Friday, September 04, 2020

Christians and Labor Unions: An Unequal Yoke

 or ?

Christians should not be part of labor unions.  If they are part of a union, they should resign from membership, for reasons including the following:


1.) The Bible teaches that employees are to submit to their employers with “fear and trembling, in singleness of [their] heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, 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” (Ephesians 6:5-7).


It likewise teaches:

"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed." (1 Timothy 6:1)


"Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again." (Titus 2:9)


"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward." (1 Peter 2:18)


Since believers are commanded to submit to their employers as to Jesus Christ, to strike, walk out on, speak evil of, disobey, undermine, or provoke discontent against their employers is to rebel against Jesus Christ.  These commands apply not just to godly employers but to evil ones as well (1 Peter 2:18).  You do not bargain with Jesus Christ.  You submit to Jesus Christ.  The Bible requires a similar sort of obedience to your employer. Employees who are treated poorly are to cry to God (James 5:4), who will give wicked employers eternal punishment (James 5) as well as being able to apply righteous punishments even in this life, but as an individual employee the command is:  “He [the employee] doth not resist you [the employer]” (James 5:6).  This command to cry to God and show sacrificial love and non-resistance to employers, even wicked ones, is diametrically opposed to the beliefs of labor unions.


2.) Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Christ taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that love to all should be the basis for the Christian's actions, rejecting the union idea of the class-struggle; Christ likewise rejected the materialism that is involved in union membership, instead teaching that the saints must seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first; and Christ rejected the principle of force and coercion that is too often involved in union membership.


3.) Christ also specifically taught individual bargaining rather than collective bargaining for laborers (Matthew 20:2, 15).


4.) The Bible teaches that those who are part of the kingdom of God and those who are part of the kingdom of this age (cf. John 1:12; 8:44; Ephesians 2:1-10) are radically different. When the Christian recognized his status as a hell-worthy sinner, repented of his sin and any confidence in religious rituals or good deeds, and trusted in the saving work of Christ on the cross alone, he was born again (John 3:3).  Those who have experienced this miraculous change have different aspirations, ways of thinking, paths in this life, and eternal destinies from those who have not, and Scripture forbids the born again from assuming an unequal yoke with those who are not in the path of God’s kingdom (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).  These facts require Christians to refrain from joining or financially supporting labor unions.


5.) Finally, Christians must not be part of an organization that supports, lobbies for, donates to, or promotes causes that the Bible condemns.  Unions spend millions and millions of dollars advocating for the legal murder of preborn children. When you give money to the union, you are supporting ripping helpless infants limb from limb while they face excruciating pain without the pain killers given to dogs and cats. You are supporting sodomy, although God says it is an abomination and He rained fire and brimstone on those practicing it (Genesis 19). You are supporting the persecution of Christian and other religious business owners and attempting to force them to violate their consciences and their duties to God. You are contributing to them having to choose to bow to the rainbow Mafia or to lose their businesses (Matthew 25:40, 45). You are violating huge numbers of Biblical principles about civil government.

Even secular people in the United States, whether in right-to-work states or states that limit one's freedom to work, cannot be forced to join unions to keep their jobs, nor can they be forced to pay full union dues. In non-right-to-work states, those with religious objections to union membership can opt out of the union and not pay the union a single penny, based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and principles affirmed in the First Amendment and reaffirmed in Janus v. AFSCME. (Please note that I am not a lawyer and I am not giving legal advice.)

If Jesus Christ is your Lord, then you must not bow the knee to a labor union. Do not join one, and if you are part of one, get out. If you need help in leaving, contact the National Right to Work Foundation.



Pilgrim said...

I'm curious as to your authority to write articles like this to Christians around the world. Are you pastoring the universal church? I ask that "tongue in cheek" because there is no such thing as UC, but writings like this really seem to show a UC way of thinking. The Scriptural pattern I see is that the Lord gave His Word to "the pillar and ground of the truth" and so the churches of the Lord should individually work through these practical applications of the Scriptures you've presented in your article. Even with the great questions that arose because "certain" went out of the church at Jerusalem and said things at Antioch there was a church meeting that involved the church at Jerusalem and the leadership from Antioch. Then a decision was reached and presented to the Gentile churches that the churches of Antioch and Jerusalem were actually involved in. That seems very different from what you just published. I would encourage you to consider what I'm asking and stating here. I'm not using my name because I don't want the issue to be about who I am but about where we see this type of publishing in Scripture.

KJB1611 said...

Hi Pilgrim,

There are no texts in Scripture that say one is to only share Biblical truth or edify people who are members of one's own congregation. Inspired writings were passed from church to church (Col 4:16), and so were the earliest uninspired writings such as 1 Clement, a letter from the church at Rome to help the church at Corinth by the local-only ecclesiology pastor of the church at Rome in the latter part of the 1st century A. D. Commands such as "reprove, rebuke, exhort" never even once have a qualification such as "but make sure you only do it for people in your own church--otherwise you are pastoring the universal church." Texts such as "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" never say "but only reprove unfruitful works of darkness in your own congregation--everywhere else, let 'em spread without warning!" Are there any verses that say what you are arguing for, or that warn about the sin of making practical application of Scripture and sharing God's truth and the application thereof to the whole world? Did those ministering with the Apostles as they traveled around refrain from applying truth wherever they went to whomever they encountered? The only thing I can think of that comes close to this is Christ's command to not cast pearls before swine, but I don't think you are arguing that people in other churches are swine, so that won't help your case.

