? We might as well admit it; most of them have been pensioned off and replaced by a poodle/Basenji cross. They can't bark, but they can put on a good show. They go to the hairdresser to be permed and perfumed, petted and pampered. They have been trained how to pirouette and beg and roll over and play dead. But barking is no longer part of the course.
Christianity Today recently printed an article on the "Attack Dogs of Christendom." The article was supposed to be an expose' of the good men who still know how to bark. When I read it I thought I heard a "basenjipoodle" yelp because of a well aimed stone. Is it possible that Old Blue nipped a lapdog in the pocketbook? Or wakened it from its nap? Did someone rebuke a cute and cuddly clergyperson for welcoming a unitarian wolf into his flock? Did Fido eat Fifi's beefsteak?
It might pay, the next time you hear one of the Pope's lapdogs howl to ask why? If we listen to Christian radio stations and TV broadcasts, we will soon hear the yodel of a "basenjipoodle." It is a whiny sound that appeals to the megachurch crowd, and fits right in with the beat of CCM. But it has no resemblance whatsoever to the songs of the redeemed. It isn't easy to find an old dog who still knows how to bark, but there are still a few around. If you come across one, hold on to him. They know how to obey the Good Shepherd, and will die for the sheep in order to protect them. Just like their Master.
"Cry aloud, do not spare; lift up your voice like a shofar, and declare to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins." (Is58:1)