Christian Ethics: Opinions

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Gina B, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I'd especially appreciate opinions from others who write for pay but also wouldn't mind hearing from others who'd like to add their thoughts.

    Where do you draw the line when it comes to your beliefs and what you write?

    Here are a few examples:

    1. A politician needs an intro for the front page of his website but you don't agree with some of his beliefs and find them to be against Christian beliefs.
    Do you write it with the stipulation that your name be left off so others don't believe you agree with the guy?
    Do you refuse because it would be helping the guy promote himself and thus his wrong beliefs?
    Do you accept because he's going to pay someone anyhow and it will be done, so you may as well get the money?

    2. There's a community center that helps people addicted to drugs get homes and jobs. There is no center that helps laid off workers with no addictions get homes and jobs, so you believe that the county's funds are being misplaced. The local paper wants a story on the community center that says what they do and how great they are for the community and the work they do.

    3. You don't believe in Halloween, but you're asked to write an article on ideas for kid's Halloween parties.

    What do you do with these situations?

    Where is the line drawn?

    Kinda reminds me of choosing a job. Would you work in a place where you had to sell beer and liquor to customers? What if you weren't the seller, just the bagger? Someone else will if you won't, but does does working for someone or writing for someone equate participation in their sins?
     
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    It's been over 20 years since I got paid to write something, but here goes. These are questions of personal conscience so opinions are going to vary.

    I wouldn't take the job. I'd explain that I wouldn't want to be associated with the viewpoints being espoused on the website. If pressed I would say something like, "compromise is for politicians, I'm not about to do it."

    I'd definitely take this job. It's not the writer's role to decide how best to spend the county's money. Refusing the job won't accomplish anything. The proper place is to lobby to have funds set up for the laid off worker's job center within the local budgetary and political process.


    Personal decision based on your values. If you really don't want to do it you could say, "I'm sorry but I don't celebrate Halloween so I really don't know how to plan a kid's Halloween party, therefore I wouldn't be a good choice to write the article." OR "I'm not Jewish, so you wouldn't want me to write an article on how to plan a Bar Mitzvah, would you? Since I don't celebrate Halloween, I'd be a lousy choice to write about it."

    Job scenario #1, if taken, would lead to guilty feelings and probably the need for confession of sin.

    Scenario #2, I don't see any guilt or need for confession.

    Scenario #3, I see possible guilt feelings but confession? I don't see that.
     
  3. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    I've learned that one is attacked no matter what you write, of for whom.

    So, I just forge ahead. My public writing has cost me high-paying jobs when university presidents google me and discover <GASP> that I am a conservative, Baptist, Evangelical, that believes and lives what I write.

    Twice now, I've been specifically rejected because I was a Baptist. Illegal, discriminatory, yes, but how does one fight that sort of thing without causing more harm and getting black-balled out of the industry all together?
     
  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
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    I worked for a few years as a freelance writer and for a few years as a magazine/book editor. I’ll tell you what I would do, but each person has to decide what they are willing to do. I did some ghost writing where I did not agree with everything that the client wanted said, but I was being paid to represent their views and interests accurately (like an attorney would). At the same time, I used my influence to fine-tune some ideas and actually positively influence things that were written.

    If it is not my opinion (or I’m being paid to ghost something), I don’t use my name. As an editor, I wrote many things with no byline or, at best, one of my half-dozen pseudonyms.

    The reality is that someone is going to do it. You have to figure out what your conscience will allow. If it is only one or two minor positions of a candidate, I might do it. If it is a consistent and serious deviation from my values, I probably wouldn’t.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to write that one. I would do a story on the center and ask questions to present the center as accurately as possible. That might also include asking them what they offer those without addictions. (A good work for one group of people, even if some people don’t get the benefit, is still a good work.)

    I probably would decline that one.

    I tend to decline jobs that have religious overtones. A number of years ago when my firm was struggling to keep the doors open and pay everyone, we were approached by Benny Hinn’s “ministry” and asked to draft and distribute fund-raising letters from their mailing list. The amount of money they were offering would have saved our firm and provided a nice profit (as well as probably brought in additional similar work from other televangelists), but I couldn’t do it.

    We had to close the doors about a month later (the week of 9/11) and I was unemployed for nearly six months which devastated me financially. But I’ve never regretted the decision.

    In most cases, I don’t think so.
     
  5. JohnDeereFan

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    I believe it's a matter of conscience. Personally, I would chalk it up to a "meat sacrificed to idols" situation and do it.

    Is it a journalistic piece or an editorial?

    See above.

    I wouldn't do it now because as I moved into a position of authority within the church, I realized that my actions, even trivial ones, have a far greater impact than those of our rank and file members.

    Alcohol, in and of itself, is not sinful.

    But how do you know they're going to use it to sin?
     
  6. HAMel

    HAMel
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    If in doubt...give in to the doubt.

    The Lord will bless and you will be provided with appropriate opportunities. Otherwise, just politely decline. Too busy.
     
  7. thegospelgeek

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    No
    Yes
    No
    Write an honest report. I might learn something I didn't know. It could turn out that my report was negative and never get published.
    Write an alternative idea.
    I am not the authority on these passages, but I have left WELL paying jobs because I didn't like the lifestyle of the owner and wasn't comfortable with lining his pockets. Cost me about $20,000 per year. Funny thing is that after 6 years, God provided me with a job that payed much more than the one I gave up.
     
  8. freeatlast

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    The answer for me is the same for all three. If my contribution in any way dishonors the Lord either due to my direct action or indirect action, being associated with another, then I will not be part of their scheme. I once had an employer offer me and the rest of the employees health insurance but they did not want to buy group because it costs more. They wanted each of us to take out a personal policy and they would pay for our premiums. That is against the law in Texas and I turned them down. I had to go without insurance, the only one in the company, but my testimony was worth more then the insurance.
     
    #8 freeatlast, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2011
  9. abcgrad94

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    When I wrote for a newspaper, I had to write what I was told to write, pretty much. That included saying positive things and leaving out the negative about certain people, certain businesses, etc. that were "paying" customers. It sure opened my eyes to not believing everything one reads or sees on TV. Once I quit that job I determined everything else I wrote would be freelance and only stuff I'd be proud to have associated with my name.

    I wouldn't work in a bar just for the money, and I won't write just anything because of the money, either. Just my personal preference.
     
  10. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Yep ABC, it's amazing how perspective changes when you become a part of that scene.
    It's also amazingly tempting to do the same as a writer. That wonderful "..." can be used SO wrong when quoting someone.
    Journalistic integrity is not something to take lightly.
     
  11. Arbo

    Arbo
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    If it is dishonest, dishonorable, or causes guilt; avoid it.
     
  12. righteousdude2

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    Great Post, Here's My Reply!

    The examples you listed, are exactly why I only do freelance writing. I will not be forced to write a positive view, or spin about anything that my Christian principles can not support 101%.

    Hope that answers your question.

    Pastor Paul :type:
     

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