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Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

What Got The Early Christians Into Trouble

Several months ago, a Christian school headmaster who was raised in an environment where theology of work was often spoken about, realized the subject wasn’t being discussed in his current Christian community. He brought this matter to his staff: “We wondered outloud about how we could address this in our classroom. We committed to praying about how we could address this issue with our students.”    

While he and his staff were praying (unknown to me), I was putting finishing touches on a project that addresses the very issue they "wondered outloud about." (!) Through remarkable circumstances, we connected. I informed him of the project, and he presented the opportunity to his board: “They wholeheartedly support the school's involvement in such a project and voted unanimously to approve all expenses that will be incurred.”
What’s "the project?”  

It’s rooted in the project Christ initiated long ago, in Matthew 28:18-20, an injunction to teach others to observe all that He commanded. Where is this observation to happen? In church?  At home? In our personal lives? Yes. But what about beyond church, home, and personal life?
This is what got the early Christians into trouble. Some were burned alive, and others thrown to lions. Why? Because they observed what Christ commanded in the world.
Caesar was not their god. Today, Christians are sprinkled like salt throughout the full spectrum of society in the workplace. Here we have prime opportunities to “observe all that Christ commanded” in the world Observing all that He commanded between 9 to 5 in today's "Rome" could "turn the world upside down” again! 

Imagine if those who name the name of Christ were to observe His commands through marketing activity, salary and benefit issues, work conditions, decision-making policies, products, production, pricing, contacts, customer service, employee-employer relationships, hiring and firing, accounting, strategic planning and profit distribution!

Yes, alignment with Christ in some of these areas might mean getting fired. But not like early Christians in Rome were "fired."

Yet, teaching on how to make connections between the biblical worldview and all legitimate work is no longer commonly practiced. It’s absent from schools. Addressing this void is what “the project” I shared with the headmaster is about.
Next week, a good British friend of mine will ask a small favour related to “the project” that will cost you nothing, take about 30 seconds, yet could change the future of a generation.  

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5 comments:

  1. Well -- you certainly have my curiosity peaked about "the project!" Can't wait to see the next installment! I enjoy each of them so much and keep them in my "library". Keep up the good work! Chris Schick

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  2. What an important message for the Church of Jesus Christ, maybe especially in North America where we seem to have retreated from one arena of life after another until we are left with the church ('churchianity')and our 'personal walk with God'. It seems as though we've translated the part in Matthew 28 where Jesus says, "...ALL that I have commanded you" into 'just get people saved'! May our gracious God open our eyes to see the breadth of the task he has called us to and may he give us the wherewithal to see how we can engage the whole of our culture with the whole of Christ's teaching that the whole world may come to recognize the need to bow before the only true God! To HIM be all the glory!
    Mike Groenewold

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  3. This is an important message for Christians to hear and maybe especially in North America where we seem to have retreated from more and more arenas of life until all we are left with is the church ('churchianity')and our 'personal walk with God'. It's as if we've reinterpreted Christ's statement in Matthew 28 from "teaching them to obey ALL that I have commanded you" to "just get people saved"! It's time for the whole church to bring the whole teaching of Christ to the whole culture so that the whole world will be confronted with the command to bow before the Lord of heaven and earth, the only true God who is worthy of ALL praise!

    Mike Groenewold

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  4. Well said, Mike. Thanks for adding your comments!

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