Thursday, October 30, 2008

Called to business???

In ByFaith Online, Dick Doster writes an excellent article on Christians being called to business. Entitled, "Kingdom Work in the Corporate World," Doster amplifies the doctrine of vocation by saying that business is how we (1) love our neighbors, and (2) care for the poor.
As we think about “kingdom work” and jobs that have value, it’s helpful to remember that only business — not the Church, not government, not ministry, nor non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—creates new wealth. And wealth is the only cure for poverty. We must, therefore, encourage believers to go into business, to create new products and wider distribution (in obedience to the cultural commission) in order to create new wealth (good stewardship), which creates more jobs (loving our neighbor, caring for the poor). Adam Smith, the 18th century economist and philosopher, once said that new wealth is the road to “universal opulence,” which he defined as “the condition in which the real wages of workers keep growing over time, until the poor live at a level that in 1776 even kings and dukes did not enjoy.”
Then he adds,
God’s people can, as agents of His redemptive plan, transform business, stripping it of selfish ambition and pursuing instead what’s best for their neighbors. Through business, God’s people can harness mankind’s creativity, and with it nurture His creation, developing products that make the world more satisfying. Through the economic power of commerce, Christians can make the world safer and healthier. The members of Christ’s Church, distributed in offices around the world, can transform greed into good stewardship, showing the world that business has a biblical responsibility to create new wealth and provide a fair return to investors (Matthew 25:14-28). But, with an eye toward the consummation of Christ’s kingdom, we also create wealth in order to create new and satisfying jobs, which offer the hope (and perhaps a glimpse) of a coming world where there is no poverty.
Question: what happens when the idea of vocation--and specifically business--is divorced from Christian ethics? Two things, I suggest: (1) business feeds our innate selfishness; (2) government takes over the pretends to care for the poor through the redistribution of wealth.


Anonymous said...

"Earn all what you can. Save all what you can. Give all what you can" -- John Wesley

I saw this quote at Doug Wilson's blog recently. It takes freedom in Christ to do the three. But without light and heat we would stop short with doing only two of the three. Interesting, isn't it?


John said...

@ Francisco, you are absolutely right, my friend.