Can a business be Christian? Of course it can! In the same way that a school, or a family, or a genre of music or literature can Christian, so can a business. For years I have heard the spurious argument that since “a business can’t go to heaven” that the use of the term Christian applied to same is invalid. This is nonsense. The word can and is completely properly used as an adjective, to modify and further clarify a noun, And it is amazing to me that every one of the pious critics that I have encountered who declaim the term when used to describe a business have no trouble at all using it in the previously mentioned contexts and others. This distraction is not helpful. The question is not really can a business be a Christian business but how and what does the term mean?
When we use the term Christian as an adjective to describe a school we understand that a Christian school is an organization that teaches things like math and science etc. but, because of the modifying adjective, we know that it will do so with a Christ-centered worldview, striving to express and apply Jesus Christ’s teaching and functioning under His direction and Lordship and accepting His values. A Christian school will be judged academically using all the criteria that the world uses but also by an additional measure of obedience to the Biblical standards and principles it professes. A business is simply an organization as is a school, an organization gathered to work toward producing a predetermined result. Providing an education in the case of a school, providing a valuable product or service in the case of a business. Either can only be dedicated as Christian by the organizing authority or owner(s) and once made the commitment relieves no obligation to provide quality or value in its primary service or function. Use of the modifier Christian merely gives information as to how and by what standards it plans to do so. The organization will strive to act coherently with the values of Christ as it functions.
So, the term is proper but is it appropriate? Can we flawed and struggling humans perfectly apply the ways of God in Christ in an organization? Of course we can’t but does that mean that we shouldn’t try? Or should we wait until we have it all together before we claim to represent Jesus Christ or to be called by His Name?. Do you know of a perfect church? A perfect Christian song? School? Family? Novel? No, you don’t and I don’t either. But we both know that our God has chosen to shine His light through earthen vessels wherever He places them, individually or gathered into groups. Wherever. God is not limited and His Kingdom extends to our businesses. The question isn’t can a business be a Christian business but “how ?” Like-minded Christian CEOs and owners across America and around the world are meeting together on a regular basis to learn “how to” and to help one another apply God’s ways in “Building Great Businesses for a Greater Purpose.” Visit www.c12group.com for more information.