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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!

Ireland votes in favour of redefining marriage

Traditional marriage campaigners in the Republic of Ireland have said they fought a good campaign in the face of much opposition, following the country’s vote in support of same-sex marriage. Friday’s poll saw 62 per cent of voters back a change to Ireland’s constitution, with 38 per cent opposing the redefinition of marriage…

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Ireland votes on redefining marriage today + MORE

People in the Republic of Ireland are voting today on whether to change the country’s constitution to redefine marriage. Voters are being asked whether they agree with the statement: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. A diverse range of people have spoken out against […

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The Church of Scotland (CofS) has announced that it will consider ordaining ministers who are in a same-sex marriage. Yesterday the Kirk’s General Assembly agreed that it would consult local areas on the matter. This follows soon after last week’s vote to allow gay ministers who are in civil partnerships to be ordained…

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Christian bakers in the USA facing a possible fine of $135,000 for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding have said their heart goes out to Ashers Baking Company. Aaron and Melissa Klein explained that, for bakers, “the cake is our canvas” and said the Northern Ireland bakers should “stand for truth” with […

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An MP bidding to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats has given his support to homosexual rights and compulsory sex education but says he would rather church schools did not exist. Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, also said he favoured the disestablishment of the Church of England, in an interview with […

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Over 15,000 people have signed a petition calling for MSPs not to legalise assisted suicide, ahead of a Scottish Parliament vote next week. The petition, started by campaign group Care Not Killing (CNK), was handed over to Holyrood’s deputy presiding officer Elaine Smith yesterday morning. It states that changing the law would “redefine medicine” and […

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‘Gay marriage would be fatal for our freedoms’ + MORE

Nevertheless at your word…………………

– christianbusinessmagazine.com

We are all probably familiar with this scripture. This is an incident that took place during the time between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension when He appeared to His disciples who had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Jesus instructs them to cast their net back into the sea. They explain that they have been fishing all night without success, but then say “Nevertheless at your word……

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Free speech would be threatened if marriage is redefined in the Republic of Ireland, journalist and marriage campaigner John Waters has warned. Writing in the Irish Independent, Waters said that a ‘Yes’ vote in Friday’s referendum would lead to a “new climate of prohibition”. Alongside other campaigners, he also criticised proponents of same-sex marriage for […

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Media warns of damage to free speech after Ashers loss + MORE

Students at a Welsh university have voted to remove thousands of Bibles from halls of residence, in a move being described as “illiberal and intolerant”. A motion passed at an Aberystwyth University Students’ Union meeting, called for an end to the tradition of having Gideon Bibles in students’ bedrooms, branding it “inappropriate in a multicultural […

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The owners of the family-run bakery at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ case have expressed their disappointment following the conclusion of the controversial court case. Ashers Baking Company had been taken to court accused of political and sexual orientation discrimination for declining to decorate a cake with the campaign slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’…

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St Andrew’s CE School & Sixth Form, Croydon Specialist Music School Lunchtime Supervisor To start as soon as possible Salary: Scale 1, Point 9-11, £2,550 – £2,617 per annum Hours of work:  12.50pm to 2.05pm Monday to Friday, (6…

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The owners of Ashers Baking Company have told of their deep disappointment after losing their high-profile court case and are considering an appeal. Ashers Baking Company had been taken to court accused of breaking discrimination laws by declining to decorate a cake with the campaign slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’…

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National newspapers have raised concerns about the ruling against the Christian-run bakery that declined to produce a pro-gay marriage campaign cake. The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, The Daily Express and the Belfast Telegraph expressed sympathy for Ashers’ owners, the McArthurs, who were told yesterday that their actions amounted to discrimination…

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Disabled man seeks pro-assisted suicide court ruling + MORE

The Church of Scotland has given its support to the ordination of ministers who are in civil partnerships, after a vote at its General Assembly. Following a consultation with members of the church, delegates at the meeting voted 309 to 182 in favour of the motion. Members of the General Assembly will vote on Thursday […

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A severely disabled man from Glasgow has mounted a challenge in Scotland’s highest court claiming he is “being discriminated against” because he is unable to end his own life. Gordon Ross, 66, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, has asked the court to rule that the Lord Advocate must produce guidance on assisted suicide, similar to […

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The manager of the family-run bakery at the centre of Northern Ireland’s ‘gay cake’ case has told how his family’s faith has sustained them through the controversy of the recent court case. A judge will decide tomorrow if Ashers Baking Company has broken political and sexual orientation discrimination laws for declining to make a cake […

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May claims EDOs won’t silence gay marriage opposition + MORE

Members of the Irish Parliament have voted heavily against a Bill which would have removed protections for unborn children. On Tuesday, members voted 74 to 23 against the Bill, brought by Ruth Coppinger TD, which sought to remove the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. This amendment, introduced in 1983, is regarded as the final […

