Friday, June 16, 2017

Alliance Defending Freedom: A Guide to Faith in the Workplace

LeTourneau University's Center for Faith and Work equips believers to integrate their Christian faith and their professional lives, just as our late university founder, R.G. LeTourneau, did during his lifetime.  

As part of that mission, the CFW has partnered with Alliance Defending Freedom, the foremost defender of Christian liberty, to provide an important resource for Christian business owners to know their legal rights when it comes to exercising faith in the workplace. This resource is An Employer's Guide to Faith in the Workplace: Legal Protections for Christians Who Own a Business. You can access this 44-page document here

As an alliance-building legal organization advocating for Christian business owners, ADF exists to provide legal defense for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family. This free guide helps business professionals, and all Christians in the workplace, understand what the law says about our religious liberty and how to legally incorporate Christian principles and practices in the workplace.    

ADF works with over 3,000 allied attorneys and partners with more than 300 allied organizations with a success record of 80% of their legal cases. ADF attorneys have played a role in 47 U.S. Supreme Court victories.

The guidebook provides help with practical questions such as "Can I share the Gospel with my employees?" and "Can I hold regular prayer meetings or chapel services for my employees?" and "What are sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) laws?"

The guide provides a section on general workplace policies; personnel decisions including hiring, firing and religious accommodations; providing company benefits; and guidance for specific businesses with products or services that considered expressive in nature. The guide also explains hiring insights for businesses that can claim Christianity as a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ).

The guide is not a replacement for specific legal advice, but does provide insights and assurances for business owners and for the rest of us about living our faith outside the walls of the church or home and in the public marketplace on how to protect our rights and the rights of employees in an increasingly hostile political environment.

As Christians, our faith informs all of our everyday interactions. God's word challenges us "...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

The purpose of this LETU-ADF publication is to give business professionals confidence as they seek to run their business for the glory of God. It is a complicated charge in our pluralistic society but one we seek to be faithful in meeting.   

Friday, June 2, 2017

God's Grace, Through His People

Memorial Day Weekend 2017 is one to be remembered for years to come.

On Sunday night, two tornadoes moved through the Longview area. They were the latest in what seems to be an unusually stormy spring. Many are still in shock at the Canton storm that left five dead last month. I-20 has become a tornado alley.

Thanks to God that none were killed in Sunday's storms.    

Kudos to LETU Chief of Police Michael Schultz for quickly getting out the tornado warning on our Emergency Campus Communication System (ECCS).

The path of one tornadic storm was just west of campus. Cars were crushed like plastic toys. Felled trees cut homes in half and blocked streets. SWEPCO said over 100,000 customers lost electricity. As I'm writing, Marsha and I still do not have power at our home. I know this is true for several others in our LETU family.
But it is not the storm damage that will be remembered years from now. We will recall that God-honoring kindness of many who came to our aid. 

In the last days, I've seen LETU staff grab their chain saws and come to the aid of those with tree damage.  I've seen you share generators and tarps to cover holes in roofs. And I know LETU staff members have opened their homes and shared their light and refrigerators and air conditioning with families who are without power at their homes. 

Our LETU facilities team has done a faithful and speedy job of cleaning away tree debris (at one point the Green Street entrance was blocked--pictured below) and inspecting roofs and air conditioning units for damage. 

May our testimony of Memorial Day 2017 not be of "Mother Nature's Power" but instead may our testimony be of "God's grace, through His people."