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All businesses are guided by some worldview

All businesses are guided by some worldview – a set of beliefs about existential issues like reality, truth, human nature, ethics, and morality – which reflects the beliefs, secular or religious, of those who establish and guide them.

The currently popular notion that stripping religious values from institutions of business, government, education, charities, or associations makes them value-neutral is a fallacy. In fact that simply substitutes an opposing worldview of atheism or secular humanism with its own deeply held beliefs. So we may seek to find some moral middle ground to avoid offending anyone, but in a diverse culture that is simply not possible. Culture cannot be devoid of values.

So why is any of this important? Let me paraphrase from Christian apologist, Josh McDowell: Our beliefs determine our values, which drive our behavior and are evidenced in our relationships. That includes business. So hopefully without being too lengthy, I respectfully offer a summary of my own beliefs and pray it will stimulate your own contemplation of these things.

God is

What one chooses to believe about truth, reality & our existence turns one way or the other at this foundational fork in the road. Creation and our own existence force this fundamental dilemma. Either one recognizes a creative master designer for all we know and perceive, or searches for an alternative atheistic explanation such as evolution that is spontaneous, random, and undirected. Accounting for all the complexities of the natural world from undirected evolution seems implausible on many levels. But somehow the need for an other-than-God explanation has driven many to rationalize that if given enough time, say billions of years, everything could somehow come from nothing, and order from chaos. For me, believing in a creator requires less faith than explaining the natural world otherwise. Even if one subscribes to the theory of undirected evolution, it still fails to account for first cause – the beginning source of the matter/energy from which all thereafter proceeds.

Intellectually, I cannot deny the existence of God. In the Scriptures, Romans 1:20 expresses it this way: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Since God is, then my own existence cannot really be isolated from that fact, and it raises the question of what can be known of Him and how I relate to Him. I believe He has chosen to reveal Himself to us most specifically through the Holy Scriptures – sixty-six books, divinely-inspired, written down by numerous authors over thousands of years, that collectively reveal a trustworthy account of God’s nature, character, and plan. In short, the scriptures are the Word of God, revealing how He has spoken and can be known today, at least to the limited degree that creatures of finite understanding may contemplate the infinite.

Man is Created in His Image and the Crown of Creation.
Being created in God’s image establishes relationship, but does not mean in any way that we are divine, or part of God. It means He has given us an eternal soul that will outlive our bodies, the temporary shell in which we reside now. This eternal dimension differentiates mankind from all else in creation. God created man with the capacity to know Him, but with the free will to choose fellowship with or reject Him. Our human nature, expressed in the pursuit of self and enabled by man’s free will, has also allowed us the ability to corrupt God’s plan for us.

Mankind is innately rebellious and controlling. We seek our own way and advantage over others. That is the essence of sin – that which is displeasing to God. It separates us from a holy God. At its worst, it can make man capable of unbridled evil. But even those with a relatively uncorrupted conscience constantly fail to meet even their own standards of righteousness, much less God’s. No one is “good enough” to know, love and fellowship with God. His standard is perfection. Contrary to the popular notion, our righteousness is not a matter of weighing our good against our bad to tip the scales one way or the other. The apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans says it this way: “For all have sinned and fallen short of God’s perfection.”

God Revealed in Three Ways.
The scriptures describe one God who has revealed himself at various times in three distinct forms that we know as Father, Son, and Spirit. I am no theologian, but I believe that this revelation (commonly referred to as the Trinity) is entirely for the benefit of our limited capability of understanding. A helpful analogy is the physical properties of water than can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas yet always remains one and the same element. Admittedly, the comparison is inadequate but hopefully still helpful.
God's Plan to Redeem Fallen Man.
It is through God’s revelation as Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, that sinful man can know and fellowship with a righteous and just creator God. That Jesus lived is a historical fact well documented and provable in the legal sense. That he is God incarnate who lived a sinless life for the ultimate purpose of becoming a sacrificial redemption for our iniquity, and was resurrected by God the Father, requires spiritual discernment and faith. But as creatures with free will, it also requires not just our knowledge of God, but our acceptance of the reality of His plan, which is at once disturbing and ugly in the brutal, unjust murder of a sinless man in place of others, and yet beautiful in how a righteous God loves his creation and provides for restoration and even adoption into his family. Simply stated, Christ died that we might fellowship with God now, and live with him forever when we leave our dead bodies behind.
God's Law and His Grace.
God’s laws in scriptures are those commandments from God to govern our behavior and relationships, the most well known being the Ten Commandments. They have formed the basis for Western civilization and are enshrined on the US Supreme Court building. They are also His way of protecting us, individually and collectively, from the predictable results of sin. God’s Word defines objective truth. His laws establish right and wrong. But it is God’s grace and mercy that is the basis for our relationship with Him. Grace is the love and forgiveness that God offers even though we deserve punishment and separation from Him.
God's Claim and Call on the Christian's Life.
Inseparable from the gift of life through Christ is His claim on our life and our call to His service. So beyond His grace and forgiveness, and our belief, confession and acceptance, the Christian life requires repentance, or turning from our old ways, and following God’s path for our life instead of our own. This means surrendering our will to His, which is a struggle for even the most devout follower of Christ. It also means honoring God in the way that we live and relate to others. That includes our stewardship over what He has entrusted to us (possessions, opportunities, relationships, etc.) and how we conduct business with others.
Significance of Work.
I believe honest, virtuous work that serves and brings value to others, also honors God. Our labor is in itself a noble pursuit and builds character. God takes pleasure in our virtuous efforts that are directed unselfishly for the benefit of others. Work is part of our call to His service, joining God in his plan for our life as He reveals it to us.

Jesus called Christians to be “salt and light” in this world, that is, to make a difference and have an impact on others that glorifies God, not us. Living the Christian life is not something we do in secret. Instead, it requires that we boldly respond in daily life to uphold Biblical truth, respond to opportunities for ministry, and be prepared to offer an explanation for our faith when asked, or confronted with evil. Our lives, including our work, should reveal Christ in us and draw others to Him. So while faith may be an individual matter, it is not a private one as some would like to assert.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for your interest and reading all this. It is with profound gratitude for the vision, opportunities, relationships, success and even failures that I acknowledge the significance of God’s leading and direction in my life. I was 19 when given the inspiration for this company. Now at 60+, some might think I had some special insight or grand plan all along. That is not the case. But with benefit of hindsight, my business path has simply been guided by incremental opportunities for problem solving and being of service and value to others. That path has been revealed step-by-step, not in some grand vision or epiphany. But despite my own lack of planning and frequent unfaithfulness, I know God has a plan for my best, has always been faithful, and is trustworthy to complete it. He does not reveal it beginning-to-end as I might like, but by following Him a step at a time. Paraphrasing the Psalms, He knew me in the womb and knows when and where I will depart this life for the next.

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