Session 9.1: Does our Daily Work matter to God? (Chris Gillies – a business man interested in Christian living/daily work)
Think back to Week 1 (God is at work with us) How did God create us to work, and how did the Fall interrupt that pattern? How can an integrated worldview change our view of work? How change our workplaces today?
Genesis 2:1-2 (7th day rested from work). The word used is ‘malacca’[?!] meaning work/employment, etc.
Gen 2:8-10 and John 5:17 – see examples of God providing for the earth, the poor, needy, oppressed, etc. God/Jesus – we see examples of them at work… for the flourishing of nature/humankind.
Gen 1:26-28 – Creative process is one that God intended us to continue with him. From the beginning God was a relational God, and all flowed out from there. The mandate to work was given to both man/woman in the context of fruitful relationship… collectively with God.
Gal 4:7 and 1 Cor 3:6-9 – we are fellow workers in bringing about God’s kingdom. God’s adopted sons/heirs. God works with us and through us to bring about change.
Session 92.: Work and Worldview
Gen 3:6, and Gen 3: 171-9 – work was originally seen as a positive, creative process which was seen as good, and from which God rested as a positive example. Became a painful toil with thorny obstacles and hard sweat to make a living. Free will to go their own away, against God’s guidance.
If we only pay attention to the rules of our secular society, we will find work hard and stressful, as we won’t understand why our work is important to God.
What is the impact of an integrated Christian worldview? Worldview – a system of values, a way of looking at the world. Professor Al Walters – comprehensive framework of one’s basic beliefs about things. We may struggle to articulate it, but emerges pretty quickly in the face of emergencies/situations that clash with our own beliefs…. Functions as a guide to our life.
Plato – the body impedes the spiritual – should ignore the body as much as possible. Greeks saw the body as a barrier to the highest form of life, so ‘intellectual’ work of a higher status than manual work.
Sacred/spiritual dichotomy = quite common (even amongst Christians) – work pays the wages on which to live and tithe, but work is not per se for God… known as ‘dualism’.
Col 1: 15-20 – it’s all encompassing… Jesus is addressing society as he found it, and is challenging it to reform. Early church took message out of the temple and into the marketplace. A Christian life = transformation of thinking, being, practices. Paul was a ‘tent-maker’ which he didn’t abandon to ensure not a financial drain on churches, and also gave great opportunities for connection with those not met within the church.
Al Walters ‘Creation Regained’ – with Jesus, we’re given another chance to be part of God’s creation as originally intended. Business not relegated to the secular world, but seek to conform again to God’s standaards.
Leads to a temptation to offer a ‘separate’ Christian version of society to be lived separately. Our reading of scripture is that God/Satan lay claim to the whole of creation, and so nothing is undisputed. The lines move – with varying levels of liberation and oppression. Once someone is saved, how is one to live out a Kingdom lifestyle? Don’t hang around and wait for revelation … we are meant to start this now. Full time work doesn’t just happen in church – but in our full-time lives. Bring God’s kingdom and the message of salvation into all aspects of our lives.
Session 9.3: Sacred and Secular Workplaces
Matt 6:25-33 – Seek first the Kingdom of God. Western cultures indicate that the reason we work is to earn money (anxiety from not earning enough) – Jesus says we are seek the Kingdom of God first. He says do not worry, he doesn’t say do not work. May have taken job for money/satisfaction, etc. – then ask second question re what can do for God – then God may be happy for you stay there, and may have placed you there to be in the world, not of the world!
Col 3: 23-24 – all kinds of work are to be done for God, whatever it is – restores dignity and value to manual work, and causes us to think about how/why we do our work!
2 Thess 3:6-10 – Those who are not willing to work are not with God (not those who are seeking work/unable to work) – work is primarily service ot the Lord, not money the primary motivation..
Tim Keller – should Christians be limited to buying, etc. from Christians. [NOOOOOOOOOO.] The nature of sin & grace – until Jesus returns, believers are never as good as our belief will make us, so God will also work through non-believers. If we remove ourselves from the world, we can’t be a witness to that world. Christians work by others should be marked by humble cooperation and respectful provocation. Non-believers can achieve great good, but occasionally we may need to take a different path, or challenge.
Are jobs that may be incompatible with God’s word, but remember Jesus also dwelt in dark places – so be called to be salt & light in secular workplaces.
Session 9.4: Redeeming Work Today
Seven Spheres – by prophetic words (each given separately)
- Church (people of God)
- Arts, entertainment and sports (celebration)
- Economics (inc science, tech and business)
- Government (judicial, legislative, executive)
Loren Cunningham – Founder of YWAM
Bill Bright – Founder of Campus Crusade
Francis Schaeffer – Theologian & Founder of L’Abri – study centres on developing a Christian worldview and culture.
It’s holy because we do it with God, not because it’s Christian work… we can impact the spaces within which we exist. Bring a Godly perspective to these areas through our daily work.
We often have to be good news before people will give us permission to tell them about the good news.
If we are not spending time with God, the Holy Spirit, etc. we won’t last v long in the tough arenas of contemporary culture.
Rom 12:2 – discern what is the will of God and how that affects our behaviour in the world.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.