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Interview With Jeff Boswell of Cudis “Christianity, Ethics and Business”

What is a genuine ministry? Many churches would never say entering into business, or being a part of the business world is one. Yet many books are pushing to promote just that – the idea that a real ministry can also be to enter into business.

Jeff Boswell of Cudis CPN (makers of various electrical products such as distribution boards, rotary isolators and consumer units), agreed to do an in-depth interview with us on his thoughts about Christians in the business world, and how ethics can help shape and progress and company.

Why, or rather, would, God want somebody to view business as a ministry and enter into it?

Well, there are two main answers I think. The first is that we need to provide goods and services as a whole, and the second is to grant us to partake in imaginative and creative tasks that can honour him and serve the wider community as a whole!

Having said that, we must still be careful to hear God’s voice in what we do, and ensure the commercial enterprise we enter into is ethical by God’s standard. Not every business is equally viewed by God. We need to ask ourselves what is the best way to increase our bottom line, but also serve our community in a positive way as well.

God did create us to work thought, and there is no denying the scripture on that. Work has just evolved since the Old Testament, but the principles still apply. We need to remember that a company and large business only provides chances for work and that God is imaginative, creative and very significant in everything we do – even in the electrical industry! Haha!

What is the function of a company in business?

A company should be focussed on the inside, and the outside. It has to serve its employees on the inside properly, fairly, and justly. It should value them and their contribution, and help grow each individual. In terms of externally, it has to offer products and services that mean something and offer value to the wider community. Sustainability is a fairly new term, but one that fits well I think. You cannot just focus on profit, what you do must give something back too, and be good in the long-term.

It can also focus on partnering with the community and other businesses in order to support a common goal that helps benefit everyone. This then grows the economy as a whole in the right way.

Many books over the last few years have been calling out to us that business can also be a genuine ministry for a Christian, and yet we still feel the need to keep ‘banging the drum’ about this. Why do you suppose that is?

It is still required as there is still a general feeling that Christian ministry does not include ‘business’. When you are in church and somebody says they are entering into a new ministry, nobody thinks it could be opening a curtain shop. So we need to stop these assumptions and try to focus on asking, ‘what is the ministry?’.

I have met and spoken to many people in church who feel as though the elders and other members of the congregation feel as though their job is not ministry, and even view it as a ‘required evil’, or lack of willing to really ‘step out for God’. Is this still a valid complaint and point of view?

Unfortunately, I believe it is still very much a concern. I will say I think it is improving in most places though. The church as a whole needs to step up and learn to empower every Christian and ‘activate’ them into realising what they do in business, can every much be a ministry. They can be a thermostat and help change how things are in the real world.

What can churches do to help empower business people and ensure they understand this?

Get involved. Very often, a church leader will have been disconnected from the ‘real’ world for some time. They can talk to business people in their church and community, see what they have to deal with and help understand concerns.

Then they need to adjust their thinking. What is a ministry? What defines it? Is it biblical to say work outside of the church isn’t counted, or not ordained by God? Wrestling with tradition is what is needed for most churches.

As well as the church thinking poorly of business, don’t business people and those outside of the church also think negatively of it? As though the church is soft, and out of touch with the realities of the modern world?

Indeed. There is great misunderstanding on both sides, and I am glad you brought that out of this discussion! Some corporate enterprises can think of themselves as God, without even realising it. They try to control and define what their workers can and can not do, inside and outside of work. To help aid this, we must foster a communication improvement between both, and also involve government, so we each understand how to better work together. A business would then understand that things like ‘KPI’s’ or performance metrics don’t fit with a church, but a church provides something else, something which is equally valid for its members, and that the two can work together to ensure the well-being of their members.

With the economy today, as it is, do you still stand by your statement in other articles that you think the free market system is still in the best position than any other to deliver things and deliver services?

We have to be careful – I am not saying, and never will, that markets are perfect. The market operates as it is allowed to, but I still believe government has a strong role to play in ensuring regulation is taking place, and we are protected from large spikes in the economy (positively or negatively). However, I believe a free market is much better than a market wholly controlled by the government or state.

What about other countries where they have more government intervention, such as the Scandinavian countries. They manage to have well-working economies that also provide free healthcare, education and other wonderful social services. Does this align with your ideas better?

Many times in my life people will mistake my ideas and thoughts as of those of a socialist. However, I don’t want government completely controlling the economy as I noted earlier –  a free market certainly seems better (although not completely free!). What I am trying to put across is that a Christian needs to ensure what they do for a living, or in any business, is aligned with what God would want them to.

