Should I Shut Up About Jesus?

3 Reasons Why I Don’t Hide My Faith

Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about the true secret of my success in business – Jesus Christ. It’s one of the most popular posts on my blog. In that post, I explained that I would no longer separate my business life from my faith life.

Ray Edwards Shut Up About Jesus

I wrote another post about the 7 Mountains of Culture. It’s about how followers of Jesus should aspire to places of influence in those areas. Again, this is one of the most visited posts on my blog.

I feared that my blog and business would suffer as a result of this “mixing” of the sacred and the “secular”. That was not the case – the opposite was true. Those who did not want to hear about God went their way – they didn’t stick around.

But recently, my blog has grown in readership, and my podcast audience has blossomed. And a new wave of criticism against me has arisen. The basic message: “Ray, shut up about Jesus, and stick to writing about marketing and business.”

Sometimes these criticisms are “colorful”, and emotional. Even hateful. One person called me “an old, white, Jesus-y man in a suit”.

A “friend” in the online business world wrote about me, and called me “one of the prosperity gospel a—holes.” Attacks like this never cause me to reconsider my position. They are not based on reason, but rather on anger and bitterness. These people I pray for and immediately forgive.

Some of my critics are more reasonable. Their logic makes a certain amount of sense. These I consider. I have learned enough humility to be open to the possibility that my critics are right. I can learn from constructive criticism. Here are a couple of examples:

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What about these criticisms (and others like them)? What about Christian brothers and sisters who have criticism for me? Some suggest that I could reach more people for Christ if I were more “covert” in my “ministry”. Are they right?

I don’t think so.

After careful consideration, I have decided to stick with my “faith forward” approach. Here are 3 reasons I do not hide my faith:

  1. The Lord himself gave me this assignment. I’ve told my story elsewhere, so I won’t recount it here. I heard from God that he has enough “pastors in pulpits”. What he needs are more “ministers in the marketplace”. I’m assigned to empower believers and teach them to prosper with purpose. That mission has not changed.
  2. My mission is not the mission of all Christian business people. There is a place for business people who are less “faith forward” or even “covert” believers. I don’t believe most believers should have the same kind of ministry as me. A friend once described what I do as “a ministry disguised as a business”. It may be more accurate to say I have a ministry that functions through the vehicle of my business.
  3. My blog, podcast, and teachings appeal to nonbelievers, not just Christians. I believe this is because I don’t exclude anyone. I don’t mandate that my readers and listeners share my beliefs. I don’t try to change their minds. I am open about what I believe, and how it plays out in my business – but I don’t condemn those with other beliefs who come under my tent. I love people, whether they are Christians or not. I don’t judge people who are different from me – even those who are on the opposite end of the belief spectrum. I want to help people with their businesses, regardless of their beliefs.

If you’re a Christian and an entrepreneur, I don’t assume you should take the same approach as me. You should do what God is leading you to do.

God has enough 'pastors in pulpits'. He's looking for ministers in the marketplace.Click To Tweet

So, if you’re hoping I’ll be less “Jesus-y”, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. That’s okay. Maybe I’m just not your “cup of tea”.

Question: Now that you’ve heard my rationale, what do you think? Have I reached the right conclusion? Or do you think I should shut up about Jesus? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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174 thoughts on “Should I Shut Up About Jesus?

  1. Hey Ray,

    I don’t think it is wrong to let your faith be known for sure, but with a great deal of discretion. Expectations play a big role in any event or medium. If the context is given to business, one needs to stay on topic. A rabbit trail into any other subject matter can feel like a loss of value to the audience. Faith and politics always risk alienating people who are not of the same opinion. For example, someone will always feel alienated with a speaker makes comment that is contrary to their own political views. Religion, as your examples showed, is charged with emotion and so negative emotion is always a risk.

