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The Caux Round-table principle believes that the world business community plays an important role in the improvement of economic and social conditions. Through an extensive as well as the collaborative process, the business leaders in the Caux Round-table principles developed the CRT principles for businesses in order to embody the aspiration of principled business leadership. The Bible, on the other hand, has been referred to as an inspiration book, and it gives reference on how a business can be able to run ethically in a way that is just. There are similarities that exist between the Bible and the Caux Round-table principles. This paper is going to look at the differences and similarities that exist between Caux Round-table principles and the Bible principles.
The first similarity that exists is that of personal responsibility. The Bible states that there is a need for one to take personal responsibility for his or her decisions and actions. Therefore, one should not give an excuse in order to do something that is either illegal or unethical. There is a need to ensure that one takes responsibility when making decisions and does something that is legal and ensure that they can stay in the scope of the law. This can be seen in Caux Round table principle seven, where it states that a responsible business should avoid illicit activities. The Caux Round table principle states that a responsible business does not participate in corrupt practices, money laundering as well as other illicit services.
The second similarity is the issue of profits. It is important to understand that a responsible business should acknowledge, and contribute value to the society through what can be described as employment creation platform and health viability for not only the shareholders but stakeholders. There is a need to understand that a responsible business should understand that there is a need to respect the interests of others and act with honesty towards employees, suppliers, as well as the broader community. This can also be seen in the Bible where there is a need to have reasonable profits.
The profits should be ploughed into the society as there is a need for an organization to treat the society in a way that they would like it to treat it to treat the business. Therefore, there is a need for an organization to look at the society in a way that will ensure that they make reasonable profits and provide reasonable wages and salaries for their employees. This can also be pegged with economic, social and environmental development. This is because a responsible business often recognizes the fact that it cannot be able to survive in a failing economic development.
A responsible business should, therefore, be able to contribute to environmental, economic and social development of the different communities where they operate in order to sustain what can be described as operating capital and contribute to the society. Therefore, responsible business gets profit through effective as well as prudent uses of resources that exist on free and fair competition.
There are several differences that exist with the Caux Round-table principles and the Bible principles. The Bible principle of being a servant is not shared with Caux Round-table Principles. The Bible states that indeed that there is a need to serve just as Jesus Christ served his disciples. Businesses should, therefore, serve their customers in the best way possible. However, the Caux Round-table principles state that there is a need to ensure that the business does not collapse and it should however participate in the global economy, and supports open and fair multilateral trade. This at times might go against the principle of serving. Another difference that exists, is the principle of just weight. This is because the market at the moment cannot be able to pay the quality of work, but rather it pays as going to the market rate.
There is one White principle that goes beyond those of Caux Round-table principles and it is that of being totally honest. The book of Ephesians argues that there is a need for persons to speak the truth, despite the situation. However, this is not the case with the modern contemporary business, where honesty at times might be scorned at. For example, company secrets cannot be given to other persons because of the honesty factors. Therefore, this is one white principle that goes beyond the Caux Round table principles. On the other hand, the utmost honesty might also mean the honesty that is shown by the employees towards their employers regarding ongoing businesses. This is an important and the key component when it comes to ensuring fidelity in business.
The scripture is a book that gives inspiration and sometimes direction in regards to ensuring that business runs ethically and efficiently. It is important to understand that there are employees that might not be of the Christian faith and the management should ensure that they make sure that the employees are comfortable with the policies and that they do not go against their respective faiths. However, White's five principles are worldwide policies that cut across different faiths.
In conveying His message, Jesus Christ employed the use of various methods that sought to explain highly complex ideologies in very simple language. His many parables revolved around everyday stories that were common in society at the time. One of the most popular sessions of Christ’s teaching is referred to as ‘The Sermon on the Mount’. In this session of preaching, Christ basically expounded the value of some acceptable virtues in society, and the possible rewards that observers of these virtues stood to gain in the Kingdom of heaven. In this sermon, one of the most popular beatitudes is that which states that ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’ (Mat. 5:8 New International Version). This beatitude is sometimes referred to as ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they will show no mercy’.
