Below is an excerpt from a book I’m writing called Adventures in Fishing (for Men). The book is a satirical allegory about Christian attempts at evangelism. He who has ears to hear…
After I started the World Fishing Training Center, I had thousands of students who came and went through the courses we offered. But I soon began receiving reports that after the students went back to their homes, few of them were actually doing any fishing. It made me question what we were doing and why. If the students we trained to fish never actually did any fishing, was there a problem with our training or was it a problem with the students.
Upon reflection, I determined that it was the student’s fault. Most of them were not truly committed fishermen. Though they seemed like true fishermen at the beginning, the fact that they fell away and never actually fished proved that they were never fishermen to begin with. They were spurious fisherman.
Somehow we needed to develop a way to determine true fisherman from false fisherman. We could not have any fishermen who put their hand to the rod, and then later turned away. We needed lifelong commitment.
So I sat down and put together a fishing covenant. It was a document which provided the seven proper beliefs and ten proper behaviors of all true fishermen. If a potential fishermen trainee could not agree to this fishing covenant, then they were rejected from our Training Center and were counseled to examine themselves to see whether or not they were into fishing.
Here is the Fishing Covenant I developed:
I, (Your Name Here), commit to uphold the beliefs and behaviors of all true fishermen as outlined below, proving thereby that I am a fishermen in truth.
Seven Proper Fisherman Beliefs
- The Fisherman’s Guidebook is without error, and is the only source for proper fisherman beliefs and behavior.
- People who do not fish are living without hope and without purpose in this world. It is our job as fishermen to convince others to become fishermen also.
- The Great Master Fisherman of the past is our prime example for how to be fishermen today. We must follow his life and actions as closely as possible.
- The Great Master Fisherman will return in the future to inaugurate an era of peaceful fishing upon the entire world.
- There have been seven periods of fishing throughout human history, each with distinct rules and ways of fishing. We must not confuse the rules of our era of fishing with the rules of other eras as this would lead to faulty forms of fishing.
- The Spirit of Fishing is at work throughout the entire world to draw men to fishing. We are agents of this Spirit when we live lives in accordance with the beliefs and behaviors explained here.
- Women are not allowed to be fishermen. We are called “fishermen” for a reason, even if we don’t know what that reason is.
Ten Proper Fisherman Behaviors
- All true fishermen will regularly attend an established fishing club where they will receive instruction and training about the ways of fishing. The truly committed will attend Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and Saturday morning.
- All true fisherman will give 10% of their income to the fishing club they attend.
- Fishermen must read and study the Fisherman’s Guidebook for at least fifteen minutes every day.
- Hair must not go past the collar. Fishermen are disciplined, and a high and tight haircut reflects an orderly and disciplined life.
- Fishermen must not exaggerate about the number and size of fish they catch. Honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of all true fishermen.
- Fishermen must not use coarse language when fishing, but should only allow pure and encouraging words to escape their lips.
- Fishermen must not drink beer when fishing. Beer if of the devil.
- When a fisherman catches a big, beautiful fish, the fisherman must not dance. Dancing is undignified and may lead to sexually explicit behaviors.
- Fishermen must only purchase fishing material such as fishing lures and fishing boats from other fishermen who are due-paying members of their own fishing club. We want to keep our business “within the family.”
- Fishermen must only listen to fishing music. Other types of music may lead fishermen into behaviors which are not proper for true fishermen.
(Your Signature Here)
As an added benefit to this Fishing Covenant, we now have a way to silence all the critics of our fishing methods. If someone criticizes what we teach or how we train, we can just see whether or not they have signed the Fishing Covenant. If they have not, then we denounce our detractors as being false fishermen, and tell all of the true fishermen to not listen or heed anything the false fishermen says.
One final nice thing about this Fishing Covenant is that we made sure to leave out all references to actually catching fish. As my experience has shown, fish are notoriously difficult to catch, and it would not be right or fair to require true fisherman to catch fish. It is enough for fishermen to move toward fishing, think about fishing, and invest their money in the lives of others who do fish, or with people like me, who train others to fish.