    So my opinion is this: What expectations are you setting? If you are setting expectations of “faith and business,” you need to be clear about that for your audience. If it is business, then you need to be clear about it and stick to it. But you do not have to hide that you are a man of Christian faith. Be ready to give an answer when asked (1 Pet. 3:15)

    Rev. T

  2. God calls Christians to be active in ministry, love others and share the gospel. Thank you for unapologetically living out your God-given gifts through an impactful ministry to business owners.

  3. I personally was revived and excited to find Ray Edwards through a platform 48Days to the work you love by Dan Miller. When I first heard Ray share his faith through his webinar /video series on copyrighting, I was super excited as I had been praying for God to teach me copyrighting. What was even more exciting is he gave you enough information in the free videos to help you with the foundation of your writing using the word P.A.S.T.O.R. Anyone who knows me personally knows I love acronyms and especially when it’s tied to the “Great Shepard”. I haven’t taken advantage of all his teachings as of yet and hope and pray for opportunities to partner with Ray and people like him in our professional services platform. He is the type of Professional I would love to showcase. May the Lord continually bless him according to Ephesians 3:20.

  4. I think You’re 100% correct with your approach to your business. Anyone who doesn’t want to read it should move on. God created us all differently. Therefore, we should have the freedom to express ourselves like no ‘other’. Ray, you do – You:)

  5. Ray, I hope to emulate your grace as I am just beginning an online business as a Christian. I tries to develop it as a business only, but Christ keeps getting in the way!! Lol. In my life He has preeminence and will keep it that way through all I do. Thank you, Ray.

  6. Hi not long ago I was at the bottom of a pit, by His grace He showed me how to climb up out of it, my spirit was quickened, “Take your ground back and be guarded.” He showed me what had happened over a period of time, and that was I was silencing His voice inside of me. He reminded me of Acts when Peter and some disciples stood before the council and were told not to talk about Jesus, they refused. I got a picture of what really happened to get me to be silent. I saw Goliath taunting, I let myself hide in fear, and am on the up and up now. Just want to say I am not only inspired by your blog, I am encouraged in my heart that He wants to bless me in the business I haven’t yet started, but will now. Thank you.

  7. Ray:
    I’m with you regarding the inclusion of Christ in your business.
    Christians need not be afraid, but rather should be bold about proclaiming Christ as Lord of their lives, whether or not is offensive to some.
    You are not trying to force anyone into your belief system and you should be proud to proclaim that you love the Lord. To those who are offended, that is their choice and their right…just as keeping Christ at the forefront of your business is yours.
    Be blessed!
    Ed Pettersen

  8. I just now found this by taking in one of your first video commentaries. The title caught my eye. Being a person of faith myself, but not as outgoing as Ray I was interested to see what he had to say and what others are saying. I salute Ray for “wearing” his principles for everyone to see. We all must remember that the reason for coming to Ray’s site is not to get religion, but to gain insight in how to make out businesses better. Regardless of one’s own religious leaning (if one has any or not) teaching business principles that fit within the context of christian teachings and application should do nothing to hinder a business if those principles are put to use. To the contrary, the application of such principles should enhance any given business and especially enhance the relationships developed because of those principles.

    Such application and activity does not necessarily lead to any religious adaptation or change in faiths, but I guess it could. What it should lead to is a personal change in the individual(s) involved and the business itself which should prove to be for the betterment of all. Those good core doctrines and principles should fit nicely within the good principles and doctrines found in any faith and they should prove to enhance those faiths. If there is anything good or of good report we should all seek after those things.

    I think Ray is trying in his way to show us all some principles that are good and of good report, regardless of where they are coming from, and giving them to us so we can apply them to our own betterment and to the betterment of our businesses. Take the good from wherever it comes.

  9. Ray:
    It is so refreshing to see someone bold about his faith in the marketplace. I have been working online for a couple of years and have met a lot of people. Some claiming to be Christian yet not being consistent with talk and walk.

    If you are getting criticism from folks for being to open then you are probably doing something right.

    I have been more bold about my faith in the online arena. Some love it. Some hate it. However, at least I am being real and transparent.