Furthermore, I wonder if you actually practice what your comment above states. Do you only read books or commentaries written by people in your own church? Was your Bible translation made by people in your own church? If you have a study Bible, were the notes written by people in your church? Have you ever listened to sermons or read sermons by those who were not a member of your own church? Why did you read this blog post if it was not written by someone who is a member of your own church? Why are you commenting on it and talking to me--shouldn't I only get exhortation from people in my own church? What is your authority for saying that there is no universal church--should you instruct people on that matter who are not part of your church? Should you warn people outside of your church about pastoring the universal church--shouldn't that warning only come from people in their church? You aren't trying to pastor the universal church by asking that question and making doctrinal affirmations, are you?

Perhaps you consistently practice what your comment states, and perhaps there are clear warnings in Scripture about not exhorting, edifying, etc. people unless they are members of one's own church, but I am not aware of any of them. If there aren't any, then perhaps the "pastoring the universal church" statement is more of a soundbite than a useful statement. Furthermore, if your position is true, then I would have to find out that we need to stop spreading Biblical truth around the world from someone in my own church, not from you, unless you happen to secretly be a member of my own church who is writing anonymously. I think this is 99.999% unlikely, but if you are, then you are consistent in asking your question, and we can talk about it next time we assemble together.

KJB1611 said...

What I have found is that usually people who make arguments like yours are very selective in how they apply them--when a truth is inconvenient, or costly to practice, then we have an excuse to not put that one in practice if we heard it from someone we can claim is trying to pastor the universal church. We can criticize the messenger rather than showing that the Scriptural exegesis and the application thereof does not fit Scripture.

Thanks. By the way, since I don't believe your position is true, I don't mind answering your comment, nor your asking it. Please consider it; perhaps it will help you honor the Lord more.

Please note that nothing in this comment says or implies that members of one's own church are not to be edifying each other in love, responding to the Word heard there, and so on, and that that is extremely important.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I didn't write this piece, but your comment is about writing a blog. Is it biblical to write a blog that can be read by anyone? This opens up to a lot of questions that would be a separate blogpost about that subject, not about being in unions, which you don't deal with. Thomas answers you. Is it wrong to have a website that can be read by anyone? Is it wrong to go door to door and talk to members of other churches? Is it wrong to canvass an area that has members of other churches? Is it wrong for a church to publish books and sell them online, that can be read by other people? Is it wrong to read anything else in the world period, except that published by your church? Do you read online commentaries? Can only Spurgeon still affect the world? Gill? Keil and Delitzch? Matthew Henry? Strong of Strong's Concordance? Are they pastoring the universal church? If a Baptist pastor of a true church writes the truth, should he not be able to write something that people can read, or does he just not have the credibility of all the people you already read? Or do you read nothing? Do you read Baptist pastors from days gone by? Were they members of your church? Was Romans read only by one church? Was Ephesians read by only one church? Was Philippians only read by one church? Why did they pass these letters around? You need to answer these questions if you're going to be consistent. Of course, you don't need to do anything, because you're anonymous, so that your point is respected or so that your name doesn't cause us to give a different answer that relates to who you are (really?). Maybe you just don't want to give any credence to this blog with your name, giving evidence that you read it?

The question should be, is it the truth? Is what Thomas wrote, the truth? If someone tells the truth, it would be true still if a 4 year old said it. Does it have to be from the proper source to be the truth? No. The truth is the truth for everyone in the world. When Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, it's obvious he wanted everyone in the world to read it. It wasn't written to a Jewish audience, so it wasn't just for the nation Israel. The language is such that it would reach a vast audience.

I'm open to a good autonomy argument. People of my church could read anything from anyone in the world. Should I tell them not to read anything but what I wrote, only from my church? If I have that authority, is that what I should do with it? Should I stop my people from hearing anything from anyone but me or from someone authorized to speak for our church?

Jumping to the idea that writing a blog means that we believe in a universal church is just sheer slander, and that's a good reason to stay anonymous. Who wants to be slanderous to someone with a name attached? Just take that potshot without your name attached.

Readers, I think it is possible that Pilgrim is a troll. I'm not saying he/she is, just that it is a troll-like comment. It doesn't address the truth of the post. It is making an astounding accusation. It could be a universal church person, who is attempting to shoot down local only ecclesiology by pointing out what he thinks will work as a practical argument.

Andrew said...

People are allowed to state the way things ought to be, and that isn't the same as usurping the leadership of the listener's church.

One other thing, how exactly is a church supposed to state to the rest of the world how Christians should be, in effect providing reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness to the place where it exists to be a shining light to the world. If there are churches out there that have the truth, then they should be able to tell those who are still living in darkness what the truth is.

Now you ask, what about false churches teaching falsehood? Simple, just show where in Scripture they have made a mistake.

Anyone who is saved knows hereby the truth from error, as scripture says in 1 John chapter 4.

DaCatster said...

Great Great points. I never felt comfortable being a part of the union. Enjoyed the benefits, not worth the conviction I felt.

Andrew said...

In this thread now: Things that never happened.

KJB1611 said...

Dear DaCatster,


By the way, you don’t need to be part of the union or have a second class job where you work. Try contacting the National Right to Work foundation for more information.

Dear Matt,

Insults are not an argument and your will get deleted for foul language.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I didn't pay close enough attention to your comment. I apologize to everyone for Matt's language. You can't use foul language here. If you want to come back with an actual argument instead of the typical ridicule and mockery that isn't an argument, and as I've said, is a manifestation of apostasy in 2 Peter 3 and other places in the Bible. I very often read arguments I don't like and want to ridicule them, but it's carnal. Today, it seems, that actual argument is bad to millennials and mockery is good. This might be because they don't think there is still absolute truth.