F3. War on Christianity, Part 3: Commerce and Industry



Christians need to realize what is at stake … the diversity movement threatens Christians’ ability to hold a job and earn a living … the LGBTQ lobby controls America’s corporate boardrooms … “the mark of the beast” … the Equality Act and “religious freedom.”

Thought control in American businesses

Did your mother ever tell you, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all”? That’s pretty good advice for getting along in society; it speaks of controlling your tongue, regardless of the thoughts that may be going through your mind . But in the world of diversity-tolerance-inclusiveness there is something new afoot: You are being required to police not just your tongue, but your mind, your thinking.

American business executives are taking the lead in this effort. All midsize and large companies now have a diversity czar, along with mandatory diversity education classes for employees. You cannot be employed by American big business without receiving an education in diversity-tolerance-inclusiveness. This is a phenomenon that deserves much more attention by Christians, because it is possible to get a failing grade and be out of a job, as I will show in a moment. Are Christians on the way to being squeezed out of the job market?

An example: Airbnb

Airbnb is a company that connects travelers with host families who allow the travelers to stay in their home for a fee. The billionaire CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, has placed the following statement on the Airbnb website:

At the heart of our mission is the idea that people are fundamentally good and every community is a place where you can belong. I sincerely believe that [discrimination] is the greatest challenge we face as a company.
[copied from www.airbnb.com/diversity in June, 2018]

This is a simple (I would even say simplistic) statement of belief, with strong theological implications. When he says he believes “people are fundamentally good,” he is in one fell swoop dispensing with the Christian doctrine of original sin. And by dispensing with sin, he removes the need for salvation from sin, and thus the need for a savior. What sounds at first like a simple, maybe even innocent, statement of belief, is patently anti-Christian.

A Christian writer posted an article (Marvin Olasky, World Magazine, February 4, 2017) about his experience with Airbnb, in which he showed the results of such a seemingly innocent statement of beliefs. He and his wife acted as Airbnb hosts over a period of time and became recognized as “Superhosts,” meaning they got uniformly positive reviews from their many guests. Then they received a notice from Airbnb that all hosts would now have to sign the following Airbnb agreement:

I agree to treat everyone in the Airbnb community – regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age – with respect, and without judgment or bias.

This particular writer was, I would say, particularly aware of the meaning of words, and those last four words caught his attention: “without judgment or bias.” In other words, if you want to work for Airbnb, it’s not sufficient to control your tongue; you must now control your thoughts, and get rid of any judgmental thoughts.

Technically, no human being could with honesty sign the Airbnb agreement. As human beings, we all make many decisions, and our decisions are based on our personal set of values acquired over time. Values by definition place things like religion, philosophy, age, ethical behavior, etc., in a certain hierarchy. Values claim that certain things are better than others. To pretend we have no set of values (and therefore never exercise judgment) is to pretend not to be human. And to pretend that we consider the next person’s set of values to be of equal value to our own set of values would be verbal nonsense. That would, after all, cause the word “value” to be of no value!

The threat behind the Airbnb agreement soon became clear. The author of the article refused to sign the agreement, and Airbnb promptly canceled his account and all his future reservations. Furthermore, he was no longer permitted to make reservations for himself as a guest with other Airbnb hosts! The bottom line was that Airbnb most certainly did not consider all people to be “fundamentally good.” Airbnb had a certain set of values which they were determined to enforce with judgmental fervor and unapologetic bias. What is Airbnb’s set of values? The fact that they give special regard to a person’s “sex, gender identity, sexual orientation” is a strong clue: Their values are aligned with the LGBTQ lobby and against Bible-based Christianity.

Another example

Airbnb is just one example. Watch the news and see how many CEO’s of major companies speak out in lockstep with the LGBTQ lobby to protest any legislation opposed by that lobby. The LGBTQ lobby has a particularly strong “diversity presence” in the board rooms of big business in America; and through those board rooms they are influencing government legislative decisions, as well.

Most of us have read the news stories of small business people like bakers and florists being taken to court because they refuse to provide their services for a gay wedding. If we are Christian believers, we may feel sympathetic toward these people, but at the same time we see them as outliers – extreme examples of a problem that is not likely to reach most of us. And as for Airbnb, most people will not have their income solely dependent on profits from Airbnb, so that is a case that doesn’t threaten most of us personally.

But Christians need to open their eyes. Consider this situation: A Christian man is a middle manager at Big Corp USA, and has three years remaining until retirement. He receives a notice that all managers will now be required to train their employees in diversity. They must train employees to remove (you guessed it) all “judgment or bias” in their relationships with other employees, regardless of any publicly announced sexual deviance on the part of the employee — a deviance which God himself calls (with “judgment and bias”) an abomination. The manager is at an age when it would be difficult to find a similar job at another company. Plus, he is aware that other companies in the same industry are now making the same requirements of their managers. He has a family to support. It’s a tough situation for a person who takes his Christian faith seriously.

Christians beware: These new values that profess to include everybody are aimed at excluding you.