In teaching the Gospel, Christ sought to explain the Kingdom of God to men. He sought to make them develop some form of understanding as to how God’s Kingdom works. To achieve this, He avidly taught what was acceptable before God, and what was not. Although this beatitude can be understood to mean just what its words proclaim, Jesus Christ intended to convey a deeper, more serious and more virtuous meaning. In the use of this beatitude, Christ literally meant that only the pure in heart will have the honor and opportunity of meeting God, meaning that they will go to heaven. This is the literal meaning of the beatitude. It emphasizes the value to purity to God, who is also a pure God. This prerequisite for purity in order to see God represents God desire to keep the Church pure and religious.
On the other hand, this beatitude also has a deeper and more religious meaning with a strong virtuous undertone. In the times that Jesus Christ lived, the world was full of sin and hypocrisy. To Him, it was full of pretentious men and women who spoke in one manner but acted in a completely different one. He hated this attitude because it was hypocritical and a total lie (Mat. 23:25-28). To Christ, it was compulsory that individuals’ actions matched their words. In order for this to be achieved, the individual in question had to have a pure heart, a heart that was not corrupted and defiled by the sin that was so prominent in the world at the time.
Having a pure heart that strives to achieve perfection was a manifestation of intent to be like Christ, who was actually perfect. In addition to this, Christ preached that God was omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. According to His teachings, God was everywhere, and so one did not need to look hard to see His presence. Having a pure heart provided one with an uncorrupted view of the world, and this allowed one to recognize God’s power and presence eve in the most basic of everyday activities. It is for this reason that Christ reiterated that ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ According to the Bible, God told Moses that no one can see His face and live (Exodus 33:18). For this reason, seeing God did not really mean a physical viewing of the Lord, but rather the ability to see His remarkable presence in the lives of such individuals.
One of the most popular parables of Jesus is that of the prodigal son. The story of a son that asked for his inheritance and then moved to waste all of it on women and other vain endeavors embodies this beatitude. The realization by the prodigal son that he should return home is also of great symbolism to the Christian faith (Luke 15: 22). What really links this beatitude and parable is the fact that the father to the prodigal son receives him without complaints or any ill feelings. The ability of the father to see past the outward appearance of his son and the mistakes he made, and look at the genuine desire in his heart to return home is a parallel of this beatitude (Luke 15: 29 ).
Similarly, God does not care so much for outward appearances. Unlike other human beings, God cannot be fooled by outward appearances, and He looks at the hearts of men rather than the outward appearances. For this reason, God is always willing to receive individuals that are willing to seek Him and become pure in heart. He allows these individuals to become pure in heart, a process that enables them to see the presence of god in virtually everything in their lives and societies. Just like the father looked at the heart of the prodigal son and received him in his bosom, God also receives sinners that are looking to become pure in heart. By making these individuals become pure in heart, they are able to ‘see’ God, not physically but in presence.
In order to become pure in heart, it is mandatory that one follows Christ’s teachings without compromise (Kolbell, 2003). Human beings are not perfect, but it is the desire to be like Christ, to attain the perfection of Christ, that keeps faith strong. This can be applied to the life of virtually everyone. Take for instance a young boy, say at the age of 12, who is struggling with many issues in his life. One of the most common problems for children of such age is that of bullying in school. As sad as bullying is, it is a reality.
For a young boy who knows the Lord and follows his teachings, the desire to be like Christ will prevent him from making decisions that have a likelihood of provoking the bullies even more. The ability of the child to see the goodness and presence of god in even the worst of bullies will compel him to treat the bullies with kindness, rather than anger and contempt. In essence, this purity of heart allows the boy to look past the outward appearances and flaws of individuals, and instead look at the presence of God within these individuals.
Developing and maintaining such a worldview can prove to be extremely beneficial to the life of such a young boy. It will allow him to form meaningful bonds with other individuals without any form of discrimination. It will not matter to him that people have flaws. In reality, such a worldview is almost like that of Christ, seeing that he willingly dined with and walked among sinners. Just like Christ was able to see the good (espoused by the presence of God) in men such as Zaccheus, people-both young and old- who uphold this beatitude will be able to see God in their daily activities. It is such an attitude that represents the views of this beatitude.
Kolbell, E. (2003). What Jesus meant: The Beatitudes and a meaningful life. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press.
