Christian Conflict in the Workplace
Written By: Dan Stanley | Posted: Monday, December 17th, 2012
Jack Kenny of The New American writes, "When David Green started his family-owned business 40 years ago, it was an enterprise housed in a garage, financed by a $600 bank loan. The first retail store, he recalled in a recent article for USA Today, 'wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word.' Forty years later, it appears that the faith and the work have been abundantly rewarded. The company, Hobby Lobby, is now one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 stores in 41 states."
He goes on to write about how this company is in danger of having to fold up its tent and go home. The reason is the company refuses to pay for contraceptive methods contrary to their Christian beliefs. This, though, was just a matter of time. It is my guess we have yet to see how bad it is going to get, and in the end, a Christian who actually lives out what God's Word teaches will not be able to have a business any larger than his own family. I realize some of you don't believe that yet, but the hoof beats are getting louder, sorry to say.
The result of all this might not be as bad as it sounds. While experiencing this opposition to Bible believing Christians (there is no other kind), it does bring work back into the family circle almost exclusively, and that is a lost art in America in general. Hobby Lobby to their credit is an example of a family run business. The problem is the size. Does that mean getting large is bad? Not necessarily but in our society especially it brings with it the necessity of overlooking or compromising convictions and plain Bible teaching. It is like attempting to be the governor of a state without Christian compromise. It is impossible to date. If you don't believe this is true, find me a Christian governor and I will show you a governor who either knowingly overlooks what is right or is not well established in the faith.
The larger point out of all this is the issue of Christians obeying the Bible in all areas of their lives, including work. Allow an example. What if a Christian owner refuses to give work to the mother of children because he deems it detrimental to that family's welfare? Are there repercussions? Yes, if the woman not hired complains to the State. What about a business that refuses to hire a homosexual due to the applicant's unabashed (sinful) lifestyle? If known, he will likely suffer consequences. What about his decision to hire someone for four dollars an hour because that is all they are worth - any problem with that? Yes, a lawsuit waiting to happen. What about his decision to hire a fourteen year old nephew so his nephew can learn the trade as we would say in the past? Any problem? Yes, he will be limited to how many hours the fourteen year old can work along with what machines he can be around. The list goes on.
What has happened and needs to be answered is which came first - the State with its oppressiveness in recent days, or Christians who unwittingly (or knowingly) attempted to separate their Christianity from their work life? I say the second came first. As a result, even professing Christianity in our day will not come to the defense of a Christian attempting to live out their faith in Christ and what the Word of God teaches him. This is the tragedy of the hour in this regard.
What then should we do? Well, without reserve it would be best if in general fathers took back the responsibility to train up or have trained up their children in a vocation that is suitable and fruitful. This does not mean the children have to work for the father (which is not bad). What is does mean is the father no longer depends on the state to teach their children how to earn a living. Can't you see how backward this is - the state through their school, tech college, university, and other work programs teaching our children how to make a living? Changing this paradigm alone would make a huge difference in the work world for the Christian.
Then what is needed is every Christian needs to go back to doing what is right in the sight of the Lord in the work place as well as in the home or the church yard or wherever they might be. Is it too late? I say yes. I say the Christian who actually goes back to what is right in his work place will in the end be forced to work within the perimeters of his family or friend circle. Of course, what is wrong with that? What is right with it has proven itself in the history of America. What is wrong is that by submitting to the rules and regulations in the work place put there by the state, the state is just now beginning to show its ugly head.
Dan Stanley is an owner and contributing editor of The US Journal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.