Living with Fish People
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Whether you realize it or not you are surrounded by Fish People! In fact, there are somewhere around 65 million people who claim the title in the United States alone. Sometimes it is obvious who they are because they have those quirky, silver fish emblems on the backs of their cars. Others wear necklaces with fish pendants, or hats or t-shirts emblazoned with that very familiar ancient Christian symbol, the Icthus fish.
Christians, also known as Fish People for the purposes of this book, have a about a gazillion and a half books and other resources that are all about living in a world that they perceive as being hostile to their faith at worst and indifferent at best. They are written to help Christians understand how to live in a world full of people who do not necessarily believe what they believe and to teach them how to share their faith with those people.
On the other hand, there are few, if any real resources available for everyone else focused on how to live in a world populated by millions of Christians. That is why I wrote this book. This book is for the wife or husband trying to figure out what in the world their Christian spouse actually believes and why they act the way they do (at least with regard to their beliefs). It's for the person who has been wounded, perhaps terribly so, by someone in the church and is struggling with what kind of person could do or say such a thing while professing to be 'saved' and full of the love of God. It is for the politician who busies himself pandering to the 'Christian right' but does not truly understand what is actually important to that constituency and why. It is for the employer or employee who wants to understand what makes a Christian employee, boss, or coworker tick. It is for the friend whose buddy is always talking about Jesus. It is for the Christian who wants to revisit the basics of what their faith is all about.
In other words, this book is for anyone who has a need or desire to understand something of what Christians believe and why. This book was not written to reinforce any of the typical stereotypes you may have about Christians. Throw out any movie-made notions of homely wives who exist only to cook, clean, make babies and who talk with semi-southern accents while doing every bidding of their husbands. Throw away images of frenzied rallies where people have supremacist ideas of one kind or another. Toss to the curb images of street corner end-times ranters and polished, silver-tongued televangelists promising a hundred fold return on your faithful investment in the Kingdom of God.
Here there are no black shirts with white collars, no TV cameras, no praise bands, and no sermons. We are going to get to the bare bones of what Fish People believe, why they believe it, how it affects their lives, and how it affects, or may affect yours as you live amongst them. We are going to strip away the stereotypes and the cultural idioms and try to understand what it is that makes Christian people who they are. For a long time I have recognized the need for some kind of reference that everyday people can use to try to understand some of the beliefs and idiosyncrasies of the Christians they know, see on TV, hear on the radio, or otherwise come into contact with. The words contained in this book are simply designed to provide a plain, truthful insight that I hope readers will find helpful as they live life shoulder-to-shoulder with people who believe in the historical, biblical Jesus as their Messiah. They are Christians. They are the Fish People.