I'm back, after a weekend away from writing due to some travel, lets get back to the groove of this, and I'm just gonna jump right in to today's topic.
Religion in the workplace is basically just a microcosm of religion in the modern world. "I'm okay with you believing in whatever, just as long as you don't evangelize to me". I've basically heard this on a few different occasions from a few different coworkers, and in a sense it's almost offensive. We put religion on this different plane than we put other topics, like if I've heard a good new song or been to a cool new restaurant, I'm definitely gonna tell my friends and co-workers, so why am I not allowed to be as enthusiastic about a thing that is central to life itself? Because it breaks some modern moral code of the business world? Because it makes people feel uncomfortable?
This is just one part of the issue that I see with how religion is thought of in today's world. I've heard far too many christians say that "If you work hard and work as if God is watching, then people will say, 'Wow, that person is hard-working, it totally must be their christianity thing that is the reason for that'" Obviously, that hypothetical reaction is a bit sarcastic, but I swear to you I've heard multiple christians (and yes pastors too) say that first part. I couldn't disagree more, we've become afraid to speak about our beliefs to the people around us and the only way we're willing to speak is through our actions with the hope that people notice, how backwards is that way of thinking?
Christians as a whole have become too careful of being politically correct and far too cautious in how we talk to non-believing friends. We treat non-believing friends as if they are this precious cargo that needs to be hand delivered to the non-threatening parts of our religion. The religion we believe in is pretty radical folks, it denounces many things that the world accepts, it fights every bit of post-modern thinking that the world has fundamentally shifted towards for decades. Sooner or later, the people we know will have to see those parts of Christianity, and if they can't face them now in a conversation with their friends, what better is it for them to face them in 6 months or ten years when a person they don't know says something in a non-loving way in a public forum. Even worse, what happens when they see a 'christian' say something that doesn't represent what God is (think Rob bell and Oprah).
Who better to hear these inconvenient truths from than the people they're close to? I value my friends views on arts and society and relationships and lots of other facets of life. Why shouldn't my religious opinions and views be just as influential in my friends lives as my other opinions? (Although, this must go both ways, you MUST be willing and engaging in listening to their religious beliefs and/or non-beliefs.)
It's just interesting to me, the thought that a religious opinion is less valued in today's society than just about any other opinion a person could have. Somehow we need to get that to shift in the modern world, and just like most other things, that starts with you and me.
Today's writing veered from religion in the workplace, to just, religion in the modern world, which I think is fine, because for many people, the workplace is where they spend more time than any other. The added hurdle when you throw in the business setting is the idea that you're wasting company time if you talk about religion when there is work to do. And yes, I get that, and that is a legitimate concern, but there's still more to be done than is currently being done.
Also, I find myself reasoning in this way "well, my co-workers know I'm christian, so if they ever have any questions, they can come to me". Sound familiar? I'm kind of disgusted by the thought of that as if that's enough to fulfill God's calling for all christians to evangelize. I'm out of thoughts on the subject for now though, so that's it for today.
Tomorrow: My highest governmental values