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Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

2001

Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

James Halteman
Pages 275-291
DOI: 10.5840/spiritgds200125

A Mennonite Approach to Business Ethics

Mennonites in the U.S. trace their roots back to the early sixteenth century Anabaptist reformers in Europe. Believing that the church is to give a foretaste of the coming kingdom of God, Mennonites emphasize discipleship, community, and the conviction that God works in the world through two distinct kingdoms. In the early days of persecution, the divide between the two kingdoms was clear, but, as Mennonites became mainstreamed in a tolerant society, the divide between secular and sacred became ambiguous. Mennonites believe that faith calls them to a higher ethical standard in business than they can expect of society at large: to be in the business world but not of it. Discipleship means witnessing to the non-Christian world. Consequently, Mennonite businesspersons seek to be servant-managers and servant-owners.