QUESTION: I was just wondering—one of the things that we want to do is to help our people avoid kind of the sacred-secular split and see a holistic view of the Christian life—life in the kingdom of Christ. But one of the challenges is when you have people from a lot of different industries in your church that you are not familiar with each with its own kind of nuanced ethical situations that you run into some problems in being as helpful as you wish you could be to people thinking through that issue. So my question really is when you are thinking about the gospel and work, how do you help the people in your church think through what it looks like to be a Christian in their area, in an area that you are not really that familiar with. Do you set up groups with mature Christians that are domain specific? Or what have you seen out there to help us think through that kind of a thing?
RUSSELL MOORE: Well, that is a really good question. I don’t think what you need to do is to become an expert on all of these various issues so that you are able to talk about here’s specifically what it means to be a Christian disciple as a hedge fund manager, and here’s specifically what it means to be a Christian as a you know marine biologist or whatever. You wouldn’t have time to become an expert in all of those areas to the degree that you would need to be able to speak to any conceivable issue. Instead I think what you need to do is to speak first of all generally to the conscience about what it means to have a well-formed conscience, and that means that as you are getting to know people who are serving in specific areas of work life that you start using examples from those things as ways to prompt people to have reflection on those things.
So, for instance, as you are up preaching and you say some of you have to think through issues of, for instance, if you are a country music singer, is it right for you to do a concert in a bar? Those are the sorts of things that you have to think through. Well, there are not going to be a lot of people maybe who are in that specific area, but the example itself is concrete enough that it can help somebody else who says well, hey, I am a business guy and we do our events in a casino; how do I think that through?
So as you spend time with people you start using specific examples as ways that are teaching opportunities, and then I do think it’s appropriate sometimes as you see particular groupings of people in your congregation that tend to have the same sort of work vocation life to put those people together. I mean, not all the time, but in order to disciple people and to lead them to maturity. And one of the reasons for that is because there is always a temptation to say you don’t understand my life; you don’t understand my work; you don’t understand what it’s like. You say that I need to spend time with my wife and children, but you don’t understand what it’s like to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Or you say that I need to be spending time in the word and reading the Bible, but you don’t understand what it’s like to be a police officer when I’m on call all the time. But if you have godly people who are in those areas, they are able to kind of call the bluff.
And we all bluff in our—we are all trying to avoid discipleship in our sinful flesh, and we all try to find those ways to do that. But you can have those people and pray for those people for God to raise them up who would be able to help you with that—to be able to say hey, I’m a policeman; I understand what it’s like to be shot at all the time, but that doesn’t mean that you can become an outraged person. And here’s how you work toward keeping in step with the Spirit as a police officer. I think that’s a good and appropriate thing to do.