Would many Univeristy business courses recognise your vision for Christians and business?

Probably not, but there is a wider train of thought around sustainability as I mentioned earlier. I don’t think it would be too far a reach to develop those ideas and tie them into a Christian ethic. My ideas aren’t something wild or new, and, in fact, tie into what some thinkers already want – I just attach God and his ethics to them.

Are there any companies out there that practice business as you have outlined? Does Cudis manage it?

We certainly try. I think there are companies out there certainly, but each will have slightly different objectives and visions for those ethics and principles. At Cudis, we try to ensure our products are safe, offer good value, and improve peoples lives. Our focus isn’t solely on bottom line profit, but I am sure other companies do the same. We need wider engagement and communication to really push this narrative though.

There are many who would say acting in this manner is a competitve disavangtage in the cut-throat world of business.

They certainly say that, and I’m sure for some companies and industries it is true. But at what cost? Eventually, society will suffer. This is about looking to the future, and doing what is Godly in the business world. That isn’t always short-term. Ethics in itself doesn’t earn money, but having good principles underlines a long-term successul business in my mind.

What advice can you offer to a Christian who is working at a company that isn’t virtuous or Godly?

This is what churches should be addressing today, and helping these people. There is always that fine line of providing for your family, and where the money comes from. Not everyone has the luxury of choice. I think it is a question for each individual Christian to determine what God is calling them to, and seeking the help of the church if they feel they need to be somewhere else.

Being in a company that has a less than acceptable ethic and business is not good. Eventually, the Christian will have to repent before God and move on, or they risk being seen as in sin, or worse, condoning sinful business. For example, I would find it very difficult to work for a tobacco company, knowing their products do no good for society at all, and in fact only harm. I would have to seek an alternative career as it would clash too much with the virtues God has laid out for me.

I wish that the church would help these people navigate the best way in these hard situations and help them understand how their business and activities can help with the overall work God has for us in his kingdom.

Many thanks to Jeff of Cudis CPN for discussing business and Christian ethics with us!

Union: Teachers would buckle under Named Person demands + MORE

A letter sent to schools by the Scottish Government has revealed that teachers could face unmanageable workloads under the Named Person scheme. Reacting to the letter, The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teachers’ union, said it would have “serious concerns” about placing further demands on teachers…

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Four couples in the US state of Kentucky are suing a registrar who is declining to issue marriage licences following the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage for every state last month. Kim Davis, clerk for Rowan County, said her “deep-rooted” Christian convictions meant that rather than be forced to issue same-sex marriage licences she […

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‘Freedom of religion should be a cornerstone of the West’ + MORE

Controversial plans to assign a named person to every child in Scotland should be reconsidered as precious resources will be diverted from the most at-risk children, according to a candidate for the Scottish Labour leadership. Father of six Ken Macintosh MSP said the scheme will make it “harder” to help children who are most vulnerable…

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Are you qualified to handle God’s wealth?

– christianbusinessmagazine.com

This week’s newsletter is a bit different. Its focus is not so much an article that will bless you but a call to action. Let me explain.
For the past few years, I have studied many scriptural references to biblical wealth. In addition it is usually mentioned in one form or another on Sunday morning…

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The Scottish police service has criticised the controversial Named Person Scheme and warned that it could make it harder to identify children who are at risk of abuse. Chief Superintendent Alan Waddell, of Police Scotland, said that asking the police to play a role in the scheme could affect its “ability to accurately assess vulnerability”…

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A national newspaper columnist has criticised Britain’s increasingly secular society which “seems indifferent” to almost 200,000 abortions every year but “can’t find room for faith schools”. Tim Montgomerie, writing in The Times, said while Britain and America are moving away from their Christian heritage, “they don’t need to become anti-Christian societies”…

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Introducing assisted suicide would thwart efforts to help vulnerable people, Peers have warned. Lord Alton said society helps suicidal people to live, not die, but legalising assisted suicide would “cut completely across” such attempts. His comments chime with concerns from Baroness Hollins – a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – who said […

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MSPs have launched an inquiry into end-of-life care provision in Scotland, after the issue was highlighted during debates on legalising assisted suicide. In May, a Bill to allow people as young as 16 to get help to kill themselves was rejected at Holyrood by 82 votes to 36. But concerns about the availability and quality […

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Pro-life activist found not guilty of harassment + MORE

Another prospective leader of the Labour party has called for compulsory sex education to be imposed on schools. In an article for LGBT news website PinkNews, Yvette Cooper MP said that this would be the first move in tackling “homophobic and transphobic bullying”. Her remarks follow similar comments by former Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham […

