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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Not too long ago I know someone who was put into an awkward work situation with a homosexual. They wanted to say something about how they didn't agree with the lifestyle but they held their tongue.

At work, we had many times been cautious of what to say or not say while three of us in a four person office were Christians and she was an atheist. We were careful not to speak religion even to each other if she was around.

I know we shouldn't be ashamed of the Gospel and not keep silent. Yet we're also instructed to obey those in authority and work as working for God.

Since the law is very clear about religion in the workplace, any hint of discrimination in this area could cost you your job, and you would therefore be unable to let your light shine to those you currently work with and likely face lawsuits and fines, would you or wouldn't you speak up or keep silent? Why or why not?

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Hey Seek,

It depends on the context of the situation.   I'm more likely to keep silent though.  There are others ways to show who Jesus is in us without talking about Him.   Show Grace, Forgiveness, Mercy, Compassion, Community, Letting others have the spotlight over ourselves...and even going out of our way to encourage that.  Don't participate in gossip instead, shut it down.  Don't laugh at inappropriate so-called humor, simply excuse yourself.  Volunteer when possible.  Be on time.  Show generosity.  Encourage others.  Doing these things will raise eyebrows.  Don't keep your faith a secret if someone asks you a direct question, but don't broadcast it either.  Always Always pray over the work space and for those who are in leadership.  Be humble.  There's that old saying 'Actions speak louder than words'. 

Of course the gospel is shared verbally, but who even wants to hear from us if our lives don't align with what we're saying?

What other practical suggestions can you (or anyone else) thing of?

I think it's best to get to know the person and find out in what ways the gospel specifically applies to his or her life. This is different from street preaching or what is called "open-air preaching" in that it isn't impersonal and preachy. It's more like Jesus was in His encounters with people such as the woman at the well and not His encounters with the religious leaders, where He called them vipers and hypocrites, etc. Since you're a co-worker, it's an opportunity to build a relationship with the person, keeping in mind, of course, that if the person isn't a believer, or is a backslidden believer, the parameters and boundaries that believers are to have with unbelievers and with believers who are living lifestyles of deliberate sinning, as those things are outlined in scripture. One must protect oneself and avoid putting oneself in tempting situations, too. But it means becoming close enough to the individual to love them with the love of Christ. That means expressing empathy and compassion as you learn things from the person about him/herself which they open up and share, and through which you will learn where and how they need God working in their lives and can allow God to use you as an instrument in His hands as He works.
The former atheist in our office was causing discord. We prayed about the office situation for months and that person ultimately resigned. But because of her attitude against religion and the possibility that she might file a lawsuit, as she struck us as the type, we wouldn't pray together at lunch, talk about church, our beliefs, anything.

In the other situation, the individual was introduced to someone they would be working with and they knew the woman had recently married and asked something about her husband. The woman was indignant and pointed out she had a "wife". The person who asked was stunned and couldn't say anything at that point so someone else with them took charge of the conversation. They had a lot running through their head they wanted to say so they didn't say anything as they knew it would be disastrous.

I know some people witness at work at the cost of their job and say it's what we're called to do. But Scripture also tells us to let our light shine before men so they will see and glorify God. I think sometimes a direct approach is called for but other times we just need to let our light shine rather than going against the system to preach to someone who likely doesn't want preached to. So if we're not careful, we could be cause for pushing them further from God.

I know my mom preached to us for many years and it pushed me away from wanting the religion she professed. But I can say that over the last few years, I've noticed she doesn't preach so much to people but keeps quiet more often. She has moved in with my aunt, who isn't saved. There would be no harmony at all if she started preaching to her. As my aunt might say something like...she'd find herself out on her keister in a heartbeat. So this may be why she has changed in this area.
The faithful are also protected by laws in the workplace, for now. IMO, every believer in America should become familiar with these laws.

                   The workplace environment as it is I would not make it a point to confront someone about their homosexuality (unless the Spirit actually lead me to). But I would in no way give even an implied consent to the sin. Then if they would ask my reason for not agreeing with them it would be they who opened the door to the discussion and I would feel absolutely free to give my opinion                                                                                                                                                                                        Just my opinion.

My faith and I are not separable. Where ever I go I am a Christian 24/7. With that said it does not mean I go around sharing Jesus (i.e. gospel presentation) every second of the day. I seek to live a life that is honoring to God and when an opportunity arises I will always be willing to share. These opportunities come in many ways. Sometimes one will ask questions (of which I will always engage and give as straightforward of an answer as possible), other times a conversation opens the door to express my faith. I have no problem discussing my faith with people of different faiths, willing to listen to them and taking the opportunity to share what I believe with them as well.

The law is not as explicit in most places on this topic as many are led to believe. Even the laws on school campuses in most places isn't as bad as most think. There is still opportunity to engage, but one must do it respectfully and not be an overbearing obnoxious person. Now it is true that if you are an hourly worker and you stop working to share the gospel while on the clock you are technically stealing from your employer. I would seek to establish a time where this discussion could take place and not cause damage to my testimony by taking from my employer.

Ok, the person in both instances was the boss. And they felt if any of us discussed religion within earshot of the atheist that she'd slap us with a lawsuit just for talking to one another if she just happened to hear. But when confronted with being in a position of having to work with a homosexual, she was fuming over it and wanted to voice her disgust over it but knew she couldn't.

What I lean towards is flipping the two situations. I wouldn't have felt any need to be afraid of a lawsuit for discussing our beliefs amongst ourselves. And I wouldn't have been angry at having to work with a homosexual. Isn't that where we should be able to witness through our lifestyle? And I think it's not easy to hide disgust no matter how much we try.

I guess I just didn't agree with either approach and didn't know if maybe I just wasn't seeing it from the company standpoint. I know there's so much talk about discrimination but I didn’t think it was that dramatic that people couldn't speak to one another out of fear of being sued. But this is a sue-happy world these days.


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