The Lie About the Secular

November 23, 2010

Tuesday Re-mix –

I recently enjoyed the privilege of traveling with 10 friends to South Africa to teach in churches there.  A couple of months prior to the trip, I began to pray for our team as we all made preparations for how we anticipated God would use us there.  It struck me that this was the first time I had prayed for some of these friends.  I hate that observation…because it is yet another way our culture’s great divide between the secular and the sacred has influenced me.  I prayed for them then because they were going to do something Spiritual…as if what they do otherwise is not sacred or Spiritual at all.  I am bothered by that.

Mark Greene, the Executive Director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, talks about this cultural disconnect between the sacred and the secular:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzKCiHk5Uvc&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

I have often observed that lay leaders in the church are often more aware of this divide than clergy, because we move so freely back and forth between the “church” world and the rest of the world.  But Greene describes the belief in this divide as being pervasive, and I agree.  We are all to blame for furthering it.  Even the culture within the church furthers the divide.  We are making a mistake in that regard, and I believe it has had some devastating effects on the church and its testimony.

If we as Christians are truly to offer ourselves as “living, holy sacrifices, acceptable to God”, then we must begin to see that every moment of our day and night is an opportunity to glorify Him in how we think and act.  Everything we do, whether “for the church” or for our business or for our entertainment or for our education, everything is sacred.

How much energy do you think we expend trying to hold up the wall between the “secular” and the “sacred”?  How much tension do we create in our own lives by trying to live separate lives at work and at church?  As Christians, every one of us is in the business of changing lives (our own and others’).  Some of us change lives as professional ministers and some of us change lives in other professions.  Sometimes we change lives by going on mission trips or by working in food pantries, and sometimes we change lives by talking to a neighbor or by showing up at work with a life-changing attitude.

So today I am remembering those friends who traveled with me I am praying for their work and their studies and their every-day lives they are living right now and not just for their “church-related” ministries.  Today I will go to work on that wall which divides the secular and the sacred.  I will remove a few more bricks from it.  And one day, it will be gone for good.

© Blake Coffee

 

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2 thoughts on “The Lie About the Secular

  1. Marcus Goodyear

    And some of us don’t even change lives. We’re just quietly there, dependably accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, doing our small bit to keep our corner of the world in working order.

    Good post, Blake.

    Reply

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