The Parable of the Fisherman

NOW IT CAME to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.

Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. Further they said, "The fishing industry exists by fishing as fire exists by burning." They loved slogans such as "Fishing is the task of every fisherman," and "Every fisherman is a fisher."

These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called "Fishing Headquarters." The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn't do, however; they didn't fish.

All the fishermen seemed to agree that what is needed is a board which could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived.

Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.

Some spent much study and travel to learn the history of fishing and to see faraway places where the founding fathers did great fishing in the centuries past. They lauded the faithful fishermen of years before who handed down the idea of fishing.

Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. Presses were kept busy day and night to produce materials solely devoted to fishing methods, equipment, and programs to arrange and to encourage meetings to talk about fishing. A speakers’ bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing.

Some said they wanted to be part of the fishing but they felt called to furnish fishing equipment. Others felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen. Others felt that simply letting the fish know they were nice, land-loving neighbors and how loving and kind they were was enough.

After one stirring meeting on "The Necessity for Fishing," one young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it. So he quit his fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen.

Now it's true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen's clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished. They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men?"

Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who didn't catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish? Is one following if he isn't fishing?

Kids Report On TV
by Larry Ray Hafley

From the Houston Chronicle, March 13, 1995, p. 3D, we extract the following:

"More than two-thirds of the youngsters in a national poll for Children Now, a California based advocacy group, said they are influenced by TV....What did the kids have to say about...TV?

"The majority of the surveyed...children...believe TV encourages them to lie, be disrespectful to parents, be aggressive and violent, and become sexually active too soon.

"Respondents said much of their anti-social behavior is learned from the tube. It is a damning indictment, considering the social problems, such as teen pregnancy, homicide and substance abuse, that afflict America's youth.…

"Seventy-seven percent of the respondents said TV has too much premarital sex, while 62 percent said TV and film influence their peers to have sex when they are too young. More than two-thirds said shows such as Married...With Children and The Simpsons encourage youngsters to be disrespectful to their parents...."

Parents, if a friend of yours was encouraging your children to "lie, be disrespectful to (you), be aggressive and violent, and become sexually active too soon," would you allow that "friend" to have access to your children? Definitely not! Knowing that, "Bad company corrupts good morals," you would not allow your children to associate with such a person (1 Cor. 15:33). Therefore, in view of the corrupting influence of TV, are you monitoring and regulating what your children are watching?

Mom and dad, would you permit your children to read a book that promoted lying, disrespect, and sexual immorality? Of course not! Yet, this is what children say TV is doing to them. Do not let TV become your child's babysitter. If a personal babysitter taught them "to have sex" and to lie and be disobedient, you would never use that sitter again. How, then, can we allow TV to be an unrestricted babysitter of our children?