    My goal of course, is to glorify God and point others to Christ.

  10. Ray,
    Short answer: Please continue to share your faith along with your business advice! For me, hearing your position has bolstered my decision to include faith and business in my online and offline businesses. As I start a new online site and blog, I am encouraged to be clear as to who I am and whose I am; and I believe others looking for success in life – both business and spiritual – will agree!

    Thanks

  11. Ray,

    No matter what you do, someone will hate you for it, and expect you to become a reflection of what they are before accepting you. It’s impossible to please everyone.

    God has the final say in life. It’s His approval we must seek. If you have God’s approval, then you have all the support you need to thrive in whatever it is you’re called to do.

    Don’t worry about what the crowd thinks. You won’t be answering to people in the Day of Judgment. You will stand before God.

    Keep your eyes on Jesus, and follow His example wherever you go. You can’t go wrong in that.

    — Chris

  12. Amen, sir.
    I appreciate your approach.
    You’ll do fine without the hardcore unbelievers. As we used to say (in another application) in the Marines, “Let God sort ’em out!” 😀

  13. Ray,
    I went to a Seminar many years ago, that featured Dan Kennedy,Peter Lowe and Zig Ziglar. Before Zig spoke he told the audience at the end he would tell from where his power comes and said if anyone would be offended by a spiritual message they could leave before. I did not see anyone leave, but I was in the front. After he gave a witness and it was powerful, so much so there were lines of people to get his “witness tape” in the foyer after the event. I was a new Christian and got my tape and gave it to as many as would have it. Zig said please reproduce and give away. Ray keep on keeping on. Sorry about the Parkinsons, my sister lost her battle to that disease 2 years ago. They are making some great progress in the treatment thanks to the exposure gy M.Ali and M.J. Fox. Let me know if I can help you in any way as well I will pray for you.

  14. You are being a good example of a Christian. Being in the world but not of the world is who we are mandated to be. How you put your words together made me want to hear more. It added a measure of trust. My passion is to spark interest in the descendants of American Slaves. I share what I understand casually at church, at the grocery checkout, and anywhere I can strike up a little conversation. Being a Christian I appreciate your taking the “Go” admonition more seriously.

  15. Good word Ray! I love what you have to offer and I respect it 100 times more because I know your beliefs and principles align with my own faith. This helps me trust everything you put out that much more.

  16. Hi,

    I listen to your podcast regularly…but yes, the religious talk is a turn off for me. It’s hard for me to take anyone seriously in 2016 who still believes in Jesus. The jury isn’t out. We know the facts, the stories and fables that were shared for thousands of years before the bible. It’s fun to believe but you know the reality as well as I do. That’s okay if it gets you through the day, but from listening to you, I assume you’re smart enough to make it on your own without believing in “Jesus.” But as a business person, of course you should test this. Take out Jesus talk and see if it gets you more sales. Can you reach a larger audience? You wouldn’t ask the question if you didn’t think it could help your business. For me, I would be more inclined to purchase something from you if you weren’t sharing such silly spiritual thoughts…but it seems every other comment here likes your religious talk. So, if it makes you more money, go for it. I think in today’s world, it holds you back. You’d probably have a larger audience without the Jesus talk.

    I also think you should approve this comment as no one else has said yes, you should shut up about Jesus. I think these are all valid points and things to consider.

    Thank you,

    • (If you’re name is “Michael” who went off on a teenager-sized rant earlier, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along…)

      I find the opposite approach to be offensive. Nearly every guru in the personal improvement space uses a line like this: “God, the cosmos, y’know, whatever it is you believe”. Even when it makes perfect sense that they just said the word “God” in a sentence when they are discussing some deep spiritual matters, they have to balance the scales by tossing in a few generic terms so as to show their open-mindedness. Such a turn off to see experts I’m trying to learn from to be so shallow, thinking we’re all on the edge of our seats waiting to be offended.

