THE GRAND BROTHERHOOD
SIX BASIC REASONS WHY
CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT
JOIN OR SUPPORT
A LABOR UNION
by Jack W. Langford
At the root of all strife among men, we believe, is the rejection of Christ and his will and truth. When men shut Him out of their lives they are left to themselves — left to selfishness and war instead of real peace. We believe that the strife between laborers and employers is therefore the result of rejecting Christ. The inspired Apostle James said:THE GRAND BLOOD-BOUGHT BROTHERHOODThe institution that Jesus Christ the Lord is building is described in the Bible as "the body of Christ" or "the church which is Christ's body" (See Eph. 1:22, 23). It is certainly without any need of humanly invented and religiously organized contraptions to enhance its beauty and service in the world. Modern sectarian Churchanity along with all of its hierarchies is positively repugnant to Biblical Christianity. Many Christians believe that the spiritual revelations from God concerning the glorious "church of the living God" (I Tim. 3:15) are altogether profound in simplicity, realistic and practical in our experience.
Truly, every person who is a member of the Family of God through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a vital "UNION" member. They have been supernaturally "UNITED" to God first of all and then are "UNITED" with every other believer the world over. This magnificent blood-bought Union began over 1900 years ago and is growing every moment. In the words of Scripture it "increases with the increase of God" (Col. 2:19).
"For it became him (Christ), for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons into glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of ONE: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto MY BRETHREN, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." Hebrews 2:10-12. "Honor all men. Love THE BROTHERHOOD. Fear God. Honor the king." I Peter 2 : 17.
THE BOOK OF THE BROTHERHOOD —THE BIBLE
This analogy of the Church of Jesus Christ as a Union is not whimsical—it is real and vital to Christian living. The law forbids two different unions representing the same employees at the same time. So it is that Biblically intelligent Christians cannot be joined to two different and opposing unions at the same time.
Many people today are totally ignorant of the fact that the Bible specifically speaks out on the very issues of labor and management that confront our societies in this 20th century. In fact, in no realm of our living does the Head of this Union (Jesus Christ) give any more practical and implicit instructions than in the realm of employee-employer relationships. There are instructions for both Christian employers ("masters") and Christian employees ("servants" or "laborers") . Obedience to these instructions brings guaranteed profit to all.
"GODLINESS IS PROFITABLE UNTO ALL THINGS, HAVING THELikewise, this is really the only Union that can render lasting benefits to any nation,
PROMISE OF THE LIFE THAT NOW IS, AND THAT WHICH IS TO COME." (I Tim. 4:8).
because "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34) . The following are therefore not only declarations to govern Christian lives but also instructions to avoid any modern man-made Labor Union or Brotherhood."
I. THE CHRISTIAN'S OUTLOOK TOWARD WORLDLY RICHES IS DIFFERENT
The outlook toward worldly riches is fundamentally different with Christians than with any who personally do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for their soul salvation. The priorities in the life of a Christian are not how much of this world's goods he can possess and how much pleasure he can get out of life. While he was here on earth, Christ reproved hypocrisy in religion, and greed and covetousness in the realm of material wealth and labor. He said:
"A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15).
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also. . . . No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON (i.e., worldly riches)." (Matthew 6:19-24)."From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:1-3).II. CHRISTIANS ARE INSTRUCTED TO BE CONTENT WITH WHAT THEY HAVE
Here are a few examples of what the Spirit of God has to say in admonishing Christians to learn to be content —"Let your conversation (i.e., manner of life) be without covetousness; and BE CONTENT with such things as ye have: for he bath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" Hebrews 13:5). "But godliness with CONTENTMENT is great gain . . . and having food and raiment let us be therewith CONTENT." (I Timothy 6:6, 8).These special instructions to Christians to be CONTENT are in direct opposition to the motivating force behind organized Labor Unionism. It is no surprise that the modern labor unions, which were created to serve the DISCONTENTED man, would have no place to share with CONTENTED man. A SATISFIED PERSON SPELLS THEIR RUIN! Unless labor is dissatisfied, there is no need for the union's existence. Even when members often have far more than they need, leaders will stir up dissatisfaction for the sake of their own survival.
"My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
We understand the Scriptures to teach that no one can find lasting satisfaction and contentment from more money, more leisure, more pleasure, and more and more of this world's treasures. All who suppose that they can thus attain these goals have missed the most priceless of all treasures! They will continually fail to find the thing for which all mankind seeks—CONTENTMENT. With all of their "getting," they don't find real satisfaction! God has frustrated their greed, but has given CONTENTMENT, JOY and PLEASURE EVERMORE to every one who has humbly called upon Him for salvation and the supplying of his needs. God, the Father, and Christ bring satisfaction when allowed to fill empty hearts.
Labor unions almost universally proclaim slogans of how they stand for "The Dignity Of Man." Yet, the most "Dignified" man of all is THE SATISFIED MAN, the one who has learned TO BE CONTENT WITH WHAT HE HAS, and the one who desires to be Christ-like.
