In case you didn't know it already, being a real Christian business is not as easy as sliding a few words into your mission statement or slapping a fish on your logo. This is real world stuff with real world considerations and consequences. We're playing for a prize that's eternal, not just our next quarterly earnings target. So whether you realize it or not, being a entrepreneur who is committed to representing God in your business will put you in the crosshairs of those who are hostile to Christianity, reject Biblical standards, and want you to conform to societal pressures.
"Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." ~ Romans 12:2
Unless you've been totally disconnected from the media in the past couple of weeks, you are well aware that recently Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-a, stated in an interview that he supported the Biblical definition of marriage. I'm not sure he could have predicted or was ready for the incredible backlash he is receiving for simply stating what he believed. He has been vehemently blasted by those who support gay marriage. Interestingly, for simply stating his beliefs - not declaring hatred or discrimination against anyone - vitriolic intolerance has been a common response by those who demand tolerance for their lifestyle choices.
The treatment he has received really shouldn't be a surprise, because the issue is much bigger than just his position on gay marriage. Christianity as a whole is under attack and marriage is just a part of that. I would even say that the intolerance directed towards Biblical beliefs these days is as much or greater than the intolerance directed towards the LGBT community. But this overall societal response really shouldn't be a surprise to Christians according to John 15:18-21:
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me."
Attacks are the norm for those who don't understand the "foolishness" of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). In fact, Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:1-12).
So how does all this tie into you as a Christian business owner? Many Believers try to compartmentalize their faith and leave it out of their business affairs. They think they must suppress, downplay, or compromise their beliefs in order to make a dollar or grow a successful business. I don't believe that's true. You can stand up for what you believe in and build a successful business. It just depends on whose definition of success you are using, God's or the world's.
Let's look at five things Christian entrepreneurs can learn from the Chick-fil-a controversy:
As a Christian entrepreneur when you are willing to make similar choices in spite of the potential opposition you might face from people who are hostile to God's ways, you will hear "well done good and faithful servant."
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
Business as Mission
The High Calling