Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fishy Business

" The people I do business with . . . if they talk too much about being good Christians, I doubt their sincerity."

That's a quote from a businessman in Waco talking about the controversial President of Baylor University, Dr. Robert Sloan, who has become a distraction for a lot of reasons. He's now been pushed out and made a "Chancellor" which is a glorified term for fundraiser.

I don't really have an opinion one way or another except, having a daughter who attends the school, I believe Baylor can use all the fundraisers it can get its hands on. It's the third most expensive university in the state.

It's that quote I've been wrestling with for the past few days.

I'm disturbed by it.

By its truth.

I suppose we all know people who have put the Ichthus symbol on their business cards or signs. I believe many are identifying themselves as followers of Christ and their motives for doing so are pure.

I do however know one local businessman who told me straight out he put the "Jesus fish" on his signs because he wanted to attract Christians as customers figuring they'd pay their bills. He eventually took down the fish with some dismay and told me "all it did was attract needy people who thought a fellow Christian would give them a discount."

Heaven forbid.

Some years ago, when computers were still new in the workplace, it was hard to find folks to handle basic computer and network maintenance and our company hired a guy who in retrospect sold them a bill of goods. As I, and others, became more familiar with computers we questioned some of his prices and decisions. After learning I was a Christian - and a fairly new one at that - this guy would invariably respond to me by quickly mentioning how he was a "Gideon." He would suddenly start calling me "brother" and sprinkle into our conversations a lot of "Jesus talk."

It worked too, at least for a while. It distracted me - I thought anyone who was a practicing Christian should be trusted.

It wasn't until later that I realized he wasn't a "practicing" Christian....he had graduated to the pros.

And he was a con.

So today I'm simply wondering where do we draw the line? When is a display of faith too much?

It's a tricky question.

I suppose I'll have to keep fishing around for the answer.