Jump to content

The Protestant Community

Christian and Theologically Protestant? Or, sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Fenced Community

Christforums is a Protestant Christian forum, open to Bible-believing Christians such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Reformed, Baptists, Church of Christ members, Pentecostals, Anglicans. Methodists, Charismatics, or any other conservative, Nicene- derived Christian Church. We do not solicit cultists of any kind, including Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Eastern Lightning, Falun Gong, Unification Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian Scientists or any other non-Nicene, non-Biblical heresy.
Register now

Christian Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  
News Feeder

Should I Stay at a Christian Organization That Doesn’t Seem Christian?

Recommended Posts

workplace-christian-tgc-300x128.jpg

I work for a Christian organization that doesn’t look Christian from the inside. I’ve been trying to patiently change the culture from within, but I’m just one person, and I’m getting worn down. Is it worth it to stay in a job at a Christian organization that is currently culturally unhealthy because of what the organization could be or was intended to be?


Knowing what to do when there isn’t a specific biblical verse to give us the exact answer, which is the case for most of life’s decisions, requires us to be the kind of people who have kingdom “know-how.” This means much more than memorizing a list of steps; we must be people characterized by biblical virtue. Godly wisdom is formed as we root ourselves in a community of saints, model our lives after Christlike exemplars, prayerfully meditate on the Scriptures, and practice habits that direct our hearts to the King.

With this backdrop in place, two theological guardrails can help you navigate this question.

Two Guardrails

First, you need to be realistic about what you can expect from work in a fallen world. There is no perfect job fit. Even when you are in a relatively Thorns-Thistles-Variations-071-300x159.phealthy organization with a job that matches your skill set, some days will be hard. The problem could be that you’ve become jaded from an overly idealistic view of what work should be. Theologians call this over-realized eschatology. If this is the case, remember that, east of Eden, we’re called to work in the midst of thorns and the thistles, which will be found even in Christian organizations.

Second, if your superiors are asking you to do something unethical, you shouldn’t do it. This could mean you’ll have to leave, but not necessarily. When you let your superiors know you can’t do what they’re asking and why, your transparency and integrity could spark a healthy conversation that leads to organizational change. In any case, if the choice is between obeying God or your boss, you must be willing to walk away.

Important Questions

Within the guardrails of chastened expectations—even for Christian organizations—and commitment to a high standard of personal ethics, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

Does the culture of the organization, including its practices and functional aims, almost inevitably malform those within it? Again, I’m not suggesting a smug self-righteousness. All of us have blind spots—times we’re unaware of the consequences or appearances of things we do routinely that are less than ideal. But are there many people in the organization who have had a long tenure and who have retained Christian virtues and integrity? Or have most long-termers been so influenced by the maladies of the organization (perhaps the dualism between work and faith that excuses dishonesty or dehumanizing practices as just “the way things are done”) that recurring vices (such as greed, dishonesty, apathy) are all too pervasive?

If God is not providing another option, most of the time the prudent decision is to stay, at least for the time being, and seek to be faithful, serving your colleagues, clients, and company the best you can.

Our vocational contexts form us. Often the label “Christian” can blind us to the dominant functional worldview (not the same at the stated worldview) of the organization and how it is shaping us. It might be prudent to stay, at least for a while. But make sure, if you stay, you do so with your eyes wide open. If you remain in such an organization, you need to place yourself in counter-communities that help you to identify the false narratives of your workplace and to offer a counter-catechesis. Centering your life in a faithful church is essential, but you could also be aided by like-minded co-workers or Christian professional guilds.

Finally, if you were to leave, where would you go? It’s easy to imagine that the grass is greener on the other side, but the other pastures may be closed or just as unhealthy as—if not worse than—your present organization. If it’s not a situation where the company is asking you to do something unethical, you have some time. Don’t prematurely run from one unhealthy situation to another. Yes, the Lord provides, but at times he asks us to stay and trust that his grace is sufficient. If he’s not providing another option, most of the time the prudent decision is to stay, at least for the time being, and seek to be faithful, serving your colleagues, clients, and company the best you can.


Previously in this series:

4ZQhn2LPxhs

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Topics

    • 'Criticism of Christian Education in America Should Stop,' Vice President Pence Defends His Wife amid Media Backlash

      Vice President Mike Pence’s wife was the target of criticism this week after she announced that she would be teaching art at a private conservative Christian school, and the Vice President is stepping up to defend her. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Gnostic Christian

      I am a Gnostic Christian and tend to not last long in Christian sites.   I guess that the reason for that is the same as it was when the early Christian church decimated us and burned our scripture.   They could not take criticism well or argue against us in a reasonable way and chose to kill us instead.   Can those here, including the mods handle criticism?   I do try to be as civil as possible but know that even civil criticism is not tolerated well in many Christian sites   Thoughts?   Regards DL