“The mark of the beast”

The lockstep agreement by American big business on the need for diversity-tolerance-inclusiveness is related to a prophecy given by Jesus to the apostle John. In the book of Revelation, Jesus told John that in future times a beast would rise out of the earth (a spiritual beast, that is), and he described it this way:

… it [the beast] causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

As you may know, there has been speculation in some churches about what the “mark of the beast” might be. Some say that it will be a computer chip hidden under the skin, or some sort of permanent tattoo. But the real explanation is simpler. The forehead is symbolic of a person’s mind, and the right hand is symbolic of a person’s ability to work. Jesus is saying people will be required to think a certain way in order to conduct business. The mark of the beast in America today is a person’s allegiance to diversity-tolerance-inclusiveness ideas – ideas which promote disobedience to God’s laws.

Profit motive takes precedence

Business leaders are not, of course, blind idealists. They are convinced that emphasis on diversity will increase profits. Better that women spend their days working for the company instead of taking care of their children; it increases profits. Better that homosexuals and people with all sorts of bizarre gender identities feel completely comfortable working for the company; their talents will help increase profits.

In Revelation chapter 18 Jesus describes how in a single hour the great city of Babylon – the city symbolically representing earth’s sexual immorality – will be destroyed. He says that at that time “the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her [Babylon], since no one buys their cargo any more, cargo of gold, silver, …” and here he gives a long list of all the items that brought wealth to the merchants of the earth. Then he gets to the final item on the list: “human souls.”

Is that really what is at stake here – human souls? Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration? you might ask.

What is really at stake?

When the apostle Paul visited Athens, he encountered a city that had no knowledge of God and worshiped pagan idols. Acts chapter 17 records a speech Paul made to the men of Athens, in which he proclaims to them the truth about the one true God. The last sentence of his speech begins with these words: “The times of ignorance God overlooked … .” The times of ignorance means the times when there was no knowledge of the true God and of his offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul is saying in effect, “But now there is no ignorance. Now there is no excuse! The knowledge of Jesus Christ is here for everyone, and it is that knowledge which I proclaim to you today!”

Then Paul says, “But now he [God] commands all people everywhere to repent.” This is not a suggestion from God; it is a command. It is not an offer of a piece of candy that people may or may not select, depending on their taste; it is a requirement. And it is a requirement that affects both beliefs and behavior. Repentance means a change of mind and a change in behavior, a determination to obey all of God’s laws. Furthermore, it is a command that affects “all people everywhere”; no one is exempt.

Next, Paul says there is an urgent reason for repentance: “because he [God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed.” Life will go on and on, day after day, with everything seeming the same and with most people going about their activities oblivious to what is coming. But what is coming is a single day on which God will judge the entire world. He will judge the world according to the words and commands and deeds of his Son Jesus Christ. And his judgment will determine the eternal fate of each human soul. The eternal fate of each human soul is what is at stake.

If you question these facts, God has given an absolute guarantee through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. “And of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Paul has just summarized the human situation in a nutshell. Every person on the face of the earth will stand before God’s judgment seat on a single day, and Jesus Christ – through faith in his name – will provide the only way for any person to escape God’s wrath. God has put his seal to it so there can be absolutely no doubt.

In 2017 it was announced that both the U.S. men’s and women’s national soccer teams would be wearing rainbow jerseys in honor of LGBTQ pride month. Only one person, a Christian woman, declined to participate in the teams because of this: one lone woman. To everyone else it was business as usual (and professional soccer is, after all, a business). It was full speed ahead to proclaim pride in the LGBTQ abominations; full speed ahead to proclaim defiance of God’s commands in order to play a sport. After all, maybe God has changed his mind after 2,000 years; it seems like he is not doing anything in opposition. And isn’t it all about love, anyway?

Merchants get rich by selling human souls. Christians will be more and more challenged to say, “My soul is not for sale.”

The Equality Act and “religious freedom”

At the time of this writing, an act called the Equality Act has been passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, but has not passed in the Senate. Considering the present makeup of the U.S. Senate, it stands little chance of passing there; but the concern is that one or two more election cycles could change the Senate so that the Equality Act would become law.

Why is this a concern for Christians? Because the Equality Act would add the categories of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (abbreviated SOGI) to the list of protected classes in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Essentially the entire belief system of the LGBTQ lobby would become official government policy. The new SOGI standards would in all probability become required standards for people working in professions like counseling, social work, and medicine. In other words, Bible-believing Christians would be excluded from these professions.

There are some brave and talented Christians working to oppose the Equality Act in the name of “religious freedom.” It is assumed in our current legal environment that they must present their arguments in the name of religious freedom — not in the name of some particular religion — since our Constitution forbids the government to do anything that would “establish religion.” So they can’t say, “This act violates God’s commandments.” All they can say is something akin to, “This act goes against our personal religious beliefs which we are allowed to have.” Their argument is reduced to a matter of personal preference, rather than a matter of violating divine, immutable laws.

While I admire those Christians who are fighting for our religious freedom, at the same time I must say the legalese they are required to use in court ends up sending an inaccurate message to the world. After all, we’re not really fighting for religious freedom; we’re struggling to bring glory and honor and praise to the God who is Creator and Sustainer of us all, by bringing about obedience to his laws. Regardless of what our Constitution says or does not say, God is real, and he has established real, universal laws, and he has established consequences for breaking those laws. People need to be warned first about violating God’s laws, and second about violations of religious freedom. Christians need to speak up, and they need to pray; because ultimately our freedom doesn’t come from laws about religious freedom, but from the God who is Ruler over all the nations.