According to the author, narrative criticism refers to the breakdown of the New Testament as a literary text and interpreting the literature in terms of plot, setting and character’s role (Gooder, 80). Narrative criticism takes the literature text as a communication center between the sender who is the author and the reader who is the receiver of the message. Narrative critics are concerned with the issues of the intentional fallacy of the author and the effective fallacy of the reading audience. The role of characters and setting of the literature texts are determined by the narrative critics. The story is based on the interaction of the characters and how they work out different plots while the discourse is considered as the platform on which the implied author and audience meet. One of the examples of narrative criticism is the lack of understanding of the disciples about Jesus. In most situations where the disciples did not understand Jesus, they were at sea showing juxtaposition (Gooder, 83). Narrative criticism unlike historical approaches to the New Testament, the former interpret the settings of the gospel in a unique and different way.
Narrative criticism of the New Testament offers a new insight into the Gospel for the reader. Unlike historical approaches to understanding the Gospel, narrative criticism looks at the setting, plot and role of characters from a totally different angle. Therefore, narrative criticism offers an in-depth look at the issues that the authors address and try to teach in the Gospel. Narrative criticism offers the reader of the Gospel an easier way to understand the message that the author is trying to get at. In drawing attention to the internal features of the New Testament, one understands the historical events in an easier way. Narrative criticism advises the viewing of the text like a picture, and, therefore, focusing on what one can see alone (Gooder, 87).
Gooder, Paula. “SEARCHING FOR MEANING: An introduction to interpreting the New Testament.” 80-87. Print.
Is the bible the word of God? The authority of the bible as the word of God is accredited by five testimonies – the testimony of the divine life Christ lived, the testimony of the words of his ministry, the testimony of Christ’s works, the divine testament of his resurrection from the dead, and Christ’s divine influence upon mankind. It follows that if we accept the divine authority of Jesus Christ, then we must also accept the authority of the Bible. In Mark 7:13, Jesus refers to the Law of Moses as the Word of God – which are essentially the first four books of the bible. In Luke 24:27, the scripture reads, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Evidently, this is in reference to God. In John 10:35, Jesus talks about the inviolability of the scriptures by asserting that “The scriptures cannot be broken.” Secondly, we can argue that the Bible is God’s word based on the fulfilled prophesies which in themselves can be divided into two – explicit prophesies and the types. In Micah 5:2, Dan. 9:25-27, the Bible prophesied the coming of the Messiah and gave explicit descriptions of where he would be born, how he would be received, how he would die, his resurrection, and his victory over death. Man couldn’t have foreseen these highly improbable events that were to happen hundreds of years in the future which leaves us with the clear conclusion that only a greater source of power could have had inspired such writings and who is none other than God (Torrey para. 6) And finally, if we look at the opposition, the Bible has faced over the years, and which was also prophesied, we get the impression that this kind of opposition could only be a spiritual fight between good and evil. During every significant era in the history of the world, the bible has been opposed by every conceivable engine of destruction backed by human science, wit, philosophy, brutality, and reasoning but it has always withered such attacks. This lends credence to the prophecy that “Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my Word shall not pass away” (Torrey para. 16-17). There are many bases for arguing the Bible is God’s word which cannot all be discussed here for want of space.
Who is God? According to Psalms 90:2, God is the Creator of everything, He has no beginning and no end. In 1 Tim. 1:11, God is referred to as the “Source of the good news” and the Giver of Life (Revelations 4:11). God is a spiritual being, and as such we cannot behold Him with our physical bodies and which is why the bible says that those who worship Him must do so in “truth and in spirit” (JW.org, “Who Is God?”)
Who are we as God's creature & His image bearers? The Bible always talks about man being created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26) and as His image bearers, we are all equal before Him. But much as this is a great privilege, it is also a huge responsibility because it also means we should manifest His Kindness and goodness (Newbell para. 3). Because we are His image-bearers, it is incumbent on us to magnify and glorify His Name and therefore even us we interact with others, Christian and non-Christian alike, our actions should proclaim that we know God and His love for us.