      in Exploring Christianity

    • How to Form a Christian Mind in a Digital World

      Many have rightly warned that evangelicals are losing “a Christian mind” by neglecting the Bible and indiscriminately consuming secular materials informed by non-Christian ideas. But what if it’s not just the content we consume but also the medium in which we read it that poses a danger to our minds? In Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, Maryanne Wolf makes a compelling case that our use of digital devices is changing the way we read, which in turn is profoundly altering the way we think—a chilling prospect for Christians, who believe that through his written Word, God renews our minds, enabling us to think in sanctified ways. Digital Challenges Although Wolf—a Tufts University professor who has studied the neurological processes involved in the act of reading—has no such spiritual concerns, she believes the stakes in our transition from a print to a digital culture are incredibly high. Again and again she confronts her readers with sobering questions: “Will new readers develop the more time-demanding cognitive processes nurtured by print-based mediums as they absorb and acquire new cognitive capacities emphasized by digital media?” “Will our youth develop such a passive response to knowledge that eventually the store of what they know and their ability to connect it through analogy and inference will be depleted?” “Will the combination of reading on digital formats and daily immersion in a variety of digital experiences . . . impede the formation of the slower cognitive processes such as critical thinking, personal reflection, imagination, and empathy that are part of deep reading?” “Will the quality of our attention change as we read on mediums that advantage immediacy, dart-quick task switching, and continuous monitoring of distraction . . . ?” Wolf obviously sees a strong possibility that the answers to these questions might be yes. The reason? In her early research, she studied what happens within the brain when we read. Eventually she became concerned about “how the circuitry of the reading brain would be altered by the unique characteristics of the digital medium, particularly in the young.” Her conclusion is that since the advent of the digital age, “we have already begun to change how we read—with all of its many implications for how we think.” Reading Brain On the opening page of the book, Wolf declares provocatively that “human beings were never born to read,” by which she means that reading isn’t something our brains are hardwired to do, such as seeing or communicating. Rather, reading is “an unnatural cultural invention” that we must learn. This we’re able to do since our brain cells can make myriad connections, leading to the formation in each emerging reader of a “reading circuit” that links centers of the brain concerned with such crucial tasks as vision, language, cognition, motor functions, and affective functions. However, she warns that digital devices pose a threat to the development of this mental circuitry—not because digital reading is fundamentally different from print reading, but because the digital medium deluges us with information in byte-sized chunks, promoting information overload and distraction. As evidence, Wolf notes that students today are demonstrating “diminishing familiarity with conceptually demanding prose.” Wolf sees numerous dangers here: shrinking attention spans that preclude “deep reading” (her term for focused, thoughtful reading), which in turn leads to failure to gain the empathy for others that reading engenders and the kind of personal store of knowledge that enables inference, deduction, and analogical thinking. Christians might perceive an overarching danger: a reduction in our ability to grasp God’s truth through deep reading of his Word. Clearly God created us with the capacity to learn the complex process of reading so that we might benefit from his written revelation, the Bible. But the Word of God is a challenging book, a prime example of “conceptually demanding prose” that requires attentive, reflective reading. Are we willing to let our digital pottage make us poorer students of this treasure? Reader Recommendations What is to be done? Wolf’s recommendation isn’t simply that young readers be denied exposure to digital devices—indeed, she is surprisingly open to their use—but that such exposure be meted out in careful doses. She urges parents of children up to age 5 to read to them often, giving them little access to digital devices. “Human interaction and physical interaction with books and print are the best entry into the world of oral and written language and internalized knowledge, the building blocks of the later reading circuit,” she writes. As for children 5 to 10 years of age, Wolf wants them develop a “biliterate brain” by learning in both print and digital mediums. Physical books are her preferred tool for reading instruction, while digital devices might be used to teach coding, programming, and creative skills such as graphic arts and musical composition. In other words, she envisions a two-track learning approach, with the understanding that students can safely combine print and digital media only when their mental reading circuits are firmly established around fourth grade. Thereafter, the goal is to prevent those circuits from atrophying. Digital Wisdom Whether many schools would agree to adopt such an approach, there is wisdom here for Christian parents, who must always be their children’s prime educators. If you’re a parent, read the Bible to your children from an early age, along with age-appropriate Bible storybooks and well-written (and well-illustrated) children’s books. As they grow, introduce them to classic literary works. Let them hear both biblical truth and also beautiful language. Through the exhausting early years of child-rearing, fight the terrible temptation to let a smartphone or tablet serve as a babysitter, much as parents a generation ago had to resist the siren song of TV. Keep books in your home for this purpose, whether owned or borrowed from the local library. Don’t let down your guard as your children acquire the ability to read for themselves. Help them find books that appeal to their expanding interests. When the time is right, these might include eBooks, but as much as possible help them use digital devices as tools for specific purposes, not as toys for relieving boredom. Hopefully by these means, we can raise up children who will be able to read and appreciate challenging texts, especially the Scriptures, which unfold the gospel of salvation through Christ. Meanwhile, we adults will do well to guard our own minds from the degenerative effects of the digital world. If Wolf is right—and her research seems sound and well-attested—such digital discipline is crucial for Christians who want to grow in their knowledge of God and his truth. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Former Porn Star Turned Christian Counselor Shares How God Changed Her Life

      Crystal DiGregorio is sharing a message of grace and forgiveness by telling her story of how she went from a porn star to a Christian counselor. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • Media Astonished To Learn Christian School Teaches Christian Beliefs

      U.S.—News media outlets around the country were reportedly astonished to discover a Christian school at which second lady Karen Pence is teaching holds their students and staff to Christian beliefs. The post Media Astonished To Learn Christian School Teaches Christian Beliefs appeared first on The Babylon Bee. View the original full article

      in Christian Satire

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.