A Christian view of fastfood working

Discussion in 'Apologetical Methods' started by Puritan Sailor, Mar 2, 2007.

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  1. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Johnny is too poor to go to a Christian worldview conference, buy lots of Christian books, or get a college education. He's not unintelligent. Just young and poor, from a family just as poor. At this point in his life McDonalds is the only place who will hire him. So lets help him develop an ethic of fastfood working to build into his Christian worldview. How can his ethic give him an apologetic where he works? How can he be an effective Christian where he is? :book2:
  2. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Do his job well. Obey his boss. Don't showboat his faith, "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence"
  3. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    Paul, that is seriously sick! (but my eyes teared up trying to stifle my chuckles...) :lol: :lol: :lol:
  4. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Ok. Let's fill it out some more. Other than the apologetic approach of sticking someones face in the frier ;) how else can he be a light in such a dark place? What will make him stand out as a Christian worker versus a hardworking pagan? Remember, he probably can't articualte things the same way we would on the Puritan Board. He probably doesn't know alot of theology. He probably can't answer fools according to their own folly. How is he to evangelize under those conditions?
  5. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    He can't do any of those things? I feel sorry for this poor slob you've conjured out of thin air.

    Can we talk to Johnny directly? I'd like to know what he does understand about the gospel.
  6. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    In all seriousness, Johnny should do all the things I suggested. He should seek to build relationships with his co-workers that will lead to "divine appointments." If Johnny does not feel capable of presenting the gospel, he could always invite them to church. He can display acts of kindness. In short, he can carry himself in such a way that he will be antithical to the world around him.
  7. bowhunter1961

    bowhunter1961 Puritan Board Freshman

    i am that slob............maybe i should change my handle to SlobInCrisis
  8. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    Agree with Bill and Paul above. All he can do is be obedient to God and share the Word of God and pray for his friends. It is God who will save the elect and bring them to repentance. Why would we try to make the simple complicated?
  9. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Maybe even a more ethical question would be should he work at McDonalds at all as a Christian?

    In other words, have you seen "Super Size" me? :p
  10. Chris

    Chris Puritan Board Sophomore

    That may help him more than it hinders him. He doesn't have any formal training or deep theological knowledge to get wrapped up in. When pressed, he may be able to do no more than revert to John 9:25..'I once was blind but now I see'.

    God seems to take great delight in using the simple, the base, the vile. Now where did I read that? ;)
  11. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    Puritan Sailor;

    He can show up on time, do his work, when others are standing around complaining he doesn't have to join in their complaints but work to make changes, even suggest some changes to his employer.

    If others are gossiping about co-workers, or what a person orders he can walk away and not participate in their gossip, even letting them know (if they come-a-gossiping to him), he can certainly ask if they have spoken to the person directly about the problem they have with them?

    He could say something like..."I'm sorry your having such a difficult time with them, have you discussed that with them?" Maybe if you speak to them about it, they would consider making some changes."

    If he see's something needs done, he doesn't wait for someone to tell him to do it, he just does it.

    If he gets frustrated with someone, even a customer, and reacts in anger, he goes and apologizes to them if he has a chance before they leave, and even then he can apologize to those he works with who may have 'heard' his reaction.

    If he see's customers struggling with small children he can offer to bring the food their table, so they can get their kids settled down..
  12. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    I guess he could always refuse to serve fat people more Big Macs...

    He could say, "Are you sure you want the regular coke maam...your hips are pretty thunderous already..."

    Yes, I agree. Unless one has to work somewhere or starve, one could find a better job that doesn't kill people.

    But where?

    If they work at a gas station they end up selling condoms and prngphy to unmarried folks and delinguents, if they work at any restaurant they end up serving already obese folks. If they work at Walmart they could have to stock morning after pills, if they join the military they might or might not agree with every war (and I do believe it to be sin if they engage in a war they don't believe in). If they work in psychology or as a counselor or as a nurse or police man, there are always issues that rub.

    When working in the secular world it is very hard to be in the world and not of the world and to make a living without supporting something that is sin, or leads to sin, or does no good at all for society besides giving you a paycheck. Even to work for a secular business or working to enrich a secular boss seems frustrating... but I guess God wills to place people in all sorts of areas so that a light can be in all sorts of places. Some places would be, however, more trying, and these places I guess need more prayers. I guess the alternative would be to take a vow of poverty and find a desert - but this influences society even less.
  13. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    People...puhleeze. Gimme a break. I don't know whether Matt was joking or not when he suggested poor Johnny finds a job that is more ethical. For those of you who are not tea drinkers exclusively ;) , don't you think that is a bit hypocritical? You'll buy your wine, beer or liquor and probably not think twice about those who drink to excess and are alcoholics. The same thing goes for those who eat at Mickey Dee's, Burger King or Wendy's. Should we tell the Christian employee who works at a liquor store to get another job because of those who abuse alcohol? Mmm?

