Sacred vs Secular

By admin On February 20, 2011 Under Spiritual

“All our merely natural activities will be accepted, if they are offered to God, even the humblest, and all of them, even the noblest, will be sinful if they are not.  Christianity does not simply replace our natural life and substitute a new one; it is rather a new organization which exploits, to its own supernatural ends, these natural materials.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Sacred vs SecularSacred vs Secular: Torn In Two

Spiritual schizophrenia is a disease many of us suffer from.  We have torn our world into two parts.  One room is labeled sacred and the other is labeled secular.  We live in these compartments and step back and forth between them at will.  The majority have accepted this dichotomy between the sacred and the secular.  Throughout history, religions have damned some activities as un-spiritual and embraced others as spiritual.  Because of this, we are torn in two.  We can’t see our lives (or our world) as they are—as we desire them: whole.

Plato Started Us Out On This Journey

Classic Greek dualism teaches that the spiritual world is divided from and vastly superior to the physical world.

But There Is No Division

All things are inescapably interconnected.  The secular is enveloped and saturated by the sacred.  Indeed, the secular is the place where the spiritual interfaces and comes to life.  God created everything and cares about it.  “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…” (Ps. 24:1)  God is everywhere and upholds everything—every moment.  We are connected to Him right down to our physical bodies.  His glory is revealed in all of it.  “…whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:30-31)  This brings a sacred character to everything.  Everything is sacred or nothing is.

A Very Physical Charge From A Spiritual God

Our charge from God in the beginning reflects this sacred permeation.  He told us to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth.  That seems very physical.  He didn’t bother to tell us to offer sacrifices or sing Him praises or meditate.  Instead, our trust is very practical: to care for all the stuff of creation.

Before The Face of God

In the Reformation, a common phrase kept the world in perspective for the reformers.  It was Coram Deo.  In English that is “before the face of God.”  To reflect reality, every thought and action needs to include God.  To fail to do this is to divorce Him from of our lives, to tear ourselves in two.  Our history, and world history, is a clear picture of the consequences of this.  To be whole and to understand God’s plans for us, we must live so close to Him that we think His thoughts, see through His eyes, and hear through His ears.

Sacred vs SecularSacred vs Secular: The Cure

The cross of Christ is the cure for spiritual schizophrenia.  We no longer need to divide ourselves, to step in and out of God’s presence.  In the cross, He has reached out and embraced every part of us.  He has integrated our world by His death, a death that made it possible for us to be fully in His presence at all times.  Of course this was always reality but, because we had fallen, we couldn’t see it or bear it.

Reunited – Made Whole

Tear down these walls we put up between the sacred and the secular and we can participate in what God has desired since the fall: the reclamation—the reunion—of every part of His creation. Our separation of physical and the spiritual, secular and sacred, gentile and Jew, can be mended and made whole.

Our Longing And Our Hope

This is the wholeness we have longed for all of our lives.  It must be accepted and remedied by each person. As challenging as it is to join the segments of our compartmentalized life into a whole and to glorify God in every part of our lives, it is something each of us must do to find life and health.

Sacred vs Secular: Divided No More

We must become comfortable with living before the face of God—every molecule, every thought—every moment.  This will integrate and transform our lives, giving us freedom, perspective, and wonder.

It will also bring us health.

Return from Sacred vs Secular to Spiritual Healers

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