I don’t have a fish emblem on my car and probably never will. I have nothing against fish or what the Christian fish emblem represents nor am I judging or condemning anyone who does have one on their car. I am a Christian. I just don’t feel comfortable in representing my beliefs with a fish on my car. I don’t trust myself.
Just for reference, here is a brief summary of what the fish emblem represents. This symbol is called Ichthys or Ichthus from the Koine Greek word for fish.
According to tradition, ancient Christians, during their persecution by the Roman Empire in the first few centuries after Christ, used the fish symbol to mark meeting places and tombs, or to distinguish friends from foes.
According to one ancient story, when a Christian met a stranger in the road, the Christian sometimes drew one arc of the simple fish outline in the dirt. If the stranger drew the other arc, both believers knew they were in good company. Current bumper-stickers and business-card uses of the fish hearken back to this practice. —Christianity Today, Elesha Coffman, “Ask the Expert”
There is also a counter-fish emblem created to represent Darwinism.
Since I don’t believe in Darwinism as it relates to Creation I will not have one of these emblems on my car either.
Maybe I am being too critical of myself or being too concerned about something that really doesn’t matter. Maybe not.
Paul says in I Corinthians 8:9, “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”
He is talking here about not eating meat if it causes a brother or young Christian to stumble. At the time Jews thought the meat from many animals was unclean and forbidden. Even though there is nothing wrong with eating meat for Christians – our right – if doing so causes someone else to stumble on their own journey of faith because they believe this is wrong then we should have the maturity and respect to not eat meat in their presence.
If I cut someone off in traffic, don’t let them merge into traffic, or take “their” parking place and they see that fish on my car that is my witness to that person. All they likely know about me is I have a “Christian fish” emblem on my car so I must be one of “those Christians” then that supports some stereotype of what they believe Christians are, just ordinary hypocrites. I don’t want that to happen if I can avoid it. This can be applied to many different situations for Christians. Others that come to mind are drinking alcohol, attending R rated movies, and the words I choose to speak or write.
This is probably one of the few times I really do care what people think of me because as a Christian I am representing Christ to those whose path I cross. I do the best I can but am far from perfect. However those looking for a Christian to make a mistake, for some reason, want to hold others to a standard by which they are unwilling to measure themselves.
I know I am not responsible for anyone else’s thoughts or actions, only mine, but I don’t want to be the reason or excuse someone else uses for their thoughts or actions either if that can be avoided.
This principle can be applied to most any other group you could substitute here. When I worked for UPS one Christmas season they had a policy that employees could not wear a complete uniform home. We had to change our shirts before we left so we, as representatives of UPS, would not do something in that uniform that would disparage UPS.
It holds true for employees as well as employers and those in leadership positions, maybe even more so.
Knowing I am doing my best, with God’s help, to live as a Christian, helps me have peace of mind. That peace of mind helps me sleep well at night. However I do know I have and will continue to make mistakes in this journey called life. As long as my motives are pure I can forgive myself when I do make mistakes. I know God has already forgiven me.
If you don’t have that assurance and peace of mind yourself that is a choice you have made but one that can be changed today. Take a look here for 4 Steps to Peace With God. I promise you will not regret it and can be sleeping better tonight.
I pray that God will give me wisdom to know when to “not eat meat.”
Until next time…
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