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Plans to combat ‘extremists’ could hamper freedom to speak out on issues like same-sex marriage, Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi has argued. Qureshi, a trained lawyer, said she received many letters from Christians during the passage of the same-sex marriage legislation, which expressed an orthodox religious view on the issue…

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Pro-life campaigner Bernadette Smyth has been cleared of harassing a pro-abortion activist following an appeal. In response she has pledged to press ahead with plans to open a women’s clinic which she describes as a “revolution in pregnancy care”. It is hoped that the healthcare clinic will open in Belfast in September, near an existing […

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A couple who declined to rent out their venue for a gay wedding in Iowa, USA, are now closing their business after being unwilling to go against their conscience. Dick and Betty Odgaard said in 2013 that they could not allow two men to use the venue because it would go against their Mennonite beliefs…

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Backing gay marriage rewrites Bible, warns senior Anglican + MORE

US Supreme Court judges have branded their colleagues’ ruling which imposed same-sex marriage on every state in America as self-conceited and arrogant. On Friday court papers showed that while five judges backed the decision, four dissented: Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito…

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Salary:  £26,041 per annu m The Ursuline in Wimbledon is an 'outstanding' high performing 11 – 18 Roman Catholic Girls High School. School Nurse required for September. Applicants should be committed to working within the Catholic ethos of the school…

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A senior figure in global Anglicanism has said churches that accept same-sex marriage are rewriting the Bible and therefore the Christian faith. Speaking at an event in Belfast earlier this month, retired Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen highlighted the “stark” contrast between the position of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is moving towards embracing […

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A woman who suffered horrific physical and mental abuse as a prostitute for 25 years has told of her successful work to help young girls escape the sex industry. Brenda Myers-Powell spoke to the BBC World Service’s Outlook programme about her devastating experiences, and how her life was turned around after a desperate prayer to […

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Two gay couples trying to redefine marriage in Northern Ireland have been granted permission for a judicial review. During a hearing at Belfast High Court on Friday, Mr Justice Treacy said there is an “arguable case”. The couples are claiming that gay marriage is a “human rights issue”. No redefinition The case is expected to […

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The Ursuline in Wimbledon is an 'outstanding' high performing 11 – 18 Roman Catholic Girls High School. Teaching Assistant with responsibility for support in English. Applicants should be committed to working within the Catholic ethos of the school. Visits are warmly welcomed – please contact Mrs Martin, the Headteacher's Assistant PA…

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A 24-year-old Belgian woman has been told that she qualifies for euthanasia because she suffers from ‘suicidal thoughts’. The anonymous woman, says that she has wanted to die since her childhood. She spoke about her decision in an interview with Belgian newspaper De Morgen earlier this month. ’Burden’ The woman has been a patient in […

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‘Gay relationships must be taught in all church schools’ + MORE

A demonstration opposing same-sex civil partnerships in Italy attracted hundreds of thousands of people on Saturday. An estimated 300,000 protestors gathered in Rome’s San Giovanni square and nearby streets to show their concern about the teaching of ‘gender theories’ in schools, and a Bill to legalise ‘civil unions’…

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Peers have spoken out against legalising assisted suicide, ahead of an upcoming Bill in the House of Commons. Writing for The Huffington Post, former palliative care specialist Baroness Finlay warned that assisted suicide could be extended beyond the terminally ill. She said that the current law, “rests on the principle that we do not involve […

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Hate crimes “are far too broadly defined”, a homosexual journalist has told Sky News. Milo Yiannopoulos was interviewed after a study involving 50 people claimed nearly 90 per cent of them had faced “some form of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate incident”. Yiannopoulos, a writer and broadcaster, told Sky anchor Eamonn Holmes that this did […

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Sex education classes, including those in church schools, must teach that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual ones, according to one of the contenders for the Labour leadership. In an interview with LGBT news website, PinkNews, Andy Burnham said there must be “absolute equality in terms of all relationships” when the subject is taught…

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The US Supreme Court has today imposed same-sex marriage on every state in the USA. Five of the nine judges backed the move, while four disagreed. Before the ruling, individual states had been free to decide on the issue of same-sex marriage for themselves. God’s gift Commenting on Twitter, Christian leader Albert Mohler said: “Marriage […

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Support faith schools, think-tank urges Scots Govt + MORE

The Liberal Democrats’ bid to weaken drugs laws has been heavily criticised in the House of Lords. During a debate on the Government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill, Lib Dem Peer Brian Paddick told the House of Lords that “education rather than criminalisation” is more likely to result in children avoiding drugs…

