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When Your Religion and Your Profession Puts You at a Crossroads, What do you do?

Some years ago I heard someone ask; you're a Christian brother and you've been unemployed for the last four years. Eventually you get a job, some might even call it a dream job, with a brewery. Your religion strongly preaches against alchohol and those are the tenets you live by. Would you turn down the job and keep searching or take the job? 

I asked this question in the very early days of the blog but we were much fewer then, so there were very few responses. I've never quite figured out how one should act in this situation. I thought about it again a few days ago while talking with a blog reader. She was sharing with me the severe difficulties she faced some years ago as a result of unemployment. At some point someone offered to get her a job as a waitress in a club and she turned it down. Her faith and principles being the reason.

I found it very laudable but still the question nagged. 

What do you do when you're torn between your religion and your (potential/possible/prospective) profession?

Here's another scenario.  My friend *Adesuwa once nearly lost her job because she (with her boss and a few colleagues) was meant to join some of her company's clients for a relaxing evening out in town. This involved going for dinner and drinks at a restaurant, and then eventually a night club. You know how some companies love to wine and dine some of their clients... Adesuwa is a Christian who believes that Christians have no business being in certain gatherings, she therefore didn't show up. She knew what her actions might cause her but it didn't undeter her. 
      Thankfully she was only queried and allowed to keep her job. It was an issue of debate among my friends and I; was she simply being foolish and foolhardy or did she act as a good Christian would, after all the Bible asks that we be not unequally yoked?

What's your take on this? Would you take a job that goes against the tenets of your religion? Will you as a good Christian refuse to work in well paying (multinationals like Guinness or British American Tobacco) even if it means staying broke and unemployed? Would you shun the orders of your Superiors if you feel they go against your religious beliefs and dictates (of course if they're asking you to defraud or sleep with a client then you most definitely should not, unless you want to. These I think have more to do with good morals than religion/faith)?

What would you do if you find yourself in this situation. 

And speaking of British American Tobacco, I have a very religious friend who works there. Does this make him less of a Christian? 

Please share your thoughts. 


  1. I'm waiting for comments.
    I am not a very good Christian right now but I'll be..I plead with God everyday for it.Started the journey already .👆

  2. For me I will use morals as a parameter and not religion. If it goes against my values and morals then I wouldn't do it. I'm not a religious person.

    1. GBAM!!!
      It's about my bible trained conscience NOT religious doctrines.
      Even with no spiritual leader, I can still read the bible & understand.

      So I'll live by the bibles principles, laws & commandments when seeking a job.
      Based on this, I won't work in a tobacco company or abortion clinic & yeah, I'll rather be broke & unemployed. That's likely gonna be the case cos I can do menial jobs to survive.

      Back to reading all the posts I missed since yesterday morning. So Hilarious!!!

    2. Ernmm Ruth, did your own bible say anything about tobacco smoking/company?

      I'm curious.... Please I'd like a reply

  3. Sometimes you won't know how to react to things like this till it happens to you
    But if you want to look at it from the bible,you are not to be unequally yolked no matter what
    But as a human being,I will work in places like BAT n Guinness and it won't make me less of a Christian cos I won't neccessary have to drink if I dnt drink just cos I work there so I dnt see your frnd as less of a Christian for working there
    People that know more shuld shed light pls,I really want to know better too

  4. T,like u reading my mind, I had the same discussion last week with my cousin who is a strong catholic,he actually works with the brewery in Lagos, he goes to bars at night to monitor his surbodinate's progress in sales( he is actually a sales manager) and he told me certain stuffs about as long as he isn't taking it and all and m like dude but u promoting this thing?. Back to my own ish,I have actually turned down Club and hotel Jobs on the island just because I believe they are against my religion and am like yy wud i be in such an environment though even before I got close to GOD, I never used to like clubbing or drinking, wasn't just my thing as a person. So back to ur question, I wudnt work in any of the above stated environment no matter the millions I wud b paid except I am no longer in Christ,though I am not where I want to be in the race of Christianity but I am close by the grace of GOD.

    1. Please I'm a christian Mabel. Devoted and working on my faith and if you get a job DAT pays you 'the millions' but you reject it cos its alcohol related. Please refer me, e-hugs hun.