      That’s why Ray is a breath of fresh air – if he says “Jesus” he doesn’t feel he has to add “or Buddha or a prophet or y’know whatever spiritual guide you have in your life”. Whether you are a Christian or not, I think we’d all agree it’s comforting to see a public figure actually stand firm to his beliefs.

  17. Go into all the world…..
    We shall proclaim His Name and His word.

    I had no idea, that I would be so happy to find a brother in the Lord, who just happens to be so great at what you do , Ray Edwards. God bless and I now pay very close attention to your work. I now give myself permission to learn from you…

  18. Ray, stumbling across you and your podcast have been a Godsend (notice the big G :-)) I have agonized over whether to be open about my faith and dependency of Christ also and although I have followed you in the past you have recently come into my view just when I needed to hear your podcast. Your insight both spiritually and business have truly open up my business world. I can’t thank your boldness enough. The whole preface of what I do is anchored in the wonderful creation that God has breath life into, how could I leave Him out??? I am now in the process of rebranding, redoing my website and listening to my creator. Thank you for your openness to share. May God continue to bless you and your endeavors.

  19. Ray,

    At my Mom’s funeral a couple weeks ago I picked up the Catholic prayer book and read the blurbs on the back cover–written by Pope Francis. The Pope was saying the Kingdom of God was ALREADY in our midst. I was inspired by that and wrote an article explaining why this is so, and how Jesus was involved. Here is the URL to that article:

    http://www.christinehoeflich.com/pope-francis-year-of-mercy-christs-mission-accomplished/

    I’d like your take on what I wrote and would like to know whether you agree, or disagree.

    The article is also on ConsciousLifeNews.com, although I had to take the word Jesus out of the title in order for it to be accepted there.

    http://consciouslifenews.com/pope-francis-kingdom-god-already-midst/11121512/

    (I left the rest of article pretty much as is…) I got some weird comments there, was well. (It seems the trolls come out of the woodwork to leave crazy comments.)

    I feel we need to advance the Jesus concept to today’s world, then I think many more will accept it as it will resonate with their heart and soul. I’d love to hear YOUR opinion.

    Christine

  20. Ray, I pray this note finds you doing well.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this story with us. I’m a new follower and love the direct yet gentle approach you took with this gentleman. I pray the Lord opens his heart to hear the truth of what you were presenting.

    Thanks for all you do.

    Do the next best thing you can do… and do it the best you can!

    Prayers & Blessings!

    Paul

    Paul Bishop
    http://www.pastorpaulbishop.com/
    (505) 688-8470

  21. This founding fathers did not use discretion in showing their Christian beliefs. They made it clear in speeches, and documents that they believed in God. Almost every monument in DC has the word ‘God’ on it. Many early settlers came to this country to establish freedom to believe and worship without a government telling them how, where and when they could pray. It amazes me that people call for discretion when it comes to saying you believe in Jesus, but have no problem with people loudly touting their sexual orientation. Personally I don’t want to hear about ANYONE’S sex life, or about women openly killing babies. I don’t hate anyone for those beliefs, but I do not condone or agree with the actions. But they will do what they want to, with or without my agreement. So I turn a deaf ear, or ‘change the channel’.

    Freedom of speech is not and should not be only available to atheists, agnostics, LGBTs, Muslims, Buddhists, Taoists, and people of other faiths. They have a right to their beliefs, but so do Christians. Many soldiers have died for freedom of speech and freedom of religion to be given to everyone in our country, including those of us who believe in Jesus. Ray has a constitutional right to say he loves Jesus. So do I. I believe Jesus blesses my life and my business. My life, my faith, and my business are not exclusive of each other. Part of being a Christian means not being ashamed of it. Nobody is asking you to change or to do anything. If you do not believe Jesus exists, that is your issue, not mine. So if our freedom of speech offends you, rather than complaining, just don’t listen or get over it!

