In the wake of the recent shootings in Oregon, a picture popped up on Facebook (and undoubtedly many other places as well). It was a photo of one of the current presidential hopefuls. He was holding a sign that displayed the ichthus.
In case that term is foreign to you, it’s Greek for fish. It was an early symbol used to indicate one’s Christianity. In those days, it was somewhat dangerous to be a Christian, so the simple fish sign was used clandestinely (kind of like a secret handshake).
“I am a Christian”
Printed above the ichthus were the simple words, “I am a Christian.” The point was immediately obvious to anyone who had been keeping abreast of the news in Oregon. The candidate was identifying with the victims of the shooting who had died because they admitted to their faith.
Upon seeing that image, many of us hastened to post our own such statement. I was no exception. Already on our way out the door to celebrate our eighteenth wedding anniversary, my young bride and I stopped for a few moments to post similar pictures.
I almost felt a little weird doing it, but it seems to be the thing to do these days. These pix (accompanied on Instagram and Twitter with #IamaChristian) are akin to faces with rainbows superimposed upon them—t-shirts that say, “I can’t breathe—bumper stickers that state, “It’s a child, not a choice.”
All these examples (and myriads more) are ways for people to somehow identify with a person or cause, make a statement, or simply be provocative. As I said, it seems like the thing to do.
I felt a little weird because I don’t usually jump on the bandwagon so quickly. I tend to be a tad more cautious. I follow the bandwagon at a safe distance until I think it’s safe, then I trot along until I can find an inconspicuous moment to climb aboard (which is probably why my clothing is always one or two styles behind the current fashion—much to my spouse’s chagrin).
“I felt compelled…”
For some reason, however, I felt compelled to go whole hog on this one. I shot from the hip. Not that I regret it, but it’s a little out of character for me. I’m usually much more deliberate.
The real reason I feel somewhat strange, however, has nothing to do with that. It has more to do with the feeling that I’ve accomplished nothing. What change was I able to institute? Have I advanced society and our culture one iota by posting my little pictorial statement?
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 10:9-10 to declare, “Jesus is Lord” with our mouth. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I guess I’ve at least said something.