One hears the remark made repeatedly in our day, that they would rather go back to lower wages and lower prices, rather than have the present high wages and higher prices.
There is much dissatisfaction in our day in the ranks of labor which is evidenced by the many strikes and disregard of authority, and the destruction of property belonging to others.
It is without doubt true that some find it more difficult to provide for their families under present conditions, but the trouble lies deeper than that. Much of their dissatisfaction is not based upon facts. Man sets up a high standard of living and expects somehow it must be maintained. To be satisfied with daily bread is foreign to our present day thinking. It is very well possible that we as Christians will learn what this means by experience.
We are living in an age of rugged individualism. Men organize unions to promote themselves organically, but only because in union there is strength. In reality each is seeking self.
The employer also has methods to further his own interests, by getting as much as possible out of labor. The employer thinks in terms of more profits, more production, lower cost per unit, the employee, better working conditions, more pay, and social security when the world is tottering on its foundations. God is not in all their thoughts.
It is a continual struggle between the two powers. The question remains, who will gain the balance of power, and how will they use it? To look at things in general we would say that it is a hopeless mess, that there is no method in their madness, but there is, even in spite of themselves, for there is a God Who uses all things, even the wicked unto His own glory.
When the Taft-Hartley Labor Law was passed it seemed as if things were developing in the wrong direction, in the light of Scripture. Before this law was passed it was already becoming very difficult for Christian laborers to get or hold jobs where there was a union involved. This seeming development in the wrong way was short-lived. The strong labor vote in the last election has given the party in power now, the mandate, so it is said, to repeal the existing labor laws. So now things are developing in the way of making the Christian’s place in the world smaller again, and this, we believe, will continue until there is no room left; to be willing to be pushed around in this world is not easy for the flesh, we are earthy by nature and therefore love that which satisfies our earthly existence. If we are to be faithful, and thereby glorify God, we must be willing to be left without room in this world, and to be thankful in so doing, for it is a privilege to be counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake. You may say, “the outlook certainly looks bright for the man of the world, and very gloomy for the Christian”. From a materialistic point of view this is true, but what is the material, which is transitory, compared with values that are eternal? That good part that we have chosen, by Grace, shall not be taken from us.
In the light of the foregoing we would like to submit a few questions on this subject:
- Does the labor movement have and significance in the development of the world?
- Does the outcome of the last election have any significance?
- Do you think that labor could organize a political party and win an election?
- If the Taft-Hartley labor act is repealed do you think the next one will be as favorable for the Christian employee?
- Would it be wrong for a Christian business man to continue in business if he were forced to hire only union labor?
- Is it possible for us to identify ourselves with, and support a labor union, as Christians?
- Are you in agreement with our denomination in its stand against worldly unions?
- Would it be well for parents to guide their children into vocations that do not require membership in a union?
- What are some of the most important things to consider when seeking employment?
- In what way can we glorify God in our daily work?