The U.K.’s Independent has an interesting article on how a form of charismatic evangelical Christianity is taking a hold of London’s financial district. However, despite the rise in the number of believers, many are afraid to come out of the Christian closet. Here, for example, is what one 29-year-old mergers and acquisitions executive has to say:

“I did a course called Christianity Explored in 2006. It’s basically Alpha without the [speaking in] tongues. One of the guys on my desk asked me to go along to a service at St Helen’s Bishopsgate on a Tuesday lunchtime. I did and now I’m a regular. We get hundreds of people most weeks. Huge crowds on Sunday nights.”

“Do your colleagues know you’re a Christian?”

“Are you joking? Of course not. It’d make things very difficult. The City isn’t immoral any more, it’s amoral. But if my boss thought I was relying on prayer to get me through the day, he’d look down on me. It would make me seem irrational. I tell him I’m going to physio when I go to church.”

“Is it tough to be a Christian and not tell anyone?”

“It’s sometimes very tough. When you have to entertain clients and they want to go to strip clubs or whatever, it can be awkward. That’s why Christianity Explored is so great, because you go there and there are others facing the same dilemmas. You can support each other through it.”

While I can understand the pressure the young believers in London’s financial district must face, I can’t say that I’m all that sympathetic to those who are ashamed of the Gospel. But it appears to be a common problem in London’s equivalent of Wall Street:

Eve Poole is a theologian who teaches business ethics on the MBA programme at Ashridge Business School. Describing herself as a “totally paid-up God squadder”, Poole worked at Deloitte Consulting before completing her doctorate on capitalism and Christianity at Cambridge last year. She is full of strong faith, yet with none of the smugness that sometimes seeps from believers. I tell her about my interviews with City Christians, how the younger among them find it difficult to combine their faith with their jobs.

“It’s often harder for young people to come out as Christians than it would be for them to come out as gay,” she says. “Because of the vocal atheists – Dawkins and so on – people think your judgement is impaired if you say you’re Christian at work. The problem of serving two masters is at the heart of it. There’s a worry that Christians are up to something, that they’re loyal to something other than the firm.”

The choice is clear, and there is no exemption for investment bankers: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

(Via: )

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