Have you ever seen a “Christian” mechanic shop? A Christian grocery store? A Christian construction or landscaping company? Does it bother you a little bit? I consider myself a Christian, and it bothers me. It bothers me for several reasons. I’ll lay them out one by one.
1. Christians Are Sinners Just Like Everyone Else- I think a lot of Christians throw up Christian in their name because they are trying to present the image that they have Christian morals while the rest of the world doesn’t. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Christians have flaws just like everyone else. A Christian could even have the flaws of dishonesty and greed. Presenting a business in this way, gives the rest of the world the wrong idea about our message as well. We nor our businesses will be perfect or any better than the rest of the world. We’re in the same boat as everyone else. Sinners in need of a Savior. Sinners in need of grace and forgiveness. Especially in the businesses we run. No matter what they are we’re going to fail and make mistakes everyday, and we need grace even from non-Christians.
2. “Secular” Businesses Owners Can Be Just As Honest and Even More than A Christian- Because of the fact that we are all sinners, a Christian mechanic shop is going to have just the same flaws and could have potentially more than a shop run by people who don’t consider themselves believers. I have a mechanic who is the most honest I’ve experienced. I really trust him with my car. As far as I know he is isn’t a Christian, and he doesn’t advertise himself as such, but I would take my car to him over the Christian mechanic shop every time. The people who run the Christian mechanic shop, even if they are Christians could have a problem with honesty. They may bend the truth a little bit in order to get you to buy something extra you don’t need, or it could be worse than that.
3.Christian Businesses Will Have the same Failures and Flaws As Other Businesses- A Christian Business isn’t going to be offering a better service than the other great companies in your town. Great companies are great because they are serving others. And this is a great thing that brings glory to God in and of its self I believe. Kroger serves groceries to the community. It isn’t a “Christian” business, but it is serving the community in a huge way, and that is wonderful. If you want to start a grocery store and want to bring glory to God, don’t call it John 3:16 Grocery Shop. Instead just call it something fitting for a grocery store, and do your best to serve your community. Practice honest, love, compassion, and forgiveness in your store and care about your employees and community. That is a great thing. And even while doing your best you’re going to make mistakes just like any business owner.
4. “Secular” Businesses Can Be Awesome- Just as mentioned above. A store doesn’t need Christian in its name to still be serving the community in huge ways. You can be a Christian and start a business that does not advertise itself as Christian and serve the community in amazing ways. Think of all the great companies out there you love to shop at. They are serving you, and I bet most of them don’t have the word Christian in their advertising at all.
5. All Businesses Are Christian- I really don’t think that any business should be considered secular. Since we live in a world in which Christianity is the reality of the way things are. Everything is Christian. Taco Bell is Christian. Starbucks is Christian. Chipotle is Christian. Staples is Christian. Target is Christian. The Movie store and Drug Store down the street are Christian. All of these are places that serve the community. Service to others doesn’t need a label. Service is what God desires from us, and all business serve others. That’s good and wonderful in and of itself. It doesn’t need a label.
Exceptions to the Rule: Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. There are some businesses in which it is good and healthy to advertise them as Christian businesses. A church for example. A Christian who wants to attend a service wants to make sure they’re not entering an atheist convention. Another example is a Christian bookstore. There are so many Christian books this is totally legitimate to specialize in selling Christian books. Another is Counseling offices. Many people would like to see a therapist who shares their same religious beliefs. I’m sure there are other things I don’t know of.