III. CHRISTIANS ARE TOLD BY GOD HOW TO SERVE THEIR EMPLOYERS
Here are a few examples of the instructions given to Christians as to how they are to conduct themselves toward their employers and masters in labor and why.
"Servants, obey in all things your Masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, AS TO THE LORD, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for YE SERVE THE LORD CHRIST . . ." (Colossians 3:22-4:1) .The primary truth that we would emphasize from these texts is that the Christian Servant is to serve his master or employer as if he were serving CHRIST HIMSELF. How unthinkable and obnoxious the thought of striking against Christ.
"Servants, be obedient to them that are your Masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, AS UNTO CHRIST; Not with eye-service, as menpleasers; BUT AS THE SERVANTS OF CHRIST, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, AS TO THE LORD, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free . . ." (Ephesians 6:5-9).
Also, we firmly believe that these principles of instruction, when carried out by a Christian employee, APPEAL to his employer's honesty and command his respect in an amazing way. These principles demand the respect of employers because they know that employees who follow them can be trusted to serve their (the employer's) best interest. Thus we believe and know that these commands and instructions ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE EVER WRITTEN IN THE FIELD OF MANAGEMENT AND LABOR. We believe that in obeying them we are, in the words of Romans 8:37, "more than CONQUERORS through him that loved us."
We are more than satisfied to have such truths as these, our observance of them, and the Christ who gave them, as our
REPRESENTATION before any and all Employers. Thank God, we do not have to depend on mass coercive action in union with those who ignore and deny Christ and His truth in order to obtain what God wants us to have.
IV. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT TO STRIVE CARNALLY
The specific instructions that Almighty God has handed down to Christians regarding Employee ("servant") and Employer ("master") relationships are diametrically opposed to the diabolical theories of coercion, disruption and striking called for by Unions against Management or Employers.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (physical) , but mighty through God . . ." II Corinthians 10:4. There is no possible way a spiritual Christian could be a part of, or support, the endless haggling, bickering, slander and strife that characterizes modern labor-management confrontations and still be loyal to Christ, the Bible and to his employer. Note the following references:
"Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" (Philippians 2:14-15).
"Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; . . . A bishop (leader in the church setting an example for others) must be . . NO STRIKER, nor greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;" (Titus 2:9, 10; I Timothy 3:2, 3; see also I Peter 2:18-24).
"Let as many Servants as are under the yoke count their own Masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing Masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the BENEFIT. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise . . . He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. BUT godliness with contentment is great GAIN. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith CONTENT . . . For the love of money is the root of all evil;" (I Timothy 6:1-10).
V. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT TO BE UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS
The following command directs Christians to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers and thus prevents them from joining any other so-called "brotherhood."
"BE YE NOT UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part bath he that believeth with an infidel?" (II Corinthians 6:14-15).We believe that the passage cited above has a direct application to a Christian's membership in a labor organization, for many labor union members do not pretend nor care to be believers in the Christ of the Bible. A believer is simply one that believes Jesus Christ died for his sins and rose again from the dead for his justification, and by that trust, has been consequently born-again spiritually from heaven. An unbeliever is one who has rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord, not calling upon Him for personal soul salvation.
In consistency with these commands against unequal yokes with unbelievers, we have joined no professedly "Christian denomination." We recognize that we cannot read man's hearts to the extent of knowing with a finality that they believe on Christ, even if they profess such faith. Therefore, to join a man-made church that a hypocrite could join would make us liable to disobey those commands.
The Bible makes it clear that Christ is only building one true church, that he alone adds the members to it daily, and that division among Christians is SIN (See Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47; I Cor. 1:10) .
VI. MANY SUPPOSED GAINS ARE CANCELLED OUT IN THE END TO EMPLOYERS: —
Lest any one who is an unfair and greedy Employer of labor think he can take comfort in the above truths we would remind you that the Word of God is not partial. Some wicked employers have no doubt provoked many working men to form Unions and fight back with carnal weapons against their greed and unfairness. To you, no doubt, the following Scripture was directed —"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (Rest). Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in the day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you." (James 5:1-6).TO EMPLOYEES: —
In the final analysis only God alone can tell what is gained or lost in all of man's feverish activities. We do not pretend the ability to comprehensively assess the overall gain or loss to the working man brought by the union movement through the years, but we are sure that many supposed union benefits are cancelled by such things as:
SOARING INFLATIONIn the 19th chapter of the book of Genesis we are told of the horrible overthrow of those notorious cities, Sodom and Gomorrah. Much later in the Bible God reveals the basic elements which fermented into the awful wickedness that characterized those two cities. Hear it:
LOSS OF INDIVIDUALITY and rewards for individual responsibility and performance
ECONOMIC DISRUPTIONS in the loss of untold millions of dollars in money and time
IRRESPONSIBLE PERSONS having to be rewarded by employers with pay they do not earn.
ET CETERA, ET CETERA
"BEHOLD, this was the inequity of Sodom, PRIDE, FULNESS OF BREAD, AND ABUNDANCE OF IDLENESS . . . " (Ezekiel 16:49).The application and warning of this passage can be to any and all who stubbornly refuse to allow the gracious Saviour the right of managing their lives. Christ said, "For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
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