Your Job vs God

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by TexasSky, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    The News Thread about Roberts prompted this question.

    If you work in the secular world, there are going to be times when your Christianity comes up against your profit or job or in the case of you ministers - easier solutions to problems.

    Can you share examples, and end results?

    I've had two personal, and one from a friend that pop into my head.

    Once was a job where my supervisor was carrying on criminally, and I reported her to her supervisor. I ended up taking another job while they worked it out in court.

    The second was a job where I was asked, not to be tolerant of Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/Bisexual Individuals, but to assist in workshops that seemed to promote these lifestyles. I quit and took another job.

    The one from a friend was really a previous employer. He owned an accounting firm, and took Christ seriously. He discovered that one of his higher paying clients was carrying on an extra-marital affair, and he asked the client to find another accounting firm.
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I defended a Mormon coworker once who was told by our boss (who was a Christian) that he coulsn't have a book or mormon in his cubicle. This despite the fact that my boss has a Bible on his bookcase. The boss was eventually reassigned.
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,646
    Likes Received:
    223
    Roman soldiers were not commanded to leave the army, though they were often fighting to enforce pagan Roman law in occupied territories. They were commanded to Do [unlawful] violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with their wages.

    Often in civil service, Christians must do things which on the surface look like the wrong things to do, for the wrong reasons, but in reality they're not. The Mormon has the right to read his Book of Mormon, and when going to court to have his liberty defended, the Christian must defend him.
     
  4. Artimaeus

    Artimaeus
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    I once had a boss that encouraged the damaging of slow/non-selling merchandice so that it could be sent back to the manufacturer for full credit. I declined, but there were others who were more than willing to "please the boss".

    I mostly have trouble with the reaaaalllllly unimportant but technical issues. For instance, I have been asked to sign-off on some paperwork, the work wasn't actually completed exactly as the paperwork stated. The boss doesn't care if the work was done exactly right, his boss doesn't care and I cannot determine if anyone up the corporate ladder cares but it can be used to brag that the work was done "just so". It is literally and physically not possible to do everything that is asked for exactly the way it is proposed. I know it, they know it, and they will even tell me that they know it. It just looks good on paper to say that this is how it is done. Those who live in the "ivory towers" WILL fire you if you do not "say" that you did it this way. They will not fire you if you actually don't do it that way. My question: Am I lying if I am not deceiving them? Is it a lie if they KNOW I didn't do it that way?
     
  5. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see things this way. If your boss tells you, sign the papers or be unemployed, then the sin is his! You've been ordered by someone in authority. But to be discerning, if those papers stated that such and such bridge was safe when you knew it was not, then you'd be better off to be unemployed than to sign.

    Christ told us to love Him first, and other's second. that paperwork, is it going to harm God's glory, or will it cause harm to another person? There is your answer.

    In business I've found that sometimes things look good on paper but are totally impractical in reality. But the contract states that you will do it the way the contract states. Here you have to make the decision that you've fullfilled the contract to the best you can within the specifications of the contract and let it go. It would be a waste of time and money to revisit contract neogotiations over a minor technical detail. Especially if the parties are already past the point of no return.(job is nearly done etc) At this point you just have to use your good judgement and the judgement of those in line above you and let God take care of the rest. If you find you've done wrong, fess up and do your best to make things right.
     
  6. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I disagree with you, Menageriekeeper.

    Signing off on a document is the equivalent of a legal oath attesting to whatever you sign off on. I don't think a employer has a right to tell an employee, "Swear this is true," if it is not true. If a employee decides their job is more important than honesty, and they sign the paper, they can't pass the sin on to the boss.

    I was told to forge a check by my previous employer. I refused. I was told, "But they owe me money." I said, "I'm sorry, and I hope they do repay you, but I cannot sign their signature to a check. That is against the law."

    I later discussed the whole situation with the Attorney General and they said, "It is a good thing you did not sign it. Doing an illegal act because you were told to does not absolve you of guilt in the courts."

    If the courts of man see that two wrongs are not right, how can God see it differently?

    As to the military - well - there are limits to that aren't there? Remember the My Lai Massacre of Vietnam? Which group do you think God would approve of? Colbourn, Thompson and Andreotta or Calley and the men who followed Calley on the basis of "we have an order"?

