Thursday, December 7, 2017

Living our Religious Convictions in the Workplace

It's one of our most joyous days on campus: Saturday we will graduate 209 students prepared well to find God in their work and claim their workplaces as places of ministry.

This integration of faith and work is foundational to us at LETU. However, in our society, the intersection of faith and work is increasingly a place of conflict.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. At issue is the tension between religious liberty and freedom from discrimination.

Jack Philips started his own small bakery in 1993 in Lakewood, Colorado. His wedding cakes became known as works of art and his Christian faith guided the way he ran his business, including refusing to design cakes for Halloween or in celebration of divorces. In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig asked Jack to design a cake in honor of their same-sex marriage. His faith led him to decline their request. David and Charlie got their cake from another baker and filed a complaint against Jack.

The State of Colorado sued Jack for violating the state's anti-discrimination act. Subsequently, courts have ruled that Jack must provide cakes to same-sex marriages, provide employee training on public accommodations, and send the State quarterly reports documenting that no prospective customers have been turned away. Rather than comply, Jack chose to quit making wedding cakes and in doing so he lost 40% of his total bakery business.

I recommend a short video where you can learn more about Jack, his faith and his business here.

Please pray that the Supreme Court will rule that our nation is a place providing each other the space to live our religious convictions in the workplace.

Coffee mugs at Masterpiece Cakeshop point guests to Ephesians 2:10. It's a good reminder of the God-given worth of all of us and a good charge to our new graduates who leave us with God's blessing:
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."