Father Nkwasibwe brings up an interesting issue that is a hot button with those who are concerned about maintaining their faith integrity. You might have thought of it, and now I’m going to give you a label to slap on, the word is snycretism. As a Lutheran pastor I am very serious about Lutheran doctrine. Lutheran doctrine is significantly different then the rest of Christian belief. There are 5 main branches of Christianity and their doctrine is decidedly different. I’m not going to go into detail (unless of course asked to and I will be happy to elaborate) anyway, syncretism is the concept that we are just supposed to all agree and put aside rather profound differences. That sounds all warm and gushy, but there is such a thing as integrity too and being faithful to the teachings of the church that you have professed loyalty to. Now I know the whole concept of loyalty and confessing doctrine is just oh so narrow and inflexible, but believe me, if this was something that I couldn’t profess I wouldn’t and certainly wouldn’t go out teaching it.
So having said that, I feel that there are many who would have issues of integrity and loyalty regarding their beliefs, especially in terms of interactions at the workplace. I am in no way suggesting some kind of holy war, please do not, it’s one thing to stand by your beliefs, it’s another thing to wrestle at the workplace, that’s not cool. If you want to respectfully disagree do so, then disengage.
“…an inter-faith activity would be depreciating fidelity and obligation to God of one’s understanding if it promoted “syncretism”, which refers to a synthetic amalgamation of dissimilar forms of religious beliefs or practices. Also if it sponsored “faith neutrality, which refers to a claim of nonaligned status or impartiality in one’s loyalty to God of one’s understanding, it would be downgrading fidelity. Meanwhile, if it endorsed “relativism”, which refers to the denial or undermining of the absolute or ultimate moral truths and values, it would be exalting deviation from the obligation to promote the standards of the truth or common good.” (Business Courage, pp 140-141 (hey you asked, and I had to type it!)
Please do not take any of what I blog as some sort of endorsement or encouragement to put aside what should be your sincere, faithful beliefs for others religious beliefs, ceremonies, etc. For example as Lutherans we have a very high view of the Lord’s Supper, the Body and Blood of Jesus. If you were not in fellowship with the church and did not have the correct understanding of the Lord’s Supper I would encourage you not to take communion. So it does go both ways, there should be proper respect to not compromise on your faith, or to compromise someone else’s.
I want people to live out their principles, their beliefs, live out their life in the workplace in Christ. In other than extraordinary circumstances I would not (assuming you’re a Lutheran), come to your place of business and give you the Lord’s Supper. I would however as your pastor want you to live your life in Christ in the workplace. Feel free to bring on the discussion.