  14. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I think I would advise a Christian employee who works at a liquor store to get another job if at all possible.

    It is not usually presbyterian elders that are coming in at midnight to buy 2 liters of Maddog for communion the next day.... MY time working for a secular master could be spent more wisely.
  15. satz

    satz Puritan Board Senior


    Even the plowing of the wicked is sin (Prov 21:4), but God never condemned working for an unbelieving master (1 Tim 6:2) so long as the Christian did not personally sin himself. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and Joseph all served horrible pagan masters but did not consider it a sin to do so though their many duties would inevitably brought them in indirect contact with sin. They refused to sin themselves, but did not consider it wrong to simply hold the positions they did. Paul was happy to call Erastus a brother though he was chamberlain of the city of Corinth (Rom 16:23,27). I do not believe being in a job that brings you into indirect association with sin is any cause of concern for a christian, or all jobs would have to be condemned.

    Regarding the original question, I honestly believe that the answer is the same regardless of the job he works. Basically he should a) be a Christian, b) work hard and diligently at his job. I agree with Paul that if he does so consistently sooner or later he will distinguish himself from being just another ‘hardworking pagan.’

    To put it another way, if we were to ask the question what is the Christian work ethic regarding employment, I think what the bible has to say is simply to work hard, treating each ask your employer gives you as if the Lord himself has asked you to do it. And to honor and obey your boss as being an authority figure ordained by God, because God loves authority, as it is one of his fundamental attributes. There might be more to say regarding the way he relates to and evangelizes his co-workers, but this has more to do with the general way Christians relate to those around them as opposed to being specifically about work or employment.

  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Yes, Mark's reply is very good, but in the freedom and opportunity of our country, why work in a place that helps influence people in a bad way? Usually, if one looks, one could find a better job. But, if those are unavailable, then like the servants of old, obey your unbelieving master and work hard. If able, however, find a better master.
  17. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I conjured him up because that is the population most overlooked by us Reformed folks today. Keep in mind, most Christians in the world today are poorer and less educated than even Johnny. Yet these are the folks whom God is using to spread the gospel throughout Africa and South America. I'm just trying to inject a little more pastoral reasoning into our theological discussions and show how a robust Reformed worldview is possible even for the poorest of the poor, even though they don't use the terms. :2cents:
  18. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Patrick, this is something that many Baptist churches have recognized. We may not be WCF Reformed, but we are well acquainted with ministering to disadvantaged and poor. I would argue that if "our" gospel (the gospel promulgated within Reformed circles) does not resonate with the poor of soceity, it is shallow and does not display the love of Christ (Matthew 25:34-46).
  19. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    These are great suggestions so far. But lets wrap it all up into one overarching principle, the sovereignty of God. God placed Johnny into the circumstances he is in, to be a light to those particular people, in the way God has equipped him. As Johnny is faithful, God will bless his labors as he sees fit, no matter how insignificant Johnny is in the eyes of the world.

    When Johnny begins to question the relevance of his life as a poor fast food worker, it is a Reformed view of God which bolsters his hope. God put him there to work through him. He is sowing seed in that place which not even he will see the fruits of, but God will reap it later. When he is ridiculed by the scoffers who like spitting in peoples burgers, he can be comforted in knowing that God changes the hearts of the worst scoffers and makes them obedient loving children, and Johnny can take comfort in knowing that he has played a part in God's plan by his testimony and prayers which may lead to their salvation, and has labored to please his God rather than men. As Johnny grows and matures and moves on to bigger and better things, his spiritual work ethic goes with him. The location changes, but the sovereignty of God remains, and thus so does his calling and comfort. :2cents:
  20. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    I would agree. I don't think the problem is in the message itself but how and who we communicate it too. Too often we are so concerned with precision (which does have its place) that we lose the ability to explain things to the less educated in terms they can readily understand and apply. And sadly, too often they never hear this great gospel because we never even try to tell them. We are too comfortable in suburb life. So my point in this thread was to get folks to think more about the larger part of our populations. If you have already thought through it all then thats great.
  21. Beoga

    Beoga Puritan Board Freshman

    As one who works fast food, I really like this answer. I don't know if I would want to use this on my co-workers, but instead on customers.
    I think the best thing that young Johnny can do is study the Scriptures. These theological books, or apologetic books, while helpful, are not necessarily necessary. Johnny has the inspired word of God, which is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Johnny should study the Scriptures and proclaim its truths. Proclaim the Gospel and let the Spirit of God enlighten whom He will enlighten, and harden the heart of whom shall be hardened.
  22. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor


    If God has placed them in the position...then God has placed them in the position...and they should stay UNTIL God places on their heart to leave, lest their efforts of looking for another job are thwarted by God Himself and they become frustrated and begin grumbling because they haven't found 'just' the right job, working for a 'better master'.

