How to wear your faith to work
English Bible teacher challenges Australians to stand up for Jesus on the job
William Taylor, the rector of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, a historic Anglican church in the CBD of London, has called on all Australian Christians to be informal missionaries in the workplace.
Speaking at the Church Missionary Society Summer School in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains last week, Taylor hailed the 18 CMS missionaries being sent out from NSW/ACT this year as “the real heroes”. But he said the remainder of the 4000 attendees should regard their place of work as their primary mission field.
He warned them, however, that standing up for Christ at work would make them objects of derision among non-believers. Like anyone, he said, Taylor likes to be liked. But it’s something he had to get over as his church attempted to minister to the business people in the City of London.
“So sometimes, I think, as Christians we end up preaching a moralistic message rather than the gospel.” – William Taylor
“Jesus says if anybody is ashamed of me and of my words in my generation, I will be ashamed of him – so the way to deal with fear of man is fear of God,” he told Eternity after the conference.
“Matthew 10 makes that very clear – ‘Don’t fear man, fear the one that has the power to cast you into hell.’ But fear of God is fear of the God who is full of steadfast love and committed to his promises, so it’s a wonderful thing.”
Taylor, who is the author of many books, said the way to find the courage to speak openly about faith at work was to stick to the essentials of the gospel, rather than moralising about hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, which put Christians out of step with the opinions of the secular world.
“My message in the workplace is not ‘gay sex is wrong, or heterosexual sex outside of marriage is wrong.’ My message is: ‘Christ came into the world as Lord and King, died for our sins and calls us to repent and believe. He loves us and, wants us to come to forgiveness and a right humanity serving him.’ That’s my message,” he said.
“So sometimes, I think, as Christians we end up preaching a moralistic message rather than the gospel.”
“The liberal project is a leech and a parasite on Christianity because all of their humanist dreams and ambitions come out of a Christian ethic.” – William Taylor
In talks he gave at CMS Summer School on God’s promises to Abraham in Genesis, Taylor cautioned his listeners of the danger of “pouring our lives into the sand” and of the need to invest in something that lasts.
“Pouring our lives into the sand is the message because you’ve had 11 chapters of people trying to make a name for themselves, even as sons of Adam under the judgment of God; now you have God making a name for Abraham,” said Taylor.
“I think in every generation a corporate expression of Genesis 3 and the Tower of Babel is that we seek to make a name for ourselves. Of course we do, because we’ve got a sense of eternity in our bones – because God’s put it there – but through our rebellion we’re under judgment.”
Taylor said that in the current generation people were seeking to make a name for themselves through globalisation and liberal consumerism.
“The liberal project is a leech and a parasite on Christianity because all of their humanist dreams and ambitions come out of a Christian ethic,” he said.
“So what liberal consumerism or secular liberalism – whatever you want to call it; that whole God-defying movement – has, is a desire to have a United Nations, a great world global community.
“That’s what radical Islam is trying to do, it’s trying to create a world Islamic state, a caliphate – make a name for myself.”