It’s hard to go through a day without seeing one somewhere. It’s on the back of cars, in yellow page ads, on business cards, on flyers, on coffee mugs, and on t-shirts. There’s an entire industry coming up with new ways to display it, and even ones finding ways to mock it.
What is this ubiquitous item? The technical term for it is an Ichthys, but you probably know it better as the “Jesus Fish.” It is believed to have been a symbol used by early Christians to mark their secret meeting places during the height of their persecution by the Romans Empire.
Today, it has become a symbol of Christianity that almost rivals the cross. Because it has been so commercialized, it is a relatively safe symbol to defame for those who wish to mock Christianity or its teachings.
You’ve no doubt seen the “Darwin Fish” – an Ichthys sprouting legs with the word Darwin inside its body, or perhaps the “Satan Fish” with sprouting horns and the word Satan inside its body. There are a myriad of others as well.
What Does It Mean?
With all the creative minds coming up with new places and ways to slap your fish of choice on something, shouldn’t someone stop and ask what does it all mean?
You’re just as likely to get cut off in traffic and given the “one-way sign” by a driver that is proudly displaying their “Jesus Fish” as you are to notice a “Darwin Fish” on the back of a vehicle that just stopped to help you change your tire.
Of course, I am sure that you know what you wanted to convey when you slapped that fish on your company’s yellow page ad or business cards. You did think about it didn’t you? Oh well, what’s the harm – right?
They will know that you added the Ichthys to show that you operate your business with the highest ethical standards providing high quality goods and services at reasonable prices. Surely potential customers will know that you’re different from that road-rage driver.
After all, it’s not like there are millions of others out there slapping their “Jesus Fish” all over the place. I’m sure they thought about it too.
So What Do You Think?
Have we, as Christians, over-commercialized our faith? Are we guilty of taking the symbols and the name of our faith but leaving the cross behind?
Or, is it just another aid to help us promote and share our faith?