Newbell, Trillia. "Bearers of God’s Image." 1 November 2014. Ligonier Ministries. Web. 20 March 2018. www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/bearers-gods-image
Torrey, R. A. "Ten Reasons Why I Believe The Bible Is The Word Of God." 2006. Sanders Web.net. 20 March 2018. www.sandersweb.net/bible/articles/10reasons.html
"Who Is God?" 2018. JW.org. 20 March 2018. www.jw.org/en/publications/books/good-news-from-god/who-is-god
Christian children grow up knowing that it is the only legitimate religion in the world and with a perception that since there is only one God, then there should be only one way to worship Him. Thus for me, Christianity was the only avenue through which we could communicate with God, tell Him about our issues and also offer Him our intercessory sacrifices. Much later in life, I got to understand that there are other numerous religions out there, each with its own set of rules and principles on which their behavior and practices were structured.
I learned that Christianity does not specify a definite number of times that a person ought to pray every day like Islam does. It might have been easy to summarize that may be Christians are not as devout as Muslims but I realize that this is so because Christianity embraces the concept of ‘unceasing prayer’ where one is called upon to always be in remembrance of Jesus and God through their actions, thoughts, and beliefs. This sounded a bit vague given the many thoughts that run through a person’s mind when but I realize it’s a fundamental principle-based form of worship based on Philokalia – inspired writings by the saints which can be used by Christians to learn how to live a contemplative life.
The modern Christian church as I have come to understand it borrows a lot of practices, ideologies, and principles from the early Catholic Church. In fact, most Christian churches in this era have most of their religious dogma and doctrines inspired by the practices of the Roman Catholic Church. For instance, the head of the Roman Catholic Church is the Pope and under him are several offices such as Archbishops, bishops, and parish heads that perform different functions. However, we notice that in as much as the Protestants broke away from the Catholic Church, some of these practices are evident in the way they undertake their worship and religious practices. For example, the practice of having church heads is still a common feature of most Christian churches, and I have also noticed how lots of importance is attached to these positions – possibly an imitation of the way the Pope is also accorded great respect by Catholic faithful all over the world.
Today, the emergence of different denominations in Christianity remains an issue that confounds most Christians. The Christian religion is the most disintegrated of all religions, and this is evident by the many denominations under the banner of Christianity. There are Methodists, Presbyterians, Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventists, Anglicans, just to mention a few, and the splintering keeps going on and on. Despite their differences, these denominations are based on fundamental Christian principles and ideologies such as the sovereignty of God, the messiahship of His Son Jesus Christ, and the existence of the Holy Spirit.
In Catholic, the use of venerated items is a common practice, and hence one is most likely to find the images of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Joseph, and selected angels in Catholic churches. The break-away churches, however, have not embraced this distinctive Catholic practice and in fact, there are denominations that regard this as some form of idolatry and try to discourage it as much as they can. For example, among some denominations, the use of symbols is highly discouraged because it’s viewed as a form of paying homage to idols. They believe that there can be no earthly representations of God and Jesus and that therefore the items found in Catholic churches are just the creations of imaginative people which neither has any religious or moral value.
As a Christian, our hopes are anchored in the second coming of Jesus Christ when he will come back for the righteous and take them with him to heavenly glory. There has been a lot of misunderstanding on this issue given that some denominations preach that only a select few will go and rule with Christ as judges in heaven. In fact, according to the Bible (1 Peter 1:3, 4), the selected few who will be kings and priest with Jesus in heaven for 1000 years. The roman catholic church teaches that all good people will go to heaven but according to Psalm 37:11, 29, 34, God promises eternal life on earth to good people. Perhaps, what this course has taught me is the ability to critique teachings of different churches based on how accurate they are with respect to what the Bible itself teaches.
Another important revelation that this course has made is how sin is interpreted with the Christian context. Typically, I knew that sinning is the commissioning of acts which did not please God and that people who sinned continuously would eventually go to hell. For a conventional Christian, the concept of sin is based on the Mosaic Law and specifically the Ten Commandments. Here, the laws given by Moses to early Christians commanded them to:
Not to worship any other god besides the only one true God
Not to make graven images
Not to use the Lord’s name in vain
Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy
Honor our parents
That we should not kill
Christians should not steal
Christians should not bear false witness against their neighbors
Christians should not be covetous
Christians should not commit adultery
Thus, for me once I had obeyed these rules, I regarded myself as a good Christian because they formed the basis of my understanding of sin. However, readings from this textbook have shown me that my understanding, though correct, was overly shallow and that there were other things I may have been doing that still constituted sin. For example, the conversion of Paul suggests that opposing Christianity is a sin and that’s why when Paul met Jesus on his way to Damascus where he was going to persecute Christians, he repented and became a follower of Jesus. The presumptive logic is that we repent because we want God to forgive us our sins and therefore for Paul to repent signifies his acceptance of being in sin and his readiness to quit living in sin henceforth.
