I think we're alone now

Another reason for pushing our blog a little further into obscurity is that the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of my employer. Occasionally I rant with fervor, and those rantings should not be associated with my “work life” identity as a representative of a large software company. For instance, while my job title indicates that I evangelize technology (literally using the word “evangelist”), in my personal life there’s a Gospel that I’d much rather be associated with — created for a cause much more important.
Not only am I a dad, a husband, and a technology guy, but I am also a seminary student. And although I hope my personal faith guides my professional life, and that obedience and devotion to the Lord of my life throughout my daily routine can somehow reflect His truth and grace; although I appreciate a country and a workplace that allow me freedom to practice my beliefs, I do not, like Sunday School teacher’s used to tell us we should, use my work life as an opportunity to prosleytize.
Some may call that cowardly — and maybe it is — but the reality is that religion and politics are two conversation topics sure to raise ire quickly. And in much of the world, politics has become irrevocably infused with religion. This morning I watched Mike Huckabee on the Daily Show having a chat that started on the topic of the founding father’s religious beliefs, that seamlessly became a talk about big vs. small government. In neither the host’s, nor the guest’s, mind did the topic change from religion to politics. As far as they recognized, there was no dividing line. And if you can’t talk one without the other, and if at least one of those is sure to offend the sensibilities of your audience, then outside of a personal relationship, there is no way to share your faith at work.
That doesn’t mean there is no way to share your faith with individuals you meet at work who become friends. It just means that the relationship has to come first. Within a boardroom, a rant about ones beliefs on hell would quickly destroy any ability to communicate professionally. Within a friendship, however, listening to your another’s thoughts and beliefs and sharing your own, is a mutually rewarding and enjoyable activity.
So let me be clear for those who know me professionally and still read this blog, and for those who may later stumble across it: this blog is a conversation between friends. Yes, the Internet creates strange definitions of friendship, but the point remains valid. These are not the opinion of my employer, nor would I espouse many of these opinions in the course of a normal business day. I hope and work for an ethic and integrity in my job that reflects the noble characteristics that my faith teaches, but I respect the viewpoints of others, and would not use my belief system to judge or preach to others I come across in my professional life. Within the context of friendship, that respect continues, but in the form of dialogue and exploration. On this site, and in my personal life, I do articulate my beliefs, but in the spirit of an open, and enjoyable exchange of ideas. Since you’re reading my site, my beliefs are likely to be more prominent, but you are free to disagree, debate, ask questions, and challenge my conclusions. You are also invited to explore these beliefs for yourself, to see if maybe there is a God of the universe, who created you unique and with a purpose…
All this to say that I’ve written a couple papers for my seminary class on Biblical Interpretation. I’m not in seminary to become a pastor, but to leverage a spiritual and academic environment conducive to a better understanding of my Saviour and a more mature and informed faith. To that end, I chose to explore interpretations of a few controversial topics, and in the coming week or so, I’d like to post excerpts from those papers here for discussion. I have tried to be moderate and balanced in my approach, while honoring my own faith which informs my decisions. I hope they are useful for a respectful, interesting exchange of ideas.

5 thoughts on “I think we're alone now

  1. I LIKE this! In my line of work I also have to walk the fine line between friend and client. But most of these people realize (thankfully) that what is said “in the office” can run counter to what I believe – especially when it comes to taxes and governmental issues. And they don’t hold it “against me”. Still, sometimes it is hard to bite one’s tongue when it comes to what the IRS says is and is not ok, versus what God says is and is not ok.

  2. My employer does not pay me to proseleytize. He pays me to work. So I do, and by doing so I bear a much better witness for Christ than I could otherwise. St. Francis (in one of your Mom’s favourite quotes) said, “Preach Christ always. Sometimes use words.”
    I preach Christ with my actions. I show up for work ontime everyday. I am helpful and cheerful to everyone I meet. I treat my peers and students with dignity and respect. I volunteer my time to help the organization with its larger goals. I don’t cheat and I don’t cut corners. I never use company resources for my own ends or company time for my own purposes. I never fail to meet a deadline, and I try to plan ahead enough that this never becomes a problem anyway.
    I listen repectfully to others express their opinions and seek to express mine with balance and consideration for other views. I am always available to have lunch with a colleague who is hurting. I am not shy about my faith, but would not ever use it as a excuse for trouncing someone else’s understanding. It took me 27 years to find Christ, I figure I need to cut the other guy some slack. I was once a pretty cynical pre-Christian myself.
    However, if someone scorns or mocks my Saviour in my hearing or through an email, I will explain to them how insensitive and irrational their position is. I will not do it publically, at least not at length, but I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.

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