    Also - look at the bible. Did Daniel or David or other great men of the bible follow the, "Its okay with God as long as the boss said so," rule?
     
  7. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    An additional thought on this.

    It is frightening to step out in faith with God, but I've done it twice now, and both times, standing on Christian principals looked like leaping off a cliff, but landed me in a paradise compared to where I was.
     
  8. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a Christian, I'm not obliged to enforce my faith on others. I think the issue here is less of an issue of faith vs job, but more an issue of professional ethics and responsibilities vs job.

    For example, if I were a cop, and I responded to a call at an abortion clinic where Christians were illegally blocking access to the facility, I would have no problem arresting the protesters who are breaking the law.

    If I were a judge, and the plaintiff were a Muslim, Mormon, or a wiccan, and they were suing an apartment building for refusing to rent based on the plaintiff's religion, I'd likely side with the plaintiff, assuming that it was proved that they refused to rent based on the plaintiff's religion.

    OTOH, if I were an office worker and was told to sign a document that said something that I disagree with, I'd refuse. An employer can't fire a person who refuses to do something unethical or illegal.
     
  9. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    John,

    I think we agree. I see nothing wrong with arresting those who are violating the law, even if you agree with them. I think Christ would say to deal fairly and justly with the Muslim, Mormon, and Wiccan.

    I do, though, that there are certain times when you have to put Christ before job security.

    Examples that pop into my head:

    A college professor refused to give recommendation letters to any student who would not agree to sign his statement that any theory other than evolution was wrong. He posted this on a website. Without that recommendation, students could NOT progress, as his course, complete with recommendation, were required to progress to the matching levels in his field. Creationists refused to sign.

    I think they did the right thing.

    I know a doctor who, as a med student, was told that if he wanted to be an OB/GYN, he HAD to do abortion as part of his residency. He went into pediatrics instead.

    I admire these people.

    Christ DIED for us. Shouldn't we be willing to give up a job for Him?
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sure. But we should confuse giving up a job for Christ with using Christ as an excuse to give up a job for us. I've seen the latter happen quite a bit.
     
  11. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Johnv,

    People do not need excuses to quit jobs. Maybe you're just judging their faith.
     
  12. Ben W

    Ben W
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ed Silvoso went through a similar situation to this before he became famous as a Christian Evangalist. He worked in a Hospital where the manager required illegally that all calls made from rooms be double charged as part of his personal policy. The manager was standing behind Ed when he did final accounts for a patron, and Ed charged only the correct fee. He was then taken into the office and verbally abused by the manager, after the manager finished his tirade, he asked Ed if he had anything to say for himself, and Ed replied "At least you know I will never steal from you!". The manager went quiet, Ed kept his Job and was eventually promoted.

    http://www.harvestevan.org/eddesk.html
     
  13. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Amen Ben!
     
  14. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/bbb.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a manager in a store selling books, movies, music and video games. In each section we sell some titles that I do not approve of, however none are considered pornographic. My supervisors up the line know of how I feel about these types titles. The company does not promote these titles in advertisements, with special sales, or attempt to draw attention to them. These titles are also merchandised in areas not easily visible, and sometimes the cover obscured so it can't be seen by children. I knew the company sold these types of titles when I took the job, and while I don't approve of them they are protected as free speech in the United States.


    If I had my choice we would not carry these titles, but it is not my my choice. I will do my job to the best of my ability and pray that it never comes down to me having to make a choice of keeping my job or not over something like this. I can live with the fact that we sell these titles even though I don't like it. If more offensive titles were ever sold then I would have a decision to make.

    Bill
     
  15. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Bill,

    I think your approach is a Christian approach. I think it differs, in a tiny way, from the things that concern me.

    1) That is obviously not the company's main focus.
    2) You have at least spoken up for what you believe is right. So no one can say you are condoning the sale.
    3) You don't sound like you actively promote, endorse, or encourage this.

    I see that as different.
    I was told "forge this check".
    I was told, "go to a GLBT meeting, hand out these signs saying we support them, and teach this group of people how to be more accepting and encouraging to people who are GLBT. Show them these tracts." (One tract said that God doesn't disapprove of homosexuality.)

