Church and Society – part 2 of ? – Christians in Business

Ok – We recently talked about how the Church, and Christians in general, should be effecting society and should have a presence in the world. The next question to pose is: What does that look like? Also, is there a right and wrong way?

Enter my drive home the other day… I am heading down a main street in suburbia, and suddenly my eye is drawn to a full 4×8 readerboard with 1′ Neon Yellow lettering screaming “CHRISTIAN”. Driving closer, the finer print becomes readable…” BANKING IS COMING”.

Christian Banking

Alright. I get it. I know the bank immediately. I know that they have had great success with this marketing strategy. They promote themselves as the “Christian” alternative to normal banking. They have drawn a percieved line in the sand that the “Big Banks” can’t and won’t cross. I don’t belittle them for repeating what has proven to be a successful strategic positioning decision. My curiosity, and my initial thought, was whether or not this positioning was solely self-serving. Does it in any way help the cause of the Church? (which I am asserting to be the fulfillment of the Great Commission for the purposes of this discussion) For that matter, does it need to?

It seems to me that while this may be a plus for them, and their business, it has a counterproductive
“Christian ghetto” effect in polarizing the rest of the world. What is “Christian” banking anyway? Is it merely giving your money to a “Christian” management team? Are those going to non-Christian banks expecting anything less than honesty, integrity, and fair treatment from their bank? Is it merely to say “if you’re not a Christian, you’re not our target market, and if you are, we are the only bank that will make you feel special about it…” I believe, and I think the success of the bank in their opening of the second branch proves, that it is the latter. For some reason, that saddens me.

I will stop there for this moment. I reserve the right to add my own commentary to my original thoughts as I see fit. But how about your thoughts? After all, isn’t that part of what this is for?

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2 Responses to “Church and Society – part 2 of ? – Christians in Business”

  1. Mark Wilson Says:

    I am enjoying this burst of creativity and thought Chad. Good on you.

    My thoughts? Well, I like it that a business identifies itself as Christian and stands up for what it believes in and makes a fuss. Excellent! Bring it on! Let’s all stand up for what we believe in and be counted for it.

    The holy huddle link was good. But quite negative I thought. I mean – is there only one way to reach out to people? Can’t we also support each other and huddle together? Is there a time and a season for these things? Sometimes I reach out, sometimes I don’t. I’m not always “up” and I’m not always reaching out. I go quiet sometimes and look for a safe huddle to get into.

    I think it’s cool that we can huddle and I think it’s cool that we have the freedom to stick up billboards shouting “I’m a christian” when the mood strikes us. I think it’s fabulous that we can build a business with Christian values, as mine is: http://www.topxml.com/admin/whoarewe.asp

    Different strokes for different folks.

  2. Genghis7777 Says:

    I’m a Christian in business and started thinking carefully about how I can apply biblical principles and commandments to my work.

    Unfortunately I’m concerned that applying these principles will be seen as being “legalistic.”

    For example most of the activities of a bank are covered in the Scriptures. Jesus doesn’t seem to have any objection to interest being earned by depositing funds in a bank.

    But the things that would really differentiate a Christian bank from the rest is offering interest-free loans to believers and forgiving debts every 7 years. Both of these concepts are OT principles and because they are in the OT, anyone applying them today risks being called legalistic.

    I’m involved in a group that is looking at forming a Christian bank and we’ve started trying to put together a theological framework to work within.

    Anyway, your email happened to come up while I was researching what precedents for “Christian Banks” are already out there.

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