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Evangelical ministers in the Church of England have given their strong support for the Biblical definition of marriage, following controversial comments by a Bishop. The Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson, said last week that the Church of England’s definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman was […

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The Scottish Government needs to resist pressure to remove Christianity from Scotland’s state schools, the director of a think-tank has warned. David Robertson, a Free Church of Scotland Minister and Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity, said the current education system marginalises Christianity and called for more support of faith schools…

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Dutch docs call for child euthanasia to be legalised + MORE

Children under the age of twelve should be allowed to request euthanasia, according to doctors in the Netherlands. In a statement released last week, the Dutch Paediatric Association called for the current age limit for euthanasia to be lowered from twelve years old. They claimed that young children are able to understand the consequences of […

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A Church of England minister has given a prayer of blessing at the beginning of a homosexual festival outside York Minster. Canon Michael Smith, who has responsibility for pastoral care at the Minster, spoke at the beginning of York Pride as a march through the city began outside the historic cathedral on Saturday…

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The US Supreme Court has upheld the right of a church to display signs advertising its services. In a 9-0 vote, the judges decided that town officials had breached the constitution’s First Amendment by discriminating against the content of signs displayed by Good News Community Church in Arizona…

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The Liberal Democrats are pushing to decriminalise the possession of all drugs, including heroin and cocaine, under proposals being debated in the Lords today. Ex-police chief and Lib Dem Peer Brian Paddick has tabled amendments to the Government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill, seeking to legalise medical cannabis, delay moves to ban legal highs, and decriminalise the […

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Gay clergyman: C of E discriminated against me + MORE

A guide to the Scottish Government’s controversial Named Person plans shows that the named person “is intended to take a highly intrusive role”, a campaign group has said. NO2NP made the remarks ahead of an event for the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) initiative. Attendees of the event received a leaflet called ‘An […

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Jeremy Pemberton, the first British clergyman to enter a same-sex marriage, has told an employment tribunal that the Church of England discriminated against him. Canon Pemberton had his licence as a priest in Southwell and Nottingham officially revoked last year because his same-sex marriage contradicts official Church guidance…

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A court in Texas has made a ruling that could dramatically cut the number of abortion clinics in the state. The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law, approved in 2013, which requires abortion clinics to meet certain hospital-level standards. The ruling said that the Texas legislation, expected to take effect on 1 […

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‘My husband and I were told to abort. We chose life’ + MORE

A legal case seeking to weaken abortion law in Northern Ireland would lead to disabled unborn children having no rights, Belfast High Court has heard. Judge Mark Horner reserved judgment in the contentious case, which is being brought by a taxpayer-funded human rights quango. Currently abortion in Northern Ireland is illegal except to save the […

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A mother who was urged to have an abortion after becoming pregnant at the age of 17 has said she is “so very glad” that she chose to have her baby. Marybeth Mitcham was told that she would be “selfish and cruel” not to have an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with a condition […]

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A Northern Irish woman who had an abortion when she was a teenager has spoken out against a legal bid to weaken the law. Lynn Coles, who now helps women with post-abortion trauma, said she was saddened by claims that women in Northern Ireland are second-class citizens because their law differs to Great Britain’s…

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Inspirational missionary Elisabeth Elliot dies aged 88 + MORE

The US state of Michigan has brought in new measures which will enable Christian adoption agencies to operate in line with their sincerely-held beliefs. Last week, Governor Rick Snyder signed three Bills into law which are intended to prevent “adverse action” against a private agency which has a contract with the state…

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The Christian Institute has strongly criticised a raft of proposals on religious education from former Education Secretary Charles Clarke. It says the plans would “wreck church schools”, further secularise the education system and lead to the compulsory teaching of non-theistic views such as humanism, atheism and even Marxism within RE…

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Ireland’s blanket ban on new psychoactive drugs has led to the end of the country’s legal high industry, the BBC has been told by police. Around 100 legal high stores, known as headshops, existed before the law was passed, but none are still in business, BBC News said. Detective Superintendent Tony Howard, a senior officer […

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Teenagers sending each other explicit images of themselves is becoming “quite normal”, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned. The Agency commented that reports of child protection issues linked to sexting are, on average, received once a day by its child safety arm, known as CEOP Command. The NCA has done research into the issue […

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The Christian missionary, author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot has died aged 88 after suffering from dementia. Elisabeth was born to missionary parents in Belgium, and moved with her family to the US at a few months old. She attended Wheaton College, and then went as a missionary to Ecuador where she married Jim Elliot…

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