Every Christian family worries about placing their impressionable family members in secular environments where immoral standards endanger upright lifestyles and godly testimonies. Within the Christian community, there is little consensus as to whether protectionist policies are better than active engagement, or if withdrawal from the world amounts to cowardice.
The issue even divides families.
Stan, a 67 year-old retired pastor and minister, works at WalMart to make ends meet. He usually works the front zones as a greeter, but Eric the day manager has been thinking about reassigning him to be a floating helper in the carbonated and alcoholic beverage aisles.
His two oldest children are considering pulling him out of that role.
“I just don’t think there is any reason, at his age, to expose him to the sort of influences that exist in a secular workplace,” said Judith, Stan’s oldest daughter, while preparing for her day as a public school second grade teacher. “There’s just no reason for it, not in this day of religious pluralism and rank paganism. Have you seen the kinds of people who frequent that flesh pit? I think Christians should seriously consider pulling their aging workers out of the secular work force. It’s the only way to protect them against things they can’t understand.”
Her sister Amy agrees. “Aren’t there any Christian retailers? Of course there are! And if there aren’t enough, there’s no reason godly businesses and service providers can’t be established. I’ve been after the church for years to put in a movie projector so families could watch Harry Potter and Twilight without throwing our money away down at the heathens’ Cineplex. The Christian community has sufficient resources to create a godly, wholesome work environment where impressionable family members can work without fear of compromising their witnesses or participating in godless activities, like selling cheap clothing to rednecks.”
Not all the children agree, though.
Shawn, the youngest sibling, takes the opposite position. “I think we should leave Dad there. I mean, he’s a godly influence on the other workers, using his actions and attitudes to influence the heathen who need to know Christ, especially the janitorial staff and those Philistines in the pharmacy. Sure, he gets things confused and all that, but trust me, old people are sharper than we think. They see the truth. As long as families have done their jobs, things will be ok. If we take time nightly to talk to our parents about things they have seen and which prescriptions need re-filling, there’s nothing to worry about.”
Judith snapped back: “I just can’t stand to think of how Mother would feel about all this if she were still alive.”
Stan, for his part, remains conflicted about his job.
“I preached against crass commercialism and the sale-papering of Christmas for 33 years. Now I’m a greeter at Walmart. Led my church to boycott the local steakhouse when they started selling beer. Now I’m moving to the beverage aisle. Railed against building this store because of the damage to local retailers. Now I’m just hoping the store sets a new sales record for the month so we can all earn an extra vacation day. It’s killing me. That sweet employee discount makes it worse.” He paused. “I do need the cash, though. The church didn’t have a retirement plan.”
“This needs to be our call, not his. He’s in no condition…just isn’t equipped to handle the temptations of the world,” fumed Amy as she parked her Hummer next to the tennis courts. “Dad – putting financial gain ahead of his spiritual life? And after all those sermons about nanmon or whatever?”