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Labor unions described in God's word? - March 5th, 2012, 11:15 AM

Labor union activity in the book of Acts 19.

[I enclosed my comments in brackets [] ]

23 And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.

[Evidently, some people do not like the way, the lord Jesus Christ, nor any of his followers]

24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;

25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.

26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

28 And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

29 And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.

30And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.

31 And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.

32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly [ekkessia- called out, translated church in other passages] was confused: and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

33 And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.

34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.

35 And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?

36 Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.

37 For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.

38 Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.

39 But if ye enquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly [ekkessia- called out, translated church in other passages].

40 For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.

41And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly[ekkessia- called out, translated church in other passages].

The word ekklessia has a far more general meaning than just "church" Mob is what was happening in this passage.

Being simply part of a "church, an ekklessia" from a scriptural point of view is not bragging rights, or something to be desired.

This union meeting was a mob standing diametrically opposed to Jesus Christ and his followers.

Demetrius was motivated by the love of money which is a root of all evil. I Timothy 6:10

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"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers." Acts 2:42

"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Psalm 6:5

I John 3:1-2. Prov 14:34 Psalm 133:1
   
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March 5th, 2012, 11:29 AM

So do you think Jesus would disapprove of people who work together supporting each other against the economic exploitation by their employers?

How about people who live in the same community joining together and supporting each other against the political misconduct of their local governors?

Do you think people forming unions to protect themselves from dishonest and exploitive employers is different from people forming political action committees to protect themselves from dishonest and exploitive politicians?

I'm not accusing, I'm just asking, because I don't really understand the point of your opening post.



   
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March 5th, 2012, 11:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureX View Post
So do you think Jesus would disapprove of people who work together supporting each other against the economic exploitation by their employers?

How about people who live in the same community joining together and supporting each other against the political misconduct of their local governors?

Do you think people forming unions to protect themselves from dishonest and exploitive employers is different from people forming political action committees to protect themselves from dishonest and exploitive politicians?

I'm not accusing, I'm just asking, because I don't really understand the point of your opening post.
What I find interesting is that this rather long passage is what God's word presents about one particular labor union.

Given the present attitudes and actions of some of our present day labor unions, like we have seen from public sector unions, "teachers, etc" there is a resemblance. I speak of Wisconsin.

Who supplies your needs?

a. Your employer

b. the government

c. your union

e. God Philippians 4:19

What does God have to say about employees attitudes towards employers?

What does God's word have to say about how employers should treat employees?

I won't look those up for you, you seem adept enough at coming up with scriptures yourself.

From your point of view, Israel in Egypt was maltreated. For the most part, they had forgotten who God is. The first time around, they rejected Moses leadership. Forty years later, they had wisened up a little.

But not much, first time things didn't go they way they wanted it to they wanted to go back to slavery under the Egyptians.

So goes human nature.

We are to be spiritually minded, not carnally minded.

Not easy, but certainly available.

Are unions carnal or spiritual?

Do they pray before they start meetings?

Did the union thugs in Wisconsin pray before they trashed the Capitol building in Wisconsin?

Did they pray before assaulting state representatives?

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"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers." Acts 2:42

"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Psalm 6:5

I John 3:1-2. Prov 14:34 Psalm 133:1

Last edited by oatmeal; March 5th, 2012 at 11:58 AM.. Reason: missed a point
   
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March 5th, 2012, 01:11 PM

Unions are just people banded together for a common purpose. A church is a union of people banded together with a common purpose, too. But the folks in a labor union are not the same set of folks as the folks in a church. So it would be wrong to expect them to behave as if they were. Don't you think?

Why would a labor meeting open with a prayer? After all, the people there aren't united for the purpose of praying. In the same way we wouldn't logically go to the Bible to find out how to fix our car, we wouldn't logically turn to prayer to stop employer exploitation. It's true that because labor unions are made up of people, just like the people who employ them, they can sometimes become greedy and go too far. But that certainly doesn't mean we should eliminate labor unions, any more than it means we should eliminate employers. If the employers behave like good human beings, we wouldn't need labor unions. But they don't. And so we do need labor unions. But they, too, can become corrupted by power and greed, and so we need to have some means of limiting them, as well.

There is nothing wrong with teachers having a union. They NEED it to protect them from abuse. But the union has to have limits, too, because our children need to be protected from their abuse. It's not so much a matter of religion as it is a matter of balance and reason. Do we really need the bible to tell us that?



   
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March 5th, 2012, 01:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureX View Post
Unions are just people banded together for a common purpose. A church is a union of people banded together with a common purpose, too. But the folks in a labor union are not the same set of folks as the folks in a church. So it would be wrong to expect them to behave as if they were. Don't you think?

Why would a labor meeting open with a prayer? After all, the people there aren't united for the purpose of praying. In the same way we wouldn't logically go to the Bible to find out how to fix our car, we wouldn't logically turn to prayer to stop employer exploitation. It's true that because labor unions are made up of people, just like the people who employ them, they can sometimes become greedy and go too far. But that certainly doesn't mean we should eliminate labor unions, any more than it means we should eliminate employers. If the employers behave like good human beings, we wouldn't need labor unions. But they don't. And so we do need labor unions. But they, too, can become corrupted by power and greed, and so we need to have some means of limiting them, as well.

There is nothing wrong with teachers having a union. They NEED it to protect them from abuse. But the union has to have limits, too, because our children need to be protected from their abuse. It's not so much a matter of religion as it is a matter of balance and reason. Do we really need the bible to tell us that?
PureX,

Your post is the balance that is reasonable.

Management abuses do not excuse employee abuses, and employee abuses do not excuse management abuses.

Owners should have the right to hire who they see fit.

Even as prospective employees have the right to choose who they want apply to work for.

Quote:
Do we really need the bible to tell us that?
I am sure that a person could scour all the religious/philosophical/wisdom of all the books of the world and come up with some kind of one book manual for living.

But for me it would still fall shamefully short of what scriptures has to offer.

Knowing that God Almighty has a personal interest in my personal well being and seeing/experiencing that over and over again daily, is why scriptures has it all for me. Already authored by God himself and compiled in one handy book.

It is the best, by far. The only, by far.

oatmeal





"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread and in prayers." Acts 2:42

"For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Psalm 6:5

I John 3:1-2. Prov 14:34 Psalm 133:1
   
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November 22nd, 2013, 11:12 PM

if the union is of the world, or of the flesh, or of satan, of anything except Father , then it is worthless, without profit.





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