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Newbie here, and a thought for discussion

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by mnphysicist, May 13, 2005.

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  1. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +642
    United States
    Christian
    Widowed
    US-Democrat
    I wrote this in my blog a while back, and would like some feedback on it. Upon rereading it, at least to me, it seems I come across less than humble. Perhaps one of the issues of blogging at 4AM.

    Thoughts on Faith and Business

    I'm a Christian, I write about Jesus in my blog. Its who I am. If someone doesn't agree, we can debate, discuss things, enter into business together. or they can hit the back button and surf elsewhere.

    I'm open to most anything business wise... you want something, I'll do it, as long as you pay. However, as a Christian, I'm not going to build or design things for illegal or for questionable purposes. I'm also not going to go out and steal intellectual property for you, or do extremely shady reverse engineering. Nor am I going to cut corners such that someones life is in danger. I will avoid dodgy deals. Be being upfront with my faith, I end up sending a lot of really lucrative business away. My relationship with Jesus serves as a guide as to what to do, and what not to do. My writings about my faith serve as a filter to keep those who would want something dodgy from wasting my time.

    Unfortunately, they may also serve to discourage those from differing religious views. I'm not sure of this, as I've had customers in over 30 countries, and on every continent excluding Antartica.

    One person on ryze brought something to light quite a while ago, that I had never thought of. I had to do some serious thinking about what they said. Unfortunately, this was in the beginings, so I never made a note of who they were. However, there was a lot of wisdom it what they had to say.

    From their point of view, a person who advocates religion in their business is using it to create a security blanket for their customers. Eg trust me, I'm a Christian, and as such, do business with me, your safe. I had never thought of it that way, it seemed backwords, really backwards, but upon reflection, I can see it as a possible perception. The big problems with doing so is two fold.

    1st, I think it is hanging ones shingle out with an endorsement from Jesus. To me, that cheapens ones relationship with Him. I tend to think of the money changers in the temple. While it may be perfectly fine through His grace, I personally have issues with doing so.

    2ndly, mistakes and screwups are going to happen. We are far from perfect. We also having fallen from grace have a major sin nature. As such, by promoting myself as a Christian business, and then screwing up, it puts Christ in a negative light.

    These are some serious issues that one has to consider. If one is promoting their business based on the coat-tails of their faith, I think it is wrong to do so. Still I do not know the person's heart, so I can't say. I do know that it would be wrong for me.

    Otoh, if one is using their business as a way of sharing their relationship with Jesus, and/or the relationship is such a part of them, the scenario is totally different. They know they will be held accountable for the screwups they make. They also know in the worlds view, talking about Jesus does not make one popular, and by doing so it will open them up to a multitude of headaches and travails, as well as reduced profitability. It is one of the costs of following the Lord.

    Thanks
    Ron
     
  2. heron

    heron Legend

    +894
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Ron, sorry your thread sat so long! You made some good points.

    We know Christian businessmen that we do not trust. We also attended a church that was so tightly knit that people were snubbed for not using internal professional contacts. The logic, is to support each other and, as you said, to give a seal of likemindedness/safety.

    I would seek out a Christian business if it related to therapy or child care, because I want to know that the philosophies given out coincide with my own.

    As for adding that label on our businesses, I guess we all have different reasons, and can't quite make an across-the-board judgement.
     
  3. rscase

    rscase New Member

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    Ron,

    You raise some good points. It all boils down to ethics. IMHO, you should continue to avoid any "dodgy" business dealings. This is the Holy Spirit letting you know the deal is not appropriate, and I know you would want to be sensitive to Him.
    As for the analogy of Jesus and the money changers, consider two things: First, Jesus became angry because the merchants had their focus on money, and not on God. They were at the temple...their focus should have been entirely on God. This is why He said a man could "not serve two masters". It's true, if you are a slave to money, it is your master. If money controls your every thought, it has become Lord over you. Upon seeing the merchants at the temple, Jesus saw them "serving" money instead of serving God. It made Him angry, to be sure. But He knew their hearts and the condition of their faith, so it wasn't a shock to Him to see the money changers behaving in this way. After all, He came when He did to change them from their wicked ways. I believe it is the second point that really annoyed Him and provoked Him to anger.
    When the merchants set up their tables, they increased their prices well above their usual levels, and arbitrarily decided the worthiness of the offerings brought by the people. Remember, the Hebrew people walked for miles, sometimes for days, to reach the temple. By the time they reached the temple, the animals they brought with them on their journay were dirty and haggard, and therefore, not worthy. So they rejected the offerings the people brought with them, and they had to purchase a new offering from the merchants at the inflated prices. The money changers also jacked up their exchange rates for the special event, so they too made a fat profit at the expense of the faithful. When Jesus saw that this behavior prevented the poorer people from receiving the prayers of the priests for the atonement of sins, He became angry. The kingdom of God is not only for those with money and resources, but it is for everyone, including the poor. The merchants and the money changers actions were preventing the poor from drawing near to God, and that should make us all angry.

    Thanks.
     
  4. heron

    heron Legend

    +894
    Christian
    In Relationship
    rscase, important comments! And welcome to the forum!
     
  5. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Well-Known Member

    757
    +29
    Christian
    Well said.
    DM
     
  6. heron

    heron Legend

    +894
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    In Relationship
    mnphysicist, you mentioned clients from around the world. That, I believe, is included in God's definition of a believer's business. Look at the Laws and Proverbs, and you'll find references in dealing with outsiders.

    Exodus 22:21
    "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.

    Leviticus 19:10
    Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien.

    # Leviticus 19:33
    " 'When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.

    Leviticus 19:34
    The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.

    Leviticus 24:22
    You are to have the same law for the alien and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.' "

    Leviticus 25:35
    " 'If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.

    Deuteronomy 5:14
    but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant

    Deuteronomy 23:7
    Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as an alien in his country.

    Deuteronomy 24:19
    When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

    Deuteronomy 26:12
    When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied.

    Ezekiel 22:29
    The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they oppress the poor and needy and mistreat the alien, denying them justice.

    Proverbs 20:10
    Differing weights and differing measures— the LORD detests them both.

    We are not meant to be a closed group.
     
  7. mnphysicist

    mnphysicist Have Courage to Trust God!

    +642
    United States
    Christian
    Widowed
    US-Democrat
    All I can say is wow!!!

    Thank you
    Ron
     
  8. heron

    heron Legend

    +894
    Christian
    In Relationship
    Ha, Ron, didn't know if you'd drifted into other forums.
     
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