    • Jean Fischer;

      Amen! You speak truths. The real point is sin. People are not only keeping the Bible and its truths from their hearts and minds but they do not want the Bible to tell them they are sinning in their every day lives. Even the pulpit preaches it’s okay to sin. How about the church that meets during ‘happy hour’ at the bar in order to ‘meet them at their level’ Sin is sin. There is a Biblical defense for everything we do. Right and Wrong – everything is gray now…

      Jesus said right will be wrong and so did Isaiah;

      “Woes unto them that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

  22. Ray,

    One of the biggest reasons that I listen to your podcast is because I know that there is integrity behind the messages.

    Praise God for giving you the strength to speak about our Lord Jesus.

    So many people mock Christianity or don’t realize that Faith in Jesus Christ, Yahweh The Father and The Holy Spirit – is what the founders of our country based all of their ( business, spiritual and governmental ) decisions on.

    Since the 1950’s Christianity has been forceably removed by our government’s elected officials and judges, the United States of America has back-slidden into a corner that we are going to have to fight ( using the Word ) our way out of.

    There is no other way – once you accept Him and live by the Book – which really is a manual for living and is not old – the Bible is alive, swift and sharp to the point.

    Thank you for your messages and for including Biblical values in each. One of the things I look forward to when listening to your podcast is Spiritual Foundations.

  23. Ray
    I totally agree with you. yes everyone is entitled to there opinion but if hearing about Jesus offends someone then you are truly living out your true life calling. I believe there are two kinds of people, (1) the ones really saved to live out the life of Jesus Christ ( the Truth) and those not yet there. Apparently this person is still listening so , he still has an opportunity to hear the Truth and then he will be set free…( of complaining etc….) if he chooses… I love your living out loud for Christ ( Matthew 6:33)… Blessings to you Ray, I love what you do , I have a lifetime access to your copy writing courses,teachings etc…

  24. Ray,

    Your faith is just that and you don’t really need to explain it. There are always going to be a few negative people on any subject and it is best to ignore them whenever possible. Nothing you say will change their minds or feelings. If they want your copy writing expertise, then they will stick around. If they don’t stick around, then their not part of your tribe.

    Follow your intuition and heart for they rarely lead you down the wrong path.

  25. Ray,

    I applaud your approach to a Christian based business. I have just begun to explore the internet business world and I feel God has led me here. I have no idea what it is He has planned for me but He has given me some inspiration through you. Thank you.

  26. Ray,

    Found this post today by accident, and it was exactly what I needed to hear!

    As a person of faith, my perspective is that most “secular” issues have spiritual causes, so I speak of those often. But if my goal is to communicate, I need to always speak those truths as kindly and gently as possible, remembering that people are unlikely to change if they feel affronted but may be persuaded to reconsider their assumptions when approached with respect.

    Your presentation is an excellent example of a man “giving an account for the hope that is in him” and “speaking the truth in love.”

    Thank you!

  27. “Question: Now that you’ve heard my rationale, what do you think? Have I reached the right conclusion? Or do you think I should shut up about Jesus?”

    Yes, you have reached the right conclusion. And no, you should not shut up about Jesus…..ever!

    Personally, I am so happy that the Lord led me to find you.

  28. Hey Ray,

    I applaud you in your unwavering faith and conviction in the calling God has for you in your life. As men and followers of Christ, and engaged in the marketplace, may we continue to raise the standard and reach out to empower and represent His kingdom.

    Towards Excellence,
    Vern

  29. It’s the way you “hint” or use the Word as an example that attracted me to continue reading your business “blogs”. I know God’s wisdom is not lost on teaching others. I thank you for doing business your way through Him.

  30. Life on this earth is so short in the scope of all eternity. Our faith in Jesus Christ is forever. That’s why it is preeminent above all other things in our lives. My mother (agnostic) was once offended by how many t-shirts I wore that proclaimed my faith. I asked her if she was offended by t-shirts evangelizing football teams or rockstars. Everyone has a message. I hope that my life displays the grace and love of Christ. By the way. This is the first post I have seen by you that addresses your faith. I am new to your posts/videos. Still, I always knew by the way that you carried yourself and the respect in your demeanor, that you were a lover of God. That’s a good place to be.

