The purpose of every vocation, in all of the different spheres in which our multiple vocations occur - the family, the workplace, the culture, and the church - is to love and serve our neighbors. Loving God and loving our neighbors sums up our purpose (Matthew 22:36-40). Having been reconciled to God through Christ, we are then sent by God into the world to love and serve him by loving and serving our neighbors. This happens in vocation. So we can ask of every kind of work we doing, "Am I loving and serving my neighbor, or am I exploiting and tempting him?"
Obviously, those who make their living by robbery are not loving their neighbors. Heroin dealers, hit men, con artists, and other criminals are hurting their neighbors and have no calling from God to do so.
But there are some legal professions that also involve harming their neighbors instead of loving and serving them. An abortionist kills his small neighbor in the womb. An internet pornographer is abusing the neighbors he is exploiting sexually and, moreover, causing the neighbors who are his customers to sin.
Other occupations may not be so cut and dry....
Sunday, March 25, 2012
The Purpose of Vocation
Gene Edward Veith reflects on Which Vocations Should Be Off Limits to Christians. In the article he provides a summary of the purpose of vocation: