Monday, August 04, 2008

Fisherman? Or Fish?

As some recent posts may indicate to those of you who read this blog, if there be few who do at all, I have taken up the cause of a world without religion and have declared myself to be atheist. Over the course of the last few months some thoughts about religion occur to me from time to time and today I will share one with you.

In at least one of the gospels Jesus calls out some disciples declaring to them he will make them "fishers of men." I think we all can remember that without specifying book, chapter, verse. What struck me with some irony is that indeed the apostles were fishers of men just like Jesus promised, for they, according to the what is written in the New Testament, caught lots of fishes. Peter caught 3000 in just one day, I think, and Paul caught a bunch more all over the Middle East throughout his career. And since then billions of fishes have been caught. And, like fish, they were devoured and the bones thrown out. Think of the Dark Ages, the inquisition, the crusades, the witch hunts and any bit of church history the Pope, as well as your pastor, would surely love for you to forget.

There are some truly great and successful fishermen in the world today. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, Pat Robertson and Oral Roberts just to name a few from of old. They are, or were, truly good fishers of men. They had them coming in the front door of unsubstantiated religious belief by the thousands every week, and accepted, without shame, all the wealth the new fish bestowed upon them.

Today we have a new bunch of fishermen, some you may have heard of some you may haven't. Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Benny Hinn and John Hagee. All chief fishermen of enormous fisheries from which untold wealth and health is reaped for the fishermen and his family. But being a fisher of men is not limited to just men. There are many women, Joyce Meyers is just one, getting in on the action. Just surf through the few church channels available on cable or Directv to see a few. I caution you that you may view some bizarre fishing techniques but, as many of them are so ridiculous as to be scandalous, you may get a laugh or two.

On a smaller scale there are many new fisheries being created right before your very eyes. Just in my small area of the world I've noticed many humble beginnings in rented buildings that may have at one time been an auto parts store or the remains of a small fishery building the previous tenants left for larger headquarters, a sign of the truly good fisherman in our midst.

In many of these fisheries resides the "want to be" fisher of men in all of us. You've seen at least one example of what I mean some time in your life. That guy at the Waffle House with the "Got Jesus?" T-shirt talking mainly to the waitresses, a captive audience if there ever was one, about the need they have for Jesus in their lives. I know a guy like that and it is he who is the inspiration for this post. So, I simply ask without malice, is he a "fisher of men" or, is he just a little fish in someone else's really big net? You already know what I think.

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