Evangelicals & Passion
There are hills that are worth dying upon. There are times that are justifiably suited for war. There are times it is not wise to turn the other cheek. There are times when it is cowardice, not wisdom or valor, to look the other way. There are times when we must stand our ground and say to the culture, “No more, we will respond with the full disposal of every resource available to us to oppose you.
Answers in Genesis (AIG) has been blocked from advertising job posts on Indeed.com because AIG insists that any employee of their organization must adhere and affirm AIG’s statement of faith. Indeed.com, grants religious freedom of religious organizations to place their doctrinal criteria for clergy/pastoral positions but take exception to non-clergy positions.
Like most in society, both spiritual and secular, Indeed.com makes a basic category error. All of life is a vocation (calling). God does not just call ministers who serve full-time, He calls plumbers, teachers, bus drivers, politicians just as He does the clergy. It is a false dichotomy that some vocations are spiritual in nature and everything else is purely secular. The Evangelical plumber has the same call on his life as the Evangelical Pastor does on his life. Both the plumber and the pastor are called to do whatever they do to the glory of God, “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians10:31) [emphasis mine].
Yes, some positions or callings have more visibility but as the Apostle Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 12 but there is no only one body and no part is more precious or necessary than another. The eye cannot say it is has no need of the ear. You need both and the Evangelical church has only one head and He resides in heaven and not in the pulpit or in the clergy. The usher is just as essential to the life of the church as the Pastor and that is not an attempt at political correctness or false piety. Yes, our functions are different, but our essence is the same from top to bottom.
God does not only call pastors and others who are involved in full-time ministry or even bi-vocational ministry. The Great Commission is not a call that is clergy-centric, it is a commission given to the entire Body of Christ. It is for every man, woman, boy and girl who have placed their faith and trust in the finished work of the only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
My friend, this theological tenet is no small thing. It is why the Evangelical church is not living victoriously and bereft of vitality. We believe soul-winning and Gospel proclamation is primary, and in some circles, exclusively, these responsibilities are for full-time clergy. The Evangelical housewife has as much responsibility to live out the Great Commission as the Apostle Paul had during the first century.
So, while it should come as no surprise that a secular organization like Indeed.com to not understand this theological principle it is to the Evangelical churches’ shame for our failure to understand this important tenet.
But, the larger point of dispute is why would an Evangelical institution not be expected to insist, if not properly termed as a demand, that their prospective employees be of the same mind and theological understanding. Would it be acceptable for the President of the United States to not affirm democracy but embrace communism? I say emphatically “NO” knowing full well Bernie Sanders has come close two times winning the Democratic Presidential nomination.
That is yet another reason I do not understand how Evangelical can in good conscience align themselves with the Democratic Party, but I do not want to get sidetracked from the thesis of this blog article.
Indeed.com responded to AIG concerning this matter with the following response in 2018:
This client has verbiage in their job posting that can lead to religious discrimination. We do not allow religious discrimination on Indeed unless it is a clergy position, all of these jobs are non-clerical staff jobs. If this client would like visibility on Indeed they will need to remove any verbiage that can lead to discrimination.
In 2017, Indeed.com wrote to the AIG:
Most of the roles do not appear to be religious in nature, however, all of the positions require faith-based agreements – salvation testimony, creation belief statement, and a confirmation of agreement with the company’s statement of faith. In addition, several of the positions have more religious requirements. For example, the “Public Safety Officer” positions all have an additional requirement of “Maintains a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” and “Regular attendance at a local Bible-believing church.” Is the client willing to remove the religious requirement from their jobs?
I stand with AIG when they responded with an empathic and explicit, “No way and no how.” It would be equally irrational for an Evangelical to insist they can be employed with secular humanist organization if they refuse to sign and comply with their statement of faith, whatever that statement of faith maybe.
It is not enough for the society to grant hiring exceptions to only clergy positions. An Evangelical institution should be free to insist their janitors affirm the institution’s statement of faith. This is not to say every Evangelical institution does insist or must insist that every employee do so, but this must be a matter the Evangelical institution reaches based on their theological understanding and creedal understanding.
