The Wicked Fishers of Men

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, January 26, 2016 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler. The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.” –Habakkuk 1:14-15

When I used to sit and read Biblical passages that said that wicked people wait for the innocent to come by so that they may pounce and destroy them, I used to think it sounded crazy. How on earth could a human being created in the image of God desire to intentionally harm, kill, or defame someone else? It did not take me too long into my adult life to figure out that the Bible is dead on about this assertion and that more people have ill intentions for others than what I may have suspected. The wretched part about the world we live in today is that not only do wicked people do such a thing, they then proceed to lie about it and cast the blame on people who fight against injustice.

I am currently reading a book by a famous political figure, of whom everyone is probably familiar. At the beginning of his book he details an experience of his in the Senate, as a Republican, where his party met behind closed doors to discuss an issue that was important at the time. Before this meeting, the Democrats had taken their stance on one side of the issue and the Senate Minority Leader (who at the time was a Republican) had publically announced that his party would oppose and block the Democrats motion on this issue. But, as soon as the doors were shut and the cameras were off, the Senate Minority Leader told his party that they needed to go along with the Democrats, but they could not leave any Republican fingerprints that voters could trace. Democrats needed 60 votes to pass their motion and only had 55 votes. In order to pass the motion, 5 Republicans would have to risk their reputation among voters by voting along with the Democrats. But, instead of throwing fellow Republicans overboard, the Leader proposed that they vote unanimously to grant Senate the ability to change a rule with only 50 votes instead of 60. This way, the motion would pass and Republicans could please their voters by saying they voted against it.

Worldview matters. The example I just described consists of elected officials whom the voters trust to keep their word. Why might elected officials who could just as easily not get re-elected refuse to keep their word? Because they believe their voters do not truly know what’s best for them or their country. This is not merely arrogance or elitism. This is an ideological stance that is rooted in secular humanism. To them, not everyone is evolved enough to understand what is good for them.

Another example would be how we fail to effectively deal with Islamic extremism. I am not going to advocate for one policy over another right now, but we must realize that Muslims who come from the Middle East have a vastly different worldview from someone born in America. We cannot assume that people are going to be nice to us because we are nice to them. Not everyone thinks that being kind to people of different religions is virtuous. Some people view it as weak. We don’t understand that mentality because we live in a multi-cultural country (founded upon Christian principles, by the way) where other people are from countries with state-mandated religions. So that nobody misunderstands, I am not condemning any group of people right now, but we must understand that people do not think the same way that we do. There are people who will employ tactics of misdirection, deceit, and foul play to accomplish their mission. So what do we do about it?

We must realize that we are not fighting a battle against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 reads, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms.” Unlike our opposition, we do not degrade the value of human life. We should not deem a person less valuable because of ideology, religion, or political affiliation. Every human spirit has been corrupted by sin. Spiritual influences taint everyone’s perception of truth. We cannot judge a person through the external manifestations of those forces (even though we should seek to eliminate injustice whenever the opportunity is presented). We must proactively become the winners of souls.

The best way for us to combat injustice, or the wicked preying on the innocent, is by becoming fishers of men. Notice the interesting parallel between the passage at the top of this post and the words of Jesus. Jesus told his disciples that he would teach them to become fishers of men by teaching them how to convert and disciple many people. The wicked cited in Habakkuk also fish for men, except they do so with the intent of destroying them. In both cases, bait has to be cast. Instead of worrying about the integrity of those that we listen to, we should first seek to have integrity. People are always going to take bait, whether it is of those who want to help them or those who want to harm them. The only way to truly know whose bait is for the good is to be the fisher. And, for our own sake, we need to be especially discerning concerning whose words we allow to influence us. If they do not line up with the Word of God, their word is garbage.

After all, the wicked do lie in wait. We can either be the fishers or we can be the fish. There is always going to be corruption in politics. It’s disappointing to be lied to by elected officials, but our hope is not in them after all. We should not expect people of different religious worldviews to view us as friends with whom they can be kind and accepting. That is a characteristic of Christianity that makes it unique. We need to realize that we do not fight against the people, but the power of the spirits that enslave them. And, we must cast our fishing nets wide and faithfully if we ever desire to reach people before the evil one does. Be fishers of men, not consumers of bait.

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