By Mark Ellis, Special to ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS – October 12, 2015) — She would like to be the first woman president of the United States and is openly challenging Hillary Clinton for that honor. For many years she thought of God as a benevolent ‘super CEO’ and the resurrection of Jesus as allegorical, until a prominent pastor prodded her to embrace a deeper faith.
“When I was a child and into young adulthood I believed in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ,” Carly Fiorina told a conference arranged by Opportunity International (OI) last year.
Raised Episcopalian, her father was a prominent law professor who became a deputy U.S. attorney general and later, a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals. Her mother was an abstract painter, which may explain her precision-oriented, steel-trap mind and the artistic sensibilities of her makeup.
Growing up, Fiorina attended five different high schools, studied philosophy and medieval history at Stanford, then worked as a secretary and receptionist at various firms until her spectacular rise through the ranks of AT&T, Lucent, and Hewlett-Packard.
As the focus on her career gained ascendancy, she drifted from the simple faith of her childhood.
“I still prayed every day,” she told the summit arranged by OI. “I still knew our souls didn’t die, that this isn’t the end. I had faith that good would triumph over evil and we do reap what we sow,” she maintained.
She viewed God through a business prism, as a benevolent executive. “I had come to view God as a super CEO of a big enterprise. He had created the universe. He had put in place quite a sophisticated set of management processes and those processes kept things running, not necessarily smoothly every day, but basically in the direction he intended over the long arc of time.”
The God she envisioned, however, was not very personal. “He didn’t attend to every detail. He didn’t know every person; how could he possibly? But he did somehow receive regular management reports that directed him to the strategic issues that required his attention or intervention,” she noted.
Her view of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith was unorthodox. “The virgin birth, the resurrection, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit – these were powerful allegories that drew people toward the right idea,” she thought.
“They were profound ideas at the heart of a sophisticated governance system, but I wasn’t really sure they were real any more.”
An invitation and a prayer
But her uncongealed faith was challenged after she received a phone call and invitation from Bill Hybels, the founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, to speak at his global leadership summit.
It seems Hybels had read Fiorina’s book, “Tough Choices,” and used it as a management and leadership-training guide for his team.
Fiorina accepted Hybel’s invitation, but was “a little nervous” about speaking at a religious-oriented venue. “I had been charging hard in the corporate world for quite a long time so I didn’t usually speak in that kind of setting,” she noted.
Fiorina met with Hybels in his office ahead of their interview and Hybels asked if he could pray with her.
Photo captions. Pastor Bill Hybels. 2) Carly and Frank.
About the writer: Mark Ellis is senior correspondent for the ASSIST News Service and also the founder of www.Godreports.com , a website that shares stories, testimonies and videos from the church around the world to build interest and involvement in world missions.
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