“What Ever Happened to Loyalty?”

By B. G. Hope

The above heading is the title of an article by Edward H. Weiss, Chairman, Edward H. Weiss and Company, Chicago, Ill. The article appeared in Advertising Age, July 17, 1972. I want to quote some excerpts from the writing and then make some observations.

“We have lost most of our traditional loyalties. . . . Everywhere we turn we are confronted with this breakdown-not merely in the market place, but in the family, the college, the church, the very seats of government.”

The author attributed this condition to the rapid change that has taken place and asked: “How can you be loyal to something that keeps changing all the time? … How can you feel you belong to something that keeps changing every year or so? . . . Loyalty pales and dies under such hectic conditions. Business has a tendency to say: ‘Let’s hire two young men to replace the 60 year old man we are firing…. Labor has a tendency to say,’ Let’s goof off for the afternoon-who cares if we are doing a sloppy job?’ . . . Everything seems temporary, tentative, short-viewed, expedient. What is there left to feel loyal to or about? . . . Hardly any manufacturer can rely upon a stable group of customers to stay with him year after year…. When this bond of loyalty is broken, the whole industrial enterprise is shaken to its roots. Products are defective and no one seems to care too much or too soon. Services are perfunctory or worse and no one seems to care too much. Companies dissolve. . . Old valued employees lose their jobs over night … And no one seems to care.” Mr. Weiss said: “What all have failed to grasp I think is that loyalty is a two way st;eet. It must be rooted in mutual trust or it is nothing…. If the workman is to be worthy of his hire, then the employee must play fair – with him, with his products, with his customers. No one must expect more loyalty than he is willing to give.”

Christianity and Loyalty

Loyalty is a virtue of Christianity. The “golden rule” demands it. The Christian who is an employer must treat his employee as he would wish to be treated. The employee who is a Christian must treat his employer in the same manner.

Family ties demand loyalty of a Christian. There is the husband-wife relationship, the parent-child relationship and then the child-child relationship. If one member of the family suffers all suffer.

Citizenship demands the loyalty of a Christian. There is only one exception to this demand – a conflict between government demands and that of the Lord. True citizens deplored the behavior of some athletes at the Olympics when they were disrespectful toward the flag. As long as schools stand for principles upon which they were founded a Christian must be loyal. Our educational system has the responsibility of standing for principles to which, Christians can be loyal.

Church membership demands loyalty. Older people need to be loyal to the young. That loyalty demands proper teaching and wholesome opportunities. The younger need to feel loyal to the older – those who have made a congregation what it is. Sometimes there is a movement to discard old elders who may be cautious but to whom the very existence is indebted. There should be some way to be loyal to old soldiers of the cross and yet considerate of the younger. Both are needed in the church – neither ought to be ignored. Additions could be made to an eldership without disrespecting the old bishops. Loyalty should be shown as an expression of appreciation.

Friendship in Christianity demands loyalty. “A friend sticketh closer than a brother.” Such an one deserves loyalty. He who has been the recipient of the deeds of a friend will never forget him. He will be loyal to that friend. Sometimes a friend is discarded when he is no longer needed.

The church has the responsibility of promoting Christianity. Christianity is made up of principles taught in the Bible. To expect loyalty, the leaders of a congregation must stand for these principles – must give the members something to be loyal to. Loyalty is essential. Most church members are looking for divine guidance and all the innovations will have a tendency for members to feel that there is no absolute truth – thus that attitude will develop a willingness to change the church to suit the times. As long as we heard the teaching, “Speak as the oracles of God,” we had something to which to be loyal.

Truth Magazine, XVIII:2, p. 2
November 8, 1973