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The Home Secretary Theresa May has indicated that new Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) will not prevent people saying they oppose gay marriage, but fears over the broad definition of “extremism” remain. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, May responded to challenges from John Humphrys that the approach was “woolly”…

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Religious freedom which exists in private but not in the public square is a “form of oppression”, a former senior judge has warned. The Christian Institute responded to Sir Michael Tugendhat’s comments by calling for the principle of reasonable accommodation to be considered by politicians…

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Home Secretary Theresa May’s proposals for controversial Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) have quickly come under fire from politicians, free speech campaigners and newspapers. David Cameron announced yesterday that he would push ahead with the plans, which are designed to tackle Islamic extremism, in the new Parliament…

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Irish sports star Ger Brennan has said he is voting against gay marriage in next week’s referendum because children are best raised by a mother and a father. Writing in the Irish Independent, Brennan noted the opposition supporters of traditional marriage have faced, and said he was “sick of the accusations being flung around that […

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May announces sweeping ‘anti-extremist’ proposals + MORE

The US state of Michigan has passed a Bill which prevents taxpayers’ money being used to fund abortions. If it becomes law, pro-abortion organisations like Planned Parenthood would not be eligible for funding by the state. The move comes as California is proposing to ensure that churches and religious organisations do not have to offer […

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The president of a secular disability rights group has warned that legalising assisted suicide would lead to disabled people being coerced and abused. Diane Coleman, president and CEO of Not Dead Yet, argued that helping people to commit suicide on the grounds of health or disability amounts to the “devaluation” of people’s lives…

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Young men are becoming increasingly addicted to pornography leading to an improper view of real relationships, a leading psychologist has said. Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, described this new form of addiction as a “crisis”. He attributed the behaviour in part to the growing absence of fathers as male role models in the […

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The new Government Minister for Equalities now says she supports same-sex marriage, despite voting against the redefinition in 2013. Caroline Dinenage immediately came under pressure to change her views on the issue following David Cameron’s announcement of her appointment yesterday. Today, writing on her personal Twitter account, she said: “I want to be clear – […

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Sweeping powers designed to target “extremists” and protect ‘British values’ have been formally announced today, despite widespread concerns that they threaten free speech. The Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the Queen’s Speech will include plans for “Extremism Disruption Orders” (EDOs) within a new counter-extremism Bill…

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Catering Manager: United Kingdom, London, South London + MORE

A Bill to stop abortions after 20 weeks is set to be considered in the US state of Wisconsin – in a move that could make it the eleventh state to enact such a law. Republicans announced the Bill and Governor Scott Walker has said he would sign such legislation into law. Jesse Kremer, a […]

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Today MSPs are debating a Bill to tackle human trafficking which does not criminalise the purchase of sex, despite calls from churches, faith groups and other organisations. In February, leading figures within the Church of Scotland, alongside Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims and Sikhs wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, urging Holyrood to outlaw buying sex…

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Women in the US state of Oklahoma who are seeking an abortion will now have 72 hours to reflect on their decision, following the approval of new legislation. On Wednesday last week, Governor Mary Fallin passed a Bill into law which triples the previous waiting time of 24 hours. The Bill, which makes Oklahoma the […

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Salary:  £28,934 per annu m The Ursuline in Wimbledon is an 'outstanding' high performing 11 – 18 Roman Catholic Girls High School. Catering Manager required. Applicants should be committed to working within the Catholic ethos of the school…

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Dutch judge rules dementia patient must be euthanised

A judge in the Netherlands has allowed an 80-year-old woman to be euthanised, despite objections from the medical staff looking after her. According to media reports, the woman was living in a dementia care home and doctors thought she was incapable of expressing her will to die. But the woman’s family claimed she had a […

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Christians urged to pray for new Government + MORE

An NHS psychiatrist has warned that teenagers who watch pornography may struggle to recognise that it does not portray normal sexual behaviour. Writing for the Daily Mail, Dr Max Pemberton said that he was “horrified” and “worried” by what teenagers are looking at online. Top neurologist Baroness Susan Greenfield has previously warned that young people […

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Christians across the UK have been encouraged to pray for the new Government after Thursday’s General Election results. The Christian Institute, drawing on the Bible’s command to pray for “all those in authority”, is urging supporters to pray that MPs would act courageously and with integrity…

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The US will not fund the genetic modification of embryos due to serious safety and ethical concerns, the head of the country’s medical research agency has said. The National Institutes of Health Director Dr Francis Collins said gene-editing technology has been “viewed almost universally as a line that should not be crossed”, in response to […

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Almost 200,000 people have called for the Council of Europe to denounce the practice of allowing babies to die after surviving an abortion. The petition, which is supported by Roman Catholic groups and a human rights organisation, states that “all human beings born alive” have a right to live. In an accompanying letter, General Director […

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