The readings in the book say that man is inherently sinful; this means as Christians will sin both consciously and unconsciously – conscious sin is when we engage in wrongful acts that we know are prohibited by the word of God while unconscious sin entails the unconscious commission of wrongful acts. This is a poignant revelation because most Christians are not aware of the extent to which man is naturally inclined to sin, and this is something that originates from the concept of original sin. But the coming of Jesus was supposed to show that he triumphed over sin because he was devoted to serving his Father. We should recall that immediately after his baptism, he went to the wilderness and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. During this time, he was constantly tempted by the devil to disobey God, but Jesus remained steadfast and commanded the devil to leave him alone.
Therefore, in the same way, Satan tempted Christ is the same way modern-day Christians are continuously tempted into sin. But since Christ was able to overcome the temptations, we should also be able to emulate the character of Jesus and stay away from sin, but above all, this will require constant supplication and prayer. Jesus always prayed whenever he faced a challenging prospect, and in the same manner, Christians should adopt the practice of unceasing prayer (Fisher and Rinehart 272).
The issue of the Trinity is also an area where in which I have had many discussions with my Christian friends. According to Catholic doctrines, God is three in one, i.e., God is an entity composed of three persons – God the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit – and claim that these three are equal. However, biblical scriptures don’t make it clear whether God is a three in one entity. But from a logical perspective, if these three are equal, we can perhaps ask the question why Jesus prayed to God whenever he faced trying times. Would it make sense to ask for help from a person who had equal power as you did? For example, when the Pharisees came to arrest him when he was with his disciples in Mount Olives, Jesus inquired from them why they were looking for him with swords and spears as if he was a common criminal. But it’s what he said next that brings this argument into perspective – he told them that if he had wanted he would have told his Father to send mighty angels to protect him from them.
The implication of this is that Jesus recognized the authority of his Father and in so doing, we get the impression that he was submitting to the superiority of God. This is consistent with the assertions of Fisher and Rinehart (p. 272) that Jesus was sent by God to come and redeem his people who had been yoked to sin. The whole mission of Christianity is to reconcile people with their Maker – God - and it would, therefore, make sense to imply that if Jesus were God, then there would not have been a need to send him to earth to die for the sins of humanity.
Perhaps, this also informs the reason why there was a lot of internal conflicts in the Roman Catholic Church, especially during the Roman empire. Fisher and Rinehart (p. 272) offer that the Protestants broke away from the Catholic church because of doctrinal differences. For example, whereas the Catholic church believed the Pope was the representative of God on earth, the Protestants believed that the bible does not give such authority to any living human being.
The practice of being ‘born again’ is also one that has had a direct implication on my understanding of Christianity. The topic is first addressed in the bible when Nicodemus asks Jesus to tell him what he could do to enter the kingdom of God. Jesus answered him that he had to be born again. My previous understanding of being born again is that it meant confessing one's sins and choosing to live a holier life. This book also addresses the issue of salvation, and according to Fisher and Rinehart (p. 272), salvation is achieved through faith alone and not in the confessions and indulgences as practiced in the Catholic church. In fact, the practice of buying indulgences as practiced in the early Catholic church perpetuated my understanding that forgiveness first came through human forgiveness after which a person was directed to seek further forgiveness from God. To me, this implied that in case the person I confessed my sins to did not accept my repentance plea, then God would also not accept my plea for repentance. The readings from this book suggest that this is not necessarily the case and that the blood of atonement had already been shed by Christ on the cross and hence what is left is for us to reconnect with God through faith in deeds.
Overall, reading the book, Living Religions has opened my eyes and improved my understanding of some aspects of Christianity that hitherto had been unknown to me. For instance, the practice buying indulgences prevalent in the Catholic church’s way of worship has no biblical basis since Jesus had already died for our sins. Secondly, my understanding of sin has widened considerably and am now aware of ‘egotistical sinfulness’ and what Christians like me ought to do to minimize the chances of sinning unknowingly.
Fisher, Mary Pat. and Robin Rinehart. Living Religions. 10. London: Lawrence Kings Publishing, 2016.
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