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Doctrine in dialogue format
FISHING FOR GOD
7the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, (Mat 13:)
"You're entirely welcome Mr Busybody. I feel it my duty to share what the Lord has seen fit to share with me, and as you probably already know sir, I am quite adept at bringing fish into the Kingdom of Heaven."
"So I have been told Reverend Angler. I hear your church is one of the largest in the state, congregation wise. Have I heard correctly?"
"You have indeed Mr Busybody. I might go as far as to say my church may be one of the largest in the world, congregation wise. I have developed some very effective and unique tactics with which to save the lost souls from a burning eternity and anchor them safely into the security of the Father's hands."
"I understand as well that you have written a book to this effect, and that it's doing rather well being on the top ten of the best sellers list. I suspect that has brought you a considerable income, has it not Reverend Angler?"
"Indeed it has Mr Busybody, indeed it has."
"You say you're soul-saving technique is similar to that of fishing. Could you explain to me how your technique works Reverend Angler?"
"I believe I can do better than just to tell you Mr Busybody, if I'm not mistaken I now have a full net, and I will bring them in and demonstrate my technique as it applies to fish of the sea."
"That would indeed be a fine way of explaining your process Reverend Angler. And while you reel in your net, would you perhaps tell us a little about your church and your doctrine?"
"Certainly Mr Busybody. As you can see I have an automated system for reeling in the net so I am free to discuss my doctrine while I continue to fish. First of all I would like to say my doctrine is not much different than any of the other Fundamentalist or Evangelical denominations. It's not in my beliefs that I differ, but rather in my tactics. As I'm sure you know, the common way of bringing in the sheaves, that is, in catching fish, is to incorporate the various forms of entertainment and activities that the world has so aptly proven to be conducive to attracting the people of the world. The difference is that with us, the churches, we are not merely providing entertainment, but we are saving souls as well. Our goal is one of a much higher level than that of the world. But this I'm sure you already know and understand."
"I must admit Reverend Angler that I fairly well understand the process you've just described, but I'm not thoroughly convinced as to its appropriateness. As I understand it then, since your beliefs are similar, if not identical, to those of the other churches of a traditional bent, that is the Mainline churches, you also believe in the security of the believer, that is, those who have been baptized, is that not correct?"
"Indeed it is Mr Busybody, with the added proviso that such a person has been properly baptized and the church into which they are baptized is one on the accepted list. I'm sure you understand the need for such a stipulation."
"I see. And I see too that your net is now being emptied into the floor of your boat. If I understand you correctly Reverend Angler, what you are about to show me is identical to the process God uses in processing the souls you so effectively bring into your church, is that not correct sir?"
"Indeed it is Mr Busybody, indeed it is."
"Ah, I see you're now inspecting each of the fish. May I ask what you look for in such a concentrated inspection?"
"Certainly Mr Busybody. I check to make sure the fish is not sickly, that is that they are lively, active, and that there eyes are clear."
"You check their eyes you say? I hadn't considered such a thing. But from what I've been told an optometrist can readily detect an illness or a lack of good health by looking into the eyes of his patients."
"A very good simile Mr Busybody. Health of the catch is important. Now, as you see, I place the healthy fish to my right, and the unhealthy fish, those with flaws and defects to my left."
"Interesting, Reverend Angler. That causes me to think of the Judgement Throne when sheep and goats will be separated in just such a way. I also see that you are placing many perfectly healthy fish on your left with the unhealthy fish. May I ask why you would do such a thing sir?"
"Certainly Mr Busybody. You see, although there are many fish brought to the boat, not all fish in the net are suited for consumption. If a fish is contaminated in any way, or if it is undersized, that is it has not matured sufficiently, or it is of an unacceptable variety such as a shark or a bottom feeder, or if it is an eel or other such unacceptable variety, it can not be placed in the vessels and taken to market. You can surely understand this Mr Busybody."
"I certainly do Reverend Angler. I myself would not wish to find that I had a fish delivered to me that I found unacceptable. Now, I do have a question that puzzles me Reverend Angler. As I understand it, you equate fishing with the Kingdom of Heaven. And as such an equation goes, all who are taken into the boat, that is, into the church, are destined for Heaven. Do I read you correctly sir?"
"Indeed you do Mr Busybody, indeed you do."
"Very good, now I believe I'm on track with you. Please proceed with your demonstration. I see that you have placed the good fish that you placed on your right into vessels, which you have placed into a holding tank. I assume you're going to prepare these fish for market. Now sir, what may I ask do you do with the fish you found to be unacceptable, that is, the undersized and underdeveloped fish, the unhealthy, and the unlively fish? Do you have a separate container into which you place these fish?"
"No Mr Busybody, I throw the bad fish back into the water. I can't have any unacceptable fish on my boat because they will contaminate my good catch. You do understand that, don't you Mr Busybody?"
"I believe I do Reverend Angler. And I also believe I understand more fully why you have named your boat the New Babylon."
36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mat 13:)
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