It has been a very, very long time since the last B2E Group blog post.  While there just hasn’t been a lot of urgency to write in recent months, I’ve also been very busy going back to my future.  Let me explain.

The last 10 years or so has been a time of incredible change, pain, sorrow and adventure.  Here is a very high level summary:

  • Our first trip to Africa in 2006 (many more would follow)
  • Job transfer and move from Calgary to Kelowna in 2007
  • Leaving my leadership role in the business world in 2008 and entering the world of “Christian ministry”
  • Abrupt end to the “ministry” experiment in 2011
  • Founding my own IT consulting company in 2011
  • Multiple “bucket list” trips with my sons to Iceland, Australia, England, France and Finland from 2013 to 2016  Highlights of these trips were attending the Australian Open, Wimbledon and visits to Normandy and London
  • Taking on the role of head coach of the Special Olympics golf program in Kelowna in 2016

Throughout the later years of this adventure, we blogged our way through and shared our insights, highs and lows along the way.  More details of our descent and survival of the so called “ministry” years can be found in our Overcoming the Dark Night of Empire post.  This was a time of deconstructing bad theology and re-affirming ideas that we now know to be the foundation of who we are and why we are on the earth.  Convictions like all human beings are equal, there is no mediator between men/women and God, we are the church and true honour for parents have been forever imprinted on our souls by the relentless attacks of institutional religion to destroy them in us and our sons.  We are never going back.

Back to my FutureThis brings me to the end of this period in 2017 and my decision to return to the business world as a full time employee and manager of 14 people.  A complete change of direction for my future by going back to what I was made to do.  In a way, back to my future.

Interestingly, in my adventure in the world of ministry and supposed non-profit world, I discovered many people who looked on the “greedy”, “materialistic” world of business and capitalism with disdain.  The world of the 1%.  The rapers and pillagers of the earth who, through their satanic business practices, will doom humanity.  After all, they only exist to make their executives rich and damn everyone else to a life of poverty and struggle.  Some interesting facts about the company I work for:

  • Employs 39,000 people across Canada, enabling them to raise families and contribute to society
  • Has contributed over $482 million to charity since 2000
  • Provides an essential service to Canadians without polluting the environment
  • Horror of horrors – actually makes a profit for its shareholders

While there are definitely dishonest and untrustworthy people in business, having experienced both worlds I can say with some conviction that I have encountered far more corruption, dishonesty and self-seeking behaviour in the “ministry” world than I ever have in business.  At least those in the business world who behave in this way (and there are few) are out front with their motives and methods rather than disguising themselves behind God talk and His “call on their life”.  I have never encountered a business leader who asked me to sow into his or her career with a promise that it would return to me 10 fold.

Have you ever wondered why most of Jesus’ disciples were small businessmen (e.g. fishermen and a tax collector).  None were members of the institutional religious system of the day.  Saul, who became Paul, started as a religious zealot (“Pharisee of Pharisees”) but had to spend over a decade as a small businessman (tentmaker) to purge the religion out of him.  As he traveled the known world spreading the good news of Jesus it was the religious system that regularly harassed and pursued him to kill him because his message was a threat to the corrupt system they had built to line their pockets and build their influence.  Could it be that working for a living and making a small profit to feed yourself is foundational to being in the “image of God”?  After all, Jesus was a carpenter or tradesman before he began his public ministry at age 30.  Did he take money and make a profit from the work of his hands?

It has now been over 3 months since I went back to my future and re-entered the business world.  Trust me, I have not put on rose coloured glasses and adopted the belief that all is completely well in the corporate culture.  However, what I have found is human beings working hard to provide something of value to my community, getting paid for providing this value and in turn re-investing their wages back into the community to enable others to do the same.  The part I get to play is to coach and assist them to do this in the best way possible to the benefit of our employer and their families.  A human value chain that benefits every link in the chain rather than only those at the head of the chain or top of the hierarchy.

The refreshing part is that there are no parasites in the environment, seeking to suck the life out of them in the name of God.  Almost 10 years ago I left an influential and thriving executive career in business and set out on an adventure believing that the message of freedom, value for all human beings and equal opportunity for all to relate to God without a mediator and pursue their destiny would be welcome in the world of Christian ministry.  After a near death experience from the corrupt gatekeepers and parasites in this world, I return to the great unwashed of the business world where I began almost 40 years ago.  Back to my future indeed.

John Matthews

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Showing 4 comments
  • Maurice Richardson
    Reply

    John,I love the last paragraph ! For me this is a personal marker , ie. a point where I can say , thank God someone else gets it. And I know it’s not been without trial & pain. For us after being up to our eye balls in ‘churchness’ we realised thank God, that following Jesus was about living day to day with our family as out first responsibility. Loving Him & then because of Him all people the same. Experiencing each day being His hands & feet & mouths with no division or distinction between the so called ( as religion would define ) in group & the so called outsider. Caring & acting first & speaking last. We realised that we could not shroud our humanity with anything false but that like all our neighbours we were loved anyway. I now believe that this IS what Jesus was trying to tell us – “It can’t happen in that thing !” I still remember what turned out to be a seminal moment for me. I was having the talk with a pastor & his wife who were our ‘covering’ about why we were out. After their initial anger that we were leaving they expressed their own frustrations about church & ministry. Amidst my youth & ignorance there was something true. I said to them , “Why can’t you just be two people who love Jesus who live in Blacktown ? ( their Sydney suburb ). Why indeed ? Perhaps being prepared to travel back to our future is the journey many of us must take.

  • B2E Group
    Reply

    Maurice,

    Love the “It can’t happen in that thing!” statement. As I go on, I realize more and more “That thing” is nothing like Jesus.

  • katherine Matthews
    Reply

    Further on ‘that thing’…. that thing has not the foundation or blueprint of Jesus which was to release, activate, empower and validate every part of the body, his people. He has called and invested in every human being, who so ever wills and invites them in to his fold with no favorites. However the old system (pre Jesus) models the need for a sacrifice as you know. Since he tore down and ‘finished’ once for all the sacrifice needed and became the only mediator for us, the temple hierarchy and roles are no longer his DNA. His life and sacrifice brought us right back to Eden where we can go face to face with God. Wow, so amazing a gift! Yet centuries of religion proves that people want to be led around by the nose, they refuse to face God alone. They are afraid of him and erect idols as spokespersons for them as we see today in celebrity Christianity. (pick your flavour: Pastor as King, Prophets as God’s elite seers and Apostles for business making and empire building) Therefore these two models/functions cannot co inhabit as the old has been fulfilled and we now live in a new covenant with Him. It has been our experience for decades that when we have tried to go into the false structure and teach, calling it to reform we are quickly marked and expelled. We are no longer shocked by this. Rather we are jaw dropped that the masses embrace cultic christianity. The truth of the freedom offered to all and for all by Him to come to Jesus and walk free of institutional pagan religion is plain as the sky is blue. All that to say,” Right Maurice… why cant they just be two people who love Jesus and live in a small town, big town or on the moon for that matter? Because they believe a lie, that Jesus as the ONLY mediator is simply not enough. They have rejected the truth for a lie. They spurn the sacrifice of Christ and instead erect themselves to be LIKE THE MOST HIGH GOD” .

    • Maurice Richardson
      Reply

      Yes Katherine, no longer a sacrifice needed. “No favourites” beautiful. And how wonderful that we can all come face to face with no mediator- it’s awesome but not scary & there are no buts . Unfortunately they continue to mis the point & do damage ! I love it here out ‘Into the wild’ because He is here.

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