  31. Hey Ray,

    I want to commend you for showing us that you faith as abeliever in Jesus Christ is not separate from your life/work. The culture believes that faith has to be compartmentalized. That is a lie and it is not something that can be done. Even the secular world does not compartmentalize their beliefs! They bring their worldview into their work or business. Secularism is a worldview just like Christianity. When someone who is a Secularist approaches work or business, they bring their beliefs too. They cannot help it! As Christians, our beliefs make us who we are. They drive our decisions. They drive our thoughts. And they drive our actions.
    Your openness to show how Jesus leads is inspiring and those that oppose should realize that are no different in their approach even though they may not be Christian.

  32. Never, ever shut up about Jesus! He never shuts up about us because He intercedes for us all the time! So, from one Jesus freak to another, Keep on keepin’ on for Jesus! God bless.

  33. Believe it or not, I’ve never heard of you before now. I found an email and your subject line, “3 books that make you a better writer” intrigued me.

    I love that you are so comfortable in your faith that you share it with everyone. Knowing that you are a believer makes me want to read everything you’ve got to say. You’ve given God the credit for your success and I love it!

  34. Hi! Ray,
    Sorry for my English it is not my mother language.
    I support you, you made me open my mouth! In my view you are putting your feet in the right place don’t be afraid to be criticized, remember in our acts we should look to please God not humans. Be loyal to your faith and conscience. Jesus is God and was prosecuted, trust me, there are missing brave man on earth loyal to the faith that don’t close the mouth to share the faith in an open fashion like you do very well, even against winds and storms. Every man is a really unique, complex world and loved by God, sometimes we need to be wise, read the next one between the lines to get the full picture. We answer the adversity and misunderstanding with patience and forgiveness, who needs to change is never the next one but always ourselves. Our way is a way of perseverance, loyalty, humbleness and charity. Writings of the saints inspire us like Luisa Picarretta. You may find http://luisapiccarreta.me/divine-will-volumes/volume-1-2 . I share they were a very big shift in my spiritual life, dare to look for God will, not our will; the root of all evil according to it, read the consecration vol 36 Peace be with you. Miguel Gavinhos, Catholic, Lisbon, Portugal.

  35. I say always follow what God is leading you to do. This is the ministry He has given you and He has it all under control. You are walking in love as He has commanded us to do. I will not be at all surprised at the number of non believers who are drawn to Jesus as they see how He blesses your obedience. Continue your striving for excellence, bringing glory to His name.

    As this world continues to grow darker, His light shining on you and through you will point others to Him.

    Blessings,

    Muriel

  36. Matthew 10:32 (AMP)
    “Therefore, the one who confesses and acknowledges Me before men [as Lord and Savior, affirming a state of oneness with Me], that one I will also confess and acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven.”

    Thank you Ray.
    God Bless you.

  37. Hi Ray,

    I just came across your name and site yesterday, and then this post caught my eye today. Since I have yet to really dig into the merits of any of your teachings, I can say this as a complete stranger to you: Don’t change who you are or your desire to be faith forward. I say this as more of a non-believer or agnostic than anything else, even though I was raised in a church with my parents.

    Look at the success that Dave Ramsey has had who also puts his faith out there for all to see. Stay strong in your beliefs, especially your faith. Quite honestly, the world needs more people like that right now. I look forward to diving into your content.

    Regards,
    Wes

  38. As I understand, if we are ashamed to acknowledge Jesus during our moral life, he will be reluctant to acknowledge us when we enter eternal life. I’m very pleased to involve him in my business life.

  39. You should keep the Beacon of your faith (Jesus Christ). He is the source of grace and life. One can’t separate business from faith. You must be congratulate for the courage to speaking up. God bless.