    While you probably didn't like selling a game that had sexual content, you were not being asked to engage in inappropriate sex.

    Nor were you, I hope, asked to pretend you approved of inappropriate sex.

    It is a thin line, but it is a line.

    I think you handled it in a Christian way.

    Had you said, "I don't approve, and I would never let my bosses know I don't approve," I think you would have been on the wrong side of the line. You stood up for Christian values, without being obnoxious about it.

    I admire that.
     
  16. Bible Believing Bill

    Bible Believing Bill
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/bbb.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with you 100% TexasSky. In the past I had to report my supervisor for doing some unethical things. He did not ask me to do them, but I knew that he was doing them. Had I kept quiet I would have been as guilty as he. I don't know for a fact, but I suspect that this is part of the reason he left the company rather quickly last year.

    Bill
     
  17. Victory in Jesus

    Victory in Jesus
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently held a discussion with my kids that we, as Christians at my church, were raised to believe that we should only work in Christian schools as teachers, or hold other jobs in christian-oriented venues only.

    I explained my love for animals and how much I would have loved to be a vet, or gone to art school to be a commercial artist (though that education would be ouutdated by now), etc. But I felt my only choices were Christian school teacher, church secretary, missionary wife, pastor wife, wife, and possibly a nurse (though that was not encouraged).

    I now see a need for Christian teachers in the public schools. No, they can't witness or pray with the children, but they would still be a role model who could help steer kids in the right direction, even if it's a subtil steer. If you saw the teachers I had in school (public) you'd know what I was talking about.

    We need more people like Bill working in these video stores (or speaking up if they do) so the covers can be more discrete than what I've seen in the stores. I suppose the owners believe we all want to see that trash when we walk through the doors; but in reality we definately don't rent as much as we would if they had a specific place to hide the trashier videos. I'd settle for placing the tame videos at the front of the store so we don't have to walk past the covers we don't want to see.

    Sometimes we work so hard at being seperated from the world that we are no earthly good to the lost.

    As for the main question, I've lost a couple of clients for refusing to draw what I felt was going against my personal convictions. They stormed off angry and vowed never to return again, and to turn all their friends against me (just saved me from refusing their demands in the fuure).

    The way I look at it is this: God gave me the ability and I couldn't do anything without Him. So, why dishonor Him by compromising my testimony just to keep a few clients who would probably try to push the bar further the next time?
     
  18. TexasSky

    TexasSky
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Victory in Jesus,

    I am sure that for every client you lost by refusing to dishonor God, you have received some reward for the Lord.

    I do agree that separation can be taken much too far, and we need Christians in secular places to speak up for the Lord.
     
  19. sovgrace79

    sovgrace79
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Victory in Jesus,

    I also remember growing up and hearing at summer camps about letting all the unsaved people be doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Part of that thinking led me to quit engineering school the first year, and go to Bible college. Interestingly enough, I've worked as a software engineer, and now run my own consulting business. Somehow, God provides the work without the credentials. I still do want to pastor a church, but this is a nice side business for me.

    Anyways, since starting my business, I've noticed I've had MORE freedom to share my beliefs, and it has increased my interaction with non-Christians. It has truly been a blessing. I'm convinced that we can glorify God in our work, and I'm actually thinking about taking a Master's degree in Religion to futher study a theology of work and ethics.

    I've had my share of ethical delemmas at work. One time I discovered that we were not testing our product to a customer's specification. I raised this concern, and continued to do so until others finally started to do things correctly. It was long and painful, but I look back now, and even though people thought I was putting down a person who decided to lie to the customer, things worked out fine in the end.

    The biggest challenge I see in the fields I work in are signing documents that certify things are done correctly, when people know the process was not followed. For example, software shipped without thoroughly being tested, but the customer being told things all tested fine.

    I really don't have a big problem with lawsuits against companies anymore. Some may be frivolous, but I think that somehow people inside corporations need to be held accountable for the decisions that they make. I think most people feel like they are a small part of the process (which is true), but then they throw ethics out the window figuring it will never matter. Unfortunatly, I think many people in my professional are always worried about their next paycheck and outsourcing.
     

Share This Page

Loading...