For my Christian Worldview class, I wrote a paper on how my Christian worldview affects my chosen “major” or career field. It was interesting to write and I would hate for it to just sit on my hard drive so now you have it!

             Understanding my spiritual background is a key part of seeing the value I place on the integration of my Christian faith with my chosen major. I became aware of my need for a Savior when I was ten years old. My brother had recently been baptized, so I asked questions about Jesus and salvation; however, the Holy Spirit had not yet moved in my life. I was baptized when I was ten, but I had not fully trusted in Jesus as my Savior. When I was fourteen, I went to a DiscipleNow, where the theme was “Who are you?” I wrote down a lot of characteristics about who I thought I was only to realize that I never wrote anything about Jesus. Later that weekend, I realized how much of a sinner I was, and that we were all sinners. I realized that sin separated us from a loving God, and that we needed someone to take the punishment for our sins – a savior, or a rescuer. God made a way for us to be reconciled to Him by sending us his son, Jesus, who was both fully God and fully man. He bore the cross, and his blood covered all our sins. After this realization, I trusted in the Lord immediately.  I never walked an aisle; I simply told God, “I am sorry for what I have done and who I am, but I am yours, and I am going to follow you.” I followed in obedience with baptism at the age of sixteen. After studying God’s word and following after Him, I learned about his sovereignty over suffering and trials through my dad’s death. During that time, I also learned about his grace and love. I now know that He sent his Son so that we can spread the good news that Jesus saves us from our sin. Essentially, if no one goes, no one knows. I answered the call to ministry when I was eighteen, and I was licensed into ministry later that year. I believe that God has a calling on my life and a specific purpose mapped out. I also believe that everything that has happened to me – good or bad – is to ultimately bring him in glory in some purpose. He can use all things, situations, and circumstances to glorify himself.

            With that being understood, I am currently attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems (CIS). I chose CIS because I knew that God had blessed me with technological skills that I could develop and refine, and I wanted to use those skills to glorify him. I ultimately want to become a media minster. Whether my career is with a church, non-profit organization, or to the mission field remains to be seen, but I love using and integrating technology to further the Kingdom. I believe that is my purpose and my major’s purpose.

I believe it is extremely important to be articulate about a Christian approach to life. Mark Cosgrove defined worldview in these terms:

A worldview is not just a list of beliefs but a living view; not just an academic endeavor but a personal one as well. Your Christian beliefs are first and foremost personal, affecting not just your mind but all of you and your daily life.[1]

I have and will have to continue articulating my beliefs in Christ as it applies to technology. A professor of mine once said in class that he believes people in the technology field to be the most dishonest, and for a moment I was offended. In a more careful reconsideration, I realized it was probably true. It is easier to lie, to cheat, and to be greedy all behind the façade of a computer monitor. It was true when peer-to-peer programs like Napster, Kazaa, and Limewire were invented to steal music, and it still holds true today. Just as recently as 2010, global software theft was reported to have reached a record $59 billion.[2] However, that teacher also taught us how we should hold true to the Ten Commandments, even in technology, because there will be many decisions I have to make in the future. Those decisions will reflect whether the one whom I claim as King over my life also affected the choices I make in my job.

In The Management Methods of Jesus, it biblically commands that a company handle corruption, such as software piracy, immediately like Jesus did. When Jesus saw the dealing of moneychangers in the temple of Jerusalem, he did not call a meeting, but he took charge and fixed the problem right then. The book says, “Jesus’ example is a forceful one. When there is clear, irrefutable evidence of corruption within the cooperation, move immediately to handle it. Never, never try to cover it up.”[3] Like Jesus, when I see corruption in whatever company I am in, in whatever capacity I am serving, I should act and fix the problem.

As I am attaining my CIS, I am curious as to how I should integrate my faith into my future profession. Through my CIS teachers, I have been able to gain wisdom and insight as to how I apply my Christian worldview in a secular workplace, or in a ministry. I asked a couple of my professors two questions: “What advice would you give me about integrating Christian faith into this discipline?” and “To what resources can you direct me for approaching my major as a Christian?” Dr. Gautier provided some insight:

I would always follow the rule that if your action will be in essence breaking one or more of the Ten Commandments, then do not do it. One example is thou shalt not steal. However, many Christians today do not think twice about illegally copying software, using it, and distributing it without paying for it. If you were given information regarding ethics such as the ACM Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct, General Moral Imperatives that were discussed in Operating Systems, then for the most part you would be incorporating your Christian faith following them as most of those guidelines adhere to Christian principles as well.  For example, be honest & trustworthy.

She provided several resources such as Ethics for the Information Age by Michael Quinn, A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet by Sara Baase, Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace by Richard Spinello, and Ethics and Technology: Ethical Issues in an Age of Information and Communication Technology by Herman T. Tavani. I researched the second book, A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet by Sara Baase, and I found it really useful and applicable to my profession.

