The "flock" thins out.
It has long been believed that sheep are very very dumb creatures. Actually, they are not, but from a human perspective, their flocking instinct (used for survival against predators) looks very stupid - tending to follow another sheep anywhere, even into dangerous, irrational territory.
"Feed my lambs, feed my sheep" has become a common metaphorical rule for pastors worldwide, but when looked at closely from a human standpoint, it becomes a tool to incite tyranny over others. In other words, a pastor must CONTROL his flock - and every aspect of it. In Biblical times, unfortunately (for sheep), sheep were considered dumb, the dumbest being the one that struck out on his own, because he had no cognizance of what might lay ahead of him. A shepherd usually wouldn't go after it, because leaving the flock alone might make it vulnerable to predators. In other words, individuality in the flock was frowned upon.The lone sheep was a pariah. Sound familiar?
Much of Christian Fundamentalism is concerned with control: if a pastor told his "flock" that not everything in the Bible is to be taken literally, there can be a loss of control. Literal interpretation of the Bible is paramount in keeping people in line. Absolute, God-written, control.
"God said it. I believe it. That settles it."
Huckabee The Lousy Shepherd
The bottom line? In a look further down the list, the contender who appears to be losing ground in Iowa is Mike Huckabee. He’s at only 5 percent in the new Quinnipiac poll, down from 11 percent in a comparable May survey. That sort of makes sense: Mr. Huckabee’s God, grits, and gravy populism isn’t that far off Trump’s anti-immigrant and bellicose positions.
In calling for civil disobedience to same-sex marriage, Huckabee virtually fenced in his flock. In supporting Josh Duggar in his scandal, he alienated them. His mild condemnation of Trump divided his flock. He did everything he could to make his flock vulnerable.