Tuesday, Nov. 25
“We are called to fish, not to clean pollution out of the lake.” This is a common expression among Christians. The analogy is apt. It’s impossible to clean up our world without cleaning up the sinners who cause the pollution. A similar proverb: “You catch ’em; God will clean ’em.” So we can’t clean up the lake and we can’t clean the fish. We are not commissioned to do either one. Our job is to bring people to Christ so He can clean them up. Jesus said to his inchoate disciples, some of whom were fishermen: “I will make you fishers of men.” So how do we respond to the immorality in our world? Accepting it, condoning it? No. We are told to be light, to let it shine brightly, to let the truth of the gospel be known. We need to take a stand against evil practices—adultery, child abuse, euthanasia, homosexuality, etc. But making our position clear is one thing; trying to eradicate it without dealing with the cause is doomed to failure. The pollution comes from sinners, who by nature will sin. Cleaning up our “lake” is both impossible and counter-productive. Spending time on futile attempts to clean up the lake takes us away from our assigned job. It’s time and energy wasted. Our commission is to point people to Christ, the “light of the world,” who will change them from within, making saints out of sinners. We need to concentrate on the “fish” for whom Christ died. The lake will only return to its pristine condition when there are no more impure fish polluting it. That won’t happen in this life, but we can salvage a few fish.