This is a doctrine which Evangelicals understand to be matters of adiaphora which comes from the Greek and in Christian theology means the opinion that certain doctrines or practices in morals or religion are matters of indifference because they are neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible. As a result, some Evangelical institutions will decide to employ individuals who do not share in their statement of faith for various reasons. It may be done with an eye toward Evangelism or it may be an attempt to provide employment opportunities for the less advantaged or unemployed. Yet, there will others organization who like, AIG, insists and demands that employee affirm their statement of faith.
Either way, an Evangelical institution insists all of their employees do subscribe to a statement of faith or another Evangelical institution does not insist the decision must be left to that particular Evangelical institution and thus NOT to be subjected to legitimate criticism or rebuke from another Evangelical institution or from Evangelical individuals as well as any external source without exception. It is fine for a fellow Evangelical to come to different landing spots, but it is not theological or doctrinally permissible for an Evangelical to judge or condemn someone who comes to a different conclusion when it is clearly one of the areas that Paul considers is debatable. Thus, it is left to the individual to reach their own conclusion or as Paul says “become convinced in your own mind (Romans 14:5).
The pertinent question is who is authorized to reach the hiring philosophy for their organizations. I believe it is wholly an internal decision to be done without any censorship from any other institution, whether it be a fellow Evangelical institution, or it be a secular organization.
While there are times for Evangelicals to turn the other cheek or walk the second mile or even give our jacket when our enemy asks or demands our inner garment (Matthew 5:38-48) there are not times we cannot afford to do so if we are to be found faithful. Just as the Apostle Paul had no problem circumcising his young protégé, Timothy, so as to not cause offense while ministering to Jews in Derbe and Lystra (Acts 16) the Apostle Paul nonetheless when necessary raised Holy Hell when the Judiazers attempted to tie the circumcision issue to salvation in Galatians 5. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God” (emphasis added).
So, you see, it is left up to the individual or individual institution to reach their own convictions on secondary or tertiary matters. Evangelicals must not allow their God-given liberties to be forcefully taken away. They can freely chose to forsake a legitimate liberty for conscience’s sake or to fulfill the command to not cause their brother to stumble because they are weak in a secondary or non-essential Christian doctrine (Romans 14:13-23).
It is when Evangelicals adopt a passive posture and shy away from defending and contending for the faith that was once delivered once and for all that will fail to advance the Gospel (Jude 1:3). Yes, Evangelicals are to be some of the most law abiding and civic-minded citizens of the nations, but we cannot and must not compromise when essential issues are under attacked.
Indeed.com does not even apply their censorship consistently. They allow many Muslim organizations to restrict their job postings to people who subscribe and abide by Muslim statements of fact. I affirm the need for religious liberty and if Evangelicals truly believe in religious liberty it cannot apply to only Evangelical organization. What is good for one goose must be good for another gander.
As long as the culture allows Evangelicals to posit our disagreements with other faith systems then the same rights and privileges Evangelicals demand and are granted are the same rights and privilege that should be afforded to any institution, to even include organizations such Wicca.
I love the truth and if that is truly to be the case then I need God’s discernment on what are truly first order principles as not all truths are worth dying over. Some matters like drinking, dancing and card-playing while passionately held by many are NOT issues that Evangelicals should divide over but when it becomes issues of essential truth then we will not weighed and found positing fidelity if we do not push back and fight.
These attacks will only increase in both quantity and quality. As Dr. Albert Mohler is fond of saying none of us can avoid these issues for long. These issues will come one day to our door. The question is only will be found faithful when that moment arrives.
The very people who need to lead the way are men and in my next series of blog posts I want to look at the Evangelical family. Remember, my last post dealt with the Evangelical Doctrine of Subsidiary. This means an issue is always best addressed at the lowest level. Hence, it is at the family level that best provides the ability to experience human flourishing.
I submit the greatest source for the Evangelical Church’s struggle to be light and salt lays at the feet of man, both as husbands and fathers. I will look at the family from three perspectives
As always let me know what you think but until then keep your Hands to the Plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.