Back to my Future

Back to my Future

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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