Archive for the tag “Owen Strachan”

How do you overcome poverty? This guy makes toys

tegu toysOwen Strachan posts at thoughtlife about how the workings of the free market hold much greater potential for positive long-term improvement in the lives of people in poverty.

In Honduras, where 64% of the population lives below the poverty line, a for-profit business, Tegu Toys, is improving the quality of its employees’ lives, creating more jobs as it grows, and giving families a vision of a new and better future.

Chris Haughey, co-founder of the company, says the real solution to poverty is to launch many small engines of economic growth that affect not just a few people for a little while, but entire communities — with the potential to permanently change an entire society for the better.

“You think the solution to poverty is more aid or more charitable giving, but those are only short-term, stopgap solutions. If you care about the poor, then you are going to seek out ways to create new economic opportunities for them,” Haughey says in the 3-minute video posted at the site. “… What we really need to address issues of poverty is economic growth through for-profit mechanisms that create sustainable opportunities for people.”

Strachan points out that “Bono (who famously campaigned for debt forgiveness) recently acknowledged this” and notes a Yale University study that showed “the stunning effects of the free market upon the global populace.”

Read the full text of Strachan’s post and watch the inspiring video by clicking here.
Learn more about Tegu Toys by clicking here.

Stop the violence against women

Sunday, Nov. 25, was observed as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Three of the witnesses we follow posted excellent items on the subject.

At Patheos, Owen Strachan wrote Why Abusive Men Repudiate True Manhood: Letter to an Abusive Husband:

Today, November 25, is  I do not normally blog on Sundays, as faithful readers know. But this is a topic worth addressing, especially because I am on the record as being for manly leadership in home and church.

Let’s address this awful subject this way: if I could talk with a man who was abusing his headship of his home, what would I say? What follows is an attempt toward that end, and ultimately, toward the strengthening of Christian families. This is no mere hypothetical, of course. Abuse happens. Here you see how I as a complementarian, Christ-driven head of home and church would handle it.

Read the letter by clicking here.

At Moore to the Point, Russell Moore wrote The Church & Violence Against Women:

Male violence against women is a real problem in our culture, one the church must address. Our responsibility here is not simply at the level of social justice but at the level of ecclesical justice as well.

We must teach from our pulpits, our Sunday school classes, and our Vacation Bible Schools that women are to be cherished, honored, and protected by men. …

Church discipline against wife-beaters must be clear and consistent. We must stand with women against predatory men in all areas of abandonment, divorce, and neglect. We must train up men, through godly mentoring as well as through biblical instruction, who will know that the model of a husband is a man who crucifies his selfish materialism, his libidinal fantasies, and his wrathful temper tantrums in order to care lovingly for a wife. …

In the public arena, Christians as citizens should be the most insistent on legal protections for women. …

An abusive man is not an over-enthusiastic complementarian. He is not a complementarian at all. He is a pathetic aping perversion of Adamic leadership. He rejects male headship because he rejects his role as provider and protector.

As the culture grows more violent, more consumerist, more sexualized and more misogynistic, the answer is not a church more attenuated to the ambient culture …. Instead, the answer is a truly counter-cultural church, a church that calls men to account for leadership, a leadership that cherishes and protects women and girls.

Read the full post by clicking here.

At The Resurgence, Justin Holcomb wrote A hard look at violence against women:

The Bible teaches us that because of sin, suffering and violence entered the world. One expression of sin which is seen throughout Scripture and human history is the pervasive male domination of and violence against women. Here are some of the numerous ways that women around the world continue to experience violence and oppression.

After laying out in frank terms the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, rape in warfare, female genital mutilation, and girl soldiers, he concludes:

Jesus cares for the oppressed

Male domination over and exploitation of women, in any form, should be resisted because it is evil. God calls his people to stand with the vulnerable and powerless and to resist those who use their power to oppress and harm others. While this is taught throughout the Bible, we see it most clearly in the ministry of Jesus, who gave special care to women and children.

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he stood up in the synagogue at Nazareth and declared that these words of Isaiah were fulfilled in him:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:17

In making this declaration and in his ministry Jesus showed that bringing freedom for captives and relief to the poor and oppressed is at the very center of his mission. His ultimate act of liberation was his sinless life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection, which set his people free from slavery to sin and death. Yet his teaching and his example show us that the good news of Christ’s saving work should be accompanied by tangible love, service, and mercy toward our neighbors if the gospel message is to be recognized in its full power.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Our Get Involved page lists a number of organizations that can help you make a difference in fighting injustice and oppression that targets women. To find a ministry partner who can help you, click here.

You also might be interested in one or more of these resources:

Violence Against Women: Myths, Facts, Controversies

Sourcebook on Violence Against Women

Sourcebook on Violence Against Women

‘Pay well, provide benefits, invest in lives’

Chris Horst reports for CT’s This Is Our City:

Sandwiched between rail lines and a tire depot, the Blender Products factory hides in a quiet neighborhood in Denver. The nondescript warehouse looks from the outside as nondescript as most warehouses do. But the way Steve Hill and Jim Howey lead inside the building is unusual in an industry known for top-down hierarchies of management.

“The metal fabrication business is extremely cutthroat,” says Hill. “Workers are given a singular task, and maximum output is demanded. They’re simply a factor of production. As a general rule, they have no access to management. There is very little crossover between guys on the floor and guys in the offices.”

Hill and Howey aim to subvert the us-versus-them mentality. Many days they walk the shop floor, engaging their workers as peers. Employees on the floor are treated as importantly as the managers, undermining the adversarial culture simmering in many manufacturing businesses.

“The company has tried to abide by a simple philosophy concerning our employees,” Steve said. “Pay them well, provide great benefits, and invest in lives. . . . The guys in our shop . . . know that I’m a human too. I have many of the same struggles they do. Showing humanness to people is key to disarming those stereotypes.”

Extraordinary moments of God’s grace abound. One longstanding Blender employee endured a season of family crisis. In that moment, he turned to those closest to him for support, prayer, and care. For him, those people were his colleagues. He openly shared his pain and his managers prayed for him and helped him find his footing. Baptized soon thereafter, the employee’s tragedy has been redeemed, forever changing the trajectory of his life.

Read the full article by clicking here.

About the article, Owen Strachan writes:

Christians who believe in the rightness of the free market nonetheless must also … care about workers, people, those whom God has invested with meaning and purpose and talent. The Blender Products leaders, Steve Hill and Jim Howey, clearly get that. It’s beautiful to read their story along these lines.

… The best program of social uplift I know of is one that involves marriage, hard work, and earning money, and there should be absolutely no shame in such things (contra what we are encouraged to feel today). But the Bible seems to be pretty clear about the need to be fair and even kind to others who need to earn money (see 1 Timothy 5:18).

In fact, let’s sharpen the point: Christian employers should be widely known for how well they treat their employees. Failure on this point is not a small matter. In the broader world and the political-cultural realm, we should be known not only for our belief in meaningful work and money-earning, but for our advocacy on behalf of the weak, including employees who are mistreated and who need appropriate representation.

The image of God means we can work, create, be entrepreneurs, be day laborers, be manufacturers, homemakers, bosses, ad consultants, teachers, and so much more. The gospel creates a love for such work in Jesus’s name, and a desire to bring others to the flourishing and spiritual life they can never find outside of the workplace of God, the kingdom of Christ.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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