Evangelism? Or proselytism?
I’ve heard of “Christian businessmen”, and “Christian witness in the workplace”, but this seem to be taking things too far. I think it certainly crosses the line that separates evangelism from proselytism, and goes a long way into proselytism territory.
And I’m pretty sure that in South Africa it would be unconstitutional.
MOSCOW, August 13, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The head of a large dairy company near Moscow has informed his 6000 workers that company policy will require all employees to closely follow the teachings and precepts of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Vasily Boiko-Veliki, director of Russkoe Moloko (Russian Milk), told Ekho Moskvy radio that the company was established to promote the Orthodox revival of Russia, and the rules were meant ‘to prevent future sins by employees.’
‘We have about 6,000 employees, most of whom are Orthodox, and I expect them to be faithful and to repent,’ Boiko-Veliki said.
Hat-tip to Ad Orientem: Repent or you’re fired.
Has anyone heard of anything similar being tried elsewhere? Was Cadbury-Fry, the Quaker chocolate maker, ever like this?
I suppose I encountered one thing that could perhaps be compared, though I think it was much more positive, I think.
It was back in the early 1970s, in the Anglican Church in Namibia.
The bishop, Colin Winter, was visiting South Africa, and spoke to a group of people in Durban, and urged them to come to Namibia, and help the church there.
One of them, Ed Morrow, said, “I’m just a builder — what can I do?”
And Bishop Colin said, “Come anyway, we’ll find something for you to do.”
So Ed resigned from his job at Murray & Roberts, one of the biggest building firms in Durban at the time, and he and his wife Laureen let their house, sold their car, and bought a second-hand Volkswagen Kombi, loaded their few remaining possessions into it (including a stove) and set off for Windhoek. A venture in faith.
When they arrived, the church set up a building construction firm. They wanted to call it Ikon Construction, but the Registrar of Companies said that was too similar to another firm’s name, so they called it Noki Constuction instead. It had 200 shares at R1.00 each, of which the diocese owned 198, Ed Morrow 1, and the Diocesan Secretary 1.
Then they asked the clergy in Ovamboland if there was anyone in their parishes who was interested in learning the building trade, and got three people to join them. They started doing building repairs on church property, but also took on small outside jobsm alterations and so on, to make a bit of money. The travelled around in Ed’s old Kombi, with bricks and cement. They also went to church together, and had parties together. It wasn’t just a business, it was a Christian fellowship.
After a year, Ed Morrow reported to the diocesan synod. He said that they had dhown that it was possible to run a business of Christian lines and still make a profit. They paid three times the going rate for building labourers in Windhoek. They tendered fair prices and did a good job, and their outside customers were satisfied.
But this was not evangelism. The employees recruited were already good Anglicans, and at least part of the aim was skills training. There was no pressure on them to go to church services, because they wanted to do that anyway.
The Russian example sounds somewhat different, with a lot of top-down pressure. It strikes me that it is not the “fear of God” but the fear of man that would provide much of the motivation. Repentance that doesn’t come from the heart is not true repentance.