    We are to learn to be content no matter where we are...no matter what we are doing...we are to do all for the Glory of God.

    Why should one go out and 'look' for a better master if they haven't learned to be content where they are? That could be part of the reason God has placed them in the position they are in to begin with...to learn to be content where ever HE places them.
  23. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    And you know this...how? Are you perhaps projecting a little bit here? Or do you live a bit too much in theory land?
  24. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    I am not saying this never happens anywhere, but as a person who worked fast food for many years in many different places, I can say that I never actually saw anything like that happen. As a matter of fact, the place was rather clean. I dare say, many times, it was cleaner than most people's homes. The managers typically keep a very close watch over the store and it is their rears on the line if anything happens. I remember hearing many times, "time to lean is time to clean". We were always either prepping, serving, or cleaning.
  25. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    Who are these folks who never share the Gospel and are comfortable in suburb life, and how do you know all of this?
  26. JKLeoPCA

    JKLeoPCA Puritan Board Freshman

    Burgers don't kill people, people kill people. Need to keep the burgers under lock and key, for safety. Make sure they are unloaded when stored. You notice that NRA and FDA both are three letter acronyms, Hmmmmmm.

    But on a serious note, This is one of the reasons I like Luther. He sought to bring everything down to the common man. The German Bible and all his works were done to educate and bring the common man UP to the knowledge of God. And although Calvin's institutes are discussed in just academic circles, It was witten for the common man to grasp theology and have a guide to grasp things in the Bible.

    Our imaginary friend needs other Christian friends, a few deacons, and elders, that will care and nurture his growth, and not just leave him at McD's on his own. People that will pray for him, look for work for him, give him books they are done with, answer questions he might have....
  27. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    If you don't like your job you go look for another one - you need not wait till God zaps you or sends you a vision. Not liking a job and wanting out is enough cause to look for another one.

    I see what you are saying, but your suggestion would cripple initiative and hinder the drive to further one's education, etc.

    You can do ALL to the glory of God, to include finding a job that doesn't just feed the already overfed masses.
  28. Bandguy

    Bandguy Puritan Board Sophomore

    That is a nice plattitude. It doesn't put food on the table, however, when the man is responsible for his family and in a dead end job. I have been there in the past and gritted my teeth and stuck it out. God has called us to take care of our families, and sometimes that means staying in a job we don't like until God brings something else. And sometimes that means God might not bring something else. I agree with Bobbi that we should learn to be content with where God has placed us.
  29. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    It is not a platitude, it is called bettering your lot with the brains God gave you.

    You may have to stick it out for a time and do your time as a high school student or college student working fast food to put yourself through classes - but you are there to put yourself through classes. You are working to better your lot. There is no need for it to be a dead end job for life unless you stick to your own platitude that, "Oh well, this is God's will for me..I just have to learn to be content..."

    I've lived in 1,000USD for a space of 3 months while traveling extensively and had to sign one of my cars over to the tow truck fella because we had neither the time nor money to fix it. I've never had a new car and our last car in the US we had to tape the trunk shut with duct tape. By most standards I was not providing very good at all for my family..at least materially.

    Even if you work fast food 60 hours a week, there's a whole lot of other time to be studying or filling out other job applications if you want another job.

    The key is "if you WANT another job." If you are content enough to sit in your current position and blame it on God's predestinating purposes, go right ahead.

    But, if you want a better job, then in 90% of the cases, you can find one if you are willing to experience some short time deprivation away from your comfort zone.

    The best way to take care of your family is OFTEN to not grit out a dead end job....

    Life is too short to report to a cubicle everyday for a paycheck to pay for the car you bought to drive to work to sit in your cubicle to earn a paycheck to pay for a car you drive to work.

    Sometimes it has to be done, and contentment must be learned in the short run until a better situation can be find. But by all means, don't try to use spiritual reasons to advocate someone "settle" for a place in life they dislike.

    Is our imaginary friend desiring to go to college, is he looking for other work. Is he content with his job? What does our imaginary friend want out of life?
  30. gwine

    gwine Puritan Board Sophomore

    While the apostle Paul does say that he had learned to be content with his situation, it may be God's will that a person should better himself for God's glory.
    He who wrote this:
    and this:
    also wrote this:
    But as you rightly pointed out, sometimes God keeps us where we are so that we may glorify him by our obedience.
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