    2. No p Uyi. I will let u know

    3. Lol@Uyi. Sharp guy. Seriously it's based more on morals. That u work in a brewery doesn't make u a drunk or smoker biko.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Sincerely, there are places I can't be found working. Places like a bar or club. What happens when a customer tries to touch you anyhow and as we know, the customers are always right. So I can't work there. As for the breweries and tobacco company....hmmmm. Breweries maybe but tobacco...naahhh I won't .

  7. Please is smoking, drinking and clubbing a sin? If Yes, please back up your answers with scriptures.

    1. Thank YOU Anonymous! THANK YOU...
      I second this, back up with the scriptures...
      I can't wait

  8. I'm so catholic and proud...


  9. I personally don't mind working in such companies like BAT or Breweries. This doesn't make you a drunk or a smoker, its a job that pays and God expects you to pay your tithe as a devoted Christian, just like Anonymous said, back up with scriptures.. Lets call a spade a sapde why would such companies exit though?????????

  10. So many puzzles I am yet to unravel ....

    A cognate one goes thus -

    Is killing for self-defence permitted/allowed or tolerated by God?

    Keep in mind these two verses:
    Mark 8:35 - For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
    Exodus 20:13 - You shall not murder

    Does a Christian soldier in the war-front who kills and gets killed go to Hell?
    Can there ever be a truly Christian President since most Presidents are also supreme commanders of the nation's armies?

    To the article and the questions at hand, first, I don't feel that working in a brewery or tobacco industry is a sin. There isn't any scripture to the best of my knowledge that is against these acts. I'd agree that these acts (drinking, smoking) are not 'laudable' or 'highly regarded' in some elite circles but it doesn't mean that these activities are intrinsically bad or corrupting. It is only excessive indulgence in these activities that is corrupting. Now, tell me which activity that excessive indulgence in it isn't. Smoking I feel was invented to keep oneself warm. If it is used for other purposes regarded as sinful, we should attack those motives and not the total act (should we throw away the bath water and the child?)

    I strongly feel that most churches that frown at these activities do so to create a visible distinction between Christians and non-Christians. They sometimes overlook that Christianity is primarily a personal thing and a matter of the heart. In the same vein that churches would often preach against singing all secular songs, while neglecting the fact that some secular songs aren't anti-Christian.

    So, yes I would work in a Guinness and BAT and even aspire to managerial roles. Most of their products come with warnings, 'Drink Rsponsibly', 'Smokers are liable to die young'. What more does one want.

    If my prospective job goes against my religion, I would reject such. This is because my religion - Christianity, is more than my religion. Better put, it is my identity and lifestyle. So if a job needs me to engage in pre-marital/extra-marital sexual activities, stealing, corrupt practices etc, my response wil be 'To Hell with the job with its benefits'.

    1. You made a lot of sense all through but I think your last paragraph needs rephrasing/paraphrasing (whatever). People who work to earn a living and don't necessarily indulge in the promotion of sinful acts (like getting drunk or smoking excessively) are kind of on the safe side, but then you said "...a job needs me to engage in pre-marital/extra-marital sexual activities, stealing, corrupt practices...To hell with (it)...". Actually, that's easy, hitting the nail right at the crown of the head. What about jobs that actually promote pre-marital sex (Hotel/Motel services), stealing/corrupt practices (like low funded NGOs), would you still go for them?

      I think accepting jobs that don't affect your scriptural trained conscience as Ruthy stated is good enough. During the days of the first Apostles, Christians had access to just the Torah; they lacked organised/written access to the New Testament and lived majorly through Faith, Hope, and Love. We're fortunate to have the Holy Bible and Holy Quran guide us accordingly but every tenet of our lives cannot be written to guide us. Our conscience is paramount in such circumstances. So, as a believer (and I mean believers who aren't pressured by the need to lower standards) do what your conscience tells you. You can chose (not) to work in a Brewery, Tobacco Company, Hotel, Motel, Brothel (hmm..), Weapons Manufacturing CO., Cannabis farm (hmm..), etc. Let your conscience judge you because that's where GOD signals you at first. Stay blessed.

