Let’s try another story to get us started today:
Once upon a time there was a very skilled, very ambitious journalist. After working through several attractive offers, she accepted a position with the news organization DEF. The overall culture and people were by far the most appealing to her.
Part of her contract agreement contained a list of rules and regulations that DEF stated clearly were nonnegotiable behaviors and personal conduct. One obvious infraction would be to share any news story or company information with its top rival, GHI.
Any breach of this protocol would result in her termination.
The journalist signed the contract, feeling that all of the terms were agreeable. After all, DEF had every right to set its own standards of conduct and enforce any infraction.
She worked hard for DEF and became renowned in her ability to dig deep enough to find the truth, without destroying the innocent in the process.
Neither could the journalist.
Over time, however, the journalist and DEF began to have some deep philosophical differences. They made editing decisions on her stories, and she felt that her true work wasn’t being reflected in the reports told.
It was important to her to be true to whom she identified herself to be.
She began to watch GHI and saw that the direction their reports followed was much more in line with how she felt her discoveries should be brought to light.
One day she ran into a friend from college who worked at GHI and they met up for lunch. The journalist expressed her frustration and the feeling of being held back from what she felt she really had to contribute.
As one would expect, eventually DEF found out about what was happening. They terminated the employment of the journalist. She had committed a clear breach of her contract.
Okay, at this point I think everyone would be nodding their heads. This is pretty straight forward. DEF as an organization has the right to set the standards and expectations of all who are a part of the company. The journalist had agreed to the terms when she signed on.
Then she changed her mind, or something happened and she felt her life going in a different direction than that of the company, or she was unhappy with the culture. There could be many reasons why she felt frustrated with DEF.
I can’t imagine that there would be anyone who would disagree with DEF and the action taken with this member of their organization who had blatantly gone against their company rules.
But the journalist thought it was unfair and complained. She asked for, and was granted an appointment with the company.
Let’s go back to the story:
Her former boss greeted her and asked her to please have a seat.
“What can I do for you?”
“I want my job back.”
“I can understand that. Are you willing to stop giving news reports and stories to GHI?”
“Because I feel that they are willing to tell the stories in the way that is more in line with who I am.”
“Well, then why don’t you work for GHI?”
“Oh, that’s easy. I like everything else about DEF better than GHI. I really believe in so much of what DEF does and accomplishes, and especially what it offers me. The benefits of working for DEF are much better than those at GHI.”
The boss was dumbfounded. “But sharing news stories with GHI is in direct conflict with the organization’s policies. You can’t be a member of the team in good standing and still choose to share information with GHI.”
“I don’t really agree with that policy. It doesn’t allow me to be who I feel I truly am.”
Again, the boss scratched his head. The absurdity of it all seemed so obvious, he couldn’t understand what this journalist was hoping to accomplish.
“So, what do you want us to do?”
“I want you to change your policy to allow me to still be a member of the team, in good standing, with access to all the benefits and resources of DEF but to work with GHI in making sure my stories are told in the way I think they should be.”
I would hope that all of us at this point are scratching our heads just as the boss at DEF. It would seem inconceivable that someone would think to demand that the organization change its well-articulated and clear set of standards and required behaviors.
After all, this is a free society.
The journalist has the freedom to seek employment at GHI. The journalist has the freedom to start her own news organization that would allow her to implement the standards and regulations that fully agree with her own position.
And she is free to choose to comply with all of DEF’s rules of conduct.
Pretty logical, right?
Business organizations are important for daily survival and employment.
But religious organizations are vitally critical for our daily, as well as long-term, ability to thrive and find happiness.
In my opinion the religious organization is even more important. After all, don’t we believe that the rules and commandments are set by God and not by men and women?