Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

President John Adams 1798


Should there be separation or integration of Church and State; Church and Business?

How did we fall into money idolatry and greed?

Thesis I: The proliferation of greed (and the systemic lack of concern for the poor, for people) in the normal course of business practices of our nation which continues to spread largely unchecked, even unnoticed, is due to building upon a foundation of falsehood (building house on sand Matt 7:26).

That falsehood is the premise that business (and government) should be done in the absence of religion. Religion or faith should be practiced in private, goes the falsehood as it is a personal matter and has no place in business. Because of this lie being reinforced by shareholders, managements, governments, HR departments, and civil court rooms among other institutions, the enemy has crept in mostly unawares, allowing blind spots to grow writ large where few biblically anchored moral and ethical voices are allowed to speak up. Because too often our country’s founding Judeo-Christian faith must be “checked at the door” when it comes to business, it creates a vacuum of ethical and moral grounding – a relativism, which is filled in with rationalization of profitability, efficiency and expediency.

This is a conformity to a “white washed” set of business practices that is designed to be “swallowed” as a “business is business” in the name of efficiency and effectiveness (just leave faith private). It is a conformity to a “Spirit of this World” and the opposite of Holiness unto God (set apart and consecrated). (Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind -Romans 12:2)

Sometimes I refer to this as a barbell strategy. Make all you can, however you can (all is fair in love, war and business). Then, tithe and be generous with the spoils. If you do, God shines his favor on you. Many Christians fall into this trap. I fell into this trap. My Christian mentors encouraged me in this trap because it helped fund the ministry. I call it being a Business Pharisee. I have even heard the following quote used to ratify such an approach: “Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Give as much as you can”- John Wesley

This premise is false. God cares as much and probably more about how you and I conduct our business practices and HOW we make money than what we do with the money.

Which leads us to…

Thesis II: The most impactful engine for socio-economic improvement, social justice, serving the poor, building up neighborhoods, giving people access to good jobs and education is business itself. It’s not the government. It’s not even churches. I would argue, business done well under God literally creates healthy economy, creates jobs, creates a type of family, demonstrates the gospel with deeds not just words, creates opportunity, and glorifies God. As Christians come together and serve the community together through our businesses, joined together in unity, loving our neighbor as ourselves, I believe there is no greater force of good that can be unleashed on a nation, region, state or city. Lastly, I believe the only viable platform to achieve this properly are privately owned companies (not publicly traded ones), funded by capital that is not attached to the traditional financial markets, banking, venture or private equity systems and influences. All such capital all comes with “strings attached” and a return on capital expectation as the top priority, really the only priority if we are honest (and therefore becomes the object of worship).

Salt and light. A light shining on a hill – Matt 5:15