Greg shares how you can keep your Christian convictions while working in a secular environment.
You know that our goal at Stand to Reason is to build ambassadors. We want to incarnate Christianity in a person with knowledge, wisdom, and character. What happens when you’re a teacher and you’re in an environment where some other worldview is required for you to teach like humanistic principles, for example?
That’s a worldview that is completely centered on man. Now what do you do? You want to be faithful to Christ, and you don’t want to advance a worldview that’s hostile to Christianity, but you still have to do your job.
In many of these situations, there’s not going to be unnecessary conflict. Humanism is a worldview in which human beings are on the throne. What flows from that are a series of ideas, practices, virtues, or things that they think are valuable and important. Maybe education is valuable, for example. Or honesty or respecting other people. These are all virtues of the humanistic system.
Why can’t you as a follower of Christ go ahead and teach those principles – honesty, respect for other people, value of knowledge – without necessarily integrating them in to the humanistic system itself? That is, you can think about the particulars of the system, and you can seize upon those things that are genuine virtues and advance those virtues because they’re going to be consistent with your own worldview as a follower of Christ.
Now, if you get to a point where there is a particular thing that you are asked to teach that is inconsistent with your convictions, I think you have to stand your ground. Take bullying. Bullying is not right. Anti-bullying education, though, is not about bullying; it’s about approving of homosexuality. If I were a teacher in that situation, I’d want to stand up against bullying. Whether it’s with homosexuals or anybody else. Bullying is bad regardless who does it.
That doesn’t mean that what I have to do is talk about how great homosexuality is to keep people from bullying. You deal with the issue of bullying, not advancing the worldview element that turns out to be a lie. If you are pressed on that, this is where I encourage you to stand firm. I will not teach that the way you’re asking me to teach it because it’s a violation of my conscience. I cannot say something is good that God says is not good. If God says it’s bad, I can’t say it’s good.
When you’re in a situation to be an ambassador for Christ, you can advance virtues of other worldviews that are consistent with your own worldview. When you have to advance the worldview per se that’s false, you say, “I can’t do that.” For some of you, you might have to pay the price, but I don’t know any other way around it.