Blog - Embodying Truth
Workplace RadioWednesday, May 11, 2011
Several men had gathered for our once-a-week Bible study. As usual, the passage and the study guide questions sent our conversation in several directions. Somehow the subject of living out our faith in the workplace came up. One of the men works on a loading dock. He explained that he keeps his radio tuned to a Christian radio station with the volume turned up so he can hear it as his work takes him here and there across the platform. His boss (who works inside) happened onto the dock the other day and questioned him about it. But the man’s attitude seemed to be: I have a right to listen to my kind of music.
Afterward, this conversation kept echoing in my mind. And the longer it lingered, the more questions it generated.
What if an Islamic co-worker on the same dock insisted on playing CDs of recorded prayers from a minaret? Would my friend have been equally ready to defend the Muslim man’s right to amplify his choices just as loudly?
Jesus gave us what we call the Golden Rule: ". . . in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matt. 7:12). What does that say to believers playing Christian music in public work spaces?
Even though non-believers who also use the dock may not say anything to the Christian about his filling the air with his music, what ideas or attitudes might his practice be generating in them?
Jesus called two commandments "great.” The second calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We have given the "great” label to his commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Which "great” is greater? Does the "great” commission trump the "great” commandment?
Will loving our neighbors ever lead us to refrain from pushing our message on them?
What kind of religious traditions brought this Christian employee to think this way about his "radio rights” in the workplace?
How would you answer these questions? It’s possible you’ve seen something comparable where you work. I welcome your thoughts.