JKC is a Mormon who works as a law clerk. He can make several comparisons between those two parts of his life:
Like my time as a missionary, I work with Latinos, mostly Mexicans, in the U.S., who live off of field work. Like missionaries, I visit my clients in their homes. Like missionaries, I have to gain my clients’ trust. Heck, I even drive a 1999 Sentra like when I was a missionary.
One client he visited asked him how he knew Spanish. JKC responded that he learned it while he was a missionary in Arizona. The client said he had received visits from Mormons back when he was in Texas. This is where the dilemma starts:
At that point, I would have responded with a follow up question: how did you like it? Or, why did you stop meeting with them? Or, did you ever go to church? Or, would you like me to have the elders here visit you?
But JKC said nothing. “It didn’t feel right.”
He eventually asks:
I wondered why it was that I felt like it was wrong of me to preach the gospel at that moment. The best answer I came up with was that my relationship with my clients, is one of professional advice and counsel, and that the gospel is outside the bounds of that relationship.
I don’t mean that I would never speak about the church with a client. If a client asked me about the church, I would respond. If a client asked me about a non-legal matter, I would be likely to draw on relevant gospel-related experiences. But somehow, it feels wrong to “look for an opening” to share the gospel like I might do in another situation.
Is it unethical in some situations to preach the gospel?
Ok, so I’m assuming most of the readers here will say yes. But if you have something intelligent to say to JKC, leave your answers at his site (and don’t be mean).
I’m more concerned with the general question. Whether you’re atheist/Christian/whatever, where do you draw the line? How do you act in a professional environment? When is it ok to share your beliefs and when is it not ok?
(Thanks to Bjorn for the link)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Mormon, Latino, Mexican, Spanish, Arizona, church, Christian, gospel[/tags]