I also asked Mr. Denton, who is my current advisor, just to get a mix of responses. He said:

Any discipline can help lift humanity; feed the hungry … The computing disciplines are no exception. With computers, we can provide important communications, information processing, knowledge management, networking  … that allows for the efficient accomplishment of almost any task. It is up to us as Christians and good human beings to choose work that contributes toward the building up of the human family and to the Kingdom of God. In other words, we should be involved in tasks and apply our skills toward tasks that meaningfully contribute to the living out of the Great Commandments to love God and others. Computers are so flexible that almost any worthy task can be enhanced with the exercise of computing skills. The tasks that we choose, as we seek to follow God’s lead, will not necessary be the tasks that will make us wealthy, but they should be tasks that are subject to these Great Commandments. Jesus showed us the way. Jesus showed us how God loved us first and without limit, how to love God, and how to love one another. In following Jesus, our work or love on our part is not something to be proud of but it is simply our natural response to the Great Reality that God loves and loved us first and without any limit.

He also suggested that I read ACM Code of Ethics, which Dr. Gautier mentioned as well. I was very thankful for their words of wisdom, and I hope to be able to apply them not only in my future profession, but in my everyday life as well.

I believe, as a Christian, that I approach CIS differently than people of other religious backgrounds because I can see its use and purpose for furthering the Gospel, or the message of Jesus Christ. Many other religious people might not be able to connect, or correlate, the two: religion and technology. It might seem difficult, but it is not. The more I understand what Christ has done for me on the cross, the more it seeps into the decisions I make every day. I think a chief difference in religions is the view of service. While every religion, and even the atheist, might agree that serving others is a nice thing to do – none make it a commandment. However, Jesus said to, “love one another”[4], and that commandment enough should propel me to serve others in capacities I might not have considered before. I would, for example, take a lower paying job for a time in order to help a brother who needs my services, where people of different beliefs might find that laughable. A book called Axiom states:

“Truth be told, there isn’t enough money in the world to motivate me to do what I do. But there is a kind of compensation that does fire me up. It’s God’s commendation to all his sons and daughters who serve faithfully.”[5]

However, one thing should be clear: that our aim as Christians, in technology, or any field, is not to be different just for the sake of being different; any differences that result from in how we approach technology, or any other field, should be as an outcome of our beliefs. Nicholas Wolterstorff summarizes this point when he says:

Faithful scholarship will, as a whole, be distinctive scholarship; I have no doubt of that. But difference must be a consequence, not an aim. And if at some point the difference is scarcely large enough to justify calling this segment of scholarship a “different kind of science” – Christian science in contrast with competitors which are non-Christian – why should that, as such, bother us? Again, isn’t faithful scholarship enough? Difference is not a condition of fidelity – though, to say it once more, it will often be a consequence. [6]

So while I may approach my major differently than a person of a different religion, I should not try to be different, but rather I will be different because I am a Christian, which makes all the difference in the world.

I believe that I am honoring God, and loving him with all my heart, soul, and mind by choosing my major. There is a lot of work to be done within the technology field, but I believe as long as God is for me, than who can be against me? In the book Lead Like Jesus, it expands upon the view that if someone is to lead like Jesus, then they must love like Jesus:

If you do not really love Jesus, then you will not truly love the people you lead. Nothing but the love of Christ will compel you to go cheerfully through the difficulties and discouragements you experience as a leader. However, Christ’s kind of love will make your work easier, and it will encourage those you lead to serve wholeheartedly.[7]

Therefore, I will continue to love God so that I might love people in my work place and in all facets of my life.

References

Blanchard, Kenneth H., and Phil Hodges. Lead like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All times. Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group, 2005. Print.

Briner, Bob. The Management Methods of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Business. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1996. Print.

“BSA Global Software Piracy Study – Home.” Global Piracy 2010. BSA.org. Web. 26 Oct. 2011. <http://portal.bsa.org/globalpiracy2010/>.

Cosgrove, Mark P. Foundations of Christian Thought: Faith, Learning, and the Christian Worldview. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2006. Print.

Hybels, Bill. Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008. Print.

Marshall, Paul A., S. ,. Griffioen, and Richard J. Mouw. Stained Glass: Worldviews and Social Science. Lanham, MD: University of America, 1989. Print.


[1]Cosgrove, Mark P. Foundations of Christian Thought

[2] “BSA Global Software Piracy Study – Home.” Global Piracy 2010. BSA.org.

[3] Briner, Bob. The Management Methods of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Business.

[4] John 13:34

[5] Hybels, Bill. Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs

[6] Marshall, Paul A., S. ,. Griffioen, and Richard J. Mouw. Stained Glass: Worldviews and Social Science.

[7] Blanchard, Kenneth H., and Phil Hodges. Lead like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All times.

Katie Allred

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