He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. John 12:40
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if your church didn't use almost constant references to the parables of Jesus. According to many, Jesus, the great teacher, used them to reveal deep truth to the masses. There certainly is great truth in them, so why would anyone object to this idea?
These people often are uncomfortable with the church epistles and forget about prophecy, especially the book of Revelation. They have the herd quieted down. In fact the herd pays their preachers to do just that. So, let's not have a stampede, especially a stampede out the door.
But what if parables, filled with truth, were designed to conceal the truth? This is not just a theory at all, but the plain truth revealed to the disciples.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? Matthew 13:10
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matthew 13:11
So the great teaching program turned out to be something else. It did not educate the masses, but rather screened out those who were not able to hear the truth of God.
As a child, I saw a remarkable film. It showed two flocks of sheep approaching one another on a road. Soon the flocks were intermingled in a confused mass. The two shepherds continued on their way, then turned and called. Their flocks each gathered towards their shepherds and soon were on their way.
His sheep know His voice and come to him. The rest of the sheep are deaf to Him and his teaching. It sounds like the doctrine of election in action, does it not?