    2. I believe working in an hotel/Motel isn't against my religion/lifestyle/scruple despite my knowledge that it serves as a meeting point for pre-marital and extra marital sexual activities. Hotels/Motels offer a number of services which arguably some of them are Godly services. Now, working in a brothel might be one that goes against my scruple and religion.

      Weapons manufacturing company, Gun making companies is still a knotty issue for me and one that I am yet to unravel like I referenced in the introductory statement of my earlier comment.

      I tend to ascribe my conscience or scruple to the important aspect of my life, which are my personal values and religion or spirituality hence I try to ensure that all these work in harmony in my life.

    3. This principle guides me as according to the scriptures.
      Colossians 1:27 NLT
      1 John 4:4 KJV


  11. Well, Jesus dined with sinners, doesn't make him a sinner. I can work in these places you mentioned and still be spotless without a sin. But if my working there affects my Christian work, then there's a problem, you know how things like this influence one negatively.

    What does the bible have to say about partying and drinking? 1 Peter 4:3 says "For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of
    the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries" Another translation describes banqueting as wild parties.

  12. I'd love to work with Diageo but I don't drink. Not because I am Muslim but because I've never been interested in alcohol. I should be able to market my company's products. How will I do that since I know nothing about alcohol? For me, it's about your values. I will not have sex for a job or a raise. I will not swap candidates' names because my boss wants me too. I have reached a stage in my life where my values takes precedence. If Diageo offers me a job inspite of teetotal nature; I'll take it.


  13. I purposely waited till today to respond to my question of yesterday ( Please is smoking, drinking and clubbing a sin? If Yes, please back up your answers with scriptures), so as to give people enough time to answer and yet, i did not get even one answer stating that smoking, drinking and clubbing are sins backed with scriptures. Ruth, Mabel and Ko, please dont let a good job pass you by just because you think the product or the services of such companies is/are sin(s) that can't even be alluded as sin the bible.
    So does it mean if rapture takes places right now, everyone that works in places like BAT, Guinness, Nigerian Breweries, Hotels and ko will go to hell, just because of their place of work? What happens to a few people in there that are chaste and have consciously done the will of God and serve God in all righteousness? Do i need to remind you people that the first miracle performed by Jesus was turning water into wine( there is no version of the bible that has been able to categorically state if this wine was alcoholic or non-alcoholic). Biko, let's be very rational in our thinking and not use our own hand to bring about our undoing ( e.g praying to God for a good job, and he gives you a job @ BAT where they produce cigarettes, and you turn it down, and years after you are wallowing in penury as a result of joblessness, and you still continue to pray to God for a good job day in day out, when he has long answered your prayers).
    Biko lets be more rational and spiritual rather than being religious.
    Come to think of it, Most things if not done in moderation is bad, DISCIPLINE is the watch word.
    I am so working for BAT, GUINNESS, FIVE STAR HOTELS e.t.c so long as the pay is good and their products and services do not have to make me to compromise my belief and Values. Lets remember, that for the fact that most Hotels are now places for sex, does not mean that is their primary aim, most hotels to the best of my knowledge are created for hospitality ( for frequent travellers), rentage of their halls for meetings and occasions and even church activities sef ( Will everybody in this kind of church go to hell, because they have not yet moved to their permanent site, hence their church activities are being done in a hotel?), and romantic get aways for couples and their families, e.t.c.

  14. my faith (and beliefs) is at the very core of who i am. i don't i can perform in an environment that conflicts my faith. when i have problems at work, what will i pray to God? to help me solve the problem at work, so i can continue to work smoothly for a cause that is against my conscience? how do i lift my hands up to God in prayer?
    i acknowledge that life can be very complex, and we can sometimes sit on our high horse and say this is what should be done, and here's the correct way to act when we are not in the situation ourselves. But I also know God help's those who help themselves.
    I was very desperate for a job some years ago. I'd applied to many companies and hadn't gotten a job, out of sheer desperation, i did something i thought i'd never do - i applied to a tobacco company. whilst waiting for a response, my conscience was not clear. eventually, their response came. Thank God they didn't take me. If they had, i feel i would never have been settled in that role. i dont even know if i would have gotten myself to start.
    All i can say is we should be in tune with the Spirit of God. Where our wisdom and discernment ends, His Grace would see us through.

  15. I have another dimension to this:you couldn't work in a tobacco or alcohol manufacturing company nor could you work in hotels and clubs but....
    *you are a banker and service the accounts of these companies or those of their employees
    *you offer legal, insurance, stock brokerage or other services to these companies or their employees
    *you are a teacher and you teach the children of the employees of these companies
    *you are a pastor and collect offerings and tithes from employees of these companies
    *you, at one point or the other, seek financial aid from those who work there
    *you sell things and the employees of these companies are part of your patrons
    what do these make you?

    Back to the question, I can work anywhere, as long as the place and my work schedule do not condone indecency. An exception would be a strip club and maybe very few places where moral decadence is the order of the day.


    1. "An exception would be a strip club and maybe very few places where moral decadence is the order of the day" soooo? you're still contradicting yourself IMO. If you have this mindset then you should be able to work anywhere! Stripers too go to church, have bank accounts... et al.

      Meanwhile... all you stated up there still doesn't add up or prove anything or justify anyone's decision to (not) work in the companies mentioned above. Anyway... being a christian is more of a relationship than it is a religion. So do whatever you think is right... cuz in the end... you don't answer to any pastor or doctrine... You answer to God.


    2. Wow!

      This your 'other' dimension presents a nerve-wracking scenario. Still, you raise very important related issues that are true.

      I gave further thought to this issue and somehow the complexities associated with the alcohol and tobacco industry can not be isolated to them alone as the inter-connectedness of business in the 21st century means at a point in time one would have these 'questionable industries' as clients, business partners, contractors etc.

      Also industries we think are 'blameless' still somehow have their sins. For instance, extractive industries like the Oil industry has been the major cause of some of the wars fought in recent decades. Most religiions don't support wars. Am I going to reject a job offer in the Oil Industry? Of course no.

      I feel a good mix of discretion, wisdom, good morals, a laudable value system and of course a good understanding of the tenets of one's religion are key to unravelling this issue.

      One underlying truth is that whatever activity we choose, one should ensure that the direct consequence of such activity is 'good and godly'. Almost every activity (either good or bad) always has a 'bad side'.

    3. "One underlying truth is that whatever activity we choose, one should ensure that the direct consequence of such activity is 'good and godly'"...

      I just can't! like I said.. just do what you think is right...(but err... there's a way that seemeth right to a man......)

    4. Chrisyinks, I always respect your comments.


  16. There are so many sides to this argument. I think that we should all do what our conscience permits within reason.

    1. But your sister thinks otherwise with her counter comment against F. What do you think about that? Lol! Go and talk to her oo

    2. Lol... my comment doesn't contradict her comment/opinion. I just chose not to get into the debate.

      Plus, she's a grown woman, talking to her won't make a difference

  17. Before independence, Nigerians weren't this gullible to religion. Even 20years after we weren't all " Go to church or go to hell"... Not until failed leaderships, that we eventually seeked for refuge in no other place but in churches. Oh, and some bright minds saw the potentials of venturing solo (esp. With the population of undecided youths then who needed direction since the government couldn't) and took full advantage. So here we are today in our dearly beloved nation again, realizing, still no where else to go but to fight for a better government and nation.

    This is where we are now ... Lol

  18. I came late to this party. From all the arguments put forward, I believe we should go with our conscience.

    Gluttony is 1 of the seven deadly sins. Why is it that we don't frown at those that work in fast foods and why do some people not see eating as a sin just as we see taking alcohol. Just saying J

  19. Well I work for BAT. I'm almost a year with them and I must say I had to work on my conscience, asked lots of religious and moral questions to justify accepting the offer. In the end I must say I wasn't thoroughly convinced about my choice but I accepted anyway and I must say it has been one of my best choices so far.

    I've met wonderful people, who surprisingly are very God fearing. Working here has been a wonderful experience (asides the 'thief' salary I'm being paid).

    What ive realized is that people will indulge in whatever vice they deem fit at various stages in their lives, and would go through any means to have their whims satisfied. People will go as far as cultivating their own plants in their backyards just so the can get steady supply of whatever it is they've planted.

  20. Follow your heart. Thats all.
    @Anon 12.43. Please i want to work for BAT. I could even be your P.A. Help a sister in need.


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