Question:

In your answer "Is it wrong to have a job that encourages others to sin?" I was wondering if you could give me some examples of this. I got concerned because I have a mother whose employer sends her to work some days in a Catholic hospital. (She is NOT Catholic by the way). I don't know if that would be considered a sin since the Catholic church teaches extra-Biblical doctrines. My father is a paralegal (even though we do not really communicate that much anymore). Anyway, he works for a network that shows sexual themed movies. I was wondering if that constitued for working somewhere that causes someone to sin? I mean he is just a paralegal for the lawyers of that company, but this company has produced some inappropriate programs in the past (I do not think I need to go into detail on that one). So is it sinful for him to be employed by that company even though he does not promote or agree with some of the programs that they put out on television?


Answer:

A Catholic hospital is first a hospital which happens to receive funding for its operations from the Catholic church. They are not the only religious group to do this. In my area the Methodists fund an excellent hospital. About 15 to 20% of all hospitals in the United States have connections to some religious group.

But what we should notice is that these hospitals are not in the business of producing funds for their sponsoring religious organization. Actually it is the other way around, these hospital receive funding from the religious organizations. When someone works at one of these hospitals, they are not promoting a particular religious belief, they are providing health care to the patients. If I must go to one of these hospitals for care, I am not funding or promoting a particular religious belief, I'm getting medical care.

But the nature of the network involved in distributing sexual themed movies is quite different. It's product is to promote sexual promiscuity through entertainment. Those buying from the company are buying products designed to sexually arouse the viewers and to make it appear that sex outside of marriage is perfectly fine. Those working for this company are facilitating the company in its production. This falls directly in the what Paul stated: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:28-32).

But with that said about the person who works at, say HBO, wouldn't it be sinful, too, to work at like a Blockbuster or FYE (which offers pornographic movies in some of their sections)?

I wouldn't recommend anyone working at a store that sold pornography. For that matter, I would not recommend working at a store which sold lottery tickets, liquor, or cigarettes either. I won't be a part of selling items that I know are sinful (Romans 1:32) and I won't do things that I'm not fully confident are righteous (Romans 14:22-23).

I might enter a video store to rent a movie, but I'll only go to one where the primary emphasis is on family films and where the pornography is not on display. I might get a soda at the local gas station, even though they sell lottery tickets, liquor, and cigarettes, but that is because those things are not their main business and I can easily ignore them. (And I figure if they get more business selling wholesome things just maybe they will drop the sinful things -- not likely to happen, but I can always hope.)

"I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world" (I Corinthians 5:9-10). Because we live in a sinful world, it means we can't avoid all contact with all sin. But where I can, I don't promote the sin.

Working for someone ties you to them. You don't want to be tied to someone who promotes evil